Zecco Free Trades Broker Review, Part 2: Corrections, Funds Transfers, and Trading Experiences

This is the second part of my review of the Zecco brokerage account. If you haven’t already, please read the first part of this review, where I went over the main draws of Zecco and the account opening process. Here, I will finish up my review of the opening process and also talk about my trading experiences.

Funds Transfer Speed and Experience
I initiated an online funds transfer from the Zecco website early on Tuesday. The funds were taken out of my savings account on Wednesday. The funds appeared in my Zecco account on Thursday and was available for trading. You probably still want to avoid straddling a weekend, but I’ve made two transfers and both took one business day. I’m glad the transfers are prompt.

One thing about the transfer system is that it can be tricky to find your pending transfer request after you submit it. You actually have to search by processing date, which is tedious.

Trading Interface
I am not an active stock trader, so I am not an expert at determining the quality of their real time quotes, options setup, or other such things. I thought the trading interface was fine, and similar to the many other brokers I have used. I just want to buy and sell stocks every so often, not day-trade. A screenshot of the order entry form is on the right.

Trading Experience
What I have done so far is make two test trades of the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF, symbol VTI.

#1: On Day 1, VTI’s last trade was at 149.23, with a bid of 149.16 and ask price of 149.22. I placed a limit order at 3:39pm to buy just one single share at $149.18. The order was filled six minutes later at $149.16 , 2 cents below my limit amount. (As an aside, a bid/ask spread of 5 cents on a $150 ETF seems very reasonable. More on this later.)

#2: After the market closed on Day 1, I went ahead and placed a sell order on my single share of VTI at my buy price of $149.16. My goal was simply to get my money back. My order was filled right at market open (9:30am) for $149.81. Here is a screenshot from my order history.

I was not charged any commission for either trade, as promised. On the sell order, I was charged a penny for a Section 31 fee. This is a small fee charged by the SEC in order to help fund their overseeing activities, which brokers pass on to us. It’s assessed only when you sell a stock.

What are Section 31 fees and how are they calculated?
The normal calculation for Section 31 fees is $30.70 per $1,000,000 in principle amount on sales. A principle amount of $140 would be subject to a Section 31 fee of $.01.

So I feel my trades were filled successfully and also promptly as the market allowed. There were no indications of shady behavior. For example, with my limit order of $149.16, they could have just given me $149.16 instead of the market price that was $0.65 higher. I would be comfortable using market orders if my goal was to dollar-cost-average into ETFs. Overall, it was pretty cool to be able to trade small amounts and not have to worry about commissions.

Few More Details
» Cost Basis Accounting – They use the FIFO (first-in first-out) method by default on 1099s, and don’t support HIFO (highest-in first-out) on their end. If you want to use HIFO, you’ll have to calculate it manually.

» You get a paper confirmation snail-mailed to you every time you make a trade, which can’t be turned off at this time. This could be a plus or a minus depending on the person.

» Checkwriting and an ATM card is available at an additional cost of $30 annually. I’m not interested, but it’s an option.

» Their reorganization fee of $15 is cheaper than most other brokers I’ve used. Therefore, I also plan to use this account for any future going-private transactions I participate in.

Summary
Overall, Zecco.com fulfills its promise of providing free trades and provides the basic features expected of a legitimate discount broker. My idle cash is even getting 4.38% APY in a money market sweep, which together with the free trades makes the overall cost of this account much less than other discount brokers like Scottrade and Ameritrade (who charge for trades and offer low interest). However, getting the account opened and ready for trading is more difficult than it should be. In other words, the customer service is slower than those same other discount brokers.

The question is simply, is it worth it to you to swap slower customer service for free stock trades? For me, I am definitely keeping this account open, and it is now my primary taxable brokerage account. I have dealt with Penson Financial Services in the past, and I feel they are adequate at their back-end duties. I am not a demanding trader and my balances are not large, so the free trades are simply too enticing. With my personality, paying $5+ for a trade when there is a free option available would nag at me.

Navigation
Zecco Review, Part 1
Zecco Review, Part 2

Comments

  1. Gordon says:

    I think I’ll open an account. Thanks

  2. Nice review. It’s good to hear that at least one person didn’t have a truck-load of problems opening and using an account from Zecco. I think I’m back on the fence now for trying them out, thanks.

