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Does anyone have experience with either of these companies? I was thinking about opening a small stock account ($200-500). Datek advertises w/Motley Fool. Looks like they also have the higher fees.

You are aware they provide different services, right?

Datek is like a regular broker, but with lower fees and 60-second guaranteed order execution.
Sharebuilder submits your order only twice a day; they're cheaper than Datek because they pool orders from customers together and submit them all at the same time.

The real-time trade service at Sharebuilder is $15.95, which is more expensive than Detek's 9.99...

Datek is an online brokerage. Though the per trade commissions are pretty low, the fee structure is not really suited for the lower funded accounts. I believe Datek charges a quarterly fee if your account is under $5000, unless you do so many trades per quarter.

Sharebuilder and Buyandhold.com are lower cost brokerages used to do share purchases over time, based on smaller amounts. For example, you can buy stock in $100 increments once every month. Really good for dollar-cost-averaging, buying stock at specific times per week/month, over a period of weeks/months, in the hopes of getting a lower overall average cost.

The main difference between Sharebuilder and Buyandhold.com is the number of trading windows for the fractional share purchases. Sharebuilder has one window per week, while buyandhold has three per day.

Although both Sharebuilder and Buyandhold have real-time trading, their main focus is for long-term investors.

I have accounts at Datek and Buyandhold, each serves a different purpose. Datek is a trading account. Buyandhold is my long-term, accumulate positions account. I'm in their unlimited plan as you save money once you go over a certain number of trades per month.

My father uses datek and likes it. He was using ameritrade but the trades were to slowwww. He switched to datek and has been happy ever since.


You might have a problem with a small account however!

I don't think anyone mentioned the principal advantage of Sharebuilder. You pay $12/month and trade all you want. The catches: trades are only made 4 times a month, you are limited to stocks on their list.

This is a service for long-term investing (obviously <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> )

The list is pretty big. I've been very happy with Sharebuilder except for something a couple weeks ago which was a major negative IMHO. They sent me an email saying a stock that I buy would be taken off their list as available to buy. Okay, fine. But they gave absolutely no notice. That was not fine.

has anyone used interactivebrokers.com

they charge only 1/cent per share to trade ($1 minimum charge)
I have no experience on how fast they are but the fees seem good....

I would appreciate an anaylsis of their service from someone who is knowledgable in stocks

Don't forget to look into companies that have plans set up with them directly (DRP). Many are no fee ones like Pfeizer, JNJ, KO, etc. If a company you like does not offer a direct investment plan, then use someplace like sharebuilder or buyandhold - compare the fees related to both and see which one is best. Even if the fees for a direct investment plan are steep, sometimes it can be worth it to forego the direct way and go with something like Sharebuilder.

<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>



<< has anyone used interactivebrokers.com

they charge only 1/cent per share to trade ($1 minimum charge)
I have no experience on how fast they are but the fees seem good....

I would appreciate an anaylsis of their service from someone who is knowledgable in stocks
>>



This is a service geared to the active trader/investor, making anywhere from a couple to tens or hundreds of trades per day.

pros
- cheap commissions for both stocks and options
- interactivebrokers.com has a high-speed direct access trading interface
- you can do order routing

cons
- no web order entry interface, must use java or proprietary program
- must have direct connection, so you couldn't trade at work if your company has a properly configured firewall
- minimum margin amt of $2000 in acct before liquidation. Really, if you're going to have this type of account, you should have $25K or more for active trading
- phone orders $30

happypants, can you explain what "you can do order routing" means exactly. I heard it before, but don't really know what it means in practice.

Personally, I like rjt.com. They have really good fee structure. I use them for trading stocks/options and never run into any considerable problems with those guys. Unfortunately, they did get bought out by TD Waterhouse recently, so the fees will likely go up; quality of service down. So far, no changes, though.

Witold
www.witold.org

What's the point of ShareBuilder? Can't you just buy like a few shares of stock in the company and go through their own DRP plans. I've got a bunch of stocks, some in plan DRPs (like through Equiserve). I don't have to pay a $12/monthly fee and I can contribute as much/little as I want to each of them. Although I guess you have to start off with that one share ...anywayz. Stick to a real broker. Even if you have a small amount to start with just contribute a decent amount per month ($200+) and you'll be well on your way.

Sharebuilder has some horrendous fees if you ever decide to close your account trust me I know from experience> I agree you should open up a DRIP account through Equifax or another holdin company. Why pay some one 4 dollars atrade and other miscellaneous fees for something that you can easily do?

Order routing allows you to control which of the exchanges fills your stock order. Generally this is used by daytraders who are familiar with how the different exchanges fill orders. In the grand scheme of things, I don't believe it makes that much of a difference for investors or swing traders (traders who hold positions for days or weeks).

http://www.interactivebrokers.com/html/retailAccount/products.html

Linky

Look at the bottom under "United States" and you'll see a list of all the exchanges. Exchanges which handle "stock" orders are used for normal equities.

fastest1: what fees were you hit with in your Sharebuilder acct? I have one, I'm thinking of transferring the assets over to my Datek acct. The Sharebuilder acct I opened about a yr ago when they had the free $50 thru Gomez deal.

Did you close your acct or transfer to another broker?

Here you go!! This is outrageous!! Especially if you only invest in small amounts and you have already paid fees. Say good bye to your 50.00 Bonus!!

Full account transfer out Transfers of all assets in a ShareBuilder Account to another firm $50.00

Partial transfer out Partial transfers of assets in a ShareBuilder Account to another firm $10.00 per security ($50.00 maximum)

Funds wired in Wire of funds into a ShareBuilder Account No charge

Funds wired out Funds wired to you from a ShareBuilder Account $30.00

Stock certificate issuance Mailing of physical stock certificate(s) to the name and address on a ShareBuilder Account $30.00

Stock certificate re-registration On the certificate owner's instruction, we deposit a physical certificate into your ShareBuilder Account that is not in a name, OR on your instruction, we change the registered name on a physical stock certificate to the name other than the one on your ShareBuilder Account (includes gifts, estates, etc.) $30.00

Linky
Text

I believe that you are much better off setting up a DRIP account and investing at least 200.00 per stock per month. Open up numerous DRIP accounts and if the stok price goes below a certain point buy and then inactivate the account. Switch the money over to another Drip account where the price is more reasonable. Dividends are reinvested free. Honestly I love invedting this way. All of the stocks that I buy pay divdends and their are little to no fees.

I am wondering the same thing as asker. What if I only have a few dollars to invest, and want to leave it there for the long term? A friend of mine told me that TD-Waterhouse is probably the best one out there for my financial situation. I don't want to constantly keep putting money into a few stocks, so I don't want a DRIP account. I really just want to throw a couple hundred bucks at a stock, see how it does, and possibly withdrawal the money in 5 months or more.

What do you guys think? I really need to watch out for those "minimum balance" fees. Feedback appreciated



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