How to Create an Account for Your ETFs
What Can a Full-Service Investment Broker Do for You?
ETF Brokers: The Vanguard Group

Smaller Brokerage Houses that House Exchange-Traded Funds

There are a few smaller brokerage houses, mostly newcomers to the investing scene, which you could consider as places to house your exchange-traded funds (ETFs):

  • eTrade: 800-387-2331. Not only can you house your ETFs here, but you can refinance the mortgage on your house, as well.

  • TIAA-CREF: 800-927-3059. A good company, but this brokerage house works only with teachers. (If you’re married to a teacher, you qualify, too.)

  • Folio Investing: 888-973-7890. This is a very different kind of brokerage house, where you pay a flat rate ($29 a month) and then perhaps a nominal trading charge. It also offers pre-fab, ready-to-go ETF portfolios for the laziest investors.

  • TradeKing: 877-495-5464. Despite the somewhat hokey name, this newcomer to the industry is offering the lowest trading prices — $5 per ETF trade, regardless of whether that’s online or by phone — and customer service is reportedly excellent.

  • ShareBuilder: At $4 a trade, or even less if you’re willing to pay a monthly fee, it’s hard to beat ShareBuilder, a subsidiary of ING Bank, on price. The catch is that you have to commit to regular trades. You need to make trades (investing as little as $25) once a week or once a month. And therein lies the problem.

    If you’re putting in money each week or month, chances are you’re not putting in a whole lot. You’re a drib-and-drab investor, and drib-and-drab investors, although likely better off with ShareBuilder than most other brokers, should be investing in mutual funds, not ETFs.

    Do the math. Even if you are saving a very impressive $200 every week out of your paycheck, at $4 a trade, you’re losing 2 percent right off the top.

    ShareBuilder, alas, also took last place in a customer-service ranking published by SmartMoney magazine in 2010.

blog comments powered by Disqus
ETF Investments Start with Opening a Brokerage House Account
Don’t Margin Your House Away with ETFs!
Questions to Ask before Trading Futures and Options
Transacting Your Financial Business through Discount Investment Brokers
Who Can You Buy Annuities From?
Advertisement

Inside Dummies.com