Capital One ShareBuilder Slashes Prices: Now the Best Online Broker in Town?

Investing, Investments

Capital One announced Thursday that its ShareBuilder online brokerage account is cutting prices, bringing it to the top of the pack when it comes to the biggest online brokerages in the business.

Effective March 1, 2013, self-directed investors with CapitalOne’s ShareBuilder stand to gain from these main pricing changes:

  • $6.95 flat rate per trade – slashed from $9.95 standard commission
  • $0.75 per options contract
  • No account minimums
  • Real-time trades are now available to all investors

The takeaway: ShareBuilder is reducing its trading prices and fees, making it far more competitive in the online broker industry – better than several major brand names including Schwab, eTrade, TD Ameritrade, and even Scottrade.

“At ShareBuilder, we have always been focused on offering investors access to low commissions, no fees or minimum balances, and great pricing overall – and this takes our value proposition to the next level,” said Dan Greenshields, President of Capital One ShareBuilder. “Capital One is excited about our business and is investing in it; from mobile innovations to more education and research, to great retirement products and tools. We will continue working to take the intimidation factor out of investing, so Main Street investors can save time and money as they plan for the future.”

The Rise of Mobile Investing

Capital One ShareBuilder shared with NerdWallet that about 15% of all Capital One ShareBuilder trades are now placed via mobile. Since the launch of its mobile platform in December, 2.5% of all trades are placed via tablet, a percentage Greenshields noted is increasing exponentially.

This move is a part of the continued integration of ShareBuilder into CapitalOne, representing over 17 million households.  Capital One ShareBuilder, Inc. is a subsidiary of Capital One.  Capital One officially acquired ShareBuilder on February 17, 2012.

Is a ShareBuilder Account Right for You?

ShareBuilder offers better rates than most full-service online brokers, as well as free analyst reports, mobile apps, and very low rates for automatic investing.  ShareBuilder now offers the following basic account:

  • Commission per real-time trade: $6.95
  • Automatic investing trade fee: $4
  • No account minimum or minimum amount to maintain

What’s not to like?  Despite competitive pricing, ShareBuilder still generally caters to the automatic investing crowd.  If you want fancier premium features and if you place a priority on the fastest trades money can buy, you should consider a higher end online brokerage that guarantees you the fastest trade execution in the business.

Want to learn more?  NerdWallet’s roundup of the best overall online brokers provides reviews of all the top online brokers by category, so each investor can pick which features matter to them most.

Should You Switch Online Brokers?

It depends on your needs – is your current online broker offering you every tool and service you need at the most affordable price, or are you paying for more than you really need?  To find out, use NerdWallet’s online broker comparison tool to compare costs across brokerages, and then make the switch today if it will save you money.

While there is often an account transfer fee associated with moving your money into a new account, many discount brokerages reimburse you for part or all of the transfer costs.