How much$ was commission in the '90s?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by dividend, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. Hello. This question is for electronic traders from the mid '90s. I hope there are some out there that can answer this question.

    I'd like to know how much commission($) used to cost for 100 shares, and 1000 shares (or more) of stock in the mid 1990s.

    If there is anyone that traded before then I'd also like to know how much comissions were then too. It must have been much more difficult to trade with smaller accounts than it is now.

    If you could share your thoughts & experiences with such higher costs compared to today, it would be great too. (My guess would be fractions helped a lot then?)

    Thank you.
  2. $19.95 a trade I remember paying at E trade.
  3. I can remember paying $500-100 a ticket at the likes of Schwab, Fidelity back then, and they were *discount* brokers of the time.
  4. When I started at Andover, it was no money up 50% payout and I think I paid 5cents per share. But it was fractions back then not decimals. The offices were really nice, you got free catered lunches and a bunch of other perks for free. And back then T-1's were really costly, there were no cheap altenatives like DSL or cable.
  5. I remember paying Schwab/Lind Waldock/Ira Epstein $40/trade in the late 80's/early 90's. Then it went to $20 in the mid 90's and $10 in late 90's.
  6. Thanks for the response so far.

    For 100 shares it used to cost about $40.
    Today it costs about $1.

    Today, a small account would bust very quickly with $40 cost per hundred.

    Would it be true that in the 90s only very well capitalized people could trade? I'm guessing you would need at least minimum $50,000 to start, unlike the $2k minimum today... And/or there must have been much lower margins for small traders to be able to access the market. Perhaps this is why the old proprietary trading model required no capital deposits?

    Thanks again.
  7. Tells you why there is such manic trading today as the entry and exit costs are next to nothing.

    Who is gonna bail or buy at the slightest whim when its a $40 ticket for a small trade.
  8. You also have to take into account the techonological barriers at the time as well. The speed in which data was transmitted was ridiculous compared to today. The availablity of information to the retail trader was very scarce. No 24 hr news and very few had internet availability.

    I was buy and hold back then. Not even swing trading and I remember how much of a hassle it was to call a broker and have an order placed. I can't imagine doing that with the amount of activity that I use today. And I'm not even a day trader.

    Think about how it will be 15 years from now.
  9. Lucrum


    My first ever stock purchase was 100 s of HAS at 17 3/4 I think it was.
    This would have been late eighties, assuming my memory is not even worse than I think. Seems like the broker was Waterhouse or Water something or other. Sorry, I don't recall the commission schedule but if I'm not mistaken it seems like I needed 1/4 to break even on that trade.
  10. I think my first trade was Harley Davidson around 1991. If I remember correctly, it was through a touchtone phone system called Accutrade through Quick & Reilly, $35.00.

    My father didn't believe me at the time, because he was paying hundreds to invest in stocks through Merrill Lynch.
    #10     Mar 6, 2007