Bank Deal: Earn 1.00% APY on an FDIC-insured savings account at Barclays.
Consumer Reports just released the results of a survey aimed at identifying the best brokers in America. They surveyed over 9,000 readers, asking them about their experiences with various brokers between January 2008/January 2009. Topping their list were USAA Brokerage, Vanguard, and Edward Jones.
USAA has received high marks in the past for other financial offerings, including their online banking service and insurance offerings. It therefore comes as no surprise that their online brokerage service ranked so high. Commissions start at $11.95/trade, but come down from there depending on trade volume. Unfortunately, USAA is only available to current and former military personnel and their families. Update: I just received an e-mail from USAA clarifying that certain financial products, including their brokerage, are available to the general public.
CR’s second pick, Vanguard, offers a wide variety of low cost mutual funds as well as a regular brokerage service. I’m a huge fan of Vanguard’s mutual funds, but I’m not crazy about their brokerage service, primarily due to cost — their standard rate is $25/trade. Nonetheless, consumers rated them highly for above average phone service. I can actually vouch for this myself; whenever you call, you’re almost certain to get a competent, helpful phone rep.
I drive by an Edward Jones office on the way to work every day, but I must admit that I know very little about them. They are a “discount full service brokerage” that competes with the big boys in the investment world, but their online presence sucks (in my opinion). They ranked high for personal service but, based on their website, their commissions appear to be a trade secret, and it’s not even clear if you can trade online.
Best of the rest
Their list of the top ten best brokers was rounded out by:
- Charles Schwab
- TD Ameritrade
- T. Rowe Price
- A.G. Edwards
This list is a good start, but if price is an important consideration, then I suggest that you check out my list of the best online brokers. If you’re willing to look around a bit, you can easily push your commissions below $5/trade, and still maintain a good customer service experience. For example, TradeKing offers $4.95 and award winning customer service.
- How to Become a Millionaire
- How to Get Out of Debt
- The Best Dollars I've Ever Spent
- How Our Estate Plan is Structured
- How We Paid Our Mortgage In Less than 10 Years
- Money Making Ideas
- How to Manage Your Asset Allocation with Multiple Accounts
- Consumption Smoothing - Save While the Saving's Good
- How to Save on Groceries
- How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?
- Eleven Great Books About Money
- Dave Ramsey is Bad at Math (693)
- Dish Network Customer Service SUCKS (537)
- $8,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit (429)
- Pay Off Mortgage Early or Invest? (424)
- How to Claim the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit (352)
- Termite Control: Sentricon vs. Termidor (330)
- How Much Should You Pay a Babysitter? (292)
- Ethanol Blended Gas = Lower Mileage? (273)
- Reduced Credit Limits? Share Your Experience (256)
- $15,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit (242)
- Buying Furniture off the Back of a Truck (237)
- Will Mac OS X Lion Kill Quicken 2007? (191)