WellsTrade Review 2014: 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|
Wells Fargo Online Brokerage Account Setup
We decided to open a WellsTrade account linked to a PMA package (checking account). First, we went to a local Wells Fargo branch and were able to open the PMA package
very fast. They give you your account and PIN numbers, which you can use to set up access to your checking account online. After that's done, we set up ACH
transfer with 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 for the PMA package. 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, you need $25,000 in your PMA checking account. Half of your WellsTrade brokerage balance counts toward that requirement, meaning
you alternatively need $50,000 in your 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, but other brokers don't require this.
WellsTrade.com Website/Trading Platform/Tools Review
Wells Fargo Brokerage (WellsTrade) offers great selection of independent, third party investment research and education resources: market commentaries, profiles, S&P Stock Reports and Morningstar® 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. Overall, the WellsTrade trading tools are disappointing.
- Good banking services
- Good independent investment research amenities
- High commissions if not in PMA program
- For stocks below $1 per share commission is greater of $34.95 and 3.5% of principal
- Additional 1.5 cents per share charged for more than 1,000 shares in one trade
- 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 PMA Package has less than $50,000 in all accounts
- Shortened after-hours trading: 4:05 pm - 5:00 pm EST, instead of 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST
Wells Fargo Brokerage 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: $8.95 per stock or ETF trade is higher than the average rate among online brokerage firms. Mutual funds are also
expensive at $35 per transaction. The company offers shortened extended hours trading, and charges huge
commissions on penny stock trades and trades of over 1,000 shares.
WellsTrade is offering its account holders a full range of banking services through its parent company Wells Fargo. The firm provides very
good selection of independent, third party investment research.
Unlike most other brokerage firms, it 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 many instances of limit orders
changing price or being executed even if there is not enough money in the cash 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 benefits 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.
We can't recommend opening a WellsTrade brokerage account unless you are already a Wells Fargo bank customer who invests infrequently. There are a lot of other low-cost, highly-rated
Online Brokerage Firms to choose from, that offer more value to their customers.
None right now.
Reviewed by Brokerage Review on
Reviewed by Editor and Wellstrade customers.