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Author: BrewDood Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Motley Fool One Everlasting Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 195  
Subject: Re: Calling all Fools (E*Trade) Date: 12/26/2006 1:20 PM
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Nate

I am an E*Trade customer, and have found no real problems using them. I have multiple accounts, all linked to my master account, and can freely move money between the accounts. (I have accounts for my kids, as well as Roth, traditional, beneficiary IRAs, etc.)

Earlier this year, I opened a money market account. The currrent rate is 4.93%, a little above 5.03% APR. I think that's pretty decent for funds awaiting deployment. It is easy to move money from the MM to one of the other accounts and back.

The only thing I don't like is that funds don't get swept automatically. I used to have a Merril Lynch account that would automatically sweep any idle cash in any account (non-IRA, of course) into the MM. At E*Trade, I have to do this manually.

Typically, I purchase a security, then see what my negative balance is in the account. From there, I transfer MM funds to coverage the shortage. Intuitively, you would think you should deposit the money in the brokerage acccount, and then make the purchase, so as not to incur margin charges. That's not the case. I've never been charged a cent.

When I sell a stock, I immediately sweep the funds into the money market account (once it's executed, of course.) I have never had to wait 3-5 days for the transaction to clear. I don't know if the sweep occurs, but I don't get credit for interest accrual purposes or not, the the money is in the MM, so I don't have to worry about it.

I find it pretty convenient. The only question I have is how the poster a few messages upstream gets $7.99 for a trade. I pay $9.99!

Oh, yeah, one more thing. I've got a decent sized account, but not one you'd call bodacious. I can't retire on it. I got a call a person from E*Trade one day, offering to help me if I ever needed anything. As it turned out, I was in the process of wanting to transfer some funds from external sources to E*Trade, including benficiary IRAs from multiple institutions.

He was (is in the process of being)able to help me out considerably. That's a nice perk... I now have his direct phone number, and he even gave me his mobile number in case I needed anything.

At this point, I would not have any reason to leave E*Trade. (I came to E*Trade after I got tired of Merill Lynch's fees, rote advice, high sales charges, etc. I left them in the late 90s.)

Hope this helps! Now, about that $7.99 trade fee...

Cheers!
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