  3. Thanks for the review Jonathan, I’m definitely leaning towards trying them now.

    What’s your thoughts about whether they will survive and if not, what will happen to them and our stocks?

  4. I have to agree instructions to set up an account and customer service could be improved. I have opened an account and have been trading since March and enjoy the free trades. I have had a couple of question that I had answered by email the next day. I have moved most of my holding from Scottrade to Zecco. I plan to keep one holding at Scottrade to use their Stock Screener and S&P Reports.

  5. Thanks for the review! I’m looking to get back in to stock trading in the next couple months and this looks like a viable option.

  6. Richard says:

    Your reviews were largely responsible for me opening an acct at Zecco, but as mentioned, the opening acct process is a REAL pain. The signup process with my existing brokerage (Sharebuilder) was SO much easier, and involved not an ounce of paper. With zecco though, faxing in a 14-pg application form, 3-pg options agreement, money market sweep request form, driver’s license, visa and presence test documents (not a US citizen)… this is just WAY too much paper. Good thing I didn’t have to transfer assets from another brokerage (yet)!

  7. baxter says:

    seems like Zecco’s trade execution is pretty good. In comparison I have traded ETFs using Wells Fargo several times, and never could I get an limit order executed with a price midway between bid and ask. At one time the last trade price was lower (about $0.10 at around 5 minutes) than my limit and still my order wasn’t executed.

  8. I agree with this review — the account is fine, but getting it open is a giant hassle. One thing that I wish I had known in advance: When you use the two-small-deposit method to verify the ACH, they deposit the two amounts… and then withdraw them again to get back their money! In theory this does not bother me at all, the only problem is that I had set this up with a savings account with a limited number of transfer-outs, and this could have unexpectedly put me over the limit.

  9. I have read that the free trades are only for 1 account and any other accounts would be at $3.95 per trade. Does anyone know if this is true?

    I have a Roth IRA for me and my wife that I use at MB Trading for $1 per trade but their online site and tools have bad user interfaces. Would the Roth IRA for me and my wife both be free since they are for separate people or since we’re married, would I be forced to pay for the second accounts trades?

  10. do you need minimum 2500$ to start trading??

  11. PJ – From Zecco:

    Can I have multiple accounts and yet still benefit from free trading on more than one account?
    Yes, you can have multiple accounts with Zecco Trading that are eligible for the Zecco Trading Free Trade program. This means that you would be able to take advantage of having an Individual, Joint and Retirement account (as soon as they are offered), and all accounts would be eligible for the Zecco Trading Free Trade program. We are able to only offer the Zecco Trading Free Trade program to each registration type, meaning if you decided to open two individual accounts only the first would qualify for free trades. Please keep in mind that you are able to have multiple joint accounts as long as each registration is different, meaning the joint clients on each account are not the same.

    “What?s your thoughts about whether they will survive and if not, what will happen to them and our stocks?”

    Whether they “survive” or not, nothing bad will happen to our stocks (They certainly won’t leave town with them due to SIPC insurance.) The likely scenario is that they may give less free trades, maybe 5 per month. Given that their name is ZEro Cost COmmissions, it may be hard not at least give us a few free trades :)

    Scenario 2: They may be bought out or merged with another brokerage like ETrade or Ameritade, and we’ll be subject to higher commissions.

    As for profit:

    How do you make money then?
    We make money from the interest on margin balances. It?s a small amount, about 3%, but on a large volume of customers it becomes a tidy sum. Secondly, we keep our costs low. We don?t spend $5 of every commission marketing to you. And we don?t spend $400 in advertising for every new account. We attract customers like you by having the best deal in the market. Lastly, we?re building an online financial community where investors can connect with investors. Where you can find all the tools and information you need to trade, plus gain access to financial blogs, forums, and up-to-the minute financial news. We think that?s a winning combination for advertisers.

    So they make money primarily two ways: margin interest and advertising based on traffic to their blogs and forums. They’ll probably also earn money off of people who don’t send in their money market request forms. I don’t know if this will work, as I don’t know how much traffic they have. But stock trades are going down across the board, so I’ll have hope. If they really to jack up the prices, the transfer out fee is $50. Hopefully one will have made that up in free trades before that happens.

