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Author: klinedanner Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76421  
Subject: Online brokerage experiences... Date: 10/31/2000 4:48 PM
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I plan on opening up a Roth IRA account next year. Will definitely put some of it in an S&P500 index fund, the rest into individual stocks. Mostly plan on LTBH, but not opposed to some high risk and trading. Looking to beat the market.

I've read the Discount Broker FAQ and all the TMF info on IRA accounts. Now, i would be interested in hearing some reccomendations for specific brokers based on actual experiences. FAQs are wonderful, but they can't match the words of wisdom of people who have actually used these companies' services.

Any that i should definitely steer clear of? Any that consistently get high marks?

Thanks in advance for any replies,
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Author: thehendrys Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 25883 of 76421
Subject: Re: Online brokerage experiences... Date: 10/31/2000 5:03 PM
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I use SURETRADE, and it's been easy in some ways and inconvenient is other ways.

It was easy to open up the account and get started. I just filled out an electronic form that I printed and mailed to SURETRADE along with an initial contribution of $500. It was setup in 2 weeks, and I was able to buy a stock with that $500. That part was simple and convenient.

However, I have also experienced an inconvience with SURETRADE. My wife and I have a Joint online trading account setup with SURETRADE. When I opened my wife's IRA, I sold a few shares of one of our stocks to "fund" her IRA. I assumed it would be simple to transfer the money from our Joint account to her IRA. It wasn't. We had to mail in a NOTARIZED letter of authorization with both of our signatures to transfer the funds from our Joint SURETRADE account to her Roth IRA SURETRADE account.

All in all, I think an online brokerage is the way to go for setting up an IRA. It allows you to be in control of the funds - which gives real meaning to self directed IRA. It is also quick and easy to setup and begin buying and holding stocks and index funds.

Good luck,
the hendrys

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Author: tweston81 Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 25888 of 76421
Subject: Re: Online brokerage experiences... Date: 11/1/2000 10:43 AM
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I have accounts with two different discount brokers. I have an account with firstrade and the trades are $6.95 but the site leaves a lot to be desired I think. Its difficult to understand the information.

My other account is with Datek. I LOVE them. Trades are $9.95 for both limit and market orders. The site is a bit slow but is fantastic. Executable trades are done is 60 seconds or the trade is free. Every trade I have made has been done in less than 10 seconds with the exception of one that took 72 seconds and guess what? It was free :) I am sure there are other goods out there as well, but I would recommend anyone at least look at Datek before opening an account with anyone else.

Good luck to all.

TW

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Author: rkmacdonald Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 25893 of 76421
Subject: Re: Online brokerage experiences... Date: 11/1/2000 12:20 PM
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Author: klinedanner Date: 10/31/00 4:48 PM Number: 25882
I plan on opening up a Roth IRA account next year. Will definitely put some of it in an S&P500 index fund, the rest into individual stocks. Mostly plan on LTBH, but not opposed to some high risk and trading. Looking to beat the market.

I've read the Discount Broker FAQ and all the TMF info on IRA accounts. Now, i would be interested in hearing some reccomendations for specific brokers based on actual experiences. FAQs are wonderful, but they can't match the words of wisdom of people who have actually used these companies' services.

Any that i should definitely steer clear of? Any that consistently get high marks?


I have used E*Trade for about five years and have never had any serious problems. I have an IRA and a regular account with them.

E*Trade costs $14.95 a trade on the NYSE and $19.95 on the Nasdaq. This is a little more than some of the others, but I don't do much trading, so it doesn't amount to much more in the grand scheme of things. I really like all the features and options available on E*Trade. Some of them include, a Bond Trading Center, options trading, E*Trade Bank (with Bill Paying, and great interest and CD rates), E*Trade email, good portfolio manager, good investment screening tools, etc.

Also, I have found the site is always very fast, although I heard that it did slow way down during one of the Oct crashes. I also don't ever have a problem getting a live person on the phone when needed.

-rkm

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Author: LindaSekura Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 25918 of 76421
Subject: Re: Online brokerage experiences... Date: 11/2/2000 9:46 AM
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I have been using NDB - National Discount Brokers - "The Duck" for about a year now. I'm very pleased. Trades are $14.75 each, and the site is quick, & simple & easy to understand.

Initially, there was a problem with calling service, when on the road & calling to make trades (- you can even make trades by touch-tone, by the way -). It was hard to get someone on the line - waiting on hold. Now I call & instantly get a live human.

I have to admit I haven't done anything through NDB regarding IRAs.

Good luck!

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Author: ralphmiller One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 25925 of 76421
Subject: Re: Online brokerage experiences... Date: 11/2/2000 1:25 PM
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I use ScotTrade, trades only $7.95, but I am not a heavy user and don't make special demands (not yet, anyway). For my purposes, they couldn't be better. Inexpensive. Web site is swift and crisp and easy to maneuver in. Everything almost instantaneous. Mailed statements regularly. I like them a lot.

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Author: AmazingJason Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26067 of 76421
Subject: Re: Online brokerage experiences... Date: 11/10/2000 5:27 PM
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The problem with using NDB, Scottrade, E*Trade, and Datek is that their trading commissions are too high. If you make 5 or more trades during the year, you already spend more than 2% of the $2000 contribution on commissions.

If you are truly a LTBM, I would suggest using BuyAndHold (www.buyandhold.com). You must participate in their EZ-Vest program to waive their account maintenance fee, but if you plan on making more than 4 trades a year, the cost of using Buy & Hold vs. the next lowest priced reputable online brokerage (Ameritrade) is less. I wouldn't suggest Ameritrade tho, they are one of the most poorly reviewed online discount brokers.

If you plan on trading more often, then I would suggest Datek. Datek is the best broker for active online trading (that is not direct access). Firstrade may sound appealing from a money standpoint, but whether they can trusted is a different matter. Keep in mind that trading often can be hazardous to accumulating wealth in an IRA...I would suggest applying a LTBH philosophy. A

Also with Buy & Hold, you can transfer money electronically from your checking account at your local bank to your Buy & Hold account for free and for next business day use. And money not invested in the market is invested in a money market fund, which is not so for Datek.

-Jason

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