After thinking about it for a while I decided to open a self-employed retirement option to give myself another place to save for the future. When I decided I wanted to open another account in addition to my Roth IRA at Vanguard I thought for a while about where to open it. Since I had only heard good things about Scottrade I decided to open a SEP IRA to save some of my online business income for the future.
Why I Chose Scottrade For My IRA
There are quite a few reasons why I decided to go with Scottrade for my new account. Here are a few of those reasons:
- Online brokerage. I love doing everything online, from investing to buying paper towels. It made sense to me to choose a brokerage that was online and easy to use for a tech savvy person like myself.
- Well known brand. They have been offering low cost trades, education & free stock research since 1980. I knew the brand name before I was ever ready or able to invest.
- Trusted by bloggers and experts. Other bloggers use and rave about Scottrade so I already knew it was a great company to do business with. I’ve read countless reviews about how great the company is and now I’m adding one of my own.
- Don’t need a huge amount to open an account. They suggest you start with $500, and I believe you can start with even less, which is way better for those of us not rolling in the dough. This appealed to me as I don’t plan to invest heavily into this account in the beginning but did want to get started.
- No annual fees. There are no fees for opening or owning an account which is pretty stellar. Keeping unnecessary fees to a minimum is very important so this appealed to me.
Opening An Account With Scottrade
The online application to open a new account at Scottrade doesn’t take very long at all. It’s very easy and they walk you through a several step process to get all the personal information they need to open an account for you.
Unfortunately, I had a glitch in my signup because of my recent name change post divorce. This was entirely my own fault for not fully completing the name change process. I immediately received an email about this and then an hour later my local branch manager called to tell me what I needed to do to finish up the process.
Ultimately I had to go through a few more steps than most people to open my account but I appreciate that Scottrade does that. It shows they are committed to both customer service and safety. Still, the online process is very easy and I finished it within 10 minutes, not counting the final step that most people won’t have to take.
Scottrade Brick and Mortar Locations
I’ll admit, this was something I didn’t think about when setting up my account. I originally chose Scottrade because it was an online brokerage and easy to maneuver as a tech savvy girl. All of my accounts are online only for the most part and I thought this would fit right in.
However, since I had to go to the Scottrade brick and mortar store in my city to finish up my account signup, I got to experience something really different and wonderful. The physical location in my city was full of amazing employees and I really enjoyed my experience there.
Scottrade Fees & Costs
Scottrade charges no account maintenance fees or inactivity fees. This is a huge plus – inactivity fees drive me insane. Nothing makes me madder than a company that basically just takes your money!
Trades are $7 per trade. This is slightly less than similar companies I looked at who charged $9-$10. It’s not a huge difference but it adds up.
Company research and data is all free.
Funding Your Scottrade Account
You have several options to fund your Scottrade account. Since I had to go by the brick and mortar location with my i.d. information I decided to simply take a check to fund my account at the same time.
You also have the option to mail a check to Scottrade or set up an automatic withdrawal from your bank account. Once you have that set up you can continue to fund your account easily on a regular schedule or whenever you have extra money you’d like to invest. One note with this: I’ve been told by other users that you can’t link more than one bank account so you will only able to use one (which was what I do so it isn’t an issue for me).
Opening Your Own Scottrade Account
Interested in opening your own account with Scottrade?
Disclosure: I opened an account with Scottrade. I was not paid for this post. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Figuring Money Out.