Scottrade Review: Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit
|Stocks and ETFs|| $7|
|Stocks and ETFs broker assisted|| $32|
|Stocks and ETFs interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system|| $32|
|Options|| $7 + $1.25 per contract|
|Mutual funds|| $17|
|CDs, OTC Secondary Corporates, OTC Secondary Municipals,|
U.S. Treasury Bills, Notes, Bonds and STRIPS, New Corporate Offerings
| subject to a markup or markdown|
|Listed Corporate Bonds|| $35 + $3 per bond (minimum investment $1,000)|
|Unit Investment Trusts (UIT)|| $50 liquidation fee|
|Foreign Stocks Transferring In or Out|| $60|
|Investments|| stocks, options, mutual funds, CDs, munis, U.S. Treasury, Canadian and foreign stocks, ETFs|
|Scottrade minimum deposit to open account|| $2,500 ($0 for IRA accounts)|
We start our 2015 Scottrade review with investing costs: the company offers flat rate, $7 per trade commission on stocks and ETFs priced over $1. The firm
provides over 2,600 no transaction fee (NTF) mutual funds, which allows mutual fund investors to invest commission-free. The funds not in NTF program
are only $17 per transaction.
Scottrade made account opening process easy and painless. We clicked their promotion link - Get up to $2000 when you open new account or add funds to existing account.
and completed application forms in less than 10 minutes, and, thanks to electronic signatures, there are no forms to print and mail. After setting up
security questions and consenting to few standard agreements, we were free to login and explore the website. The next day we did get a phone call
from customer service asking if we had any questions - always a nice touch.
The Scottrade Money Direct feature allows customers to instantly transfer cash directly from their bank. At the moment this is rare among brokers, where in some cases clients need to wait for weeks before deposited funds appear
in their brokerage account. Minimum to open is $2,500 for a regular brokerage account and $0 for an IRA.
Scottrade Review: Website/Trading Platform/Tools
Scottrade's customers can trade from the website, from the Scottrader Streaming Quotes (a Java-based trading system launched from the website) as well as from
fully customizable, stand-alone downloadable application called ScottradeELITE. ScottradeELITE is an advanced trading platform available for users
with account balance of at least $25,000 or those making nine or more stock/options trades in the last three months.
In ScottradeELITE the Market Overview page gives a snapshot of the performance of any given major market index over one or five days, six months, one or five years.
It brings together current market news, analyst views, and details on specific industries and sectors, and international markets in one place.
The main research tool is the Screener which works for stocks, ETFs and mutual funds. With it users can set any combination of criteria for their investing
strategy. Stocks can be selected based on market segment, fundamentals, price performance, earnings and dividends, or technical indicators.
The platform also gives the option to save any particular set of screening criteria for routine use. Additionally, users can compare specific stocks,
ETFs, or mutual funds side-by-side. As a shortcut, they can view stocks that meet criteria preselected by Scottrade: the five strongest and weakest
stocks by 52-week change, the five largest and smallest stocks by market cap, and the strongest five stocks as ranked by S&P Capital IQ as of the last
If users need to research a specific stock, the platform's Summary page will give them the basics in one place: last closing price, change and percentage change,
dividend yield, volume, and 10-day average volume. Below that are the basic chart and other fundamental data, such as the float, beta, P/E, volatility,
EPS, spread, and 52-week highs and lows. Current analyst ratings and reports (S&P, Thomson Reuters, and Second Opinion) can also be found on the main page.
The Advanced Charting option enables clients to impose a wide range of technical indicators on the price chart, include a comparison index or stock,
and mark events (splits, dividends, or earnings announcements) and relevant news to see how they affect the share price. Several chart styles
including line (the default) and candlestick are available. A set of shortcuts lets users pick a chart appropriate for the long-term or medium-term
investor or the medium-term, short-term, or intraday trader. Clients can also select specific time ranges for the chart ranging from one day to 20 years
Scottrade users also have access to a comprehensive mobile application that works for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. It allows the user to
monitor investments, generate investment ideas, research opportunities (analyst views from Standard & Poor’s and briefing.com),
and execute trades for stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and options (all with real-time streaming quotes and watch lists).
Scottrade Review: Pros
- No inactivity, account maintenance or hidden fees
- No-fee IRAs
- 500+ local branches for in-person assistance
- Great support for beginner investors with a massive number of educational resources
- Good banking services: savings, CDs, money market and free checking accounts (free ATM withdrawals, VISA check card, and free first order of checks)
- Free real-time streaming quotes
- Flexible and free dividend reinvestment programs (DRIPs)
- Large number of mutual funds available - over 14,500
- Instant funds deposits
Scottrade Review: Cons
- Outdated, cluttered website design
- Additional 0.5% of the principal value commission for stocks under $1
- No electronic withdrawals, but clients can use a debit card, checks, or ACH transfer from their bank
- $25,000 account balance, or 9+ stock/option trades during the previous three months is required to use advanced trading platform (ScottradeELITE)
- High $2,500 minimum to open regular brokerage account (but $0 for IRA)
Scottrade Review: Summary
Scottrade is one of the veterans of the discount online investing -- a solid, well-established company that has been around for over 30 years.
The firm offers $7 flat rate on online stock and ETF trades (with the exception of penny stocks) and $17 rate on mutual fund transactions -
these are the lowest commissions among large brokerage houses. The broker keeps customers happy by charging very few fees: there are no fees for things
like IRAs, large orders, extended-hours trading, account maintenance, or inactivity.
We would love to see Scottrade cancel conditions for using advanced trading platform, and improve its website design, options trading tools and options
pricing. Also, the absence of electronic fund withdrawals is puzzling; though withdrawals can be done using a debit card, checks, and via ACH initiated
from other financial institutions.
Scottrade created their unique version of dividend reinvestment program (DRIP). They call it FRIP (Flexible Reinvestment Program) and the difference
with regular DRIP is that clients can reinvest dividends commission-free not just into stocks or ETFs that paid the dividends but into any stocks or
ETFs. Users can change their FRIP selections and percentage allocation to each security at any time.
Scottrade has an FDIC-insured bank that offers checking and savings accounts with the standard insurance of $250,000. The checking account
has no setup fee, no minimum balance, and no monthly account fee. It comes with free checks and a debit MasterCard. In order to open a
Scottrade bank account, clients must have at least $500 in a Scottrade brokerage account.
Thanks to live webinars and events, tons of learning materials, and very helpful customer service, Scottrade is an excellent choice for beginners.
Customers that invest in mutual funds get over 2,600 commission-free (NTF) mutual funds to choose from. Long-term, "buy and hold" investors will be
happy with no account inactivity charges. No-fee retirement accounts make Scottrade one of the
Best Companies for an IRA.
Because Scottrade is a stable, seasoned brokerage firm with a good reputation, it is a very appealing choice for anyone who
would not trust their money with newer companies, but also doesn't want to pay $9-$10 for trades with other
established brokerage houses. The ability to visit a local branch and talk with someone face-to-face can be very valuable, too.
We ranked Scottrade among the top brokerage firms in 2015 and highly recommend it to investors.
Get up to $2000 when you open new account or add funds to existing account.
Reviewed by Brokerage Review on
Reviewed by Editor and 80+ Scottrade customers.