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Seaport Securities

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Seaport Securities Corp. is an online brokerage firm that was founded in 1979 by Theodore P. Weisberg. As a member of the New York Stock Exchange, the firm operates on the floor of the NYSE where its founder represents the firm and its clients. All of its accounts are managed and maintained by its clearing agent, J.P. Morgan Clearing Corp. Today, Seaport Securities Corp. strives to offer its clients discounts, without sacrificing great service and trade executions. The firm's employees are highly trained experts who are equipped to handle clients' investing and trading needs. Its online services include accurate record keeping mechanisms, safeguards, and other comprehensive services clients would expect from their brokerage firm.

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The Good

  • Investment options
  • Free service
Seaport Securities aims to provide a seamless investing experience for its investors. In order to accomplish this goal, it promises to remain anonymous so as to leave no footprint during trade executions unless customers ask them for assistance during the process. This anonymity means the firm's veteran traders follow and execute their clients' orders, without trying to complicate matters or confuse their investors' instructions. However, for investors who require additional assistance, the firm's representative are available to help and the firm provides an online demo feature that explains the firm's site and its services. Other benefits to the service include:

Investment Options

The brokerage firm provides investors with a range of investment choices to choose from, including stocks, ETFs, and bonds, to name a few. This assortment of securities is especially ideal for investors looking to diversify their portfolios in an effort to mitigate financial risks. As far as prices go, the firm offers a competitive fee for its securities, most notably for its bonds. It provides investors the opportunity to invest in both corporate and US treasury bonds for a flat rate fee of $3, which is very low compared to what other online brokers tend to charge for similar bonds. Additionally, the firm doesn't charge its users for becoming inactive traders, which is unheard of since most brokerage firms charge their clients inactivity fees. Furthermore, Seaport Securities rewards its clients for referring their friends. For each referral, clients, and their referred friends receive 5 free online trades each.

Free Service

The brokerage firm also offers its investors a free service that enables them to earn income on their un-invested cash, if they elect to use this feature. The service is a money fund sweep feature, which automatically invests and redeems funds for traders. Additionally, the company allows its members who have multiple accounts with the firm to receive household statements. Users can elect to see all of their brokerage accounts on one statement or see a combination of accounts on specified statements. Users can also link accounts such as accounts of relatives for whom they manage the portfolio. Lastly, users can opt to receive a cover page displaying their combined assets across accounts. These unique features allow the brokerage firm to cater to investors looking to manage their own and their families' portfolios.
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The Bad

  • Fees and rates
  • Client support
  • Mobile app
While there are aspects of the Seaport Securities platform that can help traders find financial success, there are limitations to be aware of as well. Prospective clients should be aware of the following items prior to using the service:

Fees and Rates

Seaport Securities charges fairly high commission rates on its investment choices. Stocks and ETFs are $14.95 while options trades come out to be $14.95 plus $1.25 per contract. These fees are high compared to the industry average for what brokerage firms charge for similar securities. In addition to the firm's pricing structure, as with any brokerage firm, potential clients should be wary of Seaport Securities' additional fees. The brokerage firm charges service fees such as a $1.75 fee per confirmation (both electronic and paper) and a $3 fee per paper statement. If users request a copy of any cashed money market check, they'll incur a $35 fee. For traders looking to invest in foreign securities, they should realize there's a $34 fee per transaction, in addition to the $50 clearance fee. These fees could add up, depending on the unique needs and actions of investors.

Client Support

The brokerage firm's customer support services should also be improved. The firm's representatives can be reached via phone and via an online email submission form. While these two modes of communication may have been sufficient years ago, in today's competitive market, the firm should look into offering live chat support. Many of its competitors offer this feature and several users enjoy it too. Additionally, the company doesn't provide educational resources or research tools to help facilitate the investment process. Novice investors who are new to the game will be turned off by the lack of investment guides. Experienced investors will also be dissuaded from the firm due to its lack of advanced research tools to help inform their investment decisions. Speaking of advanced features, the brokerage firm's trading platform provides the most basic elements needed to place trades. Investors looking for more sophisticated features in their trading platforms will be disappointed with Seaport Securities'.

Mobile App

Another major downside to using Seaport Securities is the firm's lack of a mobile app as an alternative to its site's, web-based platform. This severely limits what its users can do, especially investors who trade on the go and need a quick, simple, and user-friendly app on their smartphone devices that can help them execute rapid trades. This lack of mobile trading can debilitate the brokerage firm as it's competing in an industry where newer and faster approaches to investing are coveted.
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The Bottom Line

Seaport Securities is a great trading platform for clients interested in investing in a variety of securities, both domestic and foreign. These investors can benefit from the assortment of securities available to them so as to diversify their portfolios and manage the financial risks associated with placing trades. The firm is especially ideal for investors looking to trade bonds since the firm offers some of the lowest commission rates on bonds. Seaport Securities also has a lot of years of experience under its belt, which is great for investors looking for a long-standing firm. However, Seaport Securities offers steep commission rates for its services, which is very difficult to justify especially when there are so many discount brokerage firms that charge affordable commission rates and offer a similar variety of investment options. These brokerage firms also tend to provide more services like extensive research tools, educational materials, and advanced trading features, to name a few. Thus, Seaport Securities will need to make some improvements in their offerings in order to successfully compete for clients in today's competitive industry.
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