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Posted 12 July 2006 - 10:21 PM
they allow post and pre market trading; commissions are based on number of trades (40 trades a quarter can get you $8 trades); when not in the market your money is in a money market account and you can get checks to draw from that account; they also have almost a gazillion mutual funds to park your money in if you want to get out of stocks for awhile. Their trading platform, Active Trader Pro is pretty good as well
If you meet the 40 trades a quarter you can also get streaming quotes (real time) and directed Level II trading. Also at this level you can get Wealth Lab Pro for back testing or setting up programmed trading.
www.ameritrade.com fees $10.99
My main accounts are with Ameritrade and Schwab. I opened a Scottrade account to see how the service is. The services have their pros and cons. I like to keep more than one main account because on a high volume panic day, service is likely to go down at one firm or the other. It's hard to know who's system is vulnerable until it happens. Schwab has become a lot more attractive recently with their reduction in commissions. It's actually cheaper for me there now than Ameritrade and I like the StreetSmart Pro trading platform.
I trade a lot and depend on Quicken downloads to keep track of my trades for tax purposes. I have a few complaints for each of the services there. Ameritrade seems to be the most complete and accurate in their download reports. The transactions are ordered pretty close to the way they were executed in my account and usually are complete. Schwab sometimes drops a transaction or two and the transactions are reported out of order. My complaint with Ameritrade is that the transactions aren't always ready for download, even in the late evening. Schwab has their downloads ready soon after the transactions are executed. In the Scottrade downloads, only trading transactions are reported, not others like deposits, interest, etc.
I also like the ability of Ameritrade and Schwab to transfer money in and out of my checking account directly with no fees. Scottrade only allows you to transfer money in and you have to void a check in your checking account.
I used to have an account with etrade, but I closed it because they didn't allow me to transfer money in an out of my checking account. They want you to use their bank. They also had no way for me to take money out without incurring a fee of some sort. A big problem!
Overall, I have been leaning towards Schwab lately since they have lowered their fees. Any new money I have will probably flow in their direction, for now.
been happy with schwab for the last 10 yrs. $12.95 commissions.(i think with a 50k balance.) nice trading platform. reliable automated system for getting quotes during the day( i still have to have a real job)no problems trading before or after market
I'm with Schwab too and am entirely satisfied. Stock commissions via the internet are $9.95 if you are a frequent trader and/or have sufficient balance. They'll total your balance across all accounts in your family to determine the total balance for giving you a discount (I have two IRAs there plus a margin account). Never had a problem with the trading platform, they always answer the phone.
And how about Lowtrades.com for only $2.99 a trade?
www.interactivebrokers.com fees $2
I use IB. I use them because they are direct access, so execution is great. And, commissions at .005 cents per share is excellent too.
The web trader would be like putting in orders from Scottrade's web page instead of opening either the Scottrader or Elite.
IB's more robust platform is okay, but nothing compared to Tradestation or Cybertrader. Main weakness is the charting, which, while having all the indicators and such, just looks terrible.
So, that probably won't help you make up your mind, but the webtrader is inconspicious. The only down side is that they log you out quickly for securties sake, so if you aren't navigating for 4 or 5 minutes, you'll go to do something and find out you need to log back in -- which can be irritating.
I use IB and it seems that their fills are getting worse and worse. I have been getting filled at up to .60 higher than the market price. When I was with Ameritrade my fills were a lot better but commissions were also higher. A friend of mine uses IB and Fidelity and he has placed trades at the same time for the same stock and has informed me that Fidelity gives much better fills. IB although only charges 1.00 per 100 shares so it would only cost you 2.00 for a round turn trade on 100 shares or less on a stock valued at 50.00 or less. For someone with a small trading account and just starting out like myself, you can't beat it for the cost of commissions. And another thing that you have to remember is anything less than 100 shares is considered an odd-lot size and you may not even get filled. It has only happened to me a couple of times and that was on stocks with very low volume. I am now just starting to use the CAN SLIM method and execution price is not as important as with Swing-Trading.
There is another broker MB trading that has same prices as IB and gives you free Nasdaq 1 3/4 level quotes. There is no minimum trades to receive market data free. They even have some other benefits that IB doesn't.
Elitetrader.com on this site there are reviews of brokers.