  12. are they still having the $1000-minimum promotion?

  13. Do you know if Zecco works with Yodlee? I have tried to setup my zecco account in Yodlee but it can never verify my credentials.

  14. Great review Jonathan. I think I will slowly move my trades from Ameritrade to these guys. Thanks!

  15. How you receive 4.38% APY for your idle cash in a zecco account?

  16. enonymous says:

    Reall nice review, very thorough. I have my free trades (100/year) through Wells Fargo. I have been generally satisfied with their service, but found my old brokerage’s website (Ameritrade) to be much more user friendly (but not $9.95/trade more friendly…). Since I am a dollar cost average investor in ETFs, and don’t really “trade” the bells and whistles are lost on me. I hope Zecco and the like survive, it’s a step in the right direction.

  17. I opened with $1,000, I think now you need $2,500. I then transferred $50 again to test transfer speed. However, you can take some or all of that out after the initial transfer, as there are no minimum balance requirements or low balance fees.

    I use Yodlee through BofA, and I don’t see Zecco as an available option.

    To get 4.38% APY, you need to set up a money market sweep. For details please see the first part of my review.

  18. I already stated the process of closing my account with Zecco. However, I am finding it real painful to move my money back. It is in Pending Broker Approval for last 3 business days! It has been 25 days I got approved, but they have not still processed my paperwork. Can’t enter any trades, can’t withdraw the funded money back.

    If folks reading this have decided to open up an account with Zecco, I would really ask them to wait for the Outstanding Paper work column on my Info tab to change to No before funding the account!

    I really had bad experiences with them!

  19. I have had Zecco account for a while. The problem with their money transfer is, it is not automatic. You guys might have noticed ‘Pending Broker Approval’. Only problem is, sometimes, the broker approval does not come through for 2 or even 3 days. Infact, once I had to cancel it because I waited for 2 days and weekend was approaching.

  20. jpsfranks says:

    Back when I opened an account at the end of last year their policy was to let you trade before they’d processed your paperwork, but would subject the proceeds of your sale to withholding (the proceeds, not the gain!). My guess is that this angered so many people so much that they switched to just not allowing trades. Why they have to do either I have no idea.

    Yodlee says on their board that they’re working on Zecco, but they’ve been working on it for a couple of months.

  21. Do they support roth ira account?

    I have a few grands sitting on roth ira at fidelity. I didnt do any trades because fidelity charges somewhere b/w 11 -18$ for a trade, unless you buy one of their mutual funds.

    I had been planning to move roth ira money to firsttrade, but now they too charge money for mutual fund.

  22. Great review! I was wondering about Zecco a few months ago, but didn’t stumble upon your review until now. I opened up an account at Zecco in January and everything you mentioned is true — except that I got fed up with its lack of customer service. I decided to go to Etrade instead, and since I’m not an active trader, their offer of the first 30-days of free trade works for me. Plus, Zecco is based in Canada… not too sure about that.

  23. Undecided says:

    Baxter or enonymous ,
    Can you or anyone else comment on the pros/cons between Zecco and WellsTrade 100free from a trading/investing standpoint?

    I know at WellsTrade, mutual funds are included in the 100 free trades, and you get the benefit of a Brick and Mortar presence which is lost on me since they don’t have any branches near where I stay.

    Thoughts?

  24. they support roth

  25. @Lefai:
    Zecco is based in Ontario, CA (California not CANADA)

    just fyi…

    @Jonathan:
    Again nice article. Thank you.

    For Roth and Trad IRA account holders: I would suggest to deposit your money by check instead of ACH transfer. I believe they have some nasty bug in their electronic ACH money transfer functionality. See my comment in part 1 of Zecco review article.

  26. Undecided says:

    Lefai…they are based in Ontario, CAlifornia….NOT Ontario, CAnada

  27. Does Zecco have real time quotes for account holders only?
    I tried getting a quote using Zecco from their homepage without logging in since I don’t have an account. I tried this at 12:29 Pm on 05/11 and the quote I got was not real time; the time below the quote was 12:14PM
    for APPLE INC. (AAPL). I am not sure if this is the same quote I will get after opening an account with them. I compared to my Scottrade account and their quote was different.
    I am also concerned if they will execute my market order at the quote they are showing or the actual real time quote. Does anyone with an account check for real time quote and let me know. Thanks.

