Scottrade, also known as Scottrade Advisor Services, Scottrade Bank, Scottrade Investment Management, Scottsdale Securities and Scottrade Inc., was founded in 1980 by Rodger Riney, was originally named Scottsdale Securities and is currently headquartered in Saint Louis, MO. In 1996, the company launched Scottrade.com, which made them one of the first investing companies to offer online trading. They originally wanted to name their website Scottsdale.com; however, that domain name was already taken and that's when the name Scottrade.com was born as it seemed like the perfect combination. Then in 2000, they renamed the company from Scottsdale Securities to Scottrade Inc. to reflect the name of its website and solidify their branding efforts. In 2008, Scottrade opened 75 branch offices (they now have over 500 local branches) and hired 1,000 team members to add to its more than 2,700 associates, as well as establishing Scottrade Bank.
- Trader solutions
Scottrade prides themselves on providing you with streamlined investing and trading solutions that are tailored to fit your needs. They offer everything from self-directed tools to advanced trading platforms, which we will discuss further in a moment. They have been in business for 35 years and thoroughly understand what it takes to help you succeed. Benefits include:
Scottrade provides services for a wide variety of offerings, such as: retirement and IRAs, stocks, options, margin, mutual funds, ETFs, bonds, CDs, treasuries, Coverdell ESAs, a flexible dividend reinvestment program, international investing and plenty of account types, which include individual, joint, retirement, custodial, guardian, specialty and business accounts. That pretty much makes Scottrade a one-stop-shop for all your investment needs.
Scottrade has an impressive list of accolades and awards such as winning the TNS Choice Award for Investment Services for the third time in four years. The Best of the Web Gold Award, Premier 100 IT Leaders four times, Elite 100, Barron's Best Online Brokers for the last six years, J.D. Power's Customer Champion, Best Discount Stock Brokers Online for the last five years, Top Work Places for the last three years, Best Places to Work in IT five times and Training Magazine's Top 125 five times. Scottrade's obvious success lends credence to their abilities and helps provide confidence that they can successfully assist you with all your investment needs.
Scottrade offers plenty of free services to enhance their offerings. You will enjoy branch appointments, online educational resources, portfolio review services, retirement and financial calculators, online banking through Scottrade Bank and real-time streaming quotes and charts (for non-professionals). These products and services are all provided at no cost and are designed to help you meet all your financial goals. Additionally, Scottrade does not charge any account maintenance fees.
Scottrade offers some very competitive rates, which include a stock price of $7 with broker assisted and touchtone (IVR) phone system trades at $32. An ETF price of $7 with broker assisted and touchtone (IVR) phone system at $32. An option's price of $7 + $0.70 per contract with broker assisted and touchtone at $32 + $0.70 per contract and option exercises and assignments at $17. And listed corporate bonds at $35 + $3 per bond with a $1000 minimum. These rates are significantly less than most of their competitors, which makes them a great option for those who have money to invest and can afford their minimum initial deposit of $2,500.
Scottrade offers innovative technology across all of their websites. They also offer mobile apps for Android, iOS and iPad devices and a downloadable platform. They boast execution speeds in the milliseconds, straightforward commissions, and competitive margin rates. They also seek to find new trade ideas and evaluate and analyze the market daily. You will enjoy their after-hours commentary brought to you by Learning Markets and you will get a free subscription to Recognia's Daily Market Report that offers daily trade ideas. Additionally, you can listen to two traders debate the market in their Trader Podcast series, also brought to you by Learning Markets.
It doesn't matter whether you are comfortable handling your portfolio on your own, or whether you need professional guidance, Scottrade has complete solutions to match any need and skill level. These options include:
- Self-directed option - this is for people who know what they're doing and are comfortable using Scottrade's tools. With this feature, you will receive equity, ETF and mutual fund screening tools, education, streaming quotes and market data, charts with smart text, analyst rankings, and online portfolio reviews.
- Supported option - this is for people who need a little help along the way. With this feature, you will receive pre-defined screens for equities, ETFs and mutual funds, a bond finder, bond tracker, fund finder and sophisticated charting tools.
- Validated option - this is for people who have done their research but need a little help, plus Select Lists. With this feature, you will receive: Select Lists of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, portfolio reviews by a Scottrade investment consultant, sophisticated option chains and bond ladders.
- Managed option - this is for people who want the peace of mind of knowing someone is watching over the details of their portfolio. With this feature, you will receive ongoing portfolio management that employs a disciplined approach to diversification, risk management, solutions to fit your situation and rebalancing.
- Sophisticated option - this is for people with complex portfolios and need an experienced financial advisor. With this feature, you will receive registered investment advisors available through Scottrade investment management and registered advisors who can review your entire financial situation and provide guidance.
Scottrade also offers online banking making it easy and convenient to move and manage your finances between your banking and brokerage accounts all with a single login and via their mobile app. With the online banking feature you will also receive the ability to pay your bills online, you will receive ATM/debit cards, transfers, deposits, withdrawals and more.
With Scottrade, you will also have access to an impressive knowledge center where they offer in-person local events, online events, investment education that allows you to learn at your own pace, help and how to's complete with screenshots and simple instructions, videos and calculators and a monthly newsletter that brings you fresh, timely articles, expert perspectives, strategy insights and quick tips for success on their trading platforms.
- Security concerns
Just as with all our company reviews, we like to present you with all the information you need, the good and the bad, in hopes that it will help you make an educated decision about whether or not any given company is the right fit for you. So let's take a minute to go over a few of the things we think you should know. Although, in this case, Scottrade really doesn't have any major negatives we believe you should be wary of. Drawbacks include:
Scottrade recent reported that approximately 4.6 million customers had their contact information stolen during the time of late 2013 to early 2014. They claim that the purpose of the attack was to take that contact information. Luckily, passwords were not breached due to their encryption and no fraudulent activity was noticed on the site with trading. This is a misfortunate event for Scottrade and the 4.6 million users that were affected. Considering the security of your stock broker is an important aspect.
Although Scottrade has some very competitive rates and no account maintenance fees, they do however have a pretty steep minimum initial deposit of $2,500, which keeps them out of reach for some and is considerably higher than most of their competitors. Additionally, Scottrade's broker assisted fees are high compared to other online stock trading sites in the industry. So these are just a few things to keep in mind; however, they are probably not going to be deal breakers for most.