Earlier this week, I received an interesting broker-related tidbit in my inbox… It seems that TradeKing and Zecco are merging in hopes of challenging what they refer to as the “big five” online brokers (Schwab, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, E-Trade, and Scottrade).
In case you don’t recall, Zecco is best known for having pioneered the free trading model, whereas TradeKing has consistently offered cheap trades (in the $5/transaction range) along with award-winning customer service.
Going forward, customers will continue to pay $4.95/trade, which is what both brokers currently charge, with Zecco having abandoned the free trades approach awhile back. They’re expecting regulatory approval to take 1-2 months, after which they’ll begin integrating their operations.
This deal is just part of a larger pattern of consolidation across the industry, with Schwab having acquired OptionsXpress last year and TD Ameritrade having acquired Thinkorswim back in 2009.
As for me, this won’t mean much. Though I did open accounts with both of these brokers in the past, I never really used them and have long since closed them. What about you? Do you use Zecco or TradeKing? If so, what do you think about this deal?