2009 Discount Broker Guide
by Jean Henrich
Stock market investors suffering from the recent market declines (38.7% decline in the overall market for 2008, as measured by the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 index) won’t be receiving any breaks from their brokers this year if they want to buy or sell shares, according to AAII’s 2009 Guide to Discount Brokers.
This year’s guide showed brokerage commissions creeping up slightly over last year.
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The average commission for a broker-assisted $5,000 trade (100 shares at $50/share) totaled 0.65% of the trade, compared to 0.63% for last year’s survey; the average commission for a broker-assisted $25,000 trade (500 shares at $50/share) totaled 0.21% of the trade, up slightly from last year’s 0.19%.
The lowest commission for broker-assisted trades is from newly listed OptionsHouse, at a flat rate of $2.95 for both the $5,000 trade (0.06%) and the $25,000 trade (0.01%). The highest commissions are charged by Cutter & Co. Brokerage and USAA Brokerage Services (1.20% for the $5,000 trade) and Max Ule (0.78% for the $25,000 trade).
This year’s survey covers 51 firms that refer to themselves as discount, 43 of which offer on-line trading. Two firms, Fimat USA and InvestIN Securities, dropped out of our guide due to merging into companies that are not discount brokers.
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