Scottrade Review 2014: 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|| 3,000+ commission-free NTF funds, $17 for others|
|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 per transaction|
|Investments|| stocks, options, mutual funds, CDs, munis, U.S. Treasury, Canadian and foreign stocks, ETFs|
|Scottrade minimum deposit to open account|| $500 for a cash account, $2,000 for a margin account |
We start our 2014 Scottrade review with trading costs:
the company offers flat rate, $7 per trade commission on stocks and ETFs priced over $1. It has over 3,000
no transaction fee (NTF) mutual funds, which allows mutual fund investors to invest commission-free.
Scottrade made the account opening process easy and painless. We opened an account 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. Bank account setup and
instant account validation is implemented very well (you will have to supply your bank account user name and password). We were able to use an ACH deposit
to transfer money instantly - at the moment this is unique among online brokers, where in some cases you need to wait for weeks before cash will appear in your
brokerage account. The minimum to open a Scottrade account is very low $500.
Scottrade Review: Website/Trading Platform/Tools
Scottrade boasts award-winning trading tools. Customers can trade from the website as well
as from fully customizable, stand-alone application called ScottradeELITE. ScottradeELITE is an advanced, professional
trading platform for active traders with an account balance of at least $25,000.
In the platform the Market Overview page gives you a snapshot of the performance of any given major market index over one or five days, six months, or 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 stock tool is the Screener which also works for ETFs and mutual funds. With it you
can set whatever combination of criteria you consider appropriate given your investing strategy. Stocks can be selected based on market segment,
fundamentals, price performance, earnings and dividends, or technical indicators. The platform also gives you the option to save any particular set of screening
criteria for routine use. Additionally, you can compare specific stocks, ETFs, or mutual funds side-by-side. As a shortcut, you 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 market close. Alternate tabs on the page give you the same sets except by the
top or bottom 20 instead of only five.
If you need to research a specific stock, the Summary page will give you 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 you 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 you pick a chart appropriate for the long-term or medium-term
investor or the medium-term, short-term, or intraday trader. You can also select specific time ranges for the chart ranging from one day to 20 years
There is also 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, including 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
- #1 in customer satisfaction according to JD Power and Associates
- 500+ local branches for in-person assistance
- Great support for beginner investors with a massive number of educational resources
- Online user community
- Good banking services: savings, CDs, money market and free checking accounts (free ATM withdrawals, VISA check card, and first order of checks free)
- Only $500 minimum to open account
- Free real-time streaming quotes and charts
- Free dividend reinvestment for mutual funds (but not for stocks)
- Largest number of mutual funds - over 14,500
Scottrade Review: Cons
- Additional 0.5% of the principal value commission for stocks under $1
- No electronic withdrawals, but you can use a debit card or check. Once you receive checks, you will have the routing number and account number, which you can use to withdraw money via ACH initiated from other financial institutions
Scottrade Review: Summary
Scottrade is one of the veterans of the discount stock trading -- a solid, well-established company that
has been around for over 30 years. The firm offers $7 flat rate commission on stocks and ETFs (with the exception of penny stocks).
It keeps customers happy by not charging fees for things like IRAs,
large orders, extended-hours trading, account maintenance, or inactivity.
Scottrade is the leader in customer satisfaction according to J.D. Power and Associates.
However, we would love to see the company cancel the surcharge on penny stocks and improve its options trading tools and pricing.
Also, the absence of electronic fund withdrawals is puzzling (even though withdrawals can be done using a debit card or check).
Thanks to live webinars and events, tons of learning materials, very helpful customer service, and an online user community, Scottrade is an
excellent choice for beginners.
Customers that invest in mutual funds get over 3,000 commission-free (NTF) mutual funds to choose from. Long-term, "buy and hold" investors will be
happy with no account inactivity charges. Absolutely no-fee retirement accounts make Scottrade one of the
Best Companies for IRA.
Because Scottrade is a stable, seasoned brokerage firm with a good reputation, it is a very appealing choice for people who
would not trust their money with newer companies, but also don't want to pay $10 for trades (and multiple miscellaneous fees) 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 2014 and highly recommend it to all investors.
Get up to $100 in transfer fees reimbursed when you move your account to Scottrade.
Reviewed by Brokerage Review on
Reviewed by Editor and 70+ Scottrade customers.