Zecco is a discount online brokerage offering trades for $4.50. I decided to open an account with Zecco recently to try my hand with stocks with a small amount of “fun money.” Trading stocks, not to mention options, is a risky way to manage your money, and I prefer to buy mutual funds and hold them for as long as possible.
I did, however, put some money into Toyota Motors in the midst of the media frenzy surrounding the company’s recalls. I’ve made about $20 after fees on that purchase so far. This would have been more if I had traded with Zecco’s lower-cost brokerage.
Opening a Zecco Discount Brokerage Account
To open your account, begin by creating your online profile. I had a profile I created several years ago, so I logged in and selected the option for opening a trading account. At the beginning, I was able to choose to make several account selections. First, I designated the trading account as an IRA, individual account, or joint account. I then chose whether I wanted to trade on margin or not. Trading on margin, borrowing money from the brokerage to make investments, is a risky move.
Do you want to trade options? Zecco offers options investments, although these will not qualify for commission-free trading. I signed up for Level 2 trading privileges. This will be my first experience with options if I choose to test the waters.
After selecting the configuration for my trading account, Zecco asked for my personal information like address and Social Security Number. I was required to enter my annual income, net worth, and some other details about my experience with stocks and mutual funds and my investment objectives. After this, I entered the routing number and account number for my funding source, my ING Direct checking account.
The next step involves agreeing to Zecco’s terms and conditions and providing an electronic signature. Zecco informed me the approval process could take 30 minutes or longer, and not much longer, I received an email to notify me my application has been approved. I still needed to wait a few days to receive trial deposits in my ING Direct account.
I received those trial deposits yesterday and proceeded with funding the account with an initial deposit. I’m waiting for the funding to reach Zecco before deciding how to experiment with this new account.
I’ll reserve my final judgment on Zecco until I’ve had the opportunity to trade a bit. If you are a customer of Zecco discount online brokerage, what do you think about your account?
Updated August 23, 2011 and originally published March 24, 2010.