Many mistakes, many years later and stand before you is a man who knows about stock brokers. I’ve almost tried them all so I can quickly tell whether the interface is good or not, without making a single trade. Here’s what I think about the different brokers.
Zecco stomped onto the industry with unlimited free trades. It was a big mistake because it was an unsustainable business model. Now, it only offers ten free trades if you have $ 25,000 in your account.
OptionsHouse was a no-name until it made headlines with $ 2.95 per trade. Before that, they were offering $ 4.95 a trade without anyone ever signing up. Now that they’ve lowered the price, people are signing up in droves. Will it last?
TradeKing, while not the lowest price broker anymore, is still very good. It keeps winning awards like the Smart Money best discount broker award and others, all while maintaining their good pricing and awesome customer service.
As the name implies, OptionsXpress is all about options. While it has stock trading offers, options trading is where it really shines. It even has an extensive guide to options trading, which is good for beginners as well as professionals.
Scottrade has many loyal followings but it’s not doing enough to attract new customers, or at least the younger crowd. $ 7 is cheap if you are talking about ten years ago but it’s not cheap anymore.
TD Ameritrade really needs to update their interface, as well as lower their pricing. The price is high, not to mention that the website have been known to be down under heavy use.
Etrade used to be the most innovative and web savvy company but with all the troubles and all these up and coming discount brokerages, Etrade has a tough road ahead. Still, this firm has a solid offering if you don’t mind paying a little bit more per trade.