WellsTrade review
3-star brokerage firm rating

Wells Fargo Brokerage (WellsTrade) Review

WellsTrade Review: Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit

Stocks and ETFs $8.95
Stocks and ETFs with PMA package $6.95
Stocks and ETFs (broker assisted) $33.95 ($31.95 with PMA)
Options $9.95 + $1 per contract
Mutual funds $35
Auction of Treasury Bills, Notes and Bonds $50 per transaction

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, Treasury bills, ETFs
Wellstrade minimum deposit to open account $1,000
FeesWellstrade fees
Login link Wellstrade login

Wells Fargo Online Brokerage Account Setup

To get lower pricing we decided to open a WellsTrade account linked to a PMA package (basically it's a checking account). First, we went to a local Wells Fargo branch and were able to open the PMA package very fast. They gave us account and PIN numbers, which we used to set up access to checking account online and ACH transfer to our external bank account, which requires a deposit verification process. In two business days we saw the deposits in our external bank account and were able to finish ACH setup. Unfortunately, it turned out that Wells Fargo limits daily online transfers to and from external account to $2,000 and monthly to just $6,000. But to avoid the PMA package's $30 monthly fee, client needs $25,000 in PMA checking account. Only half of WellsTrade brokerage balance counts toward that requirement, meaning that client needs $50,000 in WellsTrade account to avoid the monthly fee.

We had no choice but to go to a branch and make deposit to our PMA by check. Because the amount deposited was large, Wells Fargo made only $4,800 of the amount available three business days later, and for the rest we had to wait 10 days! Once we finally had money in our PMA checking, we signed in into our account online, clicked the "Brokerage" tab, and filled out a few required forms. We were told our WellsTrade account would be approved two business days later. It actually took two weeks.

Wells Fargo is required to withhold 28% of all sales proceeds, dividends, and interest payments until the signed Account Services Agreement Signature Page is received. We filled this form out and emailed it to them. None of the other brokers we have used had this procedure.

WellsTrade.com Website/Trading Platform/Tools Review

Wells Fargo Brokerage review

Wells Fargo Brokerage (WellsTrade) offers good selection of independent, third party investment research and education resources: market commentaries, profiles, S&P Stock Reports and MorningstarĀ® mutual fund ratings. Charts are less comprehensive than in most other brokerages. The gain/loss information on the positions screen is not updated right away. Advanced trading platform is not offered. Overall, the WellsTrade trading tools are disappointing.

Wells Fargo created a good app for both iPhone and Android that brings access to its banking and investment services to mobile devices. Investment part of the app is not very sophisticated but it allows users to place trades and track orders, manage watchlists and get real-time quotes, view account activity, and access market news and data.

WellsTrade review

WellsTrade Pros

  • Good banking services
  • Good independent investment research amenities

WellsTrade Cons

  • High commissions if not in PMA program
  • For stocks below $1 per share commission is greater of $34.95 and 3.5% of principal
  • Poor trading tools
  • Horrible executions; randomly altered limit orders
  • High margin rates
  • $25 Minimum Balance Fee, if account is less than $5,000
  • $30 monthly service fee if linked PMA Package has less than $25,000 in bank accounts (or $50,000 in brokerage accounts)
  • Shortened after-hours trading: 4:05 pm - 5:00 pm EST, instead of 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST

Wells Fargo Investments Review Summary

WellsTrade is a brokerage operation of the well-known Wells Fargo Bank. It is expensive to invest in or trade stocks and ETFs with WellsTrade: at $8.95 per stock or ETF trade the rate is higher than the average among online brokerage firms. The pricing, however, drops to a reasonable $6.95 per trade for those who are willing to hold $25,000 in PMA package bank accounts or to have $50,000+ brokerage balance and open checking account too. Mutual funds are also expensive at $35 per transaction. The company has shortened extended hours trading, and charges huge commissions on penny stock trades.

WellsTrade is offering its account holders a full range of banking services through its parent company Wells Fargo bank. The firm provides very good selection of independent, third party investment research from a number of sources.

Unlike most other brokerage firms, WellsTrade charges $25 annual minimum account balance fee if account value is less than $5,000. The company has very high margin rates and suffers from slow-to-respond customer service. Its trading tools are archaic and slow compared to the competition. There are instances of limit orders changing price or being executed even if there is not enough money in the account.

For investors with large portfolios, Wells Fargo has a private advisory group. This enables investors to gain the benefits and attention given to clients at large brokerage houses, while retaining the benefits found in the banking environment. These clients are offered additional perks and special pricing on services beyond their investments.

There are better brokerage companies for beginner investors than WellsTrade, that offer vibrant online communities, where users can ask questions, learn from more experienced traders and even get investment ideas. Some of them offer virtual trading that allows customers to practice trading without risking real money - check out our Best Brokers for Beginner Investor recommendations.

To stay competitive with other large banks, Wells Fargo is trying to offer a full range of financial services to its banking clients. Brokerage service is obviously one of those add-ons for customers who want to do all their money operations with one company. It is definitely not getting all the attention it requires and therefore its quality fell well behind the leading online brokers. We can't recommend opening a WellsTrade brokerage account unless someone is already a Wells Fargo bank customer who invests infrequently. For everybody else there are a lot of other low-cost, highly-rated online brokerage firms to choose from, that offer better investing tools and services.

WellsTrade Promotion Offer

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WellsTrade Reviewed by Brokerage-Review.com on . Reviewed by Editor and Wellstrade customers. Rating: 3

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