Online Brokerage Comparison Part #2

Following yesterday’s review of a couple of discount brokerages that I was considering, I received a comment and several e-mails from readers who suggested some even lower-priced options.
Today’s online brokerage review will compare the two most prominent suggestions that I received from readers with regard to low-priced online brokerages.

Ameritrade IZONE, (No customer service phones)
Products: Stocks, options, mutual funds
Market Orders: $5.00
Limit Orders: $5.00
Mutual Funds: $17.99. Selling a load fund also incurs a $17.99 commission.
Options: $5.00/trade+$0.75/contract
Minimum to Open: $5000
Inactivity Fee: $0.00
Maximum Margin Rate: Based on proprietary base rate. Seems extremely high: On May 9, 2006, their highest margin rate was 10.25%.
Notes: A division of TD Ameritrade. The successor of FreeTrade, but no longer has commission-free trades. Like FreeTrade, they provide only automated bare-bones services, and accept funding only by various electronic means. User Comments:

Choicetrade, 877.731-9114, 732.214-2660
Products: Options, stocks, bonds, mutual funds
Market Orders: $5.00
Limit Orders: $5.00
Mutual Funds: $25.00, apparently even on load funds
Options: $0.99/contract ($2.97/trade minimum)
Minimum to Open: $0, $2000 for margin account
Inactivity Fee: $0.00
Maximum Margin Rate: 6.70% on May 28, 2005
Extras: Free checking, debit card, and bill pay service. “Foreign citizens may establish accounts with ChoiceTrade.”
Notes: Clears through Penson Financial Services.

Thanks to Broker Review

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