You can use this link to send me your experiences with a broker, and I will post extracts as I think appropriate.

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More broker lists

Brokers with dividend reinvestment plans, in order of ascending price of limit orders for equities:

(The quality of the plans varies, and the list is probably very incomplete.)

eOption, 1-888-793-5333, 1-847-375-6080
Products: Stocks, foreign stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options
Market Orders: $3.00
Limit Orders: $3.00
Mutual Funds: $14.95; applies to "All Mutual Fund Trades" except for periodic investments and withdrawals, which are $5.00.
Options: $3.00/trade+$0.10/contract
Minimum to Open: $0 for domestic accounts. $5000 for cash accounts for international clients. Additional $5000 deposit - which cannot be used for trading and will not count toward equity or buying power - for international margin and spread accounts. "For International accounts that wish to trade uncovered puts, the security deposit will be an additional $10,000.00."
Inactivity Fee: Seems to be $0.00
Some Other Fees: Tender Fee:$25.00; $50.00 "Less Than 48 Hours". DTC Out:$25.00 per security. ACAT Out:$50.00.
Maximum Margin Rate: Based on on-site table
Extras: Foreign accounts accepted; see some details under "Minimum to Open", above. Both free and paid cash management services, including checking. Incoming and outgoing ACH. Dividend reinvestment. No setup fees or maintenance fees for IRAs, although it does have a termination fee. Also has direct access platforms.
Notes: "[A] division of Regal Securities, Inc." Clears through Penson Financial Services. Minimal research products. Seems to have a few unusual fees, as for worthless securities or conversion of convertibles.
User Comments: "On 14/02/2011, I submitted [to eOption] an application via email. I neglected to send a copy of the old broker's statement so was asked for it within about ten minutes of the sending of the application. I waited a week (in the meantime, [Just2Trade] approved and sent me information for two other accounts I transferred to them) and then sent an inquiry [to eOption]. Nothing. Another few days, still nothing. Finally on Friday the 25th, I sent them an email telling them to cancel the application. Still nothing. Finally, today, I sat for twenty minutes on their live chat and told them 'in person' to cancel everything. They do not respond to emails, it appears."(February 28, 2011)
Rates Updated: February 15, 2011

Marsco, 800.962-7726, 973.228-2886
Products: Stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds
Market Orders: $3.95
Limit Orders: $3.95
Mutual Funds: $15.00 for no-load funds.
Options: $3.95/trade+$1.25/contract
Minimum to Open: $2500 minimum to open
Inactivity Fee: $0.00
Some Other Fees: Tender Fee:$25.00. ACAT Out:$50.00.
Maximum Margin Rate: Based on proprietary base rate (which I can't find posted)
Extras: Dividend reinvestment, checkwriting
User Comments: "I've been with Marsco about 8 months and, considering their low commission rates, I'd give them a passing grade. If you do regular-hours trading, stick to trading mostly stocks and options, and have other (better) sites for research, Marsco executes orders well. I had one minor problem. I sent in an order to buy restaurant chain "DineEquity Inc." (DIN) but my account showed that I had purchased "Concorcsio Grupo DINA" a Mexican truck maker. This was straightened out with a phone call the next day. E-mail response is somewhat dodgy, and a Marsco representative said, in effect, not to bother with e-mails, use the (toll free) phone. Check deposits to my account have been credited in an efficient, timely, manner. In summary, if you want an inexpensive, no-frills, order- execution broker, Marsco will work."(October 23, 2008)    "I am an American citizen living in Italy. About ten days ago, I sent off an inquiry email to Marsco asking if I qualified to open an account with them. I have yet to hear back. I wonder if they are out of business. Know anything about them other than what is on the site?" [Ed: One June 9, I sent Marsco a similar question. By June 12 it was obvious I would get no answer. I do not know what is happening at Marsco, but brokers tend to answer all inquiries from potential customers , even if the answer is negative. This is odd.](June 6, 2014)
Rates Updated: June 12, 2014

