There are dozens of available brokerages that investors can choose from, and today I’d like to review Scottrade.
Scottrade isn’t the lowest budget brokerage, nor are they the most expensive. They offer quite a few nice features and pricing is quite good, which makes them an attractive company. I’ll lay out the details and you can decide if Scottrade is right for you.
Scottrade Review Background
Scottrade is a privately owned American discount retail brokerage firm headquartered in Town and Country, Missouri. Its founder, former President and the current CEO is Rodger O. Riney. Scottrade has 503 branch offices around the U.S and nearly 4,000 employees, all of which reside in the United States. (see more at Wiki)
In addition to being full service, the company has won many awards for outstanding customer service and customer satisfaction. Scottrade consistently ranks number 1 in investor satisfaction with online investing services according to J. D. Power and Associates’ Online Investor Satisfaction Study.The company renders both online and branch office services including brokerage services, banking services, investment education, and it offers award-winning online trading platforms, including the Scottrade Trading Web Site, ScottradeELITE Advanced Trading Platform, Scottrader Streaming Quotes, Scottrade OptionsFirst, Scottrade Mobile Application, and Scottrade Mobile Website.
Scottrade has also been ranked in Fortune’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” each of the last 6 years.
Scottrade is primarily an online brokerage firm so they are expected to have competitive pricing. It isn’t exactly the cheapest, but it’s pretty close. And it’s far from the most expensive brokerage out there. Stock pricing is quite good, but options can get expensive and I’d look elsewhere. Here is the info from the Scottrade site:
- Minimum initial deposit: $2500
- Stock and ETF Trades: flat $7.00 per trade
- Broker assisted Stock/ETF Trades: $32
- Options Trades: $7.00 per trade + $1.25 per contract
- Company Research: Free
- Data: Free
- Trading Platforms: Free
Multiple Account Options: You can easily open single or joint accounts online in minutes. In addition, you can quickly setup a Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, Rollover IRA, etc. You can even open up business and trust accounts.
Open Pricing: The fees are openly disclosed and there aren’t many to mention with Scottrade. As i said, most trades are a flat $7 and the minimum to open an account is $500, which is quite low. There are no inactivity fees or other ridiculous charges that I have found.
Easy Trading Platform: Scottrade offers a relatively simple trading platform that allows simplified trading of securities. They offer a more advanced Scottrade Elite platform for members who have $25,000 or more in their account.
Mobile Support: Scottrade has a great platform for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. If you have inte
- rnet access you can trade, check updates, and real time news streams directly to your mobile device. I haven’t tried this, but supposedly it is quite good.
Customer Service: Scottrade has more than 500 offices in the U.S. This allows great support and easy access. If you have a question about the service or a product, you can chat with a live person for free. They are genuinely helpful and this is the main reason why many choose Scottrade over the competition.
Trading Tools: Scottrade does offer basic research and trading tools that are available for free. It’s not the most advanced options but you do have access to stock screeners and other tools for research purposes. If you have $25,000 or more in your account, you have access to more advanced trading tools, but I manage fine without them.
Educational Resources: In combination with local offices that offer support, they have an extensive online library which is designed to help novice investors understand the process and the terminology. If you are new to investing, this could be valuable.
Flexible Reinvestment Program: Scottrade used to offer no dividend reinvestment program, but that has changed. They now offer their version which enables investors to collect their dividends and reinvest them, commission-free, into up to five eligible stocks or ETFs at a time, including securities that didn’t generate the dividends.
Option Pricing: If you want to trade options, I’d look elsewhere to places like Optionshouse. You get similar features at a lower price.
Scottrade Review Summary
Scottrade is competing with a lot of other brokerage firms, but they manage to stand out with excellent customer service. Their commitment to customer satisfaction has driven growth and propelled them to the top of the broker scene.
Even with more than 500 supporting local offices, they still offer a low priced trading platform. If you are looking for a low cost option but want to maintain the ability to visit a local business for support or help, Scottrade just might be for you.