I began March with a change in focus, from web development to the ever changing stock market. However, so far I feel like I’ve only jumped from one sinking ship to another and my feet are still wet. However, despite the market fluctuations, I signed up with Scottrade and feel it’s time for an early 1 week review of their website and service.
First of all, signing up to Scottrade.com can be a daunting experience. Unlike most websites, this investment website requires sensitive information like Social Security numbers, which some people may not feel comfortable sending over the tubes. Also, there are a number of forms that must be electronically signed and filled out, which were written by main street’s lawyers, meaning myself and others may not completely understand what we are agreeing to.
Luckily there is an answer to the above woes, Scottrade offers the assistance of local offices. As a matter of fact there is a manned office less than 10 mins from my home. The employees of Scottrade were more than willing to help me get signed up, answer my noob questions, and allow me to make a check deposit. So, other than be daunting to sign up via the web, the initial ‘sign up’ process was a breeze, once the professionals were called in.
It’s odd, but there is only one electronic option for placing funds into a general Scottrade account. For example, my initial deposit could only be completed by Money Direct or by physically mailing or dropping off a personal check or money order. I would have much rather preferred linking my PayPal account for transaction and purchase fees, oh well.
I opted to drop off a personal check, since Scottrade’s offices were so close. The deposit showed up immediately, however the funds were not available for purchase until the next business day. There were also restrictions on my funds for 2 additional days, stating that I could not purchase shares under $4 ea. Therefore my penny stock trading had to wait until the full clear process, 3 days after my initial deposit.
Again, the employees of Scottrade were very helpful and explained the restriction process to me. This also opened up the conversation to what will happen during my first trade. Right inside the office the personnel walked me through a mock transaction, complete with commission fees and different purchase options.
First Stock Trade
Smooth. It’s true, my first purchase within Scottrade was a smooth transaction that qued, completed, and showed in my account within 10 minutes of me left clicking confirm. As a matter of fact the entire Trade tab is simplified and easy to understand your options. Anything that might not be clear is explained in the right hand column or has a question mark link, to take you to an explanation.
A typical trade is done by selecting the stock symbol you wish to trade, amount of shares, type of order, and then the length of time you want the offer to be made. I only purchase on limits, so a time frame is always required, which I typically set to expire at the end of the day. After completing the fields you will be given with a review of your order and then a final confirmation. It’s easy peezy, even for someone who has never traded stock before. Furthermore, the employees at Scottrade are available to assist you over the phone, should you be nervous or have some questions.
Recent Scottrade Site Performance
I have not been satisfied with the Scottrade.com site performance. I am consistently timing out when requesting a quote and the reports they provide usually never load. I’ve bested the Scottrade.com site from 3 different computers on 3 different connections and the problem continues to persist. In addition, I’ve tried using 3 different browsers, including FireFox, Chrome, and the latest release of Internet Explorer. Unfortunately Internet Explorer appears to be the most stable when using Scottrade, go figure.
This morning I was in the process of purchasing some stock at market open, only to find that Scottrade had turned off online trading. After calling my local office I was informed this is the first time this has ever happened that he can remember. Lucky me, assuming he was telling the truth, which would also translate this article into an unfair review. You be the judge and I’ll be back in another 30 days to fill you in on all the trades and money I’ve lost.