  28. Nice article. Thank You.
    Can You please explain money market sweep options?
    What is the difference between SC CAT MM Portfolio, SR ICT Treasury Portfolio and ST CAT Tax Exempt Portfolio. What are pros and cons of each? Thank You.

  29. Jonathan, can you confirm that we can take out all the money after initial transfer?

    Will the keep the account open if there is no balance? How long will they keep it open?

  30. Yes, you take take out whatever you want. There is no minimum balance requirement or monthly fees, just a minimum to open.

  31. SC CAT MM Portfolio – fully taxable
    SR ICT Treasury Portfolio – exempt from state/local income taxes
    ST CAT Tax Exempt Portfolio – exempt from federal income taxes

    Which works best for each person depends on their tax situation. I actually switched to the Treasury portfolio. With my current state tax rates, that’s the same as a taxable money market yielding 4.81%. Sweet! :)

    taxable-equivalent yield calculator

  32. What needs to go on the sweep request form to get it approved?

    “Client name” and “Zecco trading account number” are self-explanatory, but what are they looking for under “account registration”? Is that supposed to be the date of registration, or some other bit of information?

    And they list their Email as the submission contact for the sweep form. Is it best just to scan the completed form, and send it to them as an attachment?

  33. I put “Cash Individual” – it’s whatever is under the myInfo tab in your Zecco pages.

    I faxed it in myself, but e-mail as attachment should be fine. That’s how I sent my paperwork.

  34. gattaca says:

    Just a warning to people thinking about opening an account:

    All of a sudden my trading key did not let me login to my account, I contacted them by email, and was told to enter correct trading key or ask for a reset by phone.

    Now, the only time I tried to change my trading key was 2 weeks ago and even though the screen confirmed the change, only the old key worked.

    I don’t know if the turnaround time is 2 weeks or what, but I had forgotten what combo I tried since it wasn’t registering the changes so I tried some number only combos and what not.

    Anyways to seal the deal for me canceling was the fact that I called 3 different times, waiting about 10-15 mins each and got nothing…

    I will be moving to MB trading, which is $1 a trade for

  35. I opened an account with them and have had nothing but problems. I set the password on the informal side to a reasonably unsecure password and the one for the trading account to a more secure one.

    After the paperwork was processed I received the “fund your account” nag email, but could not log into the system at all. I tried the “lost password” link and never received an email from their system.

    It’s been three weeks of this now. They respond to emails about every two or three days; not every other day, but after two or more days. Also, any phone calls I made to them always go to voice mail since they never seem to get to you while on hold… I did try waiting 30 minutes. Even the return phone call took two days and then I got a “we’ll look into it” and no resolution other than a test email.

    It looks like I’m not the only one with this issue. It seems that they’d make it simple to open/recover an account. I’ve pretty much had it with them.

  36. Susanne says:

    Wow! I’ve learned a lot reading the two parts of the Zecco review & all the comments. So many people have had customer service problems with these guys. You people are scaring me out of using Zecco. Also, it’s still not clear as to whether or not a person has to fill out paperwork and mail it in. Thanks for all the info.

  37. I’m not quite convinced the verdict is out yet on Zecco. Now, the prospect of free trades is very appealing. I use Scottrade and trade a fair amount, so I pay a bit too much in commissions with them when it is all added up. However, the customer service is just superb and they have never executed a margin call on me (despite my going over the limit a few times). Therefore, I have not switched yet, but I do keep an eye on things. I will give Zecco a few more months yet.

  38. Great review, thanks.
    I’m just trying to open an account, and I agree it’s awfully hard. Right now they want a signed hard copy of my application. They supposedly mailed it to me, but the mail seems to be taking longer than a week. I’ll see if I can start trading in 1 month. If not, I’ll just stop it and go to scottrade.
    I also was a little scared by their “easy to borrow” list – not a whole lot of shares on it, large caps mostly. I wonder if shorting will be a problem.
    If you ask me, they should charge $3.50 comissions on all trades, or at least significantly lower the number of free ones, and use the proceeds to beef up their customer service. It’ll work better for everyone.
    Also I agree with Joe – if Scottrade charged around $4, it wouldn’t be worth it to deal with Zecco.
    Of course it all depends on the average trade size. Once an average trade is over 10K, $10 commissions begin to seem reasonable – 0.2% in and out. Unfortunately I’m not there yet.
    Also, it looks like they do not have a quote streamer (or maybe I couldn’t find it) – does anyone know for sure?

