Fees. Fees. Fees. We all pay them. We all wish we didn’t. You pay fees for insurance. You pay fees at your bank. You pay fees for health-care. Sometimes I feel like I pay a fee to press snooze on my alarm clock.
Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to pay a fee for once?
Congratulations boomers and investors alike- I have a solution! What about opening an account at online discount broker Zecco? That’s right. If you meet certain requirements you can enjoy free stock trading. That’s almost exciting as McDonald’s bringing back the Filet-O-Fish! Well, almost
Are you ready to enjoy $0 stock trades at Zecco! Yes, it’s that easy. You can thank me later.
How Do You Get Free Trades With Zecco?
If you’ve ever bought a stock through one of the major brokerage firms (Morgan Stanley, Edward Jones, Wells Fargo), then you know how expensive it can be. You’ll pay a minimum of $40-$50 when you a buy stock and another $40-$50 when you sell it. So as long as you happen to find the next Google, you might actually stand to make some money.
You can save a significant amount by going through an online brokerage. The common trade will run you from $4.50 to $10- a huge savings than compared to wirehouses.
Zecco found a competitive niche and offers 1o free trades per month if you meet the following requirements:
- Place at least 25 trades per month
- Maintain a minimum balance of $25,000 in the account
If you don’t make that many trades in a month or you have less than the minimum balance, then you’ll be charged the regular fee of $4.95 per stock trade. For options trades, you’ll pay $4.50 plus $.50 per contract. An added bonus is that Zecco doesn’t charge any inactivity fees or account minimums. I had heard through a friend that had an account with a major wirehouse (think Merrill Lynch) and he had a $50 inactivity fee. $50 just for the privilege of having an account there. No thanks! Don’t have to worry about that with Zecco.
If you do mess with margin, then accounts do require a $2,000 minimum.
Can You Buy Mutual Funds With Zecco?
Yes, you sure can. The most common complaint is that you cannot buy “no fee” mutual funds with Zecco. They do, however, offer an affordable purchase option. Mutual Fund purchases will run you $10 per trade. If you compare that to the typical 5.75% load that you would pay at a brick and mortal brokerage firm, then that’s still a pretty good deal.
What About IRA’s?
Zecco is not just for trading accounts. They can handle all types of IRA’s, too. They do charge $30 for their annual IRA fee, which is a bit more expensive compared to other online broker TradeKing. Overall, still not too bad for doing business with them.
Getting free trades is nice, but trying to do the research to figure what you want to buy is the hard part. Zecco offers a nice combination of free tools and pay tools to help make you an educated investor.
They have a stock, ETF, and mutual fund screener that allows you to sort through more than 30 different criteria (50 for stocks) that you choose. For example, if you want to find the best performing international mutual fund with the lowest expense ratio, you can set the criteria and see what the best ones are.
If the free stuff isn’t enough, Zecco does offer premium tools. Although, you do have to pay for the more advanced tools, they do grant you a free two-month trial. These tools are for tax planning and performance tracking. For people that don’t anything better to do that watch the stock market all day, they offer streaming quotes via Quotestream II for $20 a month or QuoteGrid for $8 per month. That’s for all you retired boomers out there that can’t play golf because the weather’s not nice enough.
Does Opening an Account With Zecco Make Sense for You?
If you’re a fan of passive investing by purchasing indexes via ETF’s, then I can definitely see opening an account with Zecco making sense for you. Even if you don’t qualify for the 10 free trades, $4.95 per trade is still a really good deal. Don’t believe me? Call your closest Edward Jones office and ask how much they charge for stock trades.
For you IRA money, you might consider one of the no-fee IRA providers, so as long as they don’t get you on the trade commissions. Because it’s awfully nice to enjoy $0 stock trades at Zecco!