My Personal Finance Journey

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Scottrade is Friendly

Contributed by mm | August 31, 2005 11:11 AM PST

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?

This Post Has Received 5 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.


fatboy Commented on August 31, 2005

Great timing buying the BRKb share, mm! I too find the fund withdrawal a little limiting. I have always requested checks. However, you have a very creative way of getting faster withdrawals. Please keep us updated about what you find out. If it works out, perhaps we can do the same with deposits.


Nina Commented on September 1, 2005

Thanks for the information about Scottrade. I am considering opening an online brokerage account too. Are there any fees to open an account? What are the fees to buy and sell shares?


MM Commented on September 1, 2005

No setup and maintenance fee is the beauty of Scottrade. $7 for market and limit orders is low too.


Vijay Commented on September 4, 2005

I have been using scottrade account for couple of years, this is my only and primary convern I have with them esp. if you receive few dollars of dividend every now and then, stuck in your trading account. Etrade is very good on this aspect. $8 trades and easy online money transfers plus free debit card on request.


zerohot Commented on May 6, 2006

I've been using Scottrade for about 4 years now and found it to provide a better online experience than my earlier brokerages. I do have the check writing feature (avail for balances of 5K of more I believe) but have yet to write a single check. I am an ACH type of guy and used the checks in order to get the routing and account number to setup direct deposits/withdrawals from this account. So far, it works great. I have even directly deposited payroll funds into my Scottrade account several times. Well, I hope this helps...


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