This is just a quick note to let you know that ShareBuilder — now owned by Capital One — is reducing their commissions to $6.95/trade for real-time trades effective March 1st. They’re also offering a $100 signup bonus*, though you have to deposit (or transfer in) a minimum of $5k to qualify.
Prior to this change, ShareBuilder Basic customers were paying $9.95/trade and ShareBuilder Advantage customers were paying $7.95/trade. Of course, auto-investment program is still available for $4/trade.
So yes, the new rate for real-time trades is an improvement, and the $100 bonus is quite nice, but you can do better if price is your primary consideration. For example, TradeKing charges $4.95/trade and OptionsHouse charges just $3.95/trade.
Of course, we don’t actively trade stocks. But if we did, we’d most likely stick with Vanguard where Voyager Select customers get $2 trades and Flagship customers get 25 free trades (after which you’ll pay $2/trade).
*Note: To qualify for the $100 bonus, use a link in this post (like this one) or enter Sharebuilder promo code 100LSQ4 when opening your account.