Scottrade is ranked 60 in Fortune’s best companies to work for in 2009, but what’s good about the broker other than the Scottrade promotion code being offered? This review is written to find out.
Scottrade at a Glance
Never mind any other brokerage firms, Scottrade offers four different trading platforms within its own system with Scottrade, Scottrader, Scottrade Mobile and Socttrade Elite. Here are a brief description of each:
- Scottrade – The standard platform that works within the website. No software, no plugins, nothing needs to be installed. The usual limitations apply though: no streaming quotes (though real time quotes are available), less than instant response time (although it’s bearable most of the time). For most investors, this is adequate.
- Scottrader – The introduction for customers to streaming quotes, customizable trading screens and others like top 10 lists and real time updated account balances, positions and order execution.
- Scottrade Mobile – I have no idea why you want to trade using your phone, but basic options are there if you really need it. The software works on all versions of iPhone, Blackberries and any device that is Internet capable.
- Scottrade Elite – The most flexible and feature rich trading platform, but there’s a $25,000 balance requirement to get this free. Be careful because there’s an option to NASDAQ TotalView and Level II, which costs extra unless you do enough trades per month (15 and 10 respectively).
Commissions and Other Fees
For years, Scottrade cleaned shop with just $7 a trade. In fact, the commissions were so good that everyone thought it was just a Scottrade promotion. However, recent competitors like TradeKing bring new meaning to the word “discount brokers. Nevertheless, $7 a trade is still very attractive for most, promotion or not.
Same story with options. Commissions are at $7 plus $1.25 per contract. Not earth shatteringly low prices but still reasonable.
Unlike the bigger brokerage firms, there are $0 fees to maintain the account no matter how much you have in your accounts. The only requirement is that it takes $500 to open an account ($2,000 for a margin account).
In my opinion, the only reason why I would want to pay more commissions with Scottrade is the fact that like many premium discount brokers, there are branches within the U.S. that I can visit. I did a quick search for branches around my home, and there are four locations within 10 miles.
In addition, Scottrade offers Thomson Financial Research directly to every customer to aid our investment decisions.
Awards and Others
As mentioned, Scottrade is among the best companies to work for. On top of being ranked 60 in Fortune’s Top 100 companies to work for, they were two spots better at 58 in 2008. Reasons include consistent quarterly bonus payouts even despite the toughest economic environment, never having a layoff and extremely happy employees.
I was also encouraged to hear that they also ranked first in customer satisfaction according to J.D. Power and Associates for the highest investor satisfaction with self-directed services. I guess when employees are happy, customers are happy too.
The broker is going to reimburse you for up to $100 when you transfer your account to Scottrade. No promotion code needed, although you need to submit a form after you open an account.
So Is Scottrade Right for Me?
For many, going with the company that offers the lowest commissions is what feels right but if you are looking for branches just in case you want to meet, see and talk to a live person, Scottrade is a solid option. Coupled with awesome customer service, Scottrade might be for you.
- Scottrade – Official Site