Choices for low cost brokers for newbies?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by slowtrend, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. I'm in the process of trying to move my account to another broker. I'm not an experienced trader, but I'm getting there. I would like to trade more and save money on the commissions.

    My online trading/investing experience has been since the end of last year. As I was filling out the new account app at Interactive Brokers, it asks for trading experience, trades per year. Apparently I don't make the grade at this point. I might call them just to see what is up. I'm willing to risk my money to learn, so why wouldn't they work with me to get to that point?

    I have gone through most of the ET comments on brokers and software. It is challenging to choose a broker or software when you read such differences of opinion on the same service.

    If I'm not able to get an account at IB, I would like to get recommendations for a low-cost broker that would work with a newbie. No, I don't need to be calling on the phone all the time. I've placed several online trades and haven't once had to call my broker on the phone. So, I don't need extreme hand-holding at this point.

    I've considered MB Trading. It might be a good choice for me. They offer just about everything.

  2. stevebec


  3. Thanks for the freetrade link.

    Here is what they say:

    In order for you to become a client of Freetrade, you must have two years' experience as a client of a discount broker. Not all clients of a discount broker decide that they like the service; they want the full service of a full commission broker. We need to know that you qualify as a satisfied discount broker client.
  4. will be ok for you

    R U over 18 ?

    could be a good way to invest longer term
    using baskets of stocks you pick
  5. stevebec
    Do you have an account with freetrade and if you do, how is the service, fills etc.
  6. Yes, I'm over 18.

    It might be a way to get started. You pay a flat monthly fee and can trade freely, up to so many trades in the same account. Or you pay $4 a trade without the monthly fee.

    The description of the window trading is:


    Low Cost Advantage
    Our revolutionary trading system cuts costs dramatically, and we pass the savings on to you. Enough that you can enjoy up to 600 commission-free trades a month! Rather than immediately send every order to the market, we group them together. Here's how it works: you place your order at any time throughout the day. During the day, when the market is open, we group our customer orders together into windows and make trades. Click here for our current window trade times and frequency. We match customer buy and sell orders, and then, send any unmatched orders to the market. We also provide matching of customer orders from our fractional account.

    Best Trade Execution
    The cost advantages of window trades extend beyond the break on commission fees. Window trades allow us to give you, where possible, better pricing. When we match customer orders, we match them between the bid and the ask price. This gives you a better price than you could get if you went direct to the market. For example, if a stock has a bid price of $50.00 and an ask of $50.25, we would give both the buyer and the seller the mid-point, $50.125. Thus, saving you $.125. If you were buying 100 shares, you'd save $12.50!

    Multiple Trades at Once!
    At most brokerages, you have to place a separate order for each stock you want to buy or sell. At FOLIOfn, you can save yourself some time, by buying or selling up to 50 securities at once! You can choose individual securities you want to buy and sell, buy or sell a whole Folio, exchange one Folio for another, rebalance your Folio to meet target weights. And, it is so easy, just select what you want to do, and we'll take it from there. In just a click, you have managed your portfolio. Window trading not only saves you money, it saves you time!

    Invest in Dollar Amounts
    With window trades, you can place orders in dollar amounts, because we allow you to own fractional shares of securities. This means you don't have to save up money to buy a whole share or shares of a security. Instead, you can invest whatever dollar amount you want, split it amongst a number of shares or buy portions of one security.

    Time of Window Trades
    Currently, there are two window trades each business day that the market is open.

    11:00 AM
    Orders placed between 2:00 PM and 11:00 AM Eastern Time the following business day are matched and processed starting at 11:00 AM.

    2:00 PM
    Orders placed between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM Eastern Time are matched and processed starting at 2:00 PM.

    They charge you $14.95 for a direct trade, so I guess if you just have to get out of a position, you can.

    Real-time Trades - $14.95 per security
    We offer Real-time trades, which allow you to send orders directly to the market and choose among nearly 10,000 securities. You can trade up to five different securities in one direct order. We charge $14.95 for each security in your direct trade order (market orders only).

  7. stevebec


    I've been trading with them for about a year and have been quite happy with them. They obviously sell their order flow, but I watch my orders on level 2 and I always get filled at the inside, and almost always within a second or two. I average about 100-125 tickets/month and have only gotten 3 bad fills (all stop market orders). In each case I emailed them and they fixed it. Emails are usually answered within about 30 minutes during market hours. Downsides are no phone orders, so if your internet connection goes down, you're SOL unless you have a backup broker, and if you use non-marketable limit orders for NYSE stocks, they don't route to NYSE, so the trade-through rule comes into play.
  8. volente_00


    I have a friend who has used mb trading for years now and he loves it. He is a very active trader and he has never said anything negative to me about them.
  9. stevebec
    thanks for the reply.
  10. Thanks for the suggestions. I'm still looking into this.
    #10     Feb 11, 2004