About a month ago, I asked for feedback about where to open a Coverdell Education Savings Account. Based on comments from PFBlog readers, I opened an account at Scottrade a few days back. So far it is a satisfactory experience: the online application process is streamlined, and I have access to the account almost immediately. Plus, I received a greeting phone call from the local Scottrade branch manager the day after my application and we had a good chat. Needless to say, I always appreciate this kind of personalized hospitality.
Having the same fear as I had about overshooting Roth IRA contribution, I chose not to set up a Coverdell ESA as previously planned. While I understand that the Coverdell ESA phase-out limit is much higher, I decided that I should not take the chance because of the huge uncertainty related to the relocation cost.
Instead, I set up a regular brokerage account to test the water. I have deposited $3,000 and bought one share of Berkshire Hathaway (Class B, of course). (I plan to spend more time on asset allocation in the future, but thats a separate topic.) I'm satisfied with the trading experience -- the new interface is well designed and order execution is prompt.
One inconvenience I had discovered so far is Scottrade does not provide an easy way to pull money out. Yes, Scottrade allows electronic transfer when you deposit the money ("eCheck" service), but when you want to move money out, you pretty much can only request a check from the local branch (free), or ask for a wire transfer (fees apply).
Scottrade does provide check-writing priviledge for accounts over a certain balance limit, so I plan to request some blank checks. Maybe I can find out the routing number and account number from the check, and attempt electronic withdrawals by initiating ACH (automatic clearing house) transactions from other financial institutions.
Do you have such experience with Scottrade?