Investments? etrade*

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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri May 30, 2014 5:33 pm


I'd go with Tradeking in your situation, for the following reasons:

You invest in individual stocks, not ETFs or index/mutual funds. Therefore, the commission-free offerings that some brokerages have to justify the higher price on paid commissions don't help you.

I'm not totally clear on your answer about stock holding periods. It sounds like you are looking for a 'cash' account and will not be using margin. Is the three day sale restriction related to Good Faith Violations?

Tradeking has some basic - but not terribly advanced - ways to choose your tax lots when selling. If you're not in the practice of holding stocks for very long, then you don't need fancy tax tools.

If you had been investing on autopilot, buying $X worth of the same index ETF commission-free every few weeks...over years and years...then you can imagine the value of advanced tax tools to pick from dozens of tax lots.

If you want to be able to react quickly to things, TD Ameritrade is better but the commissions are twice what Tradeking charges. Tradeking is usually pretty fast, though, and has some market updates / news feed.

Tradeking has no account minimum, and at $3,000 your account passes the threshold of $2,500 to avoid any potential inactivity fees (if you didn't make a trade for 12 months). With a $3,000 portfolio, you really want to keep expenses low, so the $4.95 fee per trade will help there.

Keep in mind that if you make 12 trades per years, that's already $60, or 2% of your account. I do think you'd be better off with commission-free index ETFs to keep your expenses low and paper-trading individual stocks.

If, however, you're certain you want to go with individual stocks, then Tradeking would probably be a good choice. Scottrade or Fidelity could work, too. For your situation, Vanguard is definitely not appropriate.
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