Discount brokers and my frear of broker insolvency

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by ToSubu, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. ToSubu



    I'm fairly new to this game. I invest in / trade stocks. NO options. I'm NOT a US Citizen (Non resident Alien seems to be the technical term)

    Broker insolvency scares me..hard earned money vanishing because some one had gleaming offices or a bad business model ...

    Most discount online brokers say that FDIC covers upto 100,000 in cash and rest is covered by some insurance. That insurance seems inadequate to me. Adverts like "...we have 100 million additional from LLoyds of London.." mean nothing IF there are half a million clients each having 100,000 extra !!.

    My request to the august forum here

    Which ONLINE brokers offer the best bargain between

    (a) Strong financials : My primary concern at the moment ..ref. above

    (b) Decent executions - I place limit orders mainly so smart routing etc is NOT a problem

    (c) Commissions : Given the above two, cheaper the better. Less than $10 commission per Stock trade is what I am aiming for.

    (d) Please eliminate Scottrade, Options House etc : They do not take me ! I'm NOT a US Citizen (Non resident Alien )

    Thanks in advance &
    Best regards

  2. Its pretty simple,
    Use a publicly listed NYSE/NASDAQ broker.
    if they are ever in trouble and dips below $5, pull out all your funds.
    The stock market will tell you the troubles before the troubles appear :)

    View etrade's chart for more info on this.
  3. ToSubu


    Thanks Coolweb. That's a great starting point. I used Google to look at the quoted ones (related companies)

    Except one or two of the quoted ones (that I could find, like TD Ameritrade), the rest do _not_ handle internationals or the rest charge above US $ 10 per stock trade.... and hence my original request...

    In case you have a quick screener URL that or link that helps me zero in on quoted discount brokers, please let me know

    Thanks again and best regards

  4. 1. FDIC doesn't have anything to do with brokerages. The "D" is for deposits.

    2. The SIPC (Securties Investor Protection Corp) does. Don't know about their capital/solvency. Do know Pension coverage is dubious. Ditto for Social Security when I get to my 60's

    3. Being listed as nothing to do with it. Dillion Reed and E.F. Hutton are merely fond memories.

    4. Brokers often merge. Bache Halsey Stuart Shields; Merrill Lynch Fenner Pierce etc etc; Toronto Dominion and Ameritrade.

    5. Some are acquired. Olde, Dean Witter, Paine Webber.

    6. IF/THEN a basic computer command. If money center banks have to be bailed out, then "anything" can happen.
  5. ToSubu



    Great point by point reply. Much appreciated

    Agreed. I should have clarified... probably explained my paranoia :) better :

    - FDIC => Covers up to 100,000 in FDIC affiliate clearing brokers

    - SPIC => Said to cover ...repeat said to cover securities that have NOT been credited to investors a/c (provided the clearing broker is SPIC affiliated / covered) . Limit up to 500 K...but I'm unable to get a straight answer on this and so am NOT sure of the cover

    LOL ! at least now LOL ! :)

    I think both of us are on the same page here

    IF there are so many ifs and buts, does it make sense to split the investment into two / three / multiple brokerages ? depending on what you wish to invest ....and expect that all brokerages do NOT go bust the same time ?

    IF so which online brokerages qualify according to my original post ?

    The person who replied (coolweb) seems to have used "being quoted" as equal to being watched by the market more eyes on that company than just mine


    I'd be delighted to have some names that fit my original question posted here

    and so more reason to split the risk and have multiple broking accounts ?

    Thanks in advance for your reply
    Best regards
  6. ToSubu



    Has anyone here tried Zecco (online broker ?) ...views please ; WITHOUT recourse

    Thanks in adv
    best regards

  8. ToSubu


    Hi Efficiency : Thanks for the detailed reply

    Hi Everyone : Is there a discount broker poll here ? I'd like to hear from the users rather than from some ranking site

  9. Jym


    Have you looked at Interactive Brokers at all?

    Their rates are actually lower than a lot of the sketchier discount places and they're a legit company
    You just need atleast 10k to open an account with them which shouldnt be a problem I guess since you mentioned the 100k limit as a concern.

    Not sure about the "non resident alien" issue tho.
  10. ToSubu


    Thanks Jym - I started with them...but for some reason they have not approved my a/c ...went thru a lot of documentation and other stuff ...still could not open an a/c till date :-( . So IB is out ..almost out I should say

    Thanks anyhow
    #10     Apr 17, 2010