Ask Dave: Choosing a Discount Broker

Anthony asks:

I am reading about your move to ETRADE.

My question is a simple one…..did you research all the discount brokers before moving to ETRADE?

I am about to move my accounts, (they are sizeable), to a discount broker, and take care of them myself.
I just coundn’t figure the value I was getting from a full service broker.

Why did you go with ETRADE? And would you, or your readers recommend any one in particular?

I would really appreciate a reply directly to my email address, if you have the time,

Thanks and good luck,

No, I didn’t really do tons of research. I was paying $70 or something like that during my brief stint at a full service brokerage. E*Trade offered $20 per trade and I figured that there might be some other brokers out there with $10/trade, and there were some, but they were not names I had heard of before. E*Trade has been around for a while and I knew their name so I went with them. I didn’t really care about the details, I just needed some where to put my money after my financial advisor’s company got swallowed up by another company and he was (I assume) laid off. E*Trade does offer $9.99 trades if you have more than $50,000 in assets with them.

Rob Carrick recently compared online brokers in “With online trading, it pays to shop around“.

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3 Responses to “Ask Dave: Choosing a Discount Broker”


  • Cash Instinct

    I would recommend Million Dollar Journey’s article on discount brokers.

    E-Trade spread on $US transactions is one of the worst. For someone looking to make transactions in $US, it is an important criteria to look at. (Wash trades, %spread when doing conversion, ability to hold $US easily, ability to transfer $US, etc.)

  • Cash Instinct, while the ability to do wash trades might be important for some, it is isn’t an issue for me as I buy my US dollar ETFs once and then I will be selling them once, when I retire. I don’t plan on doing any selling in my portfolio.

  • I would recommend Paragon Wealth Mangement. Our accounts are custodied at Charles Schwab who is a discount broker. We don’t base our fees on commissions, there are no surrender fees if you leave, we show our performance numbers monthly and professionals will be managing your money at the fraction of the cost anywhere else. I just posted our performance numbers on our blog http://www.moneymanagerslive.com. The numbers are compared to the S&P 500 and the Lehman indexes.

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