Looking to Buy Mutual Funds Online? Here Is How

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Categories All Categories best online brokerage for mutual funds Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

February in Fund Discussions. I am using TD Ameritrade and not happy with its MF research tools and restrictions to keep a fund best online brokerage for mutual funds 6 month to avoid transaction fee.

My concerns are mostly: A number of available MF. A number of NTF with minimal holding periods. Available MF research and portfolio analysis tools. I don't want to be out-of-line, but I'd ask you to consider your objectives.

The terms "investment" and "minimal holding periods" just don't go together. The short-term trading penalties are in place to discourage short-term trading and are generally imposed by the fund management companies, not the broker. There are two kinds of people best online brokerage for mutual funds lose money trying to employ short-term trading in mutual funds: My unsolicited advice is to find a low-cost fund that you want to own best online brokerage for mutual funds years and then remember Bogle's admonition: Talk to one of the mutual fund specialists at Ameritrade about this; I've found them very knowledgeable.

February edited February Not to step on Mulder's toes but Fidelity is among the worst. Been there done that. Their short term trading fees were exorbitant and at least many years ago after so many short term trades the fees were increased even more. From my experience it is Scottrade all the way. And what they consider short term is three months. Had I adhered to the advice of the John Bogles of the world I would be looking at a very bleak retirement.

For your information, here are various discount broker ratings for you to review. Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect broker they all have advantages and disadvantages. Regards, Ted Consumer Reports: Brokerage reviews usually deal with stock investment. Which mutual funds that you are interested in are not on TD Ameritrade's platform?

What is a definition of short term at Scottrade and what their short term trading fee? Do they have similar MF selection as other brokerages?

I cannot even plot a graph for MF price. I've never best online brokerage for mutual funds a problem not getting a fund I wanted through their broad list of available funds. While nothing is perfect, Fidelity would be my first recommendation in breadth of NTF mutual funds, research tools and competent platform that works. Fidelity has reduced the minimum holding period for non-Fidelity funds to 60 days. Their platform will also accurately keep track of lots and warn you properly for fees, etc.

If you just want a trading platform that is barely usable but no trading fee and no minimum holding other than what the fund itself may impose, you can use Wells Fargo where they give you free trades per account if you keep a certain minimum. Stay away from Vanguard brokerage for non Vanguard funds.

It is the worst possible. Inadvertently sent to cman. Plus, if I also recall correctly, at some point if you trade in and out of funds too much they ask you to take your business elsewhere. Different people use different parameters to evaluate what is good. Fees were not in that list - rather the opposite - how easy is it to avoid fees? Based on those parameters, I agree with Mulder on Fidelity.

The short term trading fee is only for 60 daysin comparison with Scottrade's 90S chwab's 90and TDAmeritrade's 90 e. Total number of funds - they all offer a gazillion.

Fidelity says it offers over 10, and its fund search engine you don't have to be a customer to use it confirms it carries 10, as of today. The reality is that none of them carry this many funds. Morningstar's screener says the website has information on just 7, funds. The higher numbers claimed by the brokerages is because they offer 2, 3, 4 or more share classes of a single fund, and count these as different "funds".

Which makes the whole thing rather meaningless, because you're only going to be buying one share class of a fund at least usually. And they do a good job of profiling your portfolio - their tool is integrated with Yodlee, so they will incorporate outside accounts as well if you want.

Other sites do this, it's not unique to Fidelity, e. I've seen something similar on TRowePrice. Best online brokerage for mutual funds has improved its portfolio analysis. But to Schwab's credit, it does give good portfolio reports rate of return, risk.

Because of the shorter NTF holding period, because of the better portfolio analysis, because it has a similar assortment of NTF funds, I tend to give Fidelity a slight edge over Schwab. But I think Schwab is also excellent based on the parameters given. Based on other parameters including cost of TF funds and ease of specifying tax lots, I'd give Fidelity a best online brokerage for mutual funds edge. I use TDA for my IRA and find best online brokerage for mutual funds almost impossible to determine the cost of shares in a fund purchased at different best online brokerage for mutual funds.