  39. Nice review. I agree with pretty much everything you said. It’s not the greatest brokerage in the world, but it is FREE!
    In any case, anyone have any idea what happens if Zecco goes out of business? I wonder this because I was looking at their financials the other day and their liabilities:equity ratio is about 1:1 (pretty scary). I checked, and both Equinox Securities and Penson Financial Services are SIPC members. But I’m still worried. Anyone know what the deal is?

  40. Hi guys,

    A quick question:

    Has anyone tried TradeKing?

    Any advise on them as a middle ground between cheap/no customer service and expensive/good customer services?

    Thanks!

  41. I agree with your review and wanted to add I placed a ACH transfer order on a Friday and the money was in my zecco on monday! I also think their complex option interface is amazing! Scottrade doesn’t let you do anything but buy and sell long. No writing, straddle etc. Zecco is great. Scottrade doesnt even let you transfer Money out using ACH, which is a joke. And the option trading fee’s are half of scottrades. I think trading small amount of stock in zecco is great. You really can make your own “Fund”!

  42. Stephen says:

    I opened an account with Zecco about six months ago. It is true that it was a bit involved getting the account all set up and running. But since then I have made six trades and several ACH cash transfers and not had any problems at all. Since I’m not looking for much in the way of other services, so far I am satisfied with this outfit and hope they make it. I wouldn’t be too afraid to try them out.

  43. ahbskauh says:

    Jonathan,

    I am new to trading and was wondering what does AON stand for in the buying screen.

  44. AON stands for “All or Nothing.” If you check “AON” when you submit a trade, you are instructing the broker to execute the trade only when the full order amount can be traded at your requested price.

  45. Nanette says:

    If any of you have a WAMU account you can wire transfer to Zecco for free and if done before 2PM it is available either immediately or next day. In my case, it was next day.

    I am also getting the “pending broker approval” to get the opening money back. Hope it does not take more then four business days.

    I emailed the Money market form. It was painless.
    I wrote “margin individual” because that is what you I have under info.

    Jonathan, you should too, didn;t you recommend a margin account? Anyway, I got it. Not that I am going to use it.

    FWIW: Zecco did not pull a hard on credit report.
    So glad I did not have to figure this out on my own! Thanks Jonathan for the great walk through.

  46. Lloyd Henry says:

    I have never experienced such a horrible company. I received an account approval 4/13/07, could not change trading key until a phone call and still am unable to trade in my funded account. Service is only available with a phone call and even then, no one takes responsibility. I get a lot of “i’m sorry,we’re working on that,”comments, but no “we’ll take care of our mistakes”. If I can ever retrieve my funding, I won’t do business with such a poorly run business.

  47. Lousy Jack says:

    So far my experience the zecco has been good.
    Submitted the application day before yesterday, yesterday it got approved and later during the day the Outstanding Paperwork turned NO.

    I guess, they have streamlined the process.

    I had trouble with the trading key, changed it to something which had alpha, spl chars and numbers. It updated the key successfully, but later when I tried to log in, it wont let me.
    Called customer service (took 10 minutes to get through), the guy suggested to use “upto 10 numbers” only. So, yeah it seems there are a few minor bugs in the system.
    But so far so good. Can’t complain.

  48. Nanette says:

    A transfer out of the original $2450 was back in my savings account in only 2 days! Requested on 30th, pending broker approval on 31st, available back in WAMU savings June 1st morning!

    Wow, fast!

  49. I had the trading key password problem to Jack. Took about 2 hrs and they emailed me back and corrected it. Tried emailing them again on Wednesday about transferring funds my account. I have Choicetrade (they’ve pissed me off) and they both use Penson so I wanted to see if I could cut down on the mailed in paperwork but never did hear back from Zecco. Did call them and it took about 5 minutes to get an Asian chick on the phone. She was very nice but said I would have to send in the form like they wanted. One thing is a little different than Choicetrade or Firstrade (IRA, no annual fee) is all the “Loading” when you irst go to the site. Neither of the other two do that. But is free so we’ll see.

