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#1: Scottrade

Posted on 2006-03-09 16:21:39 by pmholzer

Hello group-

If I were to open an IRA through Scotttrade, what sort of mutual fund
selection would I have? I was able to search for Vanguard funds and
get back info on them through the Scottrade website. Am I able to
chose Vanguard funds? Is there an additional fee to these funds? If I
can buy Vanguard funds through Scottrade, what are the advamtages and
disadvantages of doing so?

To me, having more flexibilty through Scottrade would be great, but is
teh trade-off fees and charges?

Thanks,
Patrick

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#2: Re: Scottrade

Posted on 2006-03-09 17:02:25 by BreadWithSpam

On 2006-03-09 10:21:39 -0500, &quot;pmholzer&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:pmholzer&#64;mindspring.com" target="_blank">pmholzer&#64;mindspring.com</a>&gt; said:

&gt; Hello group-
&gt;
&gt; If I were to open an IRA through Scotttrade, what sort of mutual fund
&gt; selection would I have? I was able to search for Vanguard funds and
&gt; get back info on them through the Scottrade website. Am I able to
&gt; chose Vanguard funds?

Look on their website. Scottrade (only two Ts) lists many many fund
families, including Vanguard.

&gt; Is there an additional fee to these funds? If I
&gt; can buy Vanguard funds through Scottrade, what are the advamtages and
&gt; disadvantages of doing so?

Scottrade has a no-transaction-fee fund system which includes many
funds. It wasn't obvious to me, but I can almost guarantee you that
Vanguard is NOT in the no-transaction-fee program. The only way
that brokerages can offer NTF fund access is if the funds pay the
brokerage (typically 0.25-0.35% of assets held through them). Vanguard
and some other fund families which charge very very low expense
ratios cannot afford to pay the brokerages that while maintaining
those low expense ratios.

If you look closely at the bottom of the page at <a href="http://www.scottrade.com," target="_blank">http://www.scottrade.com,</a>
you'll see a link for &quot;No Transaction Fee Mutual Funds&quot;. It looks to me,
at a glance, to be several hundred funds. None of them Vanguard.

They do apparently offer Vanguard funds anyway, and charge a $17
transaction fee. That's actually fairly low for a transaction fee
for funds not in an NTF program. (I paid a much higher transaction
fee when I bought a non-NTF fund at Fidelity a while back).

One more thing to consider - if you're going to pay a transaction fee
to get a Vanguard fund, you might just as well buy an ETF, which would
also have a transaction cost (normal stock commission) - but Scottrade's
standard commission ($7) is much lower than their non-NTF no-load fee.
&gt;
&gt; To me, having more flexibilty through Scottrade would be great, but is
&gt; teh trade-off fees and charges?

The flexibility is very helpful. We were just discussion the advantages
of keeping one's IRA at a brokerage in another thread here. I couldn't
say whether Scottrade is a great brokerage or not, having never worked
with them nor used their full web interface. But their commissions and
non-NTF fees are on the low end of the scale.

Even at $17, that's a pretty low cost if you're going to do almost
no trading anyway. This is an IRA and you'll be adding money how often?
I know some folks make their IRA contributions once per month, but I've
always been inclined to put mine in all at once at the beginning of the
year.

Nevertheless, if you're going to use only Vanguard funds, you might
consider just opening the IRA there directly. You'll have no transaction
fees, and they have a pretty full variety of funds. You'll have a
harder time investing in non-Vanguard funds if you do that, but only
you know how you plan on investing.


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#3: Re: Scottrade

Posted on 2006-03-09 17:10:12 by zxcvbob

pmholzer wrote:
&gt; Hello group-
&gt;
&gt; If I were to open an IRA through Scotttrade, what sort of mutual fund
&gt; selection would I have? I was able to search for Vanguard funds and
&gt; get back info on them through the Scottrade website. Am I able to
&gt; chose Vanguard funds? Is there an additional fee to these funds? If I
&gt; can buy Vanguard funds through Scottrade, what are the advamtages and
&gt; disadvantages of doing so?
&gt;
&gt; To me, having more flexibilty through Scottrade would be great, but is
&gt; teh trade-off fees and charges?
&gt;
&gt; Thanks,
&gt; Patrick
&gt;


Last time I checked Scottrade had over 1000 mutual funds to choose from.
Some have no commissions or loads at all (but higher 12b-1 management
fees that you never see), some have a flat rate commission to buy and
sell, and some have loads. Let me see if I can find this lists...

Here, click on the link on the right side of the page where it says
&quot;Fund Families&quot;: <a href="http://www.scottrade.com/frame_mutualfunds.asp" target="_blank">http://www.scottrade.com/frame_mutualfunds.asp</a>

Best regards,
Bob

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#4: Re: Scottrade

Posted on 2006-03-09 17:32:26 by pmholzer

Bread-

Thanks so much for the info. I am interested in the flexibility that
going through a discount broker such as Scottrade. Do you have an
opinion on Charle Schwab?

Patrick

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#5: Re: Scottrade

Posted on 2006-03-09 17:47:19 by Elle

&quot;pmholzer&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:pmholzer&#64;mindspring.com" target="_blank">pmholzer&#64;mindspring.com</a>&gt; wrote
&gt; To me, having more flexibilty through Scottrade would be
&gt; great, but is
&gt; teh trade-off fees and charges?

Patrick, what flexibility do you have in mind? The fact that
one can buy stocks at low commissions as well as own mutual
funds (though at higher costs than some alternatives)?

Why not open an IRA account at Vanguard for any Vanguard
mutual funds, and then, for any stocks you care to have in
your IRA, open a second IRA account at Scottrade? In the
eyes of the IRS, these two accounts still constitute a
single IRA.

