Moving from ShareBuilder to Zecco

This isn’t exactly the kind of simplifications I have planed to make as I also opened an new account, but today I sent out the paperwork to move the assets in my ShareBuilder account to Zecco.

I have used ShareBuilder for a little over a year and every month I transfered $200 to the account to buy PowerShares Dividend Achievers (PFM). The reason for me to open the account in the first place was their relatively low commission ($4 per trading and a 25% rebate through my Costco membership) and their sign up bonus (I ended up having three ShareBuilder accounts with a total of $175 free money). But I really don’t like the idea of being forced to invest on a fixed time of the month (though I buy most of my mutual funds on the 5th of the month, I can choose other time if I want). What bothers me the most is the longest investing period is one month. If I have to pay commission for each trading, I prefer to make one trade every quarter of $600 instead of $200 every month.

Though so far I made only one trade with Zecco and the experience wasn’t perfect, I am quite happy with the money I saved on commission. For stocks like PFM that I am still building my position with frequent small amount investments, the fees saved are significant.

Zecco provides an account transfer form to transfer accounts to Zecco. In addition to information such as title of the account and account number, it asks for ShareBuilder’s broker clearing number, which is 0443 which I had to call ShareBuilder to obtain. ShareBuilder’s website doesn’t list the company’s mailing address, but it’s available at Fool.com. Zecco accepts faxed account transfer form to get the process started, but they will need the form to be mailed to them as well.

According to Zecco, the whole transfer process could take up to 20 business days to complete. Hopefully, I don’t have to go through the lengthy delay when I moved my Roth IRA account from Scottrade to Vanguard.

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8 Responses to “Moving from ShareBuilder to Zecco”

  1. A Tentative Personal Finance Blog |  Jun 20, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    I’m with sharebuilder right now and I’m getting frustrated by the reasons you listed also. Also, been seriously considering transferring my securities to Zecco, but have heard mixed things about them. I wonder how long they can keep us this zero fee trading.

  2. Sun |  Jun 21, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    I have the same concern about Zecco on whether they can maintain their current fee structure. Therefore, I only plan to keep a small amount with them and the account I transferred from ShareBuilder has less than $3,000 in market value. If one day they decide to charge commissions, the damage won’t be too big.

  3. aschmuck |  Jun 30, 2007 at 2:35 am

    Watch out for the partial shares in your ShareBuilder account. Zecco states it can only transfer whole shares. So you will probably be left with some partial shares in your account and you won’t be able to get the cash out without paying the $15.95 fee to sell them.

    Also ShareBulider allows you to schedule recurring transfers into the money market account. You could just save up three months of transfers and then make a purchase for $600. (I didn’t see any automation available with Zecco so you will be doing manual purchases each month anyway.)

  4. Steve |  Sep 13, 2007 at 11:26 am

    I know this post is a little old, but I wanted to clear up something posited in the last comment by aschmuck in case someone else stumbles upon it. It is correct that Sharebuilder will not outbound transfer partial shares, but they are liquidated as part of the $50 transfer fee. You are not charged a commission for each partial share sale.

    I recently transferred from Sharebuilder into Ameritrade Izone (basically Ameritrade minus over-the-phone customer service, but with $5 trades). It made more sense for me given the commission structure and my trading habits. As an added bonus they offer dividend reinvestment, which was a major reason I agonized over leaving Sharebuilder.

  5. Sun |  Sep 13, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Steve: I later found out that the partial shares are liquidated and there’s no additional charge for selling those shares (which is all included in the transfer fee). So the transfer isn’t really that bad given the commissions saved.

    Of all those brokers I am using, only Scottrade doesn’t offer free dividend reinvestment. Yet I have my largest account with them :(

  6. Erik |  Sep 20, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    Does Zecco offer free dividend reinvestment? I’ve been kicking the idea of moving from Sharebuilder to Zecco for a while now.

  7. Sun |  Sep 20, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Erik: Looks like you already found the answer. Yes, from what I know, I believe Zecco does offer free dividend reinvestment though I don’t have any dividend paying stocks with them.