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The Investor’s Guide to Finding a Broker with High Quality Service

Oct. 9, 2012
Investing, Investments
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Most people don’t worry too much about choosing the best place to invest; but when you maintain a large balance in your brokerage account, you need to make sure that you have an account tailored to suit your needs.

NerdWallet researched eighty of the most popular trading accounts available in the U.S. in order to find those best suited to the specific needs of high net worth investors.

Do they have check writing services? Are there branches where you can speak with a real person? Would you have a variety of asset classes available? Can you trade for free?

The following brokerage accounts provide all these benefits, and more:

Merrill Edge

As long as you maintain $25,000 in cash in your brokerage account, you will receive 30 free trades per month with your Merrill Edge account. In addition, you will have 24/7 customer service and no account fees, plus, you can trade from anywhere in the world with their mobile app. The only downside is that if you would like to make a broker-assisted trade, the charge is $44.95, so this account is best for investors requiring relatively little input.

WellsTrade Account Linked to a PMA Package

If you maintain $50,000 across checking and brokerage accounts in Wells Fargo, then you will receive all the benefits of the WellsTrade with PMA Package, without any of the fees. That means you will receive 100 free trades per year, with free streaming data, and 24/7 customer service, with no costs whatsoever.
[Update: Any WellsTrade accounts opened after April 1, 2013 will not be eligible for this deal.]

Vanguard Flagship

Vanguard has four levels of account service, based on the amount of money you have invested in Vanguard funds and ETFs. By maintaining at least $1 million in Vanguard funds and ETFs, you qualify to receive their Flagship service. With Flagship, you will receive 25 free trades per year, and there are no broker-assistance fees. And if you happen to use all your free trades for the year, the commission is just $2 per trade, which is lower than that of any other broker. Of course, since they have a mobile application, you can be making these trades from whatever beautiful beach you happen to be sitting on.