Even more bad news. What a week! After hearing some rumors, I just read an e-mail from FreeTrade saying that they will be shutting down and transferring my account to Ameritrade IZone on April 29th. Goodbye, free trades. Dangit! I’ve only made one trade, and I’ve only had my account open for a couple of months. I should have seen the writing on the wall, as IZone was newly introduced about 6 months ago, and had many of the same features as FreeTrade. At least I have 30 days notice to make some last minute trades.
Well, let’s see. IZone is similar in that there are no minimums, no share limits, no order handling fees, and no talking to humans (all communications must be done via e-mail). However, they do charge $5 per online stock trade. They also offer real-time quotes (FreeTrade did not), but as I posted earlier I can already get that. Their online interface looks much like the new regular Ameritrade interface, which is somewhat of an improvement.
I guess it’s not the end of the world, but now it will be harder to eek out profits with my $5,000 Play Money account. If I trade in $500 increments, that’s a 1% load both ways. Right now I’m also looking at ChoiceTrade, which also offers $5 trades but has cheaper options trading at 99 cent/contract ($2.97 min). I have no clue about options right now, but I plan on learning by years-end.
By Jonathan Ping | Investing | 3/30/05, 11:10pm