- Centurion Member
- Posts: 3942
- Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
- Location: United States
I have actually used quite a few different discount brokerages, to get a feel for each one. In most, I keep index ETFs so I don't have to check on them often. From my most favorite to least favorite:
Fidelity - a site that is intuitive, at least for me. Fair rates - as long as you avoid buying competitor's mutual funds - and a good place to view the other brokerage accounts I've linked to it. A selection of good commission-free ETFs (liquid, low expenses, diversified). Moderately good customer service. If I could only pick one brokerage, this would be it. I use this mostly for individual stocks.
Vanguard - very low expenses on commission-free Vanguard ETFs and funds. High commissions if you don't follow their philosophy of diversification, indexing, and low turnover. The customer service is eager to help but not always well-informed. The website is somewhat intuitive but definitely doesn't have a lot of features. Great for passive positions in ETFs and index funds. Horrible for people who trade a lot.
Schwab - a close third. Good customer service, but I don't think the website provides as many useful features as Fidelity along the lines of portfolio analysis. Some of their commission-free ETFs are very small and a bit illiquid. They didn't always let you specify tax lots when selling, which annoyed me and made me leave, but they have this feature now.
Tradeking - definitely underrated. A decent website, but I like ETFs commission-free.
Scottrade - great customer service, but a website not quite as good as Tradeking, and also nothing (usually) commission-free. However, when I got a call from the local branch manager a day or two after opening the account, we had a nice chat and he offered 10 free trades. I asked him if he would make the offer retroactive, and refund the commission I had paid on a trade the day before (before he called). He did make the offer retroactive - giving me back money from a commission Scottrade had legitimately earned. It was only $7 but I think it's a good sign about the firm.
TD Ameritrade - a powerful trading platform...lots of bells and whistles...but tax lot tracking is unnecessarily difficult. Good ETFs commission-free.
Etrade - Unless you give them a ton of business, the site is pretty primitive with higher-cost commission-free ETFs. I don't know exactly what you can unlock there if you do trade a lot.
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May