Online trading has come into vogue in the last 10 years or so. Earlier you had to either contact your local broker or trade on your own. E*Trade and First trade laid the initial platform for online trading. Since the concept was new, it was quite expensive. However, as the times changed online trading too become easier, cheaper and more accessible.
Now any search engine will spew forth a big list of online stock brokers that offer services at discounted rates. But how many of them have the actual expertise to advice you on cheap trading. Can they offer expert service and fast execution? Let’s take a look at what are the options available to us.
When you trade with Scottrade you do so with all the ease and convenience. You need a minimum balance of $500 and you can trade from your Blackberry or iPhone. Though their charges seem a bit more expensive at $7 per trade and $27 for broker assisted trades but if you are dealing for huge sums of money then paying a few extra dollars for peace of mind does not pinch.
Voted the best broker of options trade by Barron’s, Option House is among the newer players. At $2.95 for offering trades and broker assistance they are amongst the cheapest available. However, they don’t compromise on quality. They offer live chats 24×7 and customer support seven days a week.
They are very well known among trading masses and one of the reasons behind their popularity is their advertisements on television. They are amongst the most expensive for online traders as they charge $7.95 per trade and $45 for broker assisted trade. Once you open the account you get 60 days of free trade. To operate you must have a minimum balance of $1,000 and you must keep your account active or as a part of account maintenance fee you will be charged inactivity fee. They are among the best in the market especially if you are an experienced investor. However, for a casual investor their charges are on the higher side.
TradeKing charges only $4.95 per trade even if you take the help of a broker. It charges a $0.65 per contract. TradeKing has won awards at SmartMoney, Barron’s and other online stock broker rating agencies. It has a good customer support helpline. It also offers to reimburse transfer fees up to the amount of $150, in case you transfer your current trading account from somewhere else.
Zecco offers you 10 free trades if you make at least 25 trades a month or if you have $25,000 in the Zecco account. They charge $4.50 per trade. Zecco allows virtual trading which is a bit difficult to grasp. They have live chat support and promptly respond to emails.
Simplifying Trading for Active Traders
They have been rated four stars by Barron’s for the past five years. They offer $5 online trades with no penny stock surcharge. This feature is very difficult to find with other brokers. Their basic streaming platform is free for first four months but after that they charge a minimum of $14-95 per month.
OptionMonster a news and education site for options has started the tradeMonster which provides a studied approach to stocks and options. For their options trading Barron’s has awarded them four and a half stars. They charge $7.50 per trade. They are quite informative for retail investors and periodically suggest options strategies. They also offer to reimburse transfer fees up to $250.
It is owned by TD Ameritrade and it boasts of a superior technology and educational information on options. They were ranked number 1 online trading broker by Barron’s. They charge a fee of $9.95. For transfer they offer a reimbursement of $100. They offer complementary free trades.
Sogo Trade is one of the less advertised broking hoses and mostly people who are registered customers know about them. They offer services at $3 a trade. They have three unique trading platforms: Sogo Trade, Sogo Elite and Laser. All help in providing the customer with detailed and latest data to facilitate trading.
SahreBuilder offers the cheapest fees at $4 per trade. However they need to be intimated in advance as trading can only be done on Monday. This ‘automatic investing’ is no longer popular. They also offer real time trade at $9.95.
Refer your friends to OptionsHouse and get your choice of $150 or 30 commission-free trades.