The main page shows an updated cost based apparently on the last reinvested dividend. So Seafarer always shows a loss. Inside an IRA this doesn't matter, but in a regular account, it looks like I'd have to calulate my own costs to select shares to sell if I best online brokerage for mutual funds trying to sell expensive or cheap shares. Am I just confused, or is this an accurate description?

My email exchange with their rep only resulted in a comment that I was correct in my observation and that she didn't know of any plans to change their presentation.

Next year I expect to open a brokerage account to hold stocks and mutual funds, but I want one that has clearer records than I see at TDA. Guess Best online brokerage for mutual funds could add another site if it met my needs. I don't expect to trade often, so the holding periods aren't too important. I like both Schwab and Fidelity. Schwab has more load-waived funds and Fidelity has better and easier cost-basis reporting for each mutual fund that you own.

One problem with Schwab is that they show the cost-basis that includes the dividend reinvestment cost which is good for the tax purpose but does not show your actual cost out-of-pocket cost for the total number best online brokerage for mutual funds mutual fund shares that you own.

Fidelity shows this correctly. I have sent Schwab this feedback times in detailed emails and I have had lengthy discussions with their customer support on multiple occasions. So far my feedback has gone into the circular file called the dustbin. Thank you all for your contribution. Looks like the consensus is Fidelity and Schwab are the best choices overall even though Scottrade has much smaller transaction fee.

They impose no short term trading fees. They claim to offer different funds. I have a TradeKing account but have not traded funds through them, as I've only bought no transaction fee funds offered by Scottrade.

Each have their own advantages and disadvantages, but for mutual funds, Scottrade is by far the best, IMO. They charge nothing for buying or selling load funds. TradeKing is probably best for no-load fund traders who trade often and wish to avoid short-term trading fees. Perhaps if one is planning on trading a lot of TF funds, TradeKing comes out looking very good.

It really depends on what one is looking for - what mix of funds and holding periods is expected. This is why I tried to hew to the parameters that Best online brokerage for mutual funds originally put forth.

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A brokerage firm , or simply brokerage , is a financial institution that facilitates the buying and selling of financial securities between a buyer and a seller. Brokerage firms serve a clientele of investors who trade public stocks and other securities, usually through the firm's agent stockbrokers. The staff of this type of brokerage firm is entrusted with the responsibility of researching the markets to provide appropriate recommendations, and in doing so they direct the actions of pension fund managers and portfolio managers alike.

These firms also offer margin loans for certain approved clients to purchase investments on credit , subject to agreed terms and conditions. Traditional brokerage firms have also become a source of up-to-date live stock prices and quotes.

A discount broker or an online broker is a firm that charges a relatively small commission by having its clients perform trades via automated, computerized trading platforms rather than by having an actual stockbroker assist with the trade. Most traditional brokerage firms offer discount options and compete heavily for client volume due to a shift towards this method of trading.

Other ways to lower costs for these brokers is by executing orders only a few times a day by aggregating orders from a large number of small investors into one or more block trades which are made at certain specific times during the day. They help lower costs in two ways:. Since investor money is pooled before stocks are bought or sold, it enables investors to contribute small amounts of cash with which fractional shares of specific stocks can be purchased.

This is usually not possible with a regular stockbroker. Many broker-dealers also serve primarily as distributors for mutual fund shares. These broker-dealers may be compensated in numerous ways and, like all broker-dealers in the United States, are subject to compliance with requirements of the US Securities and Exchange Commission and one or more self-regulatory organizations , such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority FINRA.

The forms of compensation may be sales loads from investors, or Rule 12b-1 fees or servicing fees paid by the mutual funds. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Comparison of online brokerages in the United States. Retrieved 10 October British Columbia Securities Commission. Thomas Smith 6 March Regulation of Investment Companies. Lexis Nexis Matthew Bender. Retrieved from " https: Brokerage firms Financial services. Views Read Edit View history.

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