Depending on whether you a former HarrisDirect or BrownCo customer, you will be offered a different commission schedule than E*Trade's other customers (both schedules are listed below). Worse, you will also be quoted different bond prices. E.g., this morning E*Trade is offering a lot of 5 OR St Hsg munis, the 5's of '19. If you're a regular ET customer, then your price is 102.515. If you're a former Harris/BrownCo customer, then your price is 101. The obvious solution? Write a limit order under both of those prices at 100 and see if you can get an execution. If you can't, then you didn't want the bonds anyway, because the yield would be too small.-------------Bond Commissions (for ET customers)Auctions $40Treasury bills $40 ($0 for 20 or more bills)Treasury bonds, notes, and STRIPS $40 ($0 for 20 or more bonds, notes and/or STRIPS)Municipal, corporate, and agency bonds $40 ($0 for 10 or more bonds)CDs $40 ($0 for 10 or more CDs)1 E*TRADE Securities may act as principal on any fixed-income transaction. When acting as principal, we will add a markup to any purchase, and subtract a markdown from every sale. In addition, there may also be a transaction fee based on the size of the trade. This markup or markdown and any transaction fee will be included in the price quoted to you. Bond Commissions (for ET customer who were former HD or BC customers)Maturities of 2 years or less $24.99Maturities of more than 2 years $44.99 minimum per transactionUS Treasury Issue at Auction $24.99 per transactionBroker-assisted trades will incur a $40 additional surcharge.CDs (Maturities of 2 years or less) $24.99 per transactionCDs (Maturities of more than 2 years) $44.99 per transaction1 E*TRADE Securities may act as principal and collect a concession on the sale of a new Certificate of Deposit (CD) from the issuer of the certificate. What they are disclosing to each set of customers are very different things, but that's also typical of the obstacles and hassles to be encountered anywhere. But forewarned is forearmed. Charlie
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