All,First time poster here so take it easy on me :) I am in search of an on-line discount broker however looking for the cheapest commissions and fees. I have done some research and come across Merrill Edge offering 30 trades per month for $0 commissions and no annual fee. I am somewhat new to the online discount brokers and my question is, Is this to good to be true? I tried calling customer support with Merrill however on hold for 14 min's. I have read and re-read the fine print and from what I take from it you just have to have $25,000 min cash balance to qualify. Has anyone else had any experiences with Merrill or another discount brokerage with similar offers? Thanks for any feedback or help! Link to Merrill Edge below.http://offers.merrilledge.com/landing-pricing/?src_cd=SDPS1&...Greatly appreciated.Mike
The only catch is that you have to keep the $25,000 in cash deposit accounts with Bank of America or in your brokerage cash sweep account (read the fine print, footnote 1, at the bottom of the page you linked to). That $25,000 cannot be invested. If you keep that much cash around normally, then it's a good deal.Wells Fargo will give you 100 free trades per year as long as you have $25,000 value in all of your accounts (including the value of the stocks in your brokerage account). You get fewer free trades, but you're not committed to leaving cash sitting around at low interest rates. 100 trades is more than I use in a year, so WellsTrade is the better deal for me. I use WellsTrade as my brokerage, and then keep my emergency cash in a different on-line bank offering a higher interest rate. https://www.wellsfargo.com/jump/investments/wellstradebenefi...
My experience with Merrill Lynch is that when they say "N free trades" they include as 2 trades an instance when you put in a limit order, it gets partly filled, and then you give up on the limit and get the rest at market. That sort of thing can happen easily.
Well of course. Every broker considers that 2 trades.
Thanks everyone for the feedback. Still contenplating which discount broker I will go with.Thanks,Mike
In my situation the "30 free" trades are exactly what it says, that is, free.I opened a self-directed MerrillEdge IRA (via transfer from another firm) back in January and have never paid a commission or account fee. The free trades apply only to equities and ETFs, not bonds or other fixed-income securities.ME is still offering up to a $500 bonus for opening a taxable brokerage account.Here's a link (hope the link works)...http://www.merrilledge.com/cmaoffer?oc=17jzii9&cm_sp=gwm...
FWIW, I've been in the process of looking for a new broker to move a rollover IRA to.Wells Fargo has 100 trades free/yr incluing mutual funds. Bad reviews, though.Merrill has 30/mo but not funds. But you have to have Platinum Privileges® status, and it's not crystal clear to me how to get that -- without keeping $25K in cash. Funds are $40...that's a lot.Just2trade (I already have a small account there) is $2.50 for any kind of trade.Etrade ((I already have an account there) is $5 for me (old BrownCo customer). Stocks or funds, although limit orders are $10.FWIW, my Etrade customer rep said to avoid Wells ("toy trading platform"), but said Merrill was excellent.
I use Wells Fargo myself, and have been happy with it. Not paying a commission on a stock, ETF, or mutual fund purchase since switching there in 2008 has made me happy enough to overlook the shortcomings.Yes, the customer service is hit-or-miss and the web site interface is quite basic. It is not for frequent traders or options investors. But if you are a long term buy-and-hold investor making fewer than 100 trades a year and primarily concerned with keeping investment costs down, it is an excellent choice.
Wells Fargo has 100 trades free/yr incluing mutual funds. Bad reviews, though.I agree with Gordogato -- if all you're trading is stocks and ETFs, Wells Fargo and their 100 trades per year is pretty good.Options trading is not great, and no free trades.And, BTW, I have more than one brokerage account with them. Each of them gets the 100 trades per year.
Ha! Just this afternoon I did a face-palm when it hit me that I don't have to pick just ONE broker to transfer my IRA to. Duh!And right now lots of brokers are offering attractive bonuses to move your account to them. Etrade will give you up to $600. Merrill will give you up to $500. Wells Fargo, alas, isn't offering anything.If your account is large enough, you could split it up and collect $1100, and get 30 free stock/etf trades at Merrill and cheap(er) fund commissions at Etrade.Don't know how often I'd trade, but 30 * 12 is a lot more than 100. Heck, IB charges me minimum $10 commission per month, even if I don't place any trades.
I'm with IB. I pay $120/year for 120 trades, but that includes options and all trades over that are essentially $1. I'm not all that active but there are a few things that keep me there. 1, their customer service has always been excellent2, their platform keeps getting better. Now you can do everything through the account Managment login3, 1.67% margin interest! I loaned myself money to get a car and paid it down with options premiums (a little, hah). That is a lot cheaper than a credit union loan. I hate credit, but that is some cheap money.
If I had to wait 14 minutes on hold that would be a deal breaker for me. The market can drop a long way in 14 minutes.Good luck
If I had to wait 14 minutes on hold that would be a deal breaker for me. The market can drop a long way in 14 minutes.You obviously weren't around during the dot-com crash. Forget "hold" -- the phone would just ring and ring and nobody would even pick up.
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