ShareBuilder Review 2014: Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit
|Stocks and ETFs||$6.95|
|Stocks and ETFs phone trades||$19.95|
|Options||$6.95 per online trade + $0.75 per contract|
|Mutual funds|| $19.95|
|Automatic Investments (stocks, mutual funds and ETFs)|| $3.95|
|Investments|| stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs|
|Sharebuilder minimum deposit to open account|| $0|
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: 0.50% Annual Percentage Yield
- Money Market Fund: 0.01% 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.
ShareBuilder Review: Company Pros
- Low-cost automatic investing plans
- Free dividend and capital gains reinvestment
- Ability to buy fractions of a stock
- $0 to open cash account, $2,000 for margin account
- Good banking services (but no reimbursed foreign ATM fees) provided by parent company Capital One (Capital One 360 promotions)
ShareBuilder Review: Company Cons
- $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)
- Customers can't specify at what price investments with Automatic Investing plan are bought or sold
- Poor research choices
- No extended hours trading
- Very basic trading tools
- Customer service complaints (and no chat feature)
- Terrible trade executions
- $49.95 fee on any no-load, no-transaction fee mutual fund held less than 90 days
ShareBuilder Review Summary
ShareBuilder, which was bought from ING by U.S. banking giant Capital One in 2012, 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 daily,
weekly, biweekly or monthly. 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.
Mutual fund buying on ShareBuilder is downright expensive and difficult. Where some brokerage firms allow a mutual fund to be
purchased with a minimum initial purchase of as low as $250, ShareBuilder’s mutual fund minimums are to the tune of $2,500. Even at that high initial
buy-in, ShareBuilder offers a very limited range of fund families from which to make a selection. In fact, within those few fund families
there are even fewer funds to choose from thanks to limited and overlapping investment categories. Those who are interested in the diversification yet sector focus
of a technology fund, for example, will not find it here. Those who are wishing to catch the potential upward swings of a financial sector fund will have to invest
in an ETF such as the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF – NYSE) and use ShareBuilder’s automatic stock/ETF purchase plan.
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.
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Capital One ShareBuilder
Reviewed by Brokerage Review on
Reviewed by Editor and ShareBuilder customers.