Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I Changed Brokerage Firms Today

So I decided to change brokerage firms today. Now don't get me wrong. I liked Fidelity and what they had to offer. However, I happened to like TDAmeritrade more. I started using Fidelity a couple years ago because my current employer used them to house my Employee stock that I received from a discount purchase plan. After that, I decided to start my other accounts with them as well. However, I decided that today was a day for new beginnings. I started the process of moving my accounts over to Ameritrade.

I chose to move to Ameritrade for 2 main reasons:

1. They had awesome customer service. Not only could I call them on their 800 number, but I could pop up an IM window and speak with representative without having to wait for 30 minutes before speaking with someone to answer one short question that I had. They also happen to have some awesome stock tracking/analyzing tools which I haven't seen anywhere else.

2. The cost of trades are cheaper. I currently pay $20 for a trade with Fidelity. Ameritrade is only $10. It doesn't sound like much, but for a small time guy such as myself, I would rather keep that extra $10. It was also nice that their IRA accounts don't have a minimum to open. When I wanted to open a Roth IRA through Fidelity, I had to put in a minimum of $2500 or setup a $200 automatic withdrawal from my account. Now this wouldn't be bad if you had that money to spare, but I know a lot of young professionals need to start with even smaller amounts than that until they can get on their feet. I would have to give the edge to Ameritrade in this category 4 sho (who says you can't use slang when talking about personal finance?).

Anyway, I can't give Ameritrade my full recommendation yet because I just started rolling over my account today. I am sure I'll give everyone an updated opinion a couple of months down the road but so far, things look good.

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