Firstrade, 1.800.869-8800, 718.961-6600
Products: Stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, CDs
Market Orders: $4.95
Limit Orders: $4.95
Mutual Funds: $9.95 for no-load funds. NTF funds also available.
Options: $4.95/trade+$0.65/contract
Minimum to Open: $0
Inactivity Fee: $0.00
Some Other Fees: Tender Fee:$25.00. DTC Out:$50.00/security. ACAT Out:$75.00. Partial ACAT transfers also available..
Maximum Margin Rate: Based on proprietary base rate
Extras: Dividend reinvestment. Valet accounts (with annual fee). Several kinds of Standard and Poor's research. No setup fees or maintenance fees for IRAs. Foreign accounts accepted, including non-resident aliens. Also has site in Chinese.
User Comments: "Bad service. Called from Thailand and was told to send a fax application first, to get an account number, then send the original by post. Did that. One week after sending the fax, no communication. Documents sent by EMS should have arrived two days ago."(August 11, 2005)    "Firstrade has been an excellent broker in every way, they are quick to respond to queries, their Valet service is excellent, good all around. I would recommend them to anyone."(November 12, 2006)    "I am an American living in Thailand and working in the UAE. I have traded with Firstrade for almost 2 years. I trade three accounts, 2 IRAs with mutual funds and 1 account with stocks. I have never had trouble with their online access and services. Trades are executed and confirmations received in a few seconds. I have deposited and withdrawn funds a few times - never any problem. Customer services responds to general questions via email in 24-48 hours. I have never called them. I recommend them for good basic service with low fees."(October 14, 2007)    "Good customer service every time I have had to contact them, mostly by e-mail, once by phone. The best experience is when I had already sent in my application to rollover my IRA, they posted a new promotion on their web site (free trades for 1 year). I asked if they would extend the offer to me, even though the promotion did not start when I sent my application to them, and they agreed to do it."(April 23, 2008)    "I own some preferred stock which was to be exchanged for common shares (Citi). E*Trade advised me of the offer by post as soon as they had the information. I own the same preferreds in a Firstrade IRA but did not hear from them even though all information comes to me in email. I inquired and have yet to receive anything but a runaround. They even suggested that the information went to the spam folder, but if they had looked, it would have been evident from my voting record that I get everything they send. They are 'investigating'; that message arriving August 19, 2009. They are not responding to my further inquiries, leading me to believe that they have discovered that they screwed up badly. I will be filing a NASD complaint for this error."(September 8, 2009)    "Firstrade... recently 'upgraded' (if you can call it that) their site but... now do not have real-time quotes, except for their X-Stream product which is limited to 20 symbols per page. All quotes on their 'home' page are at least 15 minutes delayed, in other words, useless. Also, they have steadfastly refused to allow the investor to sort their holdings in alphabetical order on said home page. [T]hey appear to be run by a Chinese company, and every time I call them, I get a person with an Asian accent...."(November 15, 2011)    "I've being using First Trade 4 or 5 years. I only have mutual fund accounts with them. I was very happy prior to the recent site upgrade.... I've contacted them numerous time via email where I attached documents showing at times the fund prices do not update at the end of the day[,] and on Fridays they often won't be updated until the following Monday at Close of Business leaving me with inaccurate account balances. I've never received a correct answer to this problem which continues to this date. In addition, seems you only get a statement generated if you had a transaction that month[,] which makes my end the year performance review impossible to perform accurately. I'm in the process of looking for another brokerage house."(January 2, 2012)
Rates Updated: February 21, 2017

TradeKing, 877.495.5464 (877-495-KING)
Products: Stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, CDs
Market Orders: $4.95
Limit Orders: $4.95
Mutual Funds: $9.95 for ALL no-load funds
Options: $4.95/trade+$0.65/contract
Minimum to Open: $0. $2000 minimum for margin accounts.
Inactivity Fee: $50.00/year if "[n]o trades have been executed in your household account(s) in the last 12 months and The combined value of your household account(s) is less than $2,500."
Some Other Fees: Tender Fee:$50.00. DTC Out:$10.00 per security, $50.00 minimum. ACAT Out:$50.00.
Maximum Margin Rate: Based on proprietary table
Extras: Dividend reinvestment, but for whole shares only, which is a major limitation. No setup fees or maintenance fees for IRAs, although it does have a termination fee. For-fee check writing and debit cards. Customer blogs and articles. Seems to have more educational resources than most sites, all tilted toward traders.
Notes: Emphasizes interactive and digital tools. Little research, although it does have stock sheets from Thomson Financial. Citizens of some non-US countries can open accounts, if they have a social security number. "All customers including US citizens must be living in the USA to maintain a TradeKing account." As of mid-October 2010, TradeKing was finishing the process of changing their clearing agent from Legent Clearing to Penson.
User Comments: "Tradeking has been the perfect broker for me. The only thing I don't like is their fee for buying non-load mutual funds, seems high to me."(July 31, 2009)
Rates Updated: November 11, 2014

