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Having previously purchased thinkorswim® in 2009, TD Ameritrade is set to continue its acquisition spree by snapping up Scottrade in a deal set to close in September, 2017. Through this acquisition, TD Ameritrade gets to bolster its offline presence by including Scottrade’s 500+ nationwide local branch offices to its own network of offices.
These branch offices allow customers meet with support representatives, speak with financial advisors and attend educational events. For beginner traders, this support network is virtually unparalleled among online competitors. Along with an easy-to-use platform interface and extensive educational resources, Scottrade makes a compelling case as the go-to platform for traders new to the market.
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Table of Contents
4 out of 5 stars
Scottrade promotes a customer-first culture in its TV commercials and backs it up with a seamless account opening process, professional customer support, and by inviting walk-ins to local branches.
For traders who want a helping hand or simply wish to know that support is available upon request, Scottrade is an excellent choice. For best overall customer experience, Scottrade has few rivals. Scottrade puts customers first in so many small ways, such as connecting you to a local branch office versus a centralized call center when you phone, offering Chat and Email support with well-informed representatives and constantly refreshing and updating its technology offerings to improve user experiences.
The Scottrade trading platform is best for traders who are:
- Fee-conscious traders
- Self-directed traders
- Beginner traders
- Stock traders
By leaning on its local branch offices for phone support, the drawback of Scottrade is, unlike rivals, such as ETrade which offers round the clock phone support, access to live personnel is confined to market hours.
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Scottrade Promo Deal
When you open and fund a qualifying account at Scottrade:
- Get up to 700 free trades
Scottrade Pros and Cons
Scottrade offers competitive costs, no inactivity fees, and a platform that caters to active, advanced, and options traders as well as beginners but access to advanced areas command high account balance minimums and rely upon outdated technology.
|Scottrade Pros||Scottrade Cons|
|✅ Transaction Fees: Relative to most full-service competitors, Scottrade charges lower rates:||❌ Non-Compatible Technology: Scottrade Streaming Quotes is a java-based desktop application that is only available to customers via Firefox, Safari and old Internet Explorer versions since Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge no longer support java.|
|✅ No Inactivity Fees: Unlike some firms, such as TradeStation, which charges monthly platform fees, Scottrade has no such fees nor any inactivity or annual fees.||✅ Fewer Tradeable Securities: Unlike competitors such as TradeKing that offers Futures and Forex, Scottrade has fewer tradeable securities and few commission-free ETFs.|
|✅ Scottrade Pro: Options traders will access a top notch trading experience from Scottrade Pro, which is a white-labeled version of Interactive Brokers’ platform with reduced options commissions.||❌ High Hurdle to Access Scottrade ELITE: Access to Scottrade ELITE is restricted to customers with less than $25,000 in their accounts.|
|✅ Stellar Customer Support: From start to finish, Scottrade has one of the best customer support networks around. Branch offices cater to walk-ins, phone support is directed to local offices, and high knowledgeable staff can direct customers quickly to solve problems.|
|✅ Flexible Reinvestment Program (FRIP): Scottrade alone provides FRIP programs to customers, allowing them choose how dividends may be reinvested (similar to a Dividend Reinvestment Program but with more control).|
|✅ Scottrade ELITE: Active traders can use this desktop-based platform that has an easy-to-use, fast interface, and streaming quotes for real-time data analysis and order execution.|
Scottrade has fewer tradeable securities than many peers but Futures and Forex offerings are likely to be included later in the year when the TD Ameritrade acquisition of Scottrade closes.
- Mutual Funds
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Scottrade has an industry-leading fee schedule, particularly as it relates to options and stocks:
|Stocks||$6.95 per trade|
|Options||$6.95 + $0.70 per contract|
|Mutual Funds||$17 to buy and sell no-load mutual funds|
$0 to buy and $17 to sell loaded mutual funds
|Margin rate range||5.75%-8.50%|
|Account Balance Minimum||$0 for IRAs|
$2,500 for taxable accounts
|Transfer Fee||$75 fee if $2,500 account balance minimum not maintained|
Scottrade Platform Features
|Customer support||Email Support|
Phone Support 6am-1am ET Mon-Fri
Phone Support 9am-7pm ET Sat-Sun
|Research||Third-party: Zacks, Morningstar, New Constructs, Learning Markets|
|No-transaction-fee Mutual Funds||Over 2,600 no-transaction-fee|
Scottrade is a customer-centric platform that caters to beginner traders extremely well with an extensive network of local branch offices, exceptional support staff, and an easy-to-use interface while still offering advanced traders the detailed functionality they want via Scottrade ELITE and serving options traders well through Scottrade Pro.
When TD Ameritrade completes its acquisition of Scottrade in September, 2017, Futures and Forex offerings may be expected soon afterwards, as well as a more extensive list of no-commission ETFs, which are current shortfalls relative to rivals, such as thinkorswim.
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