Scottrade is one of the more established discount stock brokers in the industry, but I have to give them another praise after what happened since I wrote a review about them. This article outlines why Scottrade brings customer service to the next level, and what the brokerage firm offers.
But First, What are the Commission Rates
Scottrade has always advertised its pricing of $7 per trade, while options are $7 per trade plus $1.25 per contract. Compared with its direct competitors who offer similar services, they are clearly one of the cheapest options out there. However, on a strict per trade level, they aren’t the cheapest.
Scottrade’s Different Trading Platforms
Like many of the premium brokers, Scottrade offers multiple platforms that all have their unique advantages. Here’s a brief description of each:
- Scottrade Trading Website – The web platform is great if you are paranoid about installing anything on your computer. It’s also comparable to most discount broker platforms and offers a solution that meets the majority of investors’ needs.
- Scottrade Mobile – A special mobile application that simplifies the clutter to allow for faster trading on a mobile device. I will never know why you need to make trades on the go, but this option is there if you need it.
- Scottrate Elite – The full blown trading application that rivals the hardcore trading platforms other brokerages offer. Streaming quotes, customizable and savable sessions as well real time news that is pushed to you.
Scottrade Knowledge Center
In order to help investors, Scottrade put together one of the most comprehensive investment resources online. With nearly 2,000 educational articles and interactive tools, investors can learn about everything from the basics of options to an explanation of the yield curve of a bond.
Scottrade Branches and Customer Service
There are actually more than 400 Scottrade branch offices nationwide, so you can get your questions answered either on the phone or in person. The company is one of the top 100 companies to work for (according to Forbes) and it shows in the attitude of the employees. Everyone I spoke with were genuinely helpful and happy.
Why I’m Seriously Considering Scottrade
I’m beginning to become a Scottrade convert. I wrote a review about two weeks ago, and not only did the company tweeted about it, the PR spokesman of the company also personally emailed me to clarify my concern on their physical locations and offered to answer any questions I had.
At the time of the review, I noted that the local branches didn’t provide much more than what a phone conversation would do. As it turns out, each Scottrade representative can walk you through the whole trading platform in person as well as make trades for you (if you choose, or if the website goes down for whatever reason).
I also learned that within the branches, they are hosting live seminars to teach Scottrade customers how to better invest in these times. This is what they have to say about the seminars.
This year we are hosting 24 User Summits across the country. User Summits are free workshops for customers to learn how to easily manage their accounts and use the functions and features of our trading platforms. There are two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Each session focuses on a different topic.
I’ve repeatedly said that while good customer support is always nice, I seldom take advantage of this and therefore it’s low on my list of priorities when I look at a new broker. However, Scottrade seems to take customer service to the next level (the helpfulness and positive attitude of the employees were very apparent once I spoke with them). In fact, I’m so impressed that I’m thinking of moving my funds over to a Scottrade account. While there are cheaper solutions out there, I’m sure that the customer reps would be glad to help me if problems were to arise.
Is Scottrade Right for You?
At the end of the day, this is a personal choice that you have to make. Compared with any other broker that has all the higher end services of Scottrade, this broker is one of the cheapest. However, there are less expensive alternatives out there if you are looking strictly at per trade cost. Is the few dollars a trade worth the piece of mind of knowing you are in the perfect hands? The decision is entirely up to you.
Before you decide to go with Scottrade though, learn more.
- Scottrade – Official Site
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I bet a video is worth a thousand pictures. Here are a few videos that not only show you a glimpse of the Scottrade interface, it also teaches you to perform several functions from within the website.
Placing a Stock Trade with Scottrade
Scottrade Reimbursement Bonus
Scottrade is currently offering everyone up to $100 to switch over the account. This reimbursement will cover the transfer fee that many brokers charge when you switch, which is a nice touch.