Zecco, 877-700-7862
Products: Stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, CDs
Market Orders: $4.95
Limit Orders: $4.95
Mutual Funds: $9.95 for ALL no-load funds
Options: $4.95/trade+$0.65/contract
Minimum to Open: $0. $2000 minimum for margin accounts.
Inactivity Fee: $50.00/year if "[n]o trades have been executed in your household account(s) in the last 12 months and The combined value of your household account(s) is less than $2,500."
Some Other Fees: Tender Fee:$50.00. DTC Out:$10.00 per security, $50.00 minimum. ACAT Out:$50.00.
Maximum Margin Rate: Based on proprietary table
Extras: ACH transfers in both directions. Includes an online 'community'. Dividend investment for whole shares; the remainder is deposited in the cash account. In many cases, this will be a major limitation on dividend reinvestment.
Notes: Copied on November 11, 2014: "Zecco and Tradeking have taken the next step in merging their businesses.... Former Zecco Trading customer? Your account(s) have been migrated to the new TradeKing website. Please sign in to complete the migration." All of the rates listed above are thus taken from the TradeKing website.
User Comments: "I've been with Zecco for about two months now, overall a very good experience.... I used their customer service three times. They did not follow up with one issue so I had to make the third call.... Out of two e-mails I sent I got one reply... Limit orders sometimes execute at better than the limit price... They send you a paper statement (free) every day that you had any transactions, so you might end up with a large paper trail. Their system did screw up once so far by replacing my purchase price for a position in my portfolio, but (as of today) they appear to be on top of it. Their user interface took a long time to get used to, and their double-log-in... and very short session log-out time are a hassle. 1% annual interest paid on cash balance in the account."[Editor's note: My default sweep accounts at two other brokers are bearing 4.46% and 4.39% right now.](August 10, 2007)    "Opened a couple of weeks ago and customer service is terrible to fair if you can wait 24 hours on an email. But, no secure email from the web site and a very, very difficult web site to use. They do offer 4.39% on a money market sweep but you have to send in a form for it."[Editor's note: My default sweep accounts at two other brokers are bearing 4.51% and 4.55% right now.](August 31, 2007)    "You get what you pay for, sometimes. Zecco trades do save a few bucks but their all free trades theme is rapidly going south. All things considered, I have lost more fooling around with this substandard brokerage than had I [would have if I had] paid more at a higher end discounter. Their customer service is virtually unreachable by phone and when you do get them through e-mail you get one excuse after another. No one seems to know what is going on. Mutual fund trades can go days or weeks without being filled. Stock trades are frequently rejected due to "insufficient buying power".... Zecco is not worth your time or money...."(November 16, 2007)    "You have to tell them more than once that dividends are supposed to be reinvested. They charged me a $30 [IRA maintenance] fee at the end of November for 2007 when I opened the account and want to charge me another in February."(January 10, 2008)    "I have used Zecco for two weeks. I use margin and sometimes trade options. Overall it has been ok. My only complaint is that when I sell shares, the sale does not get settled [?] until the next day. For non-margin accounts, the settlement period is three days. This makes daytrading impossible because you have to wait overnight before the buying power is refreshed."(November 25, 2008)    "I read various comments on the Internet about ZECCO's poor customer service. Based on the email I sent to them and the response I got, I don't think customer service has improved." [His email to them: "How many mutual funds do you offer?" Their answer: "Please submit to us specific securities you would like to purchase and we will be able to assist you in finding out if you can hold them here."](January 23, 2009)    "Zecco for a while has been using dirty tactics to make money.... Like taking forever to clear trades, etc.... The proceeds from the sale take forever to be available for another trade.... ACH deposit[s] take forever to be available.... [Their] customer service is the worst I've ever encountered.... And... they tried to charge me for taking money out of my account via ACH.... [M]any times I go to sell a position and they give me a message that my trade was couldn't be executed because I don't own the position, when in fact I do. This particular time i had my order rejected twice, before trying it a third time and finally being executed.... [I] have had many brokerage accounts... Zecco is the worst by far."(February 2, 2009)    "Zecco... is the absolute worst online trading experience I have ever had. To start, their customer service reps and managers are woefully misinformed about SEC regulations and their responsibilities to their clients' money. They take the longest time on ACH transfers (20-30 days). A few of mine were cancelled for no reason and I had to call the office to follow up numerous times. Be prepared to call the office every day if you're taking money out. Many times the reps say that they will call back to resolve an issue, and they simply don't. Their online platform is mediocre to bad. Their trailing stops feature was down for a week during volatile market times, when my other brokerages were doing fine. Their charts lag relative to their competitors, and their executions are slow. Also, uninvited total screen refreshes put you behind the 8-ball when you have to wait, wait, wait, then make a quick move. Don't even think about trading on 5 minute intervals.... [T]hey have hidden fees on every transaction.... Their accounting system is broken. I'm having my accountant look over their records because my buying power doesn't even coincide with what their own account records say. As it is, I'm out about $500 because of a mistake they made, which I have yet to see fixed. I have complained to FINRA and the SEC. Yes, I believe it's that bad."(February 26. 2009)
Rates Updated: November 11, 2014

