ShareBuilder Lowers Real-Time Trading Commission and Firstrade Account Transfer

ing_sharebuilder.pngGood changes are coming to ShareBuilder after ING Direct bought the online discount brokerage firm a month ago.

An email from ShareBuilder over the weekend informed me that starting December 17th, the cost of trading securities at real time at ShareBuilder will be at a flat fee of $9.95 for both market and limit orders. ShareBuilder used charge some $15.95 for each real-time trade. ShareBuilder started with the idea of letting investors make regular investment at a lower price ($4 with basic service). However, for a small amount of monthly investment such as $100, the commission represents more than 4% of cost, not a cost effective choice for small investors. Now with other discount brokers such as Zecco which doesn’t charge commission at all, or TradeKing which charges a slightly higher commission ($4.95 per trade) but much more flexible than ShareBuilder, I don’t know how ShareBuilder can be competitive even with the now lowered real-time trading fee, unless you are willing to pay a monthly subscription fee of at least $12. BTW, as expected, ING’s banking products are now available at ShareBuilder which has also adopted ING’s orange scheme.

Speaking of TradeKing, I faxed my account transfer form to them today to start the transfer process after getting an account a couple of weeks ago. The form is actually quite simple with less information required than the Zecco account transfer form. TradeKing says the process could take two weeks to complete, which isn’t that bad considering the time it took me to transfer from Scottrade to Vanguard and from ShareBuilder to Zecco. If everything goes well, I could have my stocks available at TradeKing before the new year :)

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