Scottrade sits atop the list of online brokers when it comes to customer service and building relationships with their clients. Their costs and fees are lower than those of the other major brokers, but they are lacking in terms of investment products and research by comparison.
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Scottrade is on a mission is to build quality relationships with their clients. What Scottrade lacks in actual support features they make up for with a personable customer service and support team that is extremely responsive. Scottrade won't give you the best prices or resources, but their edge lies in their large network of local branches (over 500) and exceptional customer service. Scottrade maintains a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. They update their Facebook and Twitter accounts daily, which means you will get a response if you contact them through one of those two social networking sites. Scottrade goes as far as to post their social media hours on their website, letting you know that they have people dedicated to those communication channels. Contrary to what most online reviews say about Scottrade, they do offer live chat.
Simple design and navigation:
By far the best feature about Scottrade's web-based platform is the ability to customize your home page. You can literally drag blocks around to create a home page setup that works best for you and delete whatever isn't important. Making a trade using the general navigation is just one click away, which is quicker than what you'll find with most brokers. Scottrade also includes a Quick Trade Bar at the bottom of every page. You can make trades and research stocks directly from the Quick Trade Bar, and it detaches so you can even trade while surfing other web pages. You can also view your account information and get quotes from the bar, making it a pretty handy tool.
Solid research tools:
Scottrade's research is extensive and impressive. If you type in a stock symbol for a quote, you're taken to a page that displays anything and everything you would want to know about that stock. This includes the latest news, charts, financials, and even analyst reports and ratings from third parties. You can select from a number of charting tools that are responsive and simple to navigate.
Broad range of offerings:
Scottrade stands out from some of the other major brokers because they offer just about everything a standard investor would need, including access to international markets. With Scottrade, you also have access to banking services, savings plans, retirement planning, small business tools, and other financial resources that you may find valuable.
Promising but outdated mobile app:
The Scottrade app is not very attractive and has an outdated appearance. As you open the app, you are met with large icons that represent the navigation. Selecting these icons will often direct you to small sub-menus that can be difficult to navigate. The research section is by far the most valuable part of the app: you can check out analyst views, market news, statistics, a market calendar, and much more. If it wasn't for the poor design and slow navigation, Scottrade's mobile trading would be much better. If you have the patience to dig beneath the surface, there are plenty of valuable elements worth exploring here.
Disappointing lack of innovation:
Scottrade isn't a trailblazer in the industry when it comes to technology. Most of their new tools and additions seem to come in reaction to the competition. It was difficult to even find if Scottrade has smart-order routing technology, which is something of a red flag. Unlike a lot of the other brokers, Scottrade doesn't have an introductory offer or any kind of trading demo. However, you can get three free trades if you refer a friend to open an account with Scottrade (your friend gets three free trades as well). On the other hand, we can't emphasize enough just how good the people who work for Scottrade are. So if you value customer support and human interaction above innovation, Scottrade is the place for you.
Zero easy-to-borrow stocks available for short selling:
By not having easy-to-borrow stocks available, Scottrade customers may not be able to short sell certain stocks. When a stock is listed as easy-to-borrow it means that the transaction of short selling is assured. If a stock is in high demand and you are trying to sell short using a Scottrade account, you may not be able to execute your trade. It's somewhat puzzling that Scottrade doesn't have a list of easy-to-borrow stocks while just about every other broker in the industry does.
Trading Costs and Fees
Broker Assisted Trades
Futures Contract Fee
Minimum Account Balance Fee
Mutual Funds Fee - Load
$0 to buy,
$17 to sell
Mutual Funds Fee - No-Load
Options Contract Price
Options Flat Fee
Stock Flat Fee
Domestic Wire Withdrawal
Forced Margin Sellout
Full Account Transfer
IRA Annual Fee
Partial Account Transfer
Stop Payment on Check
Bonds - You can trade bonds.
Commission-Free ETFs - You can trade commission-free exchange-traded funds.
ETFs - You can trade exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
International Markets - You can trade markets outside of the U.S.
Mutual Funds - You can trade mutual funds.
Options - You can trade options.
Pink Sheet and OTCBB Securities Market Access - You can trade pink sheet stocks and over-the-counter (OTC) securities.
Stocks - You can trade stocks.
Easy to Borrow Stocks - You have access to easy-to-borrow stocks that you can sell short.
Forex - You can trade forex or foreign exchange markets.
Futures Markets - You can trade futures markets.
Android - The broker offers an app for Android devices.
BlackBerry - The broker offers an app for BlackBerry devices.
Create Alerts - You can create alerts with one or more of the mobile trading applications.
Cross-Platform Integration - The mobile trading application integrates with your trading account in real time, including watch lists, alerts, and other account information.
iPad - The broker offers a dedicated app for the iPad.
iPhone - The broker offers an app for the iPhone.
Mobile Research - You can conduct research using one of the mobile applications.
Mobile Website - The broker offers a separate mobile website for accessing your account on the go.
Place Trades - You can place trades using your mobile device.
Portfolio Tracking - You can track your portfolio using a mobile device.
Streaming Quotes - The broker offers streaming quotes on mobile devices.
Watch List - You can create watch lists using a mobile app or device.
Favorable App Store Reviews - The broker's iPhone application has received three stars or greater from users in the Apple App Store.
Mobile Deposits - You can deposit checks or electronic funds into your account with a mobile application.