Fidelity Investments, 800.343-3548
Products: Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, insurance, commercial paper, CDs, IPOs, precious metals, managed portfolios
Market Orders: $7.95
Limit Orders: $7.95
Mutual Funds: $0.00 for Fidelity funds. $75.00 when buying other no-load funds. NTF funds available.
Options: $19.95/trade+$0.75/contract
Minimum to Open: $2500
Inactivity Fee: Unknown
Some Other Fees: Tender Fee:$38.00.
Maximum Margin Rate: Based on proprietary base rate. A casual comparison on September 23, 2007, suggested that their margin rates were high. "BrokerageLink accounts are not eligible for margin loans or short sales ...."
Extras: Extensive cash management and independent research. Seem to be no setup fees or maintenance fees for IRAs. Dividend reinvestment, including partial shares. (Thanks to Alan for the update.)
Notes: July 2, 2014: According to Yahoo! Finance, citing The Wall Street Journal and a letter from Fidelity to their clients abroad, "Fidelity Investments... are telling U.S. clients who live outside the country that they can no longer buy or trade mutual funds in their brokerage accounts."
User Comments: "Fidelity does not stand by their statements. I bought a Sears bond in July 2003 listed as uncallable.... It was called...."(April 19, 2004)    "Fidelity in particular advertises superior inventory, with access to the shares in their mutual funds. I've had numerous short trades cancel on Fidelity that subsequently filled on Izone."(July 24, 2008)    "I did two stock purchases one day and the next sold the same stocks. They restricted my account for 90 days so I could only buy a stock if I had cash in my account to cover it, as they claimed I did not have the cash in their Fidelity Cash Reserves [Account](their so-called core account). However I had over $465,000 in other money market accounts with Fidelity which I told them should be counted as cash under the Federal regulation. They were obdurate and would not change the restriction. I have and have had accounts with many brokers where I have had balances in banks and money market mutual funds and have never run into this type of thinking.    One of my stocks is splitting into a US traded stock and another stock listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Unless you have over $500,000 in assets at Fidelity they will not let you make international trades. However, they told me in a case like this they would let me sell the Toronto stock when I receive it into my account."(May 30, 2010)
Rates Updated: February 3, 2010

WR Hambrecht and Company, 1.800.673-6476, 610.725-1150
Products: Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, IPOs, private equity investments
Market Orders: $9.00
Limit Orders: $9.00
Mutual Funds: $50.00 on no-load funds. NTF funds available.
Options: $30.00/trade+$1.75/contract
Minimum to Open: $2000
Inactivity Fee: $25.00/year with less than 1 trade per year
Some Other Fees: Tender Fee:$50.00. DTC Out:$60.00 "per occurrence". ACAT Out:$75.00.
Maximum Margin Rate: Broker Call+3.75%
Extras: Check writing. Dividend reinvestment for dividends over $2.00. Debit cards. Full service brokerage. Extensive in-house research, also available for free to the general public. They promise equitable IPO distribution through an auction system.
Notes: "This site is for U.S. investors only." Clears through Penson Financial Services.
User Comments:
Rates Updated: November 27, 2011