  50. Matthew says:

    Zecco Trading security software has some scary problems. I successfully changed my trading key password on Friday morning, 6/1, from my civilian work computer. Then I tried logging in from home computer the same day in the evening. I wasn’t able to log in. So I used my old trading key password and it worked–I got in. That shouldn’t happen. I ended updating my trading key password from using my home computer to the same one I changed on my civilian work computer. Everything works now, but something like that should not happen. Once you change your password, it shouldn’t matter what computer you are using–that password change should take effect immediately. At Zecco, this is a problem.

  51. I have a strange problem with Zecco. I dont know if anybody else have had this problem. I transfered the assets from my sharebuilder account to zecco. It was fast. But they transfered some company shares worth 700$ to my account that i dont own. Should i be happy that i got free 700$ or report this error to them. I am afraid of using their account now. This time i gained 700$ what if next time i am loosing 1000$.

  52. Sorry about all the typos. Really bad typer. I was going to transfer my enter Choicetrade account to Zecco but while I was waiting to get my statement from Choicetrade and after waiting 5 days for an email response from Zecco and reading about some of the problems Zecco is having. I’m going to send them just the $2500 it takes to open an account and see how it goes before I plunk down the rest. Thanks everyone for your posts.

  53. Batman60 says:

    Hey Rod, Now Zecco doesn’t have an account opemmimg limit. $0 to Open NOW) I would try $500 and trade for a month, then transfer more late, Batman60

  54. I signed up for a new account about a week ago. How long does it usually take before I get a trade key?

  55. Matt- I believe the trade key is “hidden” withing the “Account Application Approved” email you received. your initial trading key is the first 3 numbers of your SSN and the last 4 didgits of your trading account #. Once you sign into the myzecco then got to the Zecco trading tab… your account # will be shown and this is where you’d then put your TEMPORARY trading keydescribed above.

  56. One other potentially major thing I discovered about the Zecco account funding process…
    Zecco does the standard 2 small monitary deposits to the accounts you link for ACH transfers. Once they are verified Zecco then GOES BACK TO THOSE LINKED ACCOUNTS AND WITHDRAWLS THE MONEY THEY DEPOSITED.

    This isn’t a cry about them taking the “free money” they just put in my bank account during the verification it is more that:

    1) nowhere is this mentioned on their website
    2) many of us are funding this Zecco account from high interest MM accounts who restrict withdrawls out to 6 per month. As you can guess many MM accounts impose fees for withdrawl’s over 6. Is Zecco going to pay me back those fees? I doubt it but i’m sure going to bitch.

    I mean free trades are great but if your customer service sucks so bad that you can’t get someone on the phone I would expect details about the acount to be described to the letter on the website.

  57. Are all types of account ‘free’? I mean if I transfer my roth ira, trade account, roll over ira etc. to zecco – will I get 0$ commission on all of them?

    Also how much commission do they charge for mutual funds?

  58. Nope. Can’t do it. I didn’t find the application process any worse than Choicetrade or Firstrade but the site is just too slow. It’s painful. The 2 passwords and all the loading. Can’t imagine having to trade that way. But having spent the last 45 minutes trying to send them $3000 and not being able to do it is the last straw. Good luck to you all. I’ll keep paying 5 bucks at Choicetrade until something better comes along.

  59. Lousy Jack says:

    The website is not very intuitive, but once you get a handle on it, things seems pretty simple. I don’t think logging with two passwords is an issue… how lazy can one get??
    If these trivial issues matter – zecco is not for you, my friend.

    So far my experience has been nothing but good. Trades are executed in real time, transferring money (both in and out) is pretty easy and takes at most two business days.
    Many people whine about zecco and start comparing it with brokers who charge 7-20 bucks per trade. Isn’t that just too much to expect ..especially when your trades are free?
    Oh well, some people just like to complain I guess…. but who cares!

  60. I would want to share my experience about Zecco. Simply put: it’s amazing as long as you file all the paperwork!

    I registered the account information last Saturday; on Sunday I faxed and mailed all the paperwork that I think relevant to me, even they haven’t asked for. I also requested an ACH transfer.