Scottrade also doesn't have much by way of money market
offerings when one's investments are in &quot;cash.&quot; At least
compared to, say, Fidelity and I presume also Vanguard. This
is a big deterrent for me.

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#6: Re: Scottrade

Posted on 2006-03-09 19:28:05 by Sandra Loosemore

&quot;pmholzer&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:pmholzer&#64;mindspring.com" target="_blank">pmholzer&#64;mindspring.com</a>&gt; writes:

&gt; Thanks so much for the info. I am interested in the flexibility that
&gt; going through a discount broker such as Scottrade. Do you have an
&gt; opinion on Charle Schwab?

FWIW, last fall I was also shopping for a new investment/banking
service. They all have some slight differences in their fees and
services, but if you aren't a frequent trader it probably doesn't
matter that much. For instance, I only do mutual funds so I don't
care who has the lowest fees on stock trades. Things that were more
important to me were having a web site that worked without requiring
IE or plug-ins, and having bill pay and banking services. I ended up
going with E-Trade. Anyway, make a list of features you want and shop
around. See what the fees are for the specific investments you're
interested in. See if you can find your way around their web site,
since that's going to be your primary customer service interaction with
whatever outfit you go with.

-Sandra

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#7: Re: Scottrade

Posted on 2006-03-10 17:48:38 by Will Trice

Bread wrote:
&gt; I couldn't
&gt; say whether Scottrade is a great brokerage or not, having never worked
&gt; with them nor used their full web interface. But their commissions and
&gt; non-NTF fees are on the low end of the scale.

I've had a Scottrade account for several years now. They are definitely
bare-bones and I haven't been thrilled with their trade execution
efficiency for stocks (as posted here a different thread some time ago).
But, they could very well be suitable for the OP if mutual funds are
the major focus.

-Will

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#8: Re: Scottrade and other Brokers

Posted on 2006-03-10 21:23:47 by BreadWithSpam

On 2006-03-10 11:48:38 -0500, Will Trice &lt;<a href="mailto:wwtrice&#64;paragondynamics.com" target="_blank">wwtrice&#64;paragondynamics.com</a>&gt; said:

&gt;
&gt; I've had a Scottrade account for several years now. They are
&gt; definitely bare-bones and I haven't been thrilled with their trade
&gt; execution efficiency for stocks (as posted here a different thread some
&gt; time ago).

That's unfortunate.

Well, the OP expressed an interest in Vanguard funds - if that's
the case and he can live with *only* Vanguard funds, I guess I'd
recommend that he simply open up a funds-only account directly
with Vanguard. (ie. *not* a Vanguard Brokerage Services account -
I've never heard anything good about VBS's services).

If he's interested in a more full set of brokerage services,
including access to an excellent selection of no-load funds
and a very good web interface (not to mention, in my experience,
pretty good customer service in general), my experience with
Fidelity has been generally (not 100% of the time, but almost)
very good. They do require, I think, some $2500 to open an
account, but they no longer seem to have the annual account
maintenance fee that they used to assess on accounts of less
than $25,000 or something like that (only applied to brokerage
accounts where too few commission-generating trades took
place anyway - they didn't charge that on mutual-fund-only
accounts). Equity trade execution has been, at least as far
as I can tell, fast and efficient.

I've been considering opening an E*Trade account for a while,
to give them a test drive and all - their website looks quite
decent - but I've not been all that motivated to do so, as
I've really got no complaints about Fido.

Schwab looks pretty good, too, but they have, if I remember
correctly, higher fees than Fido or ETrade.

I'd consider Scottrate a &quot;deep-discount&quot; broker. Fidelity is
more of a &quot;premium-discount&quot; broker. I guess Schwab falls
into that same latter category.

Anyway... The funny thing about all of this is that Merrill Lynch
first became a huge brokerage on the notion of them being the
broker for the rest of us - before there were any discount
brokers at all, they were the ones who defied the huge Wall Street
houses and their super-premium prices and catering only to
the very wealthy. (Charles Merrill in particular).

Of course, Merrill Lynch and other mainstream full-service
brokers are still really used mainly by middle and upper-middle
class folks. The rich - seriously rich - still get taken
care of by the &quot;private banks&quot; and &quot;high-net-worth services&quot;
which typically aren't available to folks with less than
millions of dollars.

Ages ago, I enjoyed a wonderful book called &quot;A Piece of the Action -
How the Middle Class Joined the Money Class&quot; by Joseph Nocera.
Fascinating read and inasmuch as it's been about a decade since
I read it, I may dig it up and re-read it sometime soon.

Oh, and one more by-the-way, a quick spit in the direction
of the web-designers over at ML.com. It complains about
FireFox as not being an acceptable browser.

Anyway, that's all kind of off the track. To the OP, I hope
all this discussion has helped. Please let us know how it goes.



--
Plain Bread alone for e-mail, thanks. The rest gets trashed.
No HTML in E-Mail! -- <a href="http://www.expita.com/nomime.html" target="_blank">http://www.expita.com/nomime.html</a>
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#9: Re: Scottrade and other Brokers

Posted on 2006-03-10 22:01:21 by Sandra Loosemore

Bread &lt;<a href="mailto:BreadWithSpam&#64;Fractious.Net" target="_blank">BreadWithSpam&#64;Fractious.Net</a>&gt; writes:

&gt; Oh, and one more by-the-way, a quick spit in the direction
&gt; of the web-designers over at ML.com. It complains about
&gt; FireFox as not being an acceptable browser.

That's why I ended up switching to E-Trade. I formerly did business
with Fleet/Quick &amp; Reilly, but when they were acquired by Bank of
America, their investment website insisted that it would only work
with Internet Explorer. I run Linux, so that's not really a
convenient option for me. :-P Time to find somebody who actually
appears to want my business. :-P

-Sandra the cynic

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