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Scottrade, Inc. is a Missouri based retail brokerage firm that provides tools for investment trading. Having launched in 1996, Scottrade was one of the first investment companies to offer online trading tools. It received top ratings in the J.D. Power 2014 Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction StudySM for the first quarter of 2014. Opening an account with them lets you use their online platform to trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and bonds. Account holders have access to thousands of investment products including traditional IRAs (Individual Retirement Arrangements), Roth IRAs, simple IRAs, ETFs, stocks, bonds and treasuries. In my opinion, what makes Scottrade an attractive trading platform are the exceptionally low stock trading fees. You pay just $7 per trade for stocks worth $1 or more when you trade online.

Features We Like:

Mutual funds. Scottrade lets you invest in over 14,500 mutual funds, which gives you much more choice than what most investment companies offer.

Easy transfer to Scottrade from your current broker. Scottrade will transfer your positions from your old broker so you don't have to start from scratch. If you transfer $10,000 or more from your old account to Scottrade, you can get up to $100 of account transfer charges from your former broker reimbursed.

Low costs. You don't pay a fee to open an account, and only have to deposit a minimum of $2,500 to get started. There is no annual account maintenance fee.

No inactivity fee. Many investment companies charge fees if you don't make a set amount of transactions monthly or quarterly. Scottrade doesn't charge an inactivity fee.

Individual or joint accounts are available. Joint accounts can be managed by up to 3 people. Both individual accounts and joint accounts are eligible for Money Direct® instant funding, options trading, and margin borrowing.

Money Direct® allows you to deposit funds from your bank, credit unions or certain brokerage accounts directly into your Scottrade account electronically. Note that a waiting period of 3 days applies when you use Money Direct to fund a stock purchase where the stocks are less than $3.

Scottrade® Mobile. You can trade, monitor performances, transfer funds and pay bills via the mobile app. Available for iPhone, Android and iPad. The mobile version of lets you perform basic functions from most mobile browsers.

Free charts. Stream tick-by-tick information and access timely announcements completely free of charge, with no minimum trade requirements.

Solid information. Scottrade provides detailed information on stocks and other investment options, to help you make informed trading decisions.

International. is available both in English and Chinese. While standard accounts are available to US residents, Scottrade also provides international accounts to residents of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. If you want to invest both in the US and abroad, you can take advantage of investment options in more than 20 countries.

Our Least Favorite Features:

Limited stock screener. The Stock Screener results are limited to common stocks, unit trusts, real estate investment trusts, depository receipts, and class shares. Other trade brokers like OptionsXpress offer results for all investment options. But if you have $25,000 or more in your primary account (or $15,000 in your primary account with combined linked assets of $25,000 or more) you can benefit from a real-time advanced screener with more than 260 filters that comes with ScottradeELITE®.

Scottrade gives you simple but powerful investment trading tools at a low cost. With a network of over 500 branch offices in the US, this company is in a good position to offer you support in person. The basic trading tools provided with the standard account will primarily benefit you if trading stocks isn't your main business. If you are more serious about trading then I suggest you try the ScottradeELITE® software, available to account holders with more than $25,000 in their primary account. Although you will have to install this software on your computer, it gives you access to Trade-Ideas (a real-time advanced screener with more than 260 filters), a backtesting tool, advanced charting and more. You also get Nasdaq Velocity & Forces, a real-time tool that monitors for potential surges in trading interest before trades occur. If you don't plan to make a career of investment trading, then the standard Scottrade account provides everything you need to make smart trade choices anytime, from anywhere.

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