I just got recently got an email from Zecco announcing that they are doing away with free stock trades for accounts with less than $25,000. This is a bummer, but I always wondered how they could afford to pull off an offer like that. Apparently, with the economic challenges they weren’t able to.
How to qualify for free trades at Zecco
According to the email I received there are still two ways you can get free stock trades…
1. Keep $25,000 in net assets in your account. This doesn’t have to be cash — it can be stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, or other assets.
2. Make 25 total trades in a calendar month. These can be stock, ETF, or options trades. And yes, free trades count.
Other options for cheap stock trades
Well, even though they aren’t free any longer for the smaller investors, Zecco still offers trades for $4.50, which is a pretty good deal.
I have written about my Sharebuilder experience, since they were the first online broker that I opened an account with. Sharebuilder allows you to buy stocks for $4.00 but they are not real-time trades (they are batched every Tuesday) and selling stocks costs about $10. That brings you to a total of about $14 which is a little higher than the $9.00 total at Zecco now.
That said, one of the things that makes ShareBuilder great for beginner investors is that they allow you to buy fractional shares. So you can get started investing for as little as $100.