Scottrade Review - NerdWallet
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Scottrade Review

Welcome to the NerdWallet review of Scottrade! We’ve included all the information you need to make an informed decision. Do you already have an account with Scottrade? We’d love to hear your opinion in the comments section so that others can learn from your experiences.ETRADE

NerdWallet’s Rating: 5 / 5

One Sentence Summary

Scottrade charges 30% less than E*trade and TD Ameritrade for similar research, data, and customer service including physical locations, but slightly less advanced trading platforms.

About the Company

Founded over thirty years ago, Scottrade set up shop on the Web in 1996 and has been offering $7 stock trades ever since. The brokerage hasn’t lost its emphasis on personal service since the move online, though. Customers interested in flexibility can either trade online or make an appointment with an RIA (registered investment advisor) at one of the firm’s 500 + branch offices. A call to the help line during business hours connects investors to their local branch. Locations offer informational seminars, which users report are helpful.

Scottrade’s platform also emphasizes research and educational tools with a nod toward beginning investors. Novices may like the site’s SmartText tool, which allows members to pick an indicator, then provides brief, layman-friendly explanations of its relevance for each chosen stock. Mutual fund research is particularly strong – to match the brokerage’s large, and relatively inexpensive, selection – but some, more experienced clients say that they’ve advanced beyond the resources available.

While not the most expensive online brokerage, Scottrade isn’t the most affordable, either, especially for options. And the brokerage’s options tools are designed by OptionsHouse, which investors should note, offers drastically cheaper options trades. Scottrade also receives mixed reviews for its stock trading platform, which some users call cluttered. The more popular ScottradeELITE platform is only available to clients with more than $25,000 in their accounts. Regardless of the platform, frequent traders have reported dissatisfaction with data lags and the speed at which funds are available to reinvest.

Inexperienced or infrequent investors will do well with Scottrade. More active or experienced traders may prefer a brokerage with more advanced tools.

  • Minimum initial deposit: $2,500
  • Stock Trades: $7.00 per trade
  • Options Trades: $7.00 per trade + $1.25 per contract
  • Company Research: Free
  • Data: Free
  • Trading Platforms: Free
  • Learn more about Scottrade
  • $100 ACAT Fee Refund – Scottrade will refund up to $100 in transfer fees charged by your prior broker when you transfer your account. The transferred account must have a value of at least $10,000.

  • Free online market research
  • Free analyst reports, upgrades and downgrades
  • Sector and industry comparisons
  • Does not include access to premium research. TD Ameritrade provides this, but charges slightly more per trade ($9.99 vs $7.00).
  • Offers over 500 physical locations throughout the country. Team members at these locations can help you learn how to use the resources and attend seminars on trading tools and investing products, but will not make actual trade recommendations.
  • Customer service is available by phone, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week
  • Join the Scottrade Online Community and ask questions of the over 65,000 other Scottrade investors.
Trading Platforms
  • Basic trading tools included for free that meet the needs of most traders. Doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a more expensive TD Ameritrade or E*trade that might be better for active intraday traders.
  • Advanced trading tools available for those with $25k in their primary account.

  • Real time trading and fully-customizable streaming quotes with the Scottrader Streaming Quotes platform.
  • Advanced charting, watch lists, and more
Premium Features
  • Unlimited free checks
  • Free ATM withdrawals
  • Mobile Access
  • 24/7 customer service
  • 500+ Physical Locations
  • Check Writing
  • Debit Card
  • Free automated phone trades
  • Learn more from Scottrade
Mutual Funds
  • Over 14,500+ different mutual funds from well-known families
  • One of the largest selections of mutual funds in the brokerage business
  • Nearly 3,000 no-transaction-fee (NTF) funds
  • Advanced screening and research tools to find the right fund for you
Asset Classes
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Mutual Funds
  • ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds)
  • Options
Comparison to other Brokerages
  • Service & Features:
    • Includes basic research, data, customer service, and trading platforms. For most investors, these features are more than sufficient. If you need more advanced trading platforms and analytics, TD Ameritrade ($9.99/trade) is probably a better bet.
  • Pricing:
  • For a full comparison to EVERY other brokerage, check out our brokerage comparison tool.
  • “Highest in Investor Satisfaction in Self-Directed Services” (JD Power & Associates)
  • 4 Stars for In-Person Customer Service (out of 5) (Barron’s)
  • 4 Stars for Mobile Access (out of 5) (Barron’s)
  • 4.5 Stars for Customer Service (out of 5) (Barron’s)
  • 4.5 Stars for Education (out of 5) (Barron’s)
Customer Opinions
  • “I’ve used Scottrade for more than a decade and would highly recommend them”
  • “Love the low fees!”
  • “I like having access to real brokers for assistance over the phone”
  • “For high volume penny stocks there are cheaper options”
  • “Not as many features as E*trade, but good enough for me”
  • “Getting the borrow to sell short a low-priced stock can be difficult”
  • “I switched from TD Ameritrade and find Scottrade easier to use.”

