Scottrade Review

Scottrade is a brokerage firm that has 505 offices nationwide and is headquartered in St. Louis, MO. Opening their first branch in 1980, this company has ample experience in stock market trading with more than 32 years.  Originally named Scottsdale Securities from the original founder, Rodger O. Riney, the name would later be changed in 1996.  Winning several awards and even making the list for the “100 Best Companies to Work For”, they are a leader in their industry.

 

Customer Service

Scottrade reviews show they have a very good customer service department; in fact new account holders will receive a welcome call from customer service asking if they have any questions.  Their customer service call center is opened Monday-Friday from 6 am till midnight. On Saturday and Sunday, their hours are 8 am till 6 pm; all hours are Central Standard Time. Those having problems with their account can email or use the live chat feature.  One of the great things about dealing with this company is their representatives are well trained and know the website frontwards and backwards; it seems there is no questions they cannot answer and they are always eager to help. JD Power and Associates ranked this company one of the best in customer satisfaction and that will easily be noticed right away.

 

Setting Up A New Account

For those who are new to online trading, it may seem a bit overwhelming. However, setup is easy for a new account and it can be done in a matter of minutes. The live chat option is helpful for anyone who may need instant help with their account.  The entire setup process is quite simple. Everything can be done electronically and the entire process will take around 15 minutes. Because of the electronic signatures and such, no forms will need to be mailed back to them at headquarters.  They will ask users to provide security questions and to sign several electronic agreements and then they will allow one to proceed to the actual website area.

Those interested in telling others about this site will receive a referral bonus of three free trades, which is a nice perk. The minimum balance to open any new account is $500. They make it easy to transfer money in and out of an existing bank account. Using the ACH feature, money can quickly be transferred into the user account from any bank.  They have a feature called instant account validation and if a user provides bank user name and password, money can be quickly transferred.  This feature makes this one of the most user friendly trading sites online.  While money can be withdrawn by ACH, they do not accept debit cards or checks.

 

Trading Platform

Scottrade has several platforms for account holders to use. There are three main platforms and the most popular being the ELITE.  To gain access to this trading platform an account holder must have the minimum of $25,000 in their account. This platform is totally desktop based and does not require Java to operate. The ELITE is one of the simpler applications to use, although it is geared toward the active traders.  The ELITE also offers virtual trading.

While ELITE seems to be the top platform, there are others that are just as respectable. The Streaming Quotes is web based and must run from Java. This platform offers mobile trading as well and can use a Blackberry, Android and iPhone. The virtual trading is fully functional, but one must have at least $100,000 in their account to be able to utilize this platform.

 

Fees

Most companies seem to nickel and dime people to death with fees. There are no fees for several items unlike other competitors. For example, those who engage in after-hours trading or IRA’s will not be charged. There are no account maintenance fees, no account closing fee and absolutely no fee to terminate an IRA. There is a surcharge on all penny stocks and a $7.00 stock trading fee. Most other competitors charge a fee of $10 per trade, making this company significantly more economical to trade through. The following other fees apply:

  • Options Trading Fee              $7.00
  • Options Exercise Fee              $7.00
  • Options Assignment Fee        $7.00
  • Options Fee Per Contracts     $1.25
    • 5 Contracts                 $13.25
    • 10 Contracts               $19.50
    • 50 Contracts               $69.50
    • 100 Contracts             $132.00

Trade Options Also Include:

•          Level 1: Long & Short Calls & Puts

•          Level 2: Collar & Vertical Spreads

•          Level 3: Time & Diagonal Spreads, Strangles, Straddles

•          Level 4: Butterfly, Condors, Back-Ratio & Complex Strategies

A broker assisted fee of $27 will apply, as well as other various fees for services. Among all trading companies online, it is easy to see why this company is one of the most economical places to start trading.

 

Resources

Those getting new to trading stocks might find the entire process overwhelming and confusing. Scottrade reviews show this company has gone out of their way to ensure that all their users have all the information they need. They offer training videos as well as training manuals to help guide the way.  Both the videos and manuals are user friendly and easy to understand.

While all levels of stock trading can be conducted on this website, it tends to cater to those who are new to trading with its ease of use. It is easy to see why Scottrade has won many awards, like the “No. 1 in investor satisfaction”.

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