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Rankings of online discount brokerages, anyone?
Old 10-20-2008, 07:01 PM   #1
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Rankings of online discount brokerages, anyone?

I know Barron's published their 13th online discount brokerage winners recently, but do not have a copy of it. Does anyone have any ranking surveys by a reputable group that ranks the best online discount brokers out there?
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:08 PM   #2
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Best of the Online Brokers - Kiplinger.com

Not sure if Kiplinger's is reputable - enough?
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:35 AM   #3
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Best broker is WellsFargo if you have at least $25K invested with them. Everything is FREE including transactions of Vanguard funds. As I have written before, the ratings articles that I have read have never matched the reality that I have experienced. Maybe the writers know they can't be truthful because they would lose advertising revenue if they wrote something like this: "There is no point in going to any online discount broker except WellsFargo because they provide a superb service at no cost to you."
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:53 AM   #4
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Thanks for the information, folks. I had no idea Wells Fargo was free, but I have such a horrible taste in my mouth from how they have handled much in this area (where they seem to have the worst reputation in the world, but that might just be in the Trust area).
I do have the Kiplinger's article, and know they recommend Fidelity highly.
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:01 AM   #5
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Test broker

So much for a sound test base!!

Quote from web site
We didn't survey every online broker. We excluded T. Rowe Price and Vanguard because the firms' online-brokerage operations mainly support their fund businesses.
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:00 AM   #6
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The Kiplinger article cited above is also contradicted by my experience at WF and TDAM. I have not paid a $30 IRA custodial fee at WF (or any fees ever for that matter). I have not paid any IRA custodial fees at TDAM nor was I charged any fees to transfer my IRA from TDAM to WF.

Perhaps the fees are charged to customers with low balances, but if you have a low balance I don't think you should be at a discount broker anyways. Instead you should be investing at a no-load mutual fund family like Vanguard, TRowePrice, Fidelity, etc.
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:16 AM   #7
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I did a search on Barron's Online and couldn't find anything about survey of brokerages. Maybe it is only for the print addition (I am currently an online subscriber which thought included everything that the print Barron's had.)
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:09 AM   #8
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clifp: Great! You can pull this up for us. I would do it, but am not a Barron's subscriber.
I put this in the search column on the computer: Barron's best online broker survey 13th.
A long list of "winning" companies popped up, but if you scroll allll the way down the list, you will look for the last article on the page from barron's that has it. You must be a subscriber to get into the page, tho. I hope you can pop it up for all of us as I know I am surely interested in what they have to say.
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:54 AM   #9
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Making It Click: Annual Ranking Of the Best Online Brokers - Barrons.com

(google is your friend to find these things)
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:02 PM   #10
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i've had etrade for years and won't change because i don't see a reason. played with fidelity a bit but didn't like the trade execution. don't care about the so called research because most of it is useless. even the analyst reports you have to pay for.

the service varies. if i don't trade for months it takes an hour to get through. if i do 30 trades a quarter my call would be answered in 5 minutes
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:42 PM   #11
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Son of a gun...that LOL does it again! Thanks for posting the Barron's article, LOL!!!
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:18 PM   #12
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Well, after 2 days researching for a 2nd brokerage, I find this has been an interesting experience, to say the least. One rating will say WellsTrade is bad and overpriced (how can FREE be too high I wonder). Another, like Kiplingers, says Fidelity is best. J.D. Powers says Vanguard is best. None of them are in synch at all.
Barron's says something else totally. Just ridiculous, so guess I will choose what I feel most comfortable with.
This experience has been so painful as shopping for dress heels for the prom...ugh!
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:25 PM   #13
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American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) does an annual rating of online brokers. Check your local library they may have their monthly journal, believe it appeared in the March edition. They also rank financial websites.

Jim
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:27 PM   #14
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if you buy and hold for the long term it doesn't really matter who you choose as long as it's a half legit place. Just use Fidelity or Vanguard or whoever has your currrent funds.

if you trade for short term then find someone with the best trade execution and trade tools. i don't like Etrade's tools that much but their execution is pretty good
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:01 PM   #15
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$29 gets your a yearly membership to the American Assn. of Individual Investors and all the studying you can handle it seems. Might be worth it for a year to me.
Anyone here a member of the AAII??
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
$29 gets your a yearly membership to the American Assn. of Individual Investors and all the studying you can handle it seems. Might be worth it for a year to me.
Anyone here a member of the AAII??
I’ve been a life member since 1989. I like reading their monthly journal but it is not for everybody. If you are a passive investor, who is not interested in learning about investment management, then probably can save your money. If you are an active investor then you will benefit from the unbiased educational nature of the journal. I particularly like their annual free publications (mutual fund guide and personal tax and financial planning guide).

Their website is www.aaii.com some free stuff and you can get a good idea of what they have to offer.

Jim
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:56 AM   #17
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American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) does an annual rating of online brokers. Check your local library they may have their monthly journal, believe it appeared in the March edition. They also rank financial websites.

Jim
It was actually the Feb edition. The Overall ranking for electronic trade satisfactions were:

1 USAA
2 TradeKing
3 Fidelity
4 Interactive Brokers
5 Charles Schwab

Bank of America was rated best for trade price, USAA was rated best for execution speed.

Note that “Free” trading was not yet available for Wells or Bank of America at the time of the survey.

Jim
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:09 AM   #18
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Thanks for that info, jimnjana!
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