ShareBuilder, 800-747-2537
Products: Stocks, options, mutual funds
Market Orders: $9.95
Limit Orders: $9.95
Mutual Funds: $19.95, plus a very few NTF funds.
Options: $9.95/trade+$1.25/contract
Minimum to Open: $0
Inactivity Fee: $0.00
Some Other Fees: Tender Fee:$25.00. DTC Out:"$15.00 per security ($75.00 maximum)". ACAT Out:$75.00.
Maximum Margin Rate: According to proprietary table, viewable online.
Extras: Dividend reinvestment. "For funded accounts, you can view research reports from Standard and Poor's, Sabrient and TheStreet."
Notes: Also has periodic investment programs by paid subscription. Has a very small selection of mutual funds, all no-load or NTF. "ShareBuilder is a service of ING DIRECT Investing, Inc.,... a registered broker-dealer... a subsidiary of ING Bank, fsb"
User Comments:
Rates Updated: May 8, 2011

E*Trade Financial, 1.800.387-2331, +1.678.624-6210
Products: Stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds
Market Orders: $9.99
Limit Orders: $9.99
Mutual Funds: $19.99 for no-load funds. NTF funds available.
Options: $9.99/trade+$0.75/contract
Minimum to Open: $1000; $2000 for margin accounts
Inactivity Fee: Seems to be $0.
Some Other Fees: Tender Fee:$30.00 (also charges $20 for involuntary reorganizations). DTC Out:$25.00. ACAT Out:$60.00.
Maximum Margin Rate: Based on proprietary base rate
Extras: Extensive financial services. Foreign investors: Sites in many countries and languages; however, on October 31, 2007, Alex D. reported that they no longer open accounts for Latin American clients. Seem to be no setup fees or maintenance fees for IRAs unless you request paper statements and confirmations. Dividend reinvestment.
User Comments: "I contacted E*Trade Customer Service with some simple questions about insurance coverage on my two brokerage accounts. The E*Trade response was slow, less than satisfactory, and even a bit hostile!"(May 8, 2006)    "I was a BrownCo customer and when E*Trade took that over, I became a customer of E*Trade. On August 16, 2006, per E*Trade's request, I sent them the necessary information to establish a money market fund account associated with my brokerage account and requested two ATM cards for my wife and myself. As of December 17, my wife had not received her card yet. I called them many times during that four months, and they were not responsive. During the last call, the representative said that he had put the request through and once it was out of his office, he had nothing to do with it. I tried to get through to his supervisor but he was not responsive either. I decided to close the account with them. They had the guts to charge me the fee for closing the account They were incompetent and unresponsive."(December 28, 2006)    "I have been with ETrade for almost 3 years. The last year has been all down hill. Services are overpriced and customer service is non-responsive, hard to get to, and less than helpful. I am changing brokers; what pushed me over the edge was customer service's condescending attitude and refusal to inform me why denied when I recently applied for options trading upgrade. I would not recommend ETrade to anyone!"(January 24, 2007)    "I was a Brown customer for over 30 years. I became an E-Trade customer upon the take over. It is like dealing with the "Keystone Cops." Since early December I have been trying to open a savings account linked to my brokerage accounts. Customer service is frustrating and stupid. Lots of platitudes, no action. Imagine my shock when I executed a trade for $12,000 and when I checked my account I was on margin for $1,250,000 .....ooops. I'm on this site to move my money!!!"(January 31, 2007)    "E*Trade is terrible. I'm a longtime Brown & Co customer that got transferred to E*Trade; no real problems until it came time to consolidate some other accounts. We started with a simple Roth for my wife -- two total mutual fund transfers and one cash liquidation. They got the cash -- and immediately put it in a "restricted" status -- meaning we can do nothing with it -- and even [we faxed] the requested additional IDs, [it's still restricted and they can't explain why]. Customer Service has ever-changing BS reasons why the other two transfers aren't done.... Worse, E*Trade never tries to contact us to tell us what's going on -- we have to contact them and get the run-around. After several months of futility, we've had it....Stay away from E*Trade...."(June 20, 2007)    "I have been an E-trade customer since they absorbed my HarrisDirect account some time ago.... On Sept. 21, 2007 I mailed a form requesting to open a SIMPLE IRA plan, which I had downloaded from their website. I sent it Priority Mail and the delivery confirmation indicated it had been delivered on Mon. Sept. 24th. I found the form a bit confusing and placed a sticky note on the form indicating that it was critical the account be opened before Oct. 1st since law forbids opening and funding a Simple IRA in the final quarter. I stated this on the sticky note and asked that if there were any problems to please let me know, providing both home and cell phone numbers. Since I heard nothing I assumed things were being handled, but on Oct. 1st I began to worry and used their online customer service center to send a written query. To make a long sad story short, nothing was done. I apparently had filled the form incorrectly. It is now Nov. 5th, 2007 and still nothing."(November 5, 2007)"On Saturday, I received an email from [E*Trade] saying that my order to sell ten contracts was rejected. This order had been in place since May. Since they provide only limited email service on weekends, I called them to inquire where their collective heads were.... The gentleman I spoke with was very polite but had no clue why it had happened. He told me that... I would have to wait until Monday, suffering the consequences if the price I set was reached. I then received two more emails telling me that it would take anywhere from one to four days to discover the problem. Obviously, that was unacceptable. I then started to dig on my own to see if I could determine why it happened. I discovered that the symbol on my portfolio was different from the order symbol. Their system changed it on my portfolio but the trading system obviously does not speak with the portfolio system. I then communicated this to them. The only response was that they were glad that they did not have to make the trade for their book. So much for trust."(June 17, 2008)    "My... experience has been that Etrade is far superior to any other firms as I also have accounts with [Scottrade and] Schwab and Ameritrade."(December 31, 2010)    "I am a US citizen living in Italy.... Recently, I asked [E*Trade] to replace the ATM card for [my] individual account. After saying that they sent it to me and after I waited six weeks for it to arrive, I asked again where it was. I had to wait about two weeks for a response. The response was that they do not send ATM cards to foreign countries anymore. I asked if they would send it to my former secretary and she would send it to me but the response to that (after three days) was that they had to send it to the address on the account. The writer then said 'I guess you will not have access to the money in that account.'"(May 21, 2013)
Rates Updated: January 22, 2011

