ShareBuilder Review 2015: Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit
|Stocks and ETFs||$6.95|
|Stocks and ETFs phone trades||$19.95|
|Options||$6.95 + $0.75 per contract|
|Mutual funds|| $19.95|
|Automatic Investments (stocks, mutual funds and ETFs)|| $3.95|
The ShareBuilder new account opening process is one of the easiest and fastest we experienced. The registration screens are very well designed, with excellent attention
to detail, and it took us less than 10 minutes to complete all of them.
ShareBuilder offers some of the best options among online brokers for uninvested cash:
- FDIC Insured Cash Balance: 0.30% Annual Percentage Yield
- Money Market Fund: 0.03% 7-day yield
There is no minimum initial deposit requirement, so investors can quickly open an account and see whether they like what ShareBuilder
has to offer before committing any money. If you do choose to deposit money, it becomes available for trading the next business day.
Customers can conveniently and easily fund a newly-opened brokerage account electronically from their checking account, or alternatively they can open
a high-interest bank account with Sharebuilder's parent company,
ShareBuilder.com Website/Trading Platform/Tools Review
ShareBuilder's trading tools are easy to use but rudimentary. They get the job done in simple cases, but the firm should
invest in developing a more sophisticated trading platform. One feature that we liked are the email trade confirmations that get sent
right after each trade is executed, not the next day as with many other brokers.
Another, is the ability to make bill payments and check deposits right from your smartphone or tablet.
ShareBuilder makes it easy to set up a dividend reinvestment plan, enabling you to continue to buy fractions of stocks – and earn future
dividends that are calculated with included stock fractions – creating compounding effect with your dividend-paying stock positions.
If you desire to cash out any earned dividends, ShareBuilder makes that easy to setup as well.
With just a few mouse clicks you can quickly view information such as most-active
market movers in a particular security type and index. For the more macro-minded investor there are performance metrics available by sector
and industry, giving you a sense of a given sector’s performance over time and even allowing quick comparison to the S&P 500 Index.
Portfolio analysis allows
you to review either your entire portfolio collectively or each individual investment, so you can examine aspects such as your top holdings, allocation among
asset classes and industries in which you currently hold positions (handy for checking on your diversification), as well as global regions and market caps related to your
holdings. You can create custom screeners for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and bond funds, allowing you to search for a specific choice that meets your
requirements. There are even research tools for you to gather information on IPOs, such as a calendar that shows you upcoming IPO dates. And don’t forget
about options: there are calculators, a position simulator, and calendar for keeping track of expiration dates.
The Portfolio Builder is a very good tool that Sharebuilder offers its clients. At $18.95 per portfolio, clients are able to invest in ETF’s
with what money they have available. Instead of determining how many shares to buy, and how much in commissions and fees to deduct, investors simply
enter how much money they have to invest and the Portfolio Builder takes care of the rest. Investors choose from an assortment of ETF allocation
models, and also get to choose their ETF fund classes for maximum customization. Investors track their progress against the indexes and can make
changes to allocations as needed. The Portfolio Builder is a great way to increase diversification in ETF’s, which regularly outperforms the indexes.
Sharebuilder uses Morningstar research tools and analytics, which provides enough information for investors to make educated trades. The sections
for equities, ETF’s, mutual fund, bonds, options and IPO’s are filled with search options so that investors can limit their searches to very specific
criteria. Some of the equities criteria include highly rated performers, dividend stocks, bargains and “tech titans.” Investors can search for ETF’s
and mutual funds based on criteria such as analyst ratings, returns and net expense ratios. The “what if I had invested” tool allows investors to run
reports and numbers on hypothetical investments, thereby educating them for future trades. The research screens are easy to navigate and the tools are
ShareBuilder Review: Company Pros
- Low cost automatic investing plan
- Free DRIPs (dividend and capital gains reinvestment)
- No fee IRA accounts
- No account maintenance or inactivity fees
- Easy and cost effective way to create a portfolio with Portfolio Builder tool
- $0 to open cash account, $2,000 for margin account
- Good banking services (savings, checking accounts; debit and credit cards) provided by parent company Capital One (Capital One 360 promotions)
ShareBuilder Review: Company Cons
- No extended hours trading
- Shorting is not allowed
- Basic trading tools and no trading platform
- $49.95 fee on any no-load, no-transaction fee mutual fund held less than 90 days
- Automatic Investing plan trades are made only on Tuesdays
- $0.007 per share surcharge on real-time trades on penny stocks (subject to a maximum of 15% of the principal amount of the trade, but no less than the base commission)
ShareBuilder Review Summary
ShareBuilder, which in 2012 was bought from ING by U.S. banking giant Capital One, was known for its automatic investing plans,
which allowed customers to take advantage of dollar-cost-averaging by arranging to have a set amount invested
weekly (on Tuesdays). It also offers the rare feature of buying fractional shares, which could be beneficial
to clients looking to invest in very high-priced stocks, like Berkshire Hathaway.
ShareBuilder does not have minimum balance requirements, or inactivity or maintenance fees. Investors can open a cash account with $0 down.
Real time stock trades are priced at a rate about average in the industry - $6.95.
One feature we particularly like is the ability to link Capital One accounts directly to a
ShareBuilder account. You have to complete a security-based verification process that takes a couple days.
Once you are done, you are able to instantly fund your ShareBuilder account with your available banking funds. As a consumer this makes investing a whole
lot more convenient, enabling quick exchanges of money with a few mouse clicks.
Capital One acquired from ING its hugely popular online banking products that offer some of the highest rates in the U.S.:
ShareBuilder doesn't offer pre-market or after-hours trading. Coupled with very basic trading tools and slow
executions, it makes the company a terrible choice for active investors.
The firm does not have IRA setup or annual IRA fees. However, it did not make it onto our
Best IRA Brokers list.
There are better brokerages for beginner investors than ShareBuilder that offer vibrant online communities where users
can ask questions, learn from more experienced traders and even get investment ideas. Check out
our Best for Beginners Brokers recommendations.
If you are looking to invest money automatically or dollar-cost-average your investments, then ShareBuilder is not a bad
choice. For everybody else there are better companies: make sure to check out our
Brokerage Reviews and Ratings.
Capital One ShareBuilder
Reviewed by Brokerage-Review.com on
Reviewed by Editor and ShareBuilder customers.