Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stock Alerts and Dividend Reinvestment - Enough to transfer from Scottrade to Zecco

My original motivation behind opening an account with Zecco was the 10 free trades they offered every month. But after the stock market plummetted at the end of '08 they couldn't afford to continue to offer free trades. Instead they now offer trades at $4.50, still half that of Scottrade's $7 fee.

An online broker is about much more than just the trade fee. Since opening my Zecco account I have steadily been more impressed with thier offering. Two features that came to my attention recently that pushed them over-the-top in my book. Stock Alerts and Dividend Reinvestment. Depending on how busy things are at work or at home, I can sometimes go a couple days without checking on my stocks. In the past I have set up alerts using marketwatch.com but they are not always on time. (Being notified 2 hours after a ralley isn't all that helpful) Zecco offers alerts based on, $ change, % change, volume increase/decrese from 15-day average, 52-week high/low and a couple other more advanced ones. In addition to a primary email they allow you to send alerts to a secondary location, be it another email... or a phone! (in my case an iPhone) This means that if I set my alerts correctly I don't have to constantly watch my stocks - or even be at my computer - to buy at a great deal or get out at a great profit.

Zecco also offers dividend reinvestment to those stocks that offer it a DRIP (Dividend Reinvestment Program). The caveat to this is that they only deal with whole stocks so if you get a dividend of $15 for a $10 stock, and you have it set to reinvest, you end up with 1 stock and $5 in cash to your account. That is worlds better than no offering at all like Scottrade.

I submitted my account transfer form (ACAT) via email yesterday to transfer all of my assets from Scottrade to my Zecco account. Because Zecco deals in only complete shares any partial shares will be liquidated, which isn't a big deal to me. Zecco also doesn't charge for transfer-in and Scottrade doesn't charge for transfers period so it all works out. Here's hoping it doesn't actually take the expected 20-days to go through!

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