Trading Direct, 1.800.925-8566
Products: Stocks, bonds, mutual funds
Market Orders: $10.95
Limit Orders: $10.95
Mutual Funds: $21.95. NTF funds available.
Options: $9.95/trade+$1.00/contract
Minimum to Open: $0; $2000 for margin accounts
Inactivity Fee: $60 on accounts with no trades for that trading year, with exceptions.
Some Other Fees: Tender Fee:$30.00. DTC Out:$20.00/security. ACAT Out:$65.00.
Maximum Margin Rate: Broker Call+1.75%
Extras: Seem to be no setup fees or maintenance fees for IRAs. Dividend reinvestment is available for an extra charge. Accepts foreign accounts, including non-resident aliens. Valet accounts available for a fee.
Notes: A division of York Securities. Clears through Ridge Clearing and Outsourcing. No money market sweep accounts, and very low interest on credit balances.
User Comments:
Rates Updated: February 3, 2010

Investrade Discount Securities, 1.800.498-7120
Products: Stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds
Market Orders: $7.95
Limit Orders: $11.95
Mutual Funds: $15.00 for no-load funds.
Options: $1.50/contract, $14.95 minimum
Minimum to Open: $0, $2000 for margin accounts, $5000 for international accounts
Inactivity Fee: $0.00
Some Other Fees: Tender Fee:$25.00 ($50.00 "Less than 48 Hours"). DTC Out:$25.00/security. ACAT Out:$50.00.
Maximum Margin Rate: Broker Call+1.50%
Extras: No setup fees or maintenance fees for IRAs. Dividend reinvestment. Streaming real-time quotes for active traders. Foreign currency conversions. Cash management accounts including checking, credit card, and bill payment. Customer-directed routing for broker-executed trades, which have a surcharge. Foreign accounts accepted.
Notes: "A division of Regal Securities, Inc." Clears through Penson Financial Services. Has a "processing fee" for pink sheet and bulletin board stocks.
User Comments: "I shorted QQQQ; had 70% of the short value in my account in cash, i.e. after adding the short sale proceeds I had 170%. IDS charged me margin interest on the other 30% and paid no interest on the big pile of cash in my account. What a rip-off!"(June 13, 2007)    "I've had an account with Investrade for nine years. Early on they made an egregious error, and three free trades in compensation hardly made up for an ultimate cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Other than that, until they recently switched clearing firms, I've been happy with them. Their clearing firm leaves something to be desired. It sometimes reports day-ending balances tardily. In fact, in either July or August, they didn't post new balances for a week in the midst of stunning sell-offs, and for two days a client couldn't even obtain correct balances over the phone."(September 23, 2007)
Rates Updated: August 26, 2010

