Barron's Best Online Brokers ~ market folly

Friday, January 30, 2009

Barron's Best Online Brokers

Just was reading over Barron's annual 'Best Online Brokers' piece for 2008. As we await their list for 2009, I wanted to check out how the brokers stacked up against each other last time around. In it, they detail the pros and cons of all the retail brokerages, ranking them by various investing styles and then overall. Tradestation was the winner, with thinkorswim and Interactive Brokers close behind. Those are definitely some great names up at the top. But, I also noticed that yet again, TradeKing has made it in the top echelon of brokers (head to the bottom of the page for a $150 transfer discount). A year or two ago, I'd never heard of them, but their consistent top performance has me intrigued. Here's some interesting facts I noted from the Barron's rankings regarding TradeKing:

  • They finished 6th overall out of 23 different brokerages for 2008.
  • They received their highest scores in the categories of 'Research Amenities' and 'Portfolio Analysis & Reports.' (You'd expect that sort of stuff from the higher commission, full-service brokers like Schwab. But, TradeKing received great marks and has low commissions of $4.95 a trade).
  • Ranked 3rd overall in the 'Best for Buy & Hold' category
  • Ranked 6th overall in the 'Best for Options Traders' category

Barron's highlights some of the features such as, "A recent addition is Scivantage's Maxit, an automated cost-basis and portfolio-tax reporting system that not only tracks capital gains, but helps make better tax-related trading decisions."

It looks like they've got a current promotion running as well: Click the picture below to receive $150 for account transfers. It says you just open an account, fill out the ACAT transfer form, and fax your old broker account statement with the transfer charge on it to 561-988-0131.

Open a TradeKing account today

Additionally, they were ranked the #1 discount broker by Smart Money in 2006 & 2007. Cheap commissions, reputation of good customer service, solid features, and a bunch of rewards/recognition for a discount brokerage. Sounds like they're doing things right.

To read more about the various brokers, check out the entire Barron's piece here. And look for their 2009 piece in the coming months.

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