Monday, July 23, 2007

Free: Zecco

Alternate Dimension Andy (ADA):

As I mentioned before, Skeletor is being beaten out by brokerages that do not charge $25 per trade:
  • Scottrade charges $7.00 per online trade.
  • Charles Schwab charges $12.95 per online trade.
  • TradeKing charges $4.95 per online trade.
  • ShareBuilder charges from $4.00 to $15.95, and may have a subscription fee involved.
  • Zecco charges $0.00 per online trade.
Hm. Typo? No. Zecco actually charges zero dollars and zero cents for an online trade. There are restrictions, natch, but for someone like you or me, it will almost always be $0.00. They make their money with ads and margin interest (which I'll talk about in a future post).

ADA, there's way more to it than just how much these brokerages charge per online trade. You have to do your own research and a cost-benefit analysis and all that. I'll give you some of what I came up with when I was doing research:
  • Scottrade has a decent user interface and lots of products: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.. $7.00 is not steep, but you can definitely do better.
  • Charles Schwab is expensive, but if you're doing well, it may be worth it. The fact that you can do all your banking and all your investing from the same site is a bonus. It's also a very usable site, considering how powerful it is.
  • Trade King gives me warm fuzzies. It's a very simple site with almost as many investment vehicles as Charlie. It's much less expensive than Schwab. It has a beautifully sparse UI, which makes this self-proclaimed usability expert all tingly.
  • Sharebuilder's monthly subscriptions are, in my mind, bullshit. For my taste, they also charge a bit too much for commissions.
  • Zecco has been described in the media as "The MySpace of online brokerages." Considering the horrible user interface and overwhelming ads, I would say that that is a spot-on assessment. The blogs suffer from a problem I've talked about before. What bothers me the most is that there is that they only offer stock and options trades online; if you want to buy a mutual fund, you have to send them something in the mail.
    But no-commission trades? Huge deal.
So, if all you want to do is trade stocks, I invite you to try Zecco. I have a feeling that if they grow, they will clean up their user interface and offer more investment choices. In the meantime, if you want to take advantage of other investment options, I think TradeKing is the way to go.

May you piss off Skeletor in all investments you make.

5 comments:

Sabin said...

Andrew, Thanks for the mention and for inviting others to try out Zecco.You are doing a huge service for ADA. I'm pulling for you to someday cross the inter-dimensional divide and unite with ADA. Together you can realize your artistic dreams and cover the pragmatics of financial security.

Andrew Kasper said...

Welcome, Sabin! Thanks for stopping by.

Ian Coolidge said...

Hey!
It's Ian. Cool blog, I'm trying to learn a little about investing. Money and shit.

Andrew Kasper said...

Yeah, and I'm trying to find a little time to write about investing. Money and shit.

Hoping to blog sometime within the next two weeks. Keep in touch!

Samantha said...

2 weeks, huh? You fail. PS - I think I'd go with Skeletor, just because seriously? An investing company named Skeletor? Freakin' awesome...