Compare Computershare vs Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, Etrade, Charles Schwab, and Vanguard


Computershare vs Online Brokers


Fees Stocks Products Trading Tools Client Service Research Overall
Scottrade $6.95
Ameritrade $6.95
Etrade $6.95
Fidelity $4.95
Schwab $4.95
Vanguard $7-$20
Computer
share
Varies


Computershare vs Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, Vanguard, Etrade


Computershare is a stock transfer agent, which means that it holds corporate shareholder records. Publicly held companies usually designate one such company to transfer stock for them. Unlike a traditional or online broker, there are no fees associated with making trades. However, shareholders are charged when withdrawing funds. Computershare is not a brokerage and does not have a set fee for the purchase or sale of stock. Purchase and sales fees are determined by each company individually. See Differences between brokerage and transfer agent article for more info.

While clients could only invest in stocks with Computershare, with most brokerage firms they could also buy and sell mutual funds, exchange traded funds, options, bonds and other investments.

All Computershare competitors in this review - TD Ameritrade, Etrade, Charles Schwab, Fidelity, Vanguard and Scottrade - are the household names, the largest discount brokerage houses in the U.S. These companies are very popular among all investors - from beginners to institutions.


Pricing

There is a huge difference in pricing structure between Computershare and its competition. The best priced competitors, Fidelity Investments and Schwab are charging for stocks and ETF's $4.95 per trade. Others have $6.95 rate, with Vanguard charging $7 or $20 per stock or ETF trade (Vanguard's commissions depend on amount of money a client invested in Vanguard products).

For mutual funds investors Scottrade is the cheapest broker and charges only $17 per transaction. Other online investment firms have much higher cost: from $20 (Etrade) to $76 (Charles Schwab) for the same mutual funds trades. Computershare does not offer investing in mutual funds, ETF's or bonds at all.


Services

TD Ameritrade offers its customers easy access to an online trader community, where investors can see what other, more advanced users invest in or trade, create and follow other members blogs, and interact with like-minded individuals.

Scottrade and Charles Schwab are the best ranking firms in customer service. Fidelity Investments and TD Ameritrade also got very high scores in this category.

All the companies in this review (except Vanguard and Computershare) created easy-to-use, powerful trading tools that will satisfy just about everyone. But only TD Ameritrade also offers professional trading platform which is must-have for very active traders as well as for forex and futures trading.

Because Scottrade and TD Ameritrade created well-designed, intuitive trading screens, offer large networks of local offices, and provide award-winning customer service, in 2018 we rated them the Best Brokers For Beginners.

All firms in this article (except Vanguard) do not charge IRA accounts (ROTH, Traditional, self-employed) setup and custodial fees (sometimes also called annual or maintenance fees). Some of these companies don't even charge for closing IRA accounts. There might be, however, a fee if you decide to move your IRA or non-IRA account to a different firm.


Scottrade Update


Scottrade was acquired by TD Ameritrade last year. TD Ameritrade plans to fully integrate Scottrade in the end of first quarter. For this reason it makes more sense to open an account with TD Ameritrade directly and skip possible transition inconveniences. New customers could take advantage of TD Ameritrade's bonus that allows them to trade for free for two months and gives up to $600 bonus.


Recommendations

We do not recommend opening account at Computershare - it is often too expensive and offers too few services and products compared to a brokerage firm.

If you would like to have an access to professional-level trading platform that day-traders and hedge funds are using, or you want to practice trading without risking your hard-earned money, then TD Ameritrade is your broker. It is also great for mutual funds and long-term investors as well as for beginner investors and for IRA accounts.

Fidelity Investments and Vanguard are highly recommended to anyone who wants to invest mostly in Fidelity's and Vanguard's own families of mutual funds and ETFs. If third-party investment research is important to you then go with Fidelity Investments as well.

Etrade is our pick for clients investing mostly in fixed income securities - bonds, Treasuries, CDs, and munis.

Much more information about each company is available in detailed brokerage reviews, and we highly recommend reading these:

TD Ameritrade (read review),

Etrade (read review),

Scottrade (read review),

Charles Schwab (read review),

Fidelity Investments (read review),

Computershare (read review),

Vanguard Brokerage (read review).



Promotions

TD Ameritrade: Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

Scottrade: Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

Charles Schwab: Make $100,000 deposit and get 500 commission-free online equity and options trades.

Fidelity Investments: Get 500 free trades with $100,000+ deposit.

Etrade: At E*TRADE, get $6.95 trades + 65₵ per options contract.