Scottrade offers online investing and more than 500 branch offices where you can go for personal service. In 2011, the firm added online banking to the services it offers. The minimum opening balance is $500, and market orders are $7. This online broker consistently receives high ratings from its customers. If you want more sophisticated trading tools, reviewers say that Fidelity (*Est. $7.95 per trade) might be a better choice, although its costs are a little higher.
SmartMoney magazine and Barron's have the most thorough reviews of Scottrade. J.D. Power and Associates conducts an annual customer satisfaction survey of online brokers, and ConsumerReports.org does the same as part of a general buyers' guide; both include Scottrade. Kiplinger.com has a fairly brief review and ranks Scottrade among 14 online brokers. TopTenReviews.com also offers a review and compares Scottrade to other brokers, while FiveCentNickel.com offers only a very brief review based on readers' feedback. Two sites maintained by Blain Reinkensmeyer, StockTradingtoGo.com and Stockbrokers.com, provide a brief and a more lengthy review, respectively.
Scottrade comes in second in SmartMoney's rankings of 10 discount brokers. This broker gets high marks for its relative lack of fees, though its commission for stock trades isn't the lowest around. The availability of banking services is also well regarded. Its lowest rating is in the area of trading tools.
Review: Best and Worst Brokers of 2012, J. Alex Tarquinio, May 16, 2012
Scottrade is ranked 15th out of 27 overall. Reviewer Theresa Carey writes that its fees are "very reasonable and stable," and she notes that there are more than 500 Scottrade branches nationwide for those who want in-person service.
Review: Cut the Cord, Theresa W. Carey, March 12, 2012
Brokerage services are ranked based on results of a survey of online subscribers, who rate brokers on account service, website, phone service and in-person service. The accompanying article also provides helpful buying advice.
Review: Where To Put Your Money, Editors of Consumer Reports, Feb. 2012
4. J.D. Power and Associates
Ten brokers are included in this survey. Scottrade ranks third among them in overall investor satisfaction, though it is tightly bunched with three other top brokers that earn an overall 5-star rating.
Review: 2012 Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, June 14, 2012
Kiplinger's ratings of 14 online brokers rank Scottrade seventh overall. Reviewer Elizabeth Ody writes that "Scottrade scored above average on commissions and fees," and that its customer service representatives performed well.
Review: Best Online Brokers for 2011: Scottrade, Elizabeth Ody, Jan. 2011
Scottrade is ranked fourth out of 18 brokers in the TopTenReviews.com comparison chart. According to the review, Scottrade "is an excellent choice for new traders or straight traders; they offer all kinds of educational information for new investors and low-priced trades for those that like to trade stock frequently."
Review: Scottrade Review, Editors of TopTenReviews.com
Site owner Blain Reinkensmeyer ranks Scottrade fifth of the five best online brokers. He writes, "Scottrade has over 500 local branch offices for personal service and offers competitive $7 flat-fee stock trades."
Review: 5 Top Online Stock Brokers, Blain Reinkensmeyer
Stockbrokers.com is another site maintained by Blain Reinkensmeyer. This review reports that Scottrade received Stockbrokers.com's Best in Class awards in 2012 in the categories Ease-of-Use, Customer Service, and Investor Education, and it also won the award for Best Overall Client Experience.
Review: Scottrade Review 2012, Editors of Stockbrokers.com
This review reports responses to the site owner's request for readers to name their favorite online discount broker. He writes that Scottrade "has received rave reviews from numerous readers" but does not give specific numbers or say what aspects of this broker were singled out for praise.
Review: The Best Online Discount Brokers (Updated!), "Nickel"