Scottrade is consistently one of the highest-rated brokers in the business, particularly for its customer service. Scottrade combines a powerful online platform, with an extensive network of brick-and-mortar branches that offer regular investor training seminars. It has a $0 account minimum requirement for IRA accounts (unfortunately, the minimum is high for other accounts) and well-designed education programs. Scottrade is an excellent broker for beginners and intermediate investors. More sophisticated traders will enjoy Scottrade’s advanced research tools. However, they will have to decide whether the advanced trading tools are worth the mid-range fees and commissions.

What You Will Love About Scottrade

Customer Service: This is where Scottrade stands out from the pack of full-service brokers. When you call during business hours, your call is routed to your local branch, which you can visit and speak face to face with an investment advisor. 

Trading tools: Scottrade offers quality research and sophisticated data analysis tools. Scottrade has two trading platforms: ScottradeELITE and its basic platform. ScottradeELITE is a state of the art trading platform designed for active and experienced traders with advanced functionality. However, it is only available to traders with balances above $25k and who have made at least nine trades in the last three months. The good news is Scottrade’s basic online trading platform still offers enough advanced charting and data analysis features to keep most traders satisfied.

Commissions and Fees: Although Scottrade is not a discount broker, its prices are lower than most full-service brokerages. Scottrade charges $7 a trade, which is a deal compared to TD Ameritrade’s $9.99 and Charles Schwab’s $8.95. It also provides access to no-transaction-fee mutual funds.

What You’ll Miss From Scottrade

High Account Minimum: Scottrade requires investors to maintain a $2,500 balance. That may scare away some beginner investors. IRA accounts are the exception: they don’t have an account minimum.

Investment Selection: Scottrade does not offer futures, commission-free ETFs or forex trading. Not having commission-free ETFs is to be expected from discount brokers, such as OptionsHouse and TradeKing, but not with a nationwide full-service broker like Scottrade.

Options Contracts: Although Scottrade has competitive trade commissions ($7 per trade), it is on the expensive side when it comes to options trade contract fees: $1.25 per contract.

Advanced trading platform: Scottrade’s advanced trading tools are only for pros. If you don’t have $25k to invest or you don’t make at least nine trades every three months, you will not be allowed to play with the big boys’ toys.

What Are Scottrade’s Fees and Commissions?

- $7 for stock trades.

- $7 for options with an additional $1.25 charge per contract

- Margin rates range from 4.50% (>$25k) to 3.25% (> $1 million)

- $25 for Outgoing Wire Fees (Domestic)

- $32 Brokers Assist Fee

- $17 per trade for mutual funds but it does have access to no-load, no-transaction-fee mutual funds.

(Click on the link above for a complete list of fees)

The Bottom Line

Scottrade is a great option for serious traders who can access Scottrade’s ELITE trading platform and for beginners who want top-notch customer service from an online broker with a nationwide network of branches.

  • Asset Class
    Stock Option Bonds Mutual Funds
  • Automated Trading Strategy
  • Dividend Reinvestment
  • No-Commission ETFs
  • Research and Reports
  • Online Trade
  • ETF Trades
  • Option Trades
  • Margin Rate
  • Broker Assisted Trading Fee
  • Min Cash Acct
  • Min Margin Acct
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0 votes

I've been wanting to dabble in international stock markets to see how that would work out for me, so I decided to give Scottrade a try. I'm glad I did. Not only have I been able to try international stocks, but I've taken advantage of their FRIP (Flexible Reinvestment Program), which means commission free trades that have a lot of potential.

0 votes

As discount brokerages go, this one is one of the best, if not the best. The low flat fee for online stock trades is amazing in itself, but then you pair that with the fact that they have more than 500 local branch offices where you can go and get personal service. Scotttrade offers a truly cost effective way to trade.

0 votes

I was suruprised to find that the minimum amount to set up an account is only $500. I am new to investing and want to get going with it, but was afraid that the money I'd set aside for the task was not enough. Fortunately, I was wrong. So far I've had a good experience. I've learned a great deal on the website and by doing some trades.

0 votes

For similar customer service, research and trading tools, Scotttrade charges much less money. In my book that really is the key. If you can get great service for a good price, that makes your investment grow that much faster.

0 votes

Wow am I impressed by Scottrade! I've tried other online brokers, but they really know what they are doing compared to other places. For one thing, their research is excellent, and even better, it's really easy for me to access and to understand and use. I also like that their fees are really reasonable.

0 votes

I really like their FRIP (Flexible Reinvestment Program) that allows you to pool dividends from divident building equities. Better yet you can buy up to five eligible securities at one time in most instances. I've found doing this has really helped rebalance my portfolio at very little if any cost.

0 votes

Scottrade provides a wide range of investment tools, which makes investing easy and profitable for you. I really like the fact that their educational tools are superior, and that their fees are extremely reasonable. I would recommend them to anyone who wants a solid brokerage platform.

0 votes

Great company to invest your money. Their prices are competitive for what you get in terms of research and the tools to make the trades. I also like how the minimum initial deposit of $2500 isn't all that much. I plan on investing more in the future, but this helped me to get started now.

0 votes

I love the options offered by Scottrade. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they have more than 14,000 mutual funds to choose from. I know from that many I can surely find the ones that will fit my needs. And with their excellent research, that is pretty much a guarantee.

0 votes

I have a lot of good things to say about Scottrade, starting with the fact that my investments have been doing great. I attribute that to the market, of course, but also the good tools offered here and the opportunities, such as their FRIP program, which means investing commission free. Always a good thing!

0 votes

Scottrade also has several things that make it stand apart from other similar brokers. Their account set up is quick and easy, and they allow you to use an ACH deposit to transfer money to your account instantly. This feature is unique among online brokers and allows you to avoid having to wait days or even weeks before your funds appear in your account. Their minimum balance required to open an account is actually pretty low ($500) as well.

0 votes

When it comes to my money, I'm pretty picky about where I put it. So when I tried out Scottrade I was a little hesitant. I needn't be. The experience with them was great, and I am seeing some good growth results with my money. I will be staying with them.

0 votes

My experience with Scottrade has been quite positive. Their online interface is easy to navigate. Most importantly, all my trades have been executed smoothly (typically, I transact at-market or place limit orders).

I have also had a great experience with Scottrade customer service. They proactively called me when I set up my account to make sure everything went smoothly. When I called customer support with questions, I experienced minimal time on hold and the agent was very professional.

The one drawback I see to using Scottrade is a lack of ... liquidity. If you sell a position and want to use the cash proceeds outside of Scottrade, you have to call them and request they mail you a check. You may not receive it until more than a week after you posted your trades. Alternatively, you can open a bank account with Scottrade where you are required to keep a minimum balance of $100. Online, you can move funds from Scottrade Brokerage to Scottrade Bank and then complete an electronic funds transfer to an outside bank, or use your Scottrade ATM card to receive cash. I personally find this sub-optimal, as I would prefer a way to electronically move funds to my bank without having to keep funds in a Scottrade bank account.

It's also worth noting that while not the most expensive brokerage, Scottrade's commission of $7 per trade is higher than some other major brokerages (such as BAML).
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0 votes

I used the DRIP program prior, but now Scotttrade has FRIP, and I like it. This is even better than DRIP, because you have the ability to customize the divident that you use. You can even target a single ETF or stock. And it's all commission free.

0 votes

I'm of the mind that the research is the foundation of all great trading and investing. Scottrade has excellent research that will help you make the right choices again and again. They have all the necessary data on earnings, financials and even companies that have had SEC filings.

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