Other Tablet - The broker offers an app for another tablet device besides the iPad.
Virtual Demo - You can demo the mobile trading platform by using a virtual trading account.
Windows Mobile - The broker offers trading on Windows Mobile devices.
Tools and Technology
Alerts - You can set up personalized alerts for your portfolio or other investment products.
Automated Trading - The broker allows you to place trades by setting automated triggers to execute a trade.
Conditional Orders - You can place orders that, when executed, immediately triggers or cancels another trade.
Customizable Interface - You can customize the layout and look of a trading platform.
Level II Quotes - The broker gives you access to the book order of individual stocks so you can see live buyers and sellers of that stock.
Option Chains - You can simply find an options premium by following the corresponding maturity dates and strike prices.
Options Exposure - You can view a detailed display of your options positions' possible sensitivity to key risks using industry-standard greek calculations.
Options Tools - The broker offers a variety of options trading tools.
Platform - Advanced - The broker offers an advanced trading platform.
Platform - One-Size-Fits-All - The broker offers a platform that is fitting for traders of all levels.
Quick Order Entry - You have the option to quickly enter or cancel orders faster than normal.
Real-Time Charts - The broker offers access to charting tools that update in real time.
Streaming Real-Time Quotes - The broker provides streaming real-time quotes so you can see up-to-date prices of investment products.
Trailing Stops - You can set a stop-loss as a percentage below the market price that adjusts as the price fluctuates to help you secure profits and cut losses.
Watch List - You can create watch lists to keep an eye on investment products that interest you.
Smart-Order Routing Technology - The broker sends orders to different market centers that seek to fill your order quickly and at the best available price.
Spread Builder - The broker offers a tool to build your own spreads between multiple investment products.
Account and Portfolio Information
Account Balances Displayed - Your account balances are displayed on the page where you access detailed portfolio information or account reports.
Account History Reports - You can create reports or view statements of your portfolio or account information.
Download Statements - You can download your account statements to your computer.
Export Data - You can export your portfolio or account statements.
Gain/Loss - You can run reports to view your gains and losses to determine the impact on your taxable income.
Order Status - You can quickly view your current trading positions and open orders.
Portfolio Planner - You can view your current portfolio allocation and create a plan to measure against it.
Real-Time Updates - Your account balances update in real time, adjusting for any open positions.
Courses - The broker offers educational trading or investment courses.
Education Levels - The broker offers a variety of education levels based on experience.
Live Seminars - The broker offers live in-person seminars around the country that you can attend.
Online Community - The broker has an online community to have discussions and share advice with other traders.
Webinars - The broker offers webinars to help you learn about investment products.
Glossary - The broker has a glossary that defines important investment terms.
Blog - The broker keeps an updated blog that includes company and investment information.
Charts - The broker offers access to charts so you can conduct research on investment products.
Company Publication - The broker produces and distributes a company publication to account holders.
Market Commentary - The broker offers market commentary from outside experts.
News - The broker provides daily market news and updates.
Research Reports - The broker offers a selection of research reports.
Screens - You can screen investment products to narrow down the type of investment you are looking for.
Tailored Research - The broker provides you with research tailored to your current portfolio, watch lists, or interests.
Third-Party Research - The broker offers independent investment research from outside parties for free.
Upgraded Research - The broker offers upgraded research at an additional cost.
Additional Languages - The broker offers additional languages besides English for some aspect of its business.
Email - The broker offers email support to customers.
Facebook - The broker has an active Facebook page where you may be able to post questions and get a response.
Live Chat - The broker offers live chat on their website.
Phone - The broker offers phone support to customers.
Retail Location - The broker has a retail location where you can talk to a representative live in person.
Twitter - The broker has an active Twitter page where you may be able to post questions and get a response.
24-Hour Support - The broker offers some form of 24-hour support, which is usually phone support.
Dedicated Tech Support - The broker offers dedicated support strictly for technical issues.
Fax - The broker has a fax number displayed on their website.
FINRA Listed - The broker is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
SIPC Member - The broker belongs to the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, which acts as trustee or works with an independent court-appointed trustee to recover any missing funds.
Special Security Measures - The broker offers additional security measures to protect your account.
Asset Protection Guarantee - The assets in your account are protected from any unauthorized activity.
Banking Services - In addition to trading services, the broker offers online banking services.
College Saving Plan - The broker offers a college savings account.
Debit Card - The broker offers access to a debit card through its banking services.
IRA - The broker offers access to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) that provides tax advantages for retirement.
Retirement Planning - The broker offers retirement strategies and advice.
Small Business Tools - The broker offers specific services or plans for small businesses.
Tax Tools - The broker offers tax planning tools to provide tips and help with your investment strategy.
Credit Card - The broker offers access to a credit card through its banking services.
Wealth Assessment Tool - The broker offers an interactive program that calculates your wealth so you can see how these factors will affect your retirement.
Customer Rewards Program - The broker offers a referal program or customer rewards program.
Free Trading Demo - The broker offers a free trading demo so you can try one of the trading platforms.
Introductory Offer - The broker has a special offer for new traders who open an account.
FAQs - The broker has an FAQ page or pages to answer common questions.
User Guides - The broker offers some sort of user guide to help understand the product.
Virtual Trading - You can make trades with a virtual account to test your strategies.
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