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Scottrade Review – Discount Broker For Every Investor

By Mark Riddix

With so many online brokers out there, finding the right one to meet all of your investing needs can feel like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack. The best way to find the right broker is by comparing their services and determining if they fit your financial goals. Today, I want to take a look at one of the leading online discount brokers in the country, Scottrade. Scottrade is one of the first discount brokers I used when I began my investing career and I’ve had a great experience with the product.

You have probably heard about Scottrade from a friend, family or relative but you may still be unsure about what Scottrade is all about. Scottrade was started in 1980 by Rodger Riney with two branch offices in Missouri and Arizona. Scottrade has grown to become one of the leading online discount brokerage houses in the United States. Scottrade is well-known for its $7 unlimited trades. Today, Scottrade has the largest branch office network of any online broker and has been rated by Fortune magazine as one of the top 100 companies to work for in the United States. Let’s take an in-depth look at Scottrade.

How Scottrade Works

It only takes 10 minutes to open a Scottrade account. You will need your name, address, social security number, date of birth, and employment information.

  1. Open your Scottrade account.
  2. Completely fill out the account application.
  3. Fund your account via ACH, check, account transfer or wire transfer.
  4. Build your account portfolio.
  5. Print, sign, and mail the account agreement.

Key Features

Scottrade Trading Platforms: The Scottrade website is simple, straightforward, and very easy to use. Trades can be executed from your computer or phone for just $7. Scottrade also offers broker assisted trades where you can speak to a personal stock broker. You can ask questions and execute orders by phone. Broker assisted trades cost $27. Scottrade offers automated touch tone trading for $17.

ScottradeELITE: ScottradeELITE is for advanced traders that fund their account with a minimum of $25,000. ScottradeELITE offers a customizable advanced trading platform. You get more trading screens, trade ideas, charts, and trade tools.

Scottrade Streaming Quotes: Many brokers are charged a fee for real-time quotes. Real time quotes are free on Scottrade. Streaming quotes make it easy for you to keep up with stock performance and general market movement. The streaming quotes feature includes live news updates and customizable lists.

Scottrade OptionsFirst: Options traders can place contract orders for $7 per trade plus $1.25 for each option contract.

Advantages of Scottrade

Low Minimum Opening Deposit
The minimum opening deposit for a Scottrade account is just $500. This is the lowest opening deposit amount of any of the major brokers. TD Ameritrade requires $2,000 and E*TRADE requires $1,000 in order to open a new account.

Low Fees
This is one of Scottrade’s major selling points. Scottrade has some of the lowest fees of any major online broker.  Scottrade charges just $7 per trade, which is cheaper than E*TRADE, TD Ameritrade, and Charles Schwab. This applies to both market and limit trades. Scottrade charges no account maintenance fees or inactivity fees. Whether you make 1 trade or 100, there are never any account fees. If you have ever closed an account at a brokerage firm, then you will appreciate Scottrade’s $0 account closing fees. Most firms charge $50 to $100 to close an account.

Customer Service
Scottrade has 455 branch offices nationwide designed to assist clients. Email and telephone response times are excellent. Scottrade is considered by many to offer the best customer service of the major brokers. In 2008, J.D. Power & Associates ranked Scottrade as #1 in investor satisfaction among online brokers. This is the eighth time that Scottrade has won this honor since 2000.

Lots of investment options
Scottrade offers a wide range of investment products including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, certificates of deposits, options, education savings accounts, and retirement accounts. Scottrade has over 2,800 mutual fund options. Fidelity offers 1,400 different mutual funds, TD Ameritrade 1,200, and E*TRADE just 1,000.

Trading Tools & Research
The Scottrade Knowledge Center has educational tools that explain the benefits of different asset classes. The Market Info & Market Research Section provides stock specific information and detailed analysis. Scottrade’s mobile platform makes trading on-the-go a snap. The average execution speed for a trade is 4/10 of a second.

Disadvantages of Scottrade

No dividend reinvestment plan
Scottrade’s biggest disadvantage is that the online broker offers no dividend reinvestment plan. A dividend reinvestment plan is a low-cost way of buying additional shares. If you want to reinvest your earnings at Scottrade, then you have to pay the $7 fee. That is $28 a year for those that reinvest each quarter.

Final Thoughts

Scottrade was one of the first discount brokers that I used when I started investing. I found the discounted trading fees very attractive. Too many brokers charge fees for not trading often enough or closing your account, but not Scottrade. The low-cost trading, local customer support, and the plethora of investing options are all positives in my book. The only negative thing about Scottrade is the lack of a dividend reinvestment plan. I’m a big fan of Scottrade, and I think it’s a great option for beginning and experienced investors alike.

