General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Where (not should I) can I open a no minimum stock trading account?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10191points) May 8th, 2010

I want to give trading a go. Which websites have no minimum balance? Which is the best?

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10 Answers

HungryGuy's avatar

I use Fidelity. There’s no minimum balance in your cash account, nor to they have minimum trade value. But they do have a maximum number of trades you can make each month before you have to pay a hefty fee for each. And they charge a commission on every trade. And these vary depending on the type of account you have (which essentially varies depending on how much money you have in it).

But keep in mind that the stock market isn’t investing. It’s gambling. And if you do make a profit, it makes filing your taxes EXTREMELY complicated (though you do get a statement each year). If you’re not an insider, it’d be more efficient to simply send a donation to various corporate CEOs each month.

I haven’t used any other brokerages like e*trade, so I can’t compare Fidelity to any of the others.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Your taxes will not be “extremely” complicated. All you need to do is record the date and price when you bought the stock and the date and price when you sold it. If you use tax software it will do the rest for you. If not, you have to subtract the numbers and then decide if you owned it more or less than a year. Brokerage firms will send you 1099 DIV or 1099 INT forms if applicable and you just enter the info. Everything else falls right into place. It will take you a few minutes.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

In only one sense do I agree with @HungryGuy: if you aren’t very well schooled, very dedicated to doing the research and very meticulous about record keeping and very good at learning from your mistakes (which will be numerous and expensive), then “day trading” is little more than gambling. “Investing” I wouldn’t classify at all like gambling (again, if you research the companies and know the industries that you’re investing in), but “trading” without a lot of knowledge and discipline is little more than gambling.

I agree completely with @worriedguy that filing your taxes is not much of a problem at all, and in fact it’s very simple if you use electronic filing (I’ve been using Turbo Tax since the late 1980s, and I’m sure others are equally good). If you keep records of your buy and sell dates and prices (and stock splits that happen between those events, if any), then the filing issues are minimal.

Almost anyone who offers on-line accounts is also set up to handle small traders / investors. But I would stick to “investing” rather than “trading”.

YARNLADY's avatar

We use E*Trade for most of our financial transactions, investing, banking and so on.

Kraigmo's avatar

No minimums, and $4.50 per trade, with all the power of the expensive ones. I use Zecco cuz I’m a low budget trader. And they don’t even allow day trading (repeated instances of the buying and selling of the same securities in the same day). But you are allowed to swing trade, with live trades, all you want.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

optionsxpress Top rated and reasonable charges. I’ve used them for three years.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Noone has said scottrade I wonder why?

YARNLADY's avatar

@Ltryptophan Scottrade does not have the flexibility that E*Trade has. We looked at them, as well as AmeriTrade, and chose E*Trade because of the full service.

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