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Scottrade’s Trading Platforms

Sept. 5, 2014
Brokers, Investing
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Interested in opening a brokerage account with Scottrade? With an easy-to-use mobile platform, advanced options trading, premium accounts and extensive educational resources, Scottrade is a great choice for casual investors who need a reliable brokerage. 

Mobile apps

With apps available for the iPhone, iPad and Android, Scottrade clients are able to get quotes, make trades and transfer funds on their phones or tablets. Charts stream data in real time, giving investors access to the latest market information. With its SmartText feature, the program also summarizes charts into short and digestible messages.

Scottrade vs. TD Ameritrade vs. E*Trade

In 2013, Scottrade released updated versions of its apps with cleaner designs that allow users to cloud-sync their watch lists, making it comparable to TD Ameritrade’s app. E*Trade’s app, which also has voice recognition and educational resources, could also be a good choice for investors looking for a product with more bells and whistles.

Online trading

With a customizable dashboard and tools and charts that can help you analyze the movements in your portfolio, Scottrade’s online trading platform can help you make well-informed trades easily. Its Knowledge Center is also a boon for first-time investors, who can attend in-person or online events to learn about investment basics and strategies.

Scottrade vs. TD Ameritrade vs. E*Trade

In terms of cost, Scottrade offers competitive pricing at only $6.95 a trade, marginally less than what E*Trade and TD Ameritrade charge. Unlike TD Ameritrade and E*Trade, however, Scottrade does not offer commission-free exchange-traded funds.

Some complain that Scottrade’s streaming content lags, making the site less useful for more active traders. According to some reports, the website also has problems operating on Google Chrome but works well on Internet Explorer, leading to some user frustration. Some TD Ameritrade users report similar issues with Chrome.  Most find that E*Trade runs efficiently on various web browsers.

Scottrade’s educational materials are comparable to those available through TD Ameritrade and E*Trade. TD Ameritrade, for instance, gives users access to a customizable curriculum and online courses, while E*Trade offers a comprehensive selection of articles and instructional videos from a range of syndication partners.


If you have more than $25,000 to invest, you can open a ScottradeELITE account. These accounts, which are more popular with active traders, offer more charts and tools that help investors make decisions about what to trade and when.

For investors who are looking for in-depth analysis, its plethora of tools and charts make it easy to make comparisons on a range of data points. With Intraday Trader by Recognia, consumers are also able to get new ideas about how to invest their assets. ScottradeELITE is also available as a mobile app.

Scottrade vs. TD Ameritrade vs. E*Trade

Although ScottradeELITE is a valuable tool for many serious investors, the high minimum investment requirement prevents most new investors from experimenting with this platform.

In contrast, TD Ameritrade’s platform Trade Architect provides similarly in-depth analysis and is available to users regardless of portfolio size. E*Trade also offers accounts with Pro Elite status and similar features to clients that make at least 30 trades per quarter, although clients who deposit more than $10,000 get 60 days of free trading. 


Scottrade’s OptionsFirst platform, powered by OptionsHouse, gives options traders access to advanced features.

The platform also supports more advanced options trading strategies, such as butterflies, strangles and straddles. With only a $2,500 minimum deposit, this platform is accessible to most users.

Scottrade vs. TD Ameritrade vs. E*Trade

OptionsFirst is a powerful platform for investors interested in options trading, but for $1.25 a contract in addition to the $6.95 per ticket, the cost can add up quickly. Active traders may want to use E*Trade or TD Ameritrade instead because they have a lower fee per contract. For casual investors who are happy with fewer contracts, however, OptionsFirst’s easy-to-use tools can help them meet their investing needs with a few clicks.

Stock market illustration via Shutterstock