Choose Scottrade as your brokerage firm and open an account today. (Official Site)

Scottrade

Mark Riddix
Mark Riddix is the founder and president of an independent investment advisory firm that provides personalized investing and asset management consulting. Mark has written financial columns for Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area newspapers and is the author of the book, Your Financial Playbook.

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  • http://fundtips.blogspot.com/ Daddy Paul

    The broker you use will depend on your needs. If I were a day trader I would use Interactive brokers and their one dollar trades. I use fidelity because I am a fund investor and only buy ETF’s to hedge my portfolio.
    Scottrade has a lot of satisfied customers.

  • Gina

    I am curious–you stated that they did not offer dividend reinvestment, so how did you manage this? You also stated that you used Scottrade when you started investing–does this mean that you no longer have an account, and if so was it because of the reinvestment issue?

    • Mark Riddix

      Yes, Gina. I ended up leaving Scottrade because I wanted my dividends reinvested automatically.

      • WIL B.

        I am just starting out and would love to make the best choice on where I actually invest my money. Mark what company are you with now?

  • http://madsaver.com Mac

    Appreciate the reviews on different investment companies. Heard of many of them, but didn’t know what they were all about until you guys posted these articles. Definitely heard of Scottrade before, and $7/trade isn’t too bad. I’ll still stick with sharebuilder because of convenience, but live trades are a few bucks cheaper at Scottrade.

  • Winston

    Thank you kindly for your review of Scottrade. I have heard about all these different online discount brokers, but never knew which one was better. After reading your review, if it ever comes the time for me to invest, I would give Scottrade a try. I remember reading an article from Consumerist about a discount broker that sold several shares of it’s client’s stocks to pay for some random fees because the person hadn’t make a single trade for several weeks. I wish I could remember the name.

    • Mark Riddix

      That’s ridiculous that a brokerage company would go as far as to sell a client’s shares to pay brokerage fees.

  • Em D.

    Thanks for this review. I always see ads for these kinds of companies but am very unsure what they do and whether it’s something I should look into. I guess checking out the website is a good next step :)

    • Mark Riddix

      You’re welcome!

  • Thomas S

    I am mainly satisfied with Scottrade, but I find it irritating that they do not allow ACH tranfers OUT of your account. They will issue you paper checks to write as a means of withdrawing, but I find that inconvenient. I have accounts with Schwab and OptionsXpress, both of with readily allow ACH transfers out as well as into accounts. I may be dropping Scot for this reason.

  • Marry

    Scottrade Review – Discount Broker For Every Investor

  • Richard

    Sneaky Scottrade

    They will slip through a partial fill on orders you have already cancelled, and if you don’t choose aon qualifier guess what a partial fill. Thats just one of their tricks they have others, but my account is too small for them to work over.

  • Simeon

    Be careful! Bad customer service matters when people like us are investing a lot of money. Scottrade is a discount broker, and they give you a decent enough online experience. But their customer service is awful, I hope that you never have to deal with them on a personal level.

    • Lori

      I have been with Scottrade for about 4 1/2 years. I am very pleased and have never had any problems. The people in my local branch are friendly and very helpful. Maybe that’s an advantage of living in the South LOL!

    • sb

      Too bad you received “bad customer service”. I received great customer service in my area.. The only thing that I did not like was not being able to reinvest dividends…that is a killer for young and old……

  • http://www.waystosavemoney.tv John @ Money Saver

    I’m generally happy with Scottrade. I’ve used them for 7 years and haven’t had any problems. I definitely like the local branches.

  • gary j

    Look people. For $500 dollars you can get started trading on Scottrade. Sure $500 want buy much, but then again, never invest more than you can afford to loose. If you keep that one statement in mind, it doesn’t matter what company you choose. Scottrade is very simple for a beginner like myself. I have used Scottrade for two years and had never done on line trading. I don’t like to call the local branch for them to cut you a check when withdrawing but that’ not a big deal. I’m going to open accounts for my kids with Scottrade so they can learn about online trading. Put $500 in your local bank for one year and see how that interest pays off for you. That 2.50 want pay for the gas to make the trip to make the deposit.

  • Gagepeterson

    **********
    ATTN: Scottrade is by FAR the best online brokerage website!!!

    USE MY REFERALL CODE: TVTS6167 TO GET 3 FREE TRADES WHEN YOU SIGN UP!!