Muriel Siebert and Co., Inc., 1.800.872-0444, 1.800.872-0711
Products: Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, IPOs
Market Orders: $14.95
Limit Orders: $14.95
Mutual Funds: $35.00 for no-load funds; also has NTF funds
Options: From table, based on option price
Minimum to Open: $0
Inactivity Fee: $0.00 (if householded balances are over $25000)
Some Other Fees: Tender Fee:$0.00. DTC Out:$0.00, apparently. ACAT Out:$75.00.
Maximum Margin Rate: Broker Call+2.0%
Extras: Accepts funding by EFT, after the customer is approved. Checking and debit card for a fee. Much independent research. Dividend reinvestment. A user reports that Siebert has no communications facilities for Spanish-speakers.
Notes: In an email to customers dated June 10, 2015, Siebert announced that they were raising some fees and instituting others, as follows: Outgoing Account Transfers Fee (ACAT transfers): $75; Overnight Check Delivery Fee: Increasing from $15 to $25; Fed Wire Transfer Fee: Increasing from $15 to $25; Special Registration Fee: $25; Bounced Check Fee: Increasing from $15 to $25; Visa Debit Card: $100 per year.
User Comments: "I have had nothing but good results from Muriel Siebert, particularly the SiebertNet transactions. I find them very efficient, very helpful those times that I had to call them, and the experience has been very positive. Sure, I could have saved a few dollars on trades, but to me it is worth the investment of a few dollars to have the satisfaction that the Muriel Siebert company has given me. I highly recommend Siebert!"(April 23, 2007)    "I canceled my Muriel Siebert account in 2006,... fed up with their execrable customer service (despite their reputation). Always being handed off to someone else, being cut off, representatives who did not actually listen, etc. There were two final straws. On two consecutive [phone] calls asking for substantial ACH transfers from Siebert to my bank account, they transferred the wrong amount (same rep both calls). They record calls, so they reviewed the recordings and corrected their mistakes, but the mistakes were inexcusable. The last straw was being unable to get through to their margin department after repeated phone calls. I was so desperate to leave Siebert that I gave up a quarter-point benefit below their lowest stated margin interest, [which] I had negotiated."(September 23, 2007)
Rates Updated: June 10, 2015

Seaport Securities Corp., 1-800-SEAPORT, (212) 482-8689
Products: Stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds
Market Orders: $14.95. There seems to be a $1.00 "postage and handling" fee in addition.
Limit Orders: $14.95. There seems to be a $1.00 "postage and handling" fee in addition.
Mutual Funds: $35 on no-load funds. No NTF funds.
Options: $14.95/trade+$1.25/contract
Minimum to Open: $0
Inactivity Fee: $50/year, if there have been no trades between July 1 and June 30.
Some Other Fees: Tender Fee:$25.00. DTC Out:$10.00 "Per Transfer Request". ACAT Out:$60.00.
Maximum Margin Rate: Broker Call+2.00%
Extras: Dividend reinvestment. Valet accounts with debit cards and check writing, presumably for a fee. Seems to have no setup fees or maintenance fees for IRAs, although there is a termination fee.
Notes: Clears through Penson Financial Services. Seems to have no research.
User Comments:
Rates Updated: November 27, 2011

NetVest, 1.800.961-1500
Products: Stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds, IPOs, precious metals, CDs
Market Orders: $14.00
Limit Orders: $19.00
Mutual Funds: $29 for no-load funds.
Options: $20/trade+$1.50/contract
Minimum to Open: Unknown
Inactivity Fee: $50.00/year. "No inactivity fee will be assessed if there is at least 1 (one) revenue-producing trade during the calander year."
Some Other Fees: ACAT Out:$50.00. "Any StockCross account transferring out or closing before year-end will also be charged the $30 maintenance fee.".
Maximum Margin Rate: Broker Call+0.25%
Extras: Dividend reinvestment. No maintenance fees for IRAs if the IRA account maintains a balance of $10000 or has 2 transactions/year.
Notes: "A Division of StockCross Financial Services"
User Comments:
Rates Updated: February 3, 2010