Do you use Scottrade? Please share your opinions in the comments section to help others make informed decisions.

Does Scottrade sound like the right brokerage for you? If so, you can sign up for an account here.

  • Rodger

    Scottrade does not employ RIA’s as the article above suggests, in fact all you will receive is low skilled, only licensed to accept your instructions, customer service. Scottrade is probably the better broker for penny stocks as they are able to easily cater to the idiots that buy them. There are many other brokers that provide a better experience and platform for less ie. Tradeking or Motifinvesting. But again Scottrade best caters to idiots with small accounts that want to buy penny stock.

    Rodger R.

  • kt

    Code: KWRV1506 Scottrade referral code is good for 3 Free Trades ($21 value)!

  • saberplump

    I try many system to earn money online. But i had huge loss. Then i used ANDY LANK CASH FLOW i had no loss and i got huge profit.

  • cupsborrow

    Two of my friends use this softwre with me. we love this software.? Still my favorite is ANDY LANK TOOLS

  • Tammy

    I thought I saw where the minimum initial deposit to open an account is $500 and not $2500. Did I read that incorrectly?

  • Bob Roush

    Their iPad app is pathetic! Getting data is cumbersome and buggy. Every time I hit the quote button, it crashes. 7 dollar fees can’t be beat though. I use my eTrade account for research, Scottrade for actually trading. Unnecessary hassle, IMHO.

  • Michael

    I have a Sottrade account and have no complains. Use UUKH2722 when signing up and we will both get 3 FREE TRADES!

  • corboulee

    If you are looking for the bare minimum, virtually useless trading platform… you gotta go with Scottrade. Expect very little from their staff and you will be happy. Misinformation will be something you can count on at some point in your experience here, and if it costs you money, definitely don’t expect a refund or even an apology. Remember, don’t expect anything more than a stripped down experience, because you always get what you pay for. If you want accountability, experience and service, please keep looking…it’s just worth it to pay a little more!

  • fred bray

    I’ve been with Scottrade for many years & all I can say is they are getting progressively worse on pretty much a weekly basis. Soon to move to Merrill

  • Maxime Rieman

    It’s fairly typical that brokers add a fee to penny stock commissions. According to Scottrade’s website: “For stocks priced under $1, add ½% of the principal value to the commissions shown. Some foreign and pink sheet stocks must be traded with broker assistance.”

  • LLC

    Yes, the settlement figures are slow coming!

  • Rodger

    You are a novice/idiot. Settlement is the same no matter what broker you use. I’m a Scottrade employee who deals with fools like you daily. Dont worry your with the right broker, I’m not.

  • Maxime Rieman

    Could you provide some details? I’d be happy to follow up with Scottrade, as that sounds quite strange.

  • Maxime Rieman

    Unfortunately, it is one of Scottrade’s policies that streaming quotes cost $20/month for professional accounts. This is simply one of those tradeoffs that come when you compare accounts at different brokers.

    If the monthly fee is a big issue for you, then TD Ameritrade does sound like the better option in your case. I’m not sure how often you trade, but if you need streaming quotes instead of those delayed 15 minutes, then I’d guess that you’re an active trader. In that case, the price difference in commissions between TD Ameritrade and Scottrade might mean that you’re paying less at Scottrade.

  • Rodger

    Please leave scottrade. Thank you.

    An employee who’s tired of dumb A**holes such as yourself.

  • asdf

    Wow, Scottrade, enough patting yourself on a back.

  • Scottrade Website Sucks

    Amen, Amen, Amen! The difficulty getting around their website is why I might leave them.


    Yep they use a form letter that doesn’t even come close to what you asked.

  • BAN

    Set up a Scottrade bank account and transfer money through that. It’s easy with no questions asked. I do it all the time.

  • LadyTrader

    We ALL need streaming quotes. Delay is unacceptable if logged in accountholder. Fortunately they can be gotten elsewhere.

  • Rodger

    This is wonderful double talk expected by Scottrade. This company sucks and I’m saying this as an employee.

  • LadyTrader

    Pretty much anywhere is better than WF in every way, LOL.

  • Rodger

    As a Scottrade emplee, I urge you to leave. The website was designed by Monkees for Monkees if you can’t figure it out yourself get yourself a Monkee.

  • GovGeneral

    yeah, I noticed on the Scottrade site it says 2,500. I thought it was 500. I wonder when they changed