While flipping through my Costco coupon book tonight, I noticed that ShareBuilder is running another promotion with Costco:
You can get a $70 or $90 Costco Cash card (depending on your membership level) after opening a new account and making one trade. They seem to be buckling down against people opening multiple accounts for bonuses, as it is now “one per unique account holder”. If you don’t have a Costco membership, there is also a similar bonus offering a $50 account credit.
Note: I just noticed in the fine print that you shouldn’t open the Costco-related account until 9/4, as that is when the promotion starts. How annoying, just like these post-dated Costco coupons…
Now, unless you really want to use Sharebuilder as your broker (and I don’t especially recommend it with free stock trades available now), there are two options to get your bonus, as selling stock there costs $15.
- Instant Gratification:Open with $5. Buy $1 of stock and pay $4* for commission. Wait for your bonus and cash out if applicable. Let the $1 in stock just languish there.
- Delayed Gratification: Open with $50. Buy $46 of a stock or ETF you like and pay $4 for commission. Get the $50 (or more), and treat it like you just got free stock. Let the dividends reinvest automatically, and just sit back for a decade or two while it grows.
I took the latter route. I bought partial shares of EEM for $42, and they are now worth $69. I also bought $46 of BRK.B, now worth $61. I love owning my 0.0153 shares of Berkshire Hathaway B. Ah, to be amused by simple things… 😉
*There may also be a free trial available, where you can sign up for the flat monthly plan, make a free trade, and then switch back to the Basic $4-per-trade plan before being charged the monthly fee. This way you don’t have to pay any trade commissions at all.