JH Darbie and Co., 800.606-8844, 212.269-7271
Products: Stocks, bonds, options, mutual funds, CDs, cash management, asset management
Market Orders: $14.95
Limit Orders: $19.95
Mutual Funds: $25.00 on no-load funds
Options: $37.50 minimum, which includes 5 contracts. $2.00 for each additional contract.
Minimum to Open: $0
Inactivity Fee: $0?
Some Other Fees: Tender Fee:$50.00. DTC Out:$25.00/security. ACAT Out:$50.00.
Maximum Margin Rate: Broker Call+2.50%?
Extras: For-fee checking accounts, accepts deposit by electronic check. Full service also available. Dividend reinvestment. ACH transfers (at least out, and I assume also in); both the setup request and the transfers are initiated by telephone, not online.
Notes: Clears through COR Clearing, LLC. A few years ago I wrote: I've had an account there for about 8 years, and I'm more than satisfied. Personal service, but very little research. Real-time quotes only late in the order entry process. Now, they are making various changes, icluding changing clearing agents. At JH Darbie itself, you no longer get a human who answers the phone immediately, but the service is still more personal and the phone maze still less hellish than at the larger brokers. The online information from COR is obscure and difficult of access at best, with strange goings-on, and JH Darbie's attempts to solve the problem have been grudging and ungracious. I used to buy CMOs and individual bonds routinely. I no longer can buy them at all.(Ed. December 17, 2013)
User Comments:
Rates Updated: December 17, 2013

T. Rowe Price Brokerage, 1.800.638.5660. "Outside the United States Contact the AT&T International Operator."
Products: Stocks, options, mutual funds, precious metals, bonds, CDs, foreign securities
Market Orders: $19.95
Limit Orders: $19.95
Mutual Funds: $35.00, which seems to apply also to load funds. NTF funds available.
Options: $19.95/trade+$1.00/contract
Minimum to Open: $2500
Inactivity Fee: $30.00/year, subject to several exemptions
Some Other Fees: Tender Fee:$0.00.
Maximum Margin Rate: "1.75% above the Pershing base lending rate"
Extras: Dividend reinvestment. Debit card and checking are available for a fee.
Notes: Brokerage arm of financial services firm. Clears through Pershing Securities.
User Comments:
Rates Updated: December 7, 2011

PNC Investments, 1 800-762-6111
Products: Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, CDs, annuities
Market Orders: $18.00
Limit Orders: $20.00
Mutual Funds: $25.00 for no-load funds. NTF funds available.
Options: $25.00/trade+$2.00/contract
Minimum to Open: $2000
Inactivity Fee: $20.00/year, unless 1 trade in that year. Exemptions for fee-based accounts, "fundvest position of $10,000 or more", and in many other cases.
Some Other Fees:
Maximum Margin Rate: Broker Call+2.00%
Extras: Also has fee-based accounts and full-service advisory accounts with online trading. Full cash management services for VIP accounts, free check writing for other accounts, dividend reinvestment.
Notes: Formerly Peremel and Co., then Mercantile Brokerage Services.
User Comments:
Rates Updated: May 9, 2006

Vanguard Brokerage Services, 1.800.992-8327
Products: Stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, CDs, foreign securities, insurance, commercial paper
Market Orders: $20.00; note promotional price below.
Limit Orders: $20.00; note promotional price below.
Mutual Funds: $35.00 for transaction-fee funds. NTF funds available.
Options: $30.00/trade+$1.50/contract
Minimum to Open: Unknown
Inactivity Fee: $20.00/year maintenance fee for regular accounts
Some Other Fees: ACAT Out:"Vanguard Brokerage Services does not charge fees for incoming or outgoing transfers.".
Maximum Margin Rate: Unknown
Extras: "Vanguard does not allow new accounts with foreign addresses to be opened online. Contact us." It sounds like Vanguard does open some foreign accounts, probably by mail. Dividend reinvestment for some securities. Electronic deposits. No commissions on Vanguard ETFs.
Notes: As of May 4, 2010: "$7 for the first 25 trades, $20 for subsequent trades. Vanguard Brokerage reserves the right to end these offers at any time."
User Comments: "I'm a Vanguard... Voyager Select (high value) customer. My trades are now $12 for 1000 shares. Quite nice. Downside: normal trades fine online, but no after-hours trading, and I had to wait 50 minutes (literally - the agent confirmed their wait time) to get to their Fixed Income Desk to buy a corporate bond (no online for corporates). Once I got someone they were very professional."(October 17, 2008)
Rates Updated: May 30, 2010