How I try to create ballpark numbers to represent the pricing of direct access brokers:
The "Model Pricing" for direct access brokers is the fee which a customer on the worst pricing tier would pay to buy 100 shares of a NYSE-traded stock at $10/share and 500 shares of an AMEX-traded stock at $2/share, for a total of two transactions, using the "removing liquidity" method. The "Model Pricing" does not include required platform fees or other required non-variable fees, so you might get a better view of pricing by adding the two of them together.

The "Model Monthly Platform Fee" is the price which a customer on the worst pricing tier would pay per month for any required platform, exchange, ECN, and data fees. If there is a tier with no platform fee - for example, if one can use a standard browser with no platform fee, I have used that as the basis for the platform fees. For data fees, I have treated data fees for the NYSE, AMEX, and NASDAQ as required, whether they are technically required or not.

Please note that direct access brokers often intentionally obfuscate their pricing, that my pricing models are arbitrary, and that the comparison numbers listed on this site for direct access brokers are arbitrary at best. In addition, many direct access brokers also have a separate per-share pricing scheme, and some will allow frequent traders to negotiate a personalized pricing scheme.

Last updated: July 19, 2010. Back to direct-access Home.