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Scottrade Discount Brokerage Review

This article was written by in Investing, Reviews. 8 comments.


This is a brief review of my experiences with the discount brokerage Scottrade. If you are interested, you can open an account at Scottrade here.

I first opened my account with Scottrade a little over five years ago. At the time, my current discount brokerage, Wachovia, began charging an inactivity fee. They claimed I was warned in advance through a notice accompanying my statement, and I could not get the first inactivity fee waived. Disappointed with the unnecessary fee considering the broker already made money from the loaded funds I purchased as a novice investor, I decided to to move my funds to a brokerage recommended by people I trusted.

Scottrade hasn’t let me down yet. My investments at Scottrade and formerly at Wachovia consist of a relatively small amount of funds remaining from gifts given to me as a child, held in a UTMA account until I was out of college. Some of these funds went to pay off the credit cards balances I built up while I wasn’t earning enough money to meet my basic expenses, but the rest has been sitting in this account, invested in AIVSX.

After opening my account with Scottrade, I received a few telephone calls from a customer service representative who wanted to discuss my account. One of Scottrade’s advantages over other discount brokerages is their physical locations. You can visit a Scottrade location and sit down with a broker to discuss your finances.

If you do plan to speak with a broker, listen to our interview with Richard Lewins, the author of How to Keep From Going Broke with a Broker — A Guide to Opening, Maintaining and Surviving Your Brokerage Account before you do in order to go into the discussion with the proper expectations.

Since I do not actively trade with my Scottrade account, I can only share a small amount of details. I receive online statements and I can view my activity, consisting exclusively of dividends reinvested in AIVSX. I have never had a problem with Scottrade and will continue to leave these funds there until they decide to implement an inactivity fee or an account maintenance fee.

I already wasted enough money paying a load fee on each investment as well as a $50 inactivity fee and a $75 termination fee to Wachovia, and I don’t wish to do the same with Scottrade. I have no reason to believe these fees are in this brokerage’s immediate future.

What are your experiences with Scottrade? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Apply for a Scottrade account

Updated September 2, 2011 and originally published May 31, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar jim

I’ve had an account with Scottrade for several years now. My experiences with them have been very positive overall. Their customer service is very good and I have not had any problems with them at all. I’ve had to go to a local office once or maybe twice and called them a few times. I’ve always received very good service.

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avatar Harvy

Wow! The author happens to be a big guy in his businesses! But to be honest, though I’m an investor myself and many times I have had to stop trading stocks for a number of sound reasons: market is down, my holdings were down, the trading platform sucks, etc. And just like what the author said, I never liked the inactivity fees. Now I don’t really understand why the author choose to leave the purchased funds in the brokerage acc. un-traded. I guess if there was a way to handle the inactive funds the brokerage would feel ok to leave the funds there as was, but if there was some good reasons to get rid of this sit still funds then the brokerage would rightly be willing to charge a fee, ’cause the firm was maintaining your acc. and not receiving any benefit by managing it for you. You just can’t have these funds sitting in the brokerage acc. on purpose. The firm has to make some money to survive. So I guess a balanced thinking would be good for the issue. I for one, would never want to have my trading acc. sitting there and doing nothing. Remember, money has to be used for business and it has to flow from one place to the other, and it’s not created just to have it parked somewhere and doing nothing, same is true for all types of financial accounts.

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avatar The Latter-day Saver ♦706 (Dime)

I have been a Scottrade customer since 2006 and every time (maybe 4-5) I have needed to contact them, or them me, it has been a good experience customer service wise. I have recommended their sevice to both friends and family.

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avatar Scott Nelson

I’ve been using Scottrade for 8 years now. I too switched from Schwab at the time due to egregious and unnecessary fees. I use the no-frills platform and for my needs, it works great. I’m not a heavy, active trader. I buy for the long term and rarely sell. Scottrade is perfect. Low fees and great service. I go to the local branch office from time to time to take care of paperwork required to meet my objectives. There actually used to be some fees for certain administrative services, but last time I was in they had gotten rid of the fees (can’t remember what it was for at the moment). The only reason not to use Scottrade is if you want to purchase a specific fund that they don’t offer- but there are few of these. I love Scottrade and will stick with them as long as the fees are low and the service is good.

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avatar Dragon

I’m considering going to Ameritrade, myself. I understand you can download QuoteTracker for free and point it at the Ameritrade L2 – free real time level 2. I’ve heard this is nice software, from someone who has experience with it.

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avatar Lyn

I have been with Scottrade for over 7 years. I like them alot. I have never had any troubles Scottrade has a new 2011 and 2012 referral code that will get you 3 free trades when you open an account with them.

Scottrade referral code: IXFV9382

3 free trades for new acccounts.

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avatar Chris

Scottrade has provided a lot of value to me as a new investor. This is a nice video review of the platform:

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avatar terri

My brother told me about this web-site. I also like Scottrade. I just openned an account. I like their streamer. better that others i’ve used. [Ed. note: advertising links removed]

Invest first in your own stocks…Buy dividend stocks untll you get $100,000 then start buying mid to small cap stocks

Terri

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