    **********

  • Jecox85

    NEW “2012″ 3 FREE TRADES when opening a new account.
    Promo Code:JXFM1821

    Agreed 100%!! Scottrade is the best and cheapest!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NJI6PX2YRU7XRIHDBSDEZEDJ44 K

    They try to rip you off buy calling your shorted position with a “BUY IN” when they know that the position is about to fall. They claim that they do not have enough shares available and that you need to buy them back ASAP. I knew that the market was rigged but did not expect a broker to be rigged.

  • Louis Summers

    Hi Mark, regarding the dividend re-investment, if I am investing $200 each month, couldn’t I just sweep in the dividend (as cash balance, I assume) with the monthly deposit? I’m not sure what the problem would be, if that is the case.

  • Nat

    FREE TRADES @ Scottrade simply use this code: QKJM8918

  • Dan

    Have been using Scott trade for a over a year now, platform seems to have everything that is necessary for a good trading experience. After first opening the account I received a call from costumer service, they were friendly and helpful and offered to schedule an appointment to visit a nearby branch to discuss how to properly use website/platform.

    The referral program is pretty interesting too you can use someone’s referral code when signing up and get 3 free trades, which is pretty useful. Overall great service.

    In case any of you guys are interested in the 3 free trade here’s my referral code: FDUK8950

  • Sasa

    Scottrade ReferALL code: DTOD8039

    3 Free trades when you open an account with Scottrade (it worked for lot of my friends and family)

  • John

    Use this code for free trades when you sign up: JDOB8267

  • Daniel

    Heres a code for 3 free trades at sign up in case anyone is interested: FDUK8950

  • Dan

    I have been using Scottrade for about one year now, platform seems to have everything that is necessary for a good trading experience. After first opening the account I received a call from customer service, they were friendly and helpful and offered to schedule an appointment to visit a nearby branch to discuss how to properly use website/platform. After the visit I was surprised by how much interest they showed in helping me to become as familiar with their services as possible. Here’s a code for 3 free trades at sign up in case anyone is interested: FDUK8950

  • Bernard Ackerman

    Bernard
    About OptionsFirst Brokerage Firm.

    During last two week I can`t log in into my account: on my PC screen immediately afer clicking Log In I can only find such message:

    You have reached Scottrade OptionsFirst during scheduled site maintenance

    OptionsFirst customer service is available during normal business hours 7:30-5pmcst, M-F except exchange holidays

    Two my Laptops give me only any possibility to so Log In and ckick my User Name and my password, but I can see only words in red DENIED.

    Castomer service explain me that I`m denied due multiple attemps to log in. Yes, I`m forced to do recurrent atemps, but this because I can`t reach my account. No one other my Brokerage firm TD, OptionsHouse, OPtionsFirst – don`d do any such problem during long time common work eith them.

    If I“ll not my Account I`ll visit local Scottrade Branch and`ll ask to transfer all my money to my Bank and close/idle my Options account..

    Bernard

  • John

    I have been with Scottrade for almost a year now. I have not been disappointed. They have an excellent online setup for research and stock trading. The only flaw which I have seen is the app on mobile devices. That needs improved. If you are interested in opening an account with Scottrade, use my promotion code and get free trades. JSFV7014

  • Steph

    Get 3 free trades upon opening an account:

    NFJA0427

    I use Scottrade and highly recommend it. It’s pretty straightforward and easy to use.

  • Jenny

    For three free trades, use this code: FGZB9187

    I totally recommend Scottrade- I’ve been with them for years!

  • Pat

    FDUK8950

  • Dan Lol

    DCUJ6643

  • John Stocker

    If you guys new to trading are interested in opening a new account– make sure to take advantage of the promo codes they have. For example the code: DCUJ6643 allows you to gain access to free trades and the option for Option Level II access if eligible. highly recommend it guys. Happy trading.

  • Thomas Tucker

    I have been using Scottrade for about one year now, platform seems to have everything that is necessary for a good trading experience. After first opening the account I received a call from customer service, they were friendly and helpful and offered to schedule an appointment to visit a nearby branch to discuss how to properly use website/platform. After the visit I was surprised by how much interest they showed in helping me to become as familiar with their services as possible. Here’s a code for 3 free trades at sign up in case anyone is interested: DCUJ6643

  • Judas

    Open a new Scottrade account online or on phone using code KAXF8815 and get $21 worth of free trades.

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