- Capital One Sharebuilder announced it will offer mini options contracts for retail investors. Mini options allow investors to trade for just a fraction of a standard options contract – 10 shares per contract versus the standard contract of 100 shares – while still having access to the same strikes and expirations. Mini options have surged in popularity, and ShareBuilder saw 30% more options trades placed in Q2 2013 than Q1 2013. As a platform, Sharebuilder has pushed to create a flat fee structure for all trades: Customers pay $6.95 for online stock and ETF trades, and $6.95 plus $0.75 per contract for options trades.
- JD Power & Associates conducted a study that found Canadian investors to be increasingly satisfied with discount brokerages. Canadians are not only converting to discount brokerages at a rapid rate (percentage of investors with only brokerage accounts is now at 33%, up from 21% last year), but are also placing more trades and increasing the size of their investments. Also, the study found the while investors value online tools, phone interaction remains a crucial part of their experience. National Bank Direct Brokerage ranked the highest on JD Power’s “Investor Satisfaction Index Ranking”, followed by Disnat and BMO InvestorLine.
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