Guest Commentary

Rating the Big Online Brokers

Well many of us who trade OTC and speculative stocks have found that our big on line brokers just are not that friendly to our small market dalliances. My comments are derived from personal experience and also from the comments and experiences of others. So without any further adieu here we go. Please enjoy the roasting and toasting on each. We will start with the worst and work our way up to the best.

ETRADE. The Worst. ETRADE probably just can't help but end up in last position due to their ineptness and lack of organization. Trading errors, account freezes; poor decision's and lousy communication skills back up this handy online trader. We have reports of Etrade actually freezing all assets of a party with no access, just because ETrade felt that there 'may' have been some impropriety. This was done without any formal notification, no communication and no response to customer inquiries. In the end all Etrade did was terminate the account due to third party transfers of stock that ETRADE itself allowed to be initiated. Go figure. We strongly suggest you think twice before doing business with ETRADE.

TD AMERITRADE. Just as bad. Well, maybe worse.. Now if you want a company that can't shoot straight then TD Ameritrade is the firm for you. Here we have the use of other market makers thus insuring your trades might not get off or worse, they may back print. Not only do they not act as their own Market Maker, but the supposed business banking leaves much to be desired. They won't take third party deposits or wires, but don't state that going in. They also block numerous OTCBB and PINK Sheet companies from online trading forcing you to call if you actually want to buy stocks, and waiting sometimes for minutes, thus losing value and opportunity. Now that makes sense in what universe I don't know. (I'm actually trying to trade online, not miss trades? $&tt#head.) This is also done randomly, and with fully reporting companies.

TD has missed several reflected trades, customer service is poor and compliance is arrogant. Also the website does not automatically update and is well? SLOW and their trades are more expensive. If you are an actual trader then I strongly suggest you consider our other picks as we move forward.

SCOTTRADE. Much better. Thank You. SCOTT gets us. SCOTT clears certificates right away. SCOTT'S platform is fast and has decent customer service and pretty fair tools online. SCOTT does not block a number of the firms that TRADE and TD AMERITRADE do, thus making them a fairer market player. Scott is also cheaper per trade and allows some third party deposits. Where Scott fails is in its Banking privileges. Scott does not allow for check writing or card privileges for sole props and for other businesses. Which is at least a clear policy, but is also an inconvenience for an active trader.

CHARLES SCHWAB. ENDORSED. Chuck has heavy long time brokerage experience, a great trading platform and multiple tools. Chuck also has something the others proclaim they do, but don't? full banking privileges. Chuck can take any form of payment into their banking section and this includes third party transactions. Wires, checks and certificates can be deposited, thus making Chuck the big new player in this market. Granted, Chuck is somewhat slower than Scott at clearing certs, but for overall flexibility Chuck is our number one pick.


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