    Now on Monday my account is all setup with “Outstanding paperwork: No”. Plus, I noticed the two small accounts have already been deposited to my external account. I verified the numbers and requested a pull of $50 immediately.

    Today is Thursday. $50 has already been sitting in my Zecco account and I placed a market order. It’s executed within a second!

    I have read all of the reviews about Zecco all these couple of months. Up to now I believe they’re in decent shape to impose a significant threat to other brokerage firms, including Sogoinvest. If you pay enough attention to the paperwork, nothing will bother you at all. If you’re not sure whether you need to fax/mail a particular form, choose to do it rather than not. Also, mail out all the forms after the fax.

    You take the trouble and Zecco will reward you!

  61. I’ve been trading with Zecco for almost a month. Overall, the experience matches the price, it’s bare bones but manageable. But there’s one major problem – I have never been able to cancel an order on-line. Their site invariably crashes when you try to cancel an order. Always. 100% of the time. Anytime I mention it to Zecco, they would say either “this is a temporary problem with a server” or “we will investigate”. But I have never ever been able to cancel an order on line. When I absolutely have to cancel, I have to call Zecco and then of course it takes a very long time to get someone on the phone, as described by many people above.

    The way I trade, when market moves unexpectedly, I tend to change my mind on what I’m planning to do (and who doesn’t), so I must have “cancel” working in order to trade. I already took some losses because an outdated order from early morning would get “hit” in the late afternoon, in an entirely different environment, hurting me simply because the on-line CANCEL doesn’t work, and I don’t have time to get a Zecco rep on the phone. I’m thinking of leaving Zecco. Without working cancels, I can’t trade.

  62. I’ve canceled 4 orders in two days and both went right through. I have not experienced any problem with canceling orders. I would like someone to clarify Zecco’s policy on Day Trading status. I don’t want to be considered a day trader so is it that I can’t make 3 roundtrip trades in 5 consecutive business days, or is three allowed and on your fourth trade Zecco classifies a person as a day trader?

  63. The hardest part was signing up with all the paperwork to print out, but after that it’s been smooth sailing.

    I’ve also had no problems cancelling orders at all. Maybe it is your web browser?

  64. Does anyone know how to change the e-mail address tied up with the Trading account? It is fairly easy to do in the regular account, but I couldn not do it for the other one.

  65. Thank you for your review of Zecco. I recently opened an account and I couldn’t be more pleased. One question: I have added a money market sweep to my account. Where can I find the *current* yields for each mm fund? Thanks!

  66. Thanks for the review. Zecco has been great. I can’t believe how much money I could have saved if I would have only started here.

  67. First, Jonathan, thanks so much for all of your insightful & helpful postings. Since reading your blog, I’ve managed to save so much money, from getting the 15% discount on my cell phone bills to taking advantage of credit card deals you’ve mentioned. I’m not being facitous at all here–I think you ought to add a “Thanks to Jonathan” category to your website, because I have a feeling I’m not the only die-hard Jonathan fan out there!

    My question for Jonathan or any other financially-minded friends is this: How advisable would it be for a totally-novice trader to use Zecco?

    My stock market expertise goes as far as parking my Roth funds in Vanguard’s and Fidelity’s target retirement accounts. But I figure now’s better than never to learn online trading. I’m currently a graduate student, so I project my trading pattern to be more seasonal than not; that is, I would probably be too busy to trade 8 out of 12 months, but during academic breaks, I would have the time to be a “day trader.”

    Thanks for your input!

  68. Thanks for the kind words Hannah :)

    I personally do not advocate active trading of stocks (in any brokerage account) for serious investing, but only for “explore” money. I still think that over the long run, low-cost, passive investing will give you the greatest return/risk ratio.

    If you’re going to venture into trading with some money, as I do with only $1,000 right now, I think Zecco is an okay brokerage. The customer service isn’t the best, as it is a deep discount broker. But I honestly haven’t had any reason to contact them since my initial account opening process. Even when I was with E-Trade, I would have to wait forever on hold to talk to a human, so I’ve kind of just accepted that cheap brokers don’t offer very good service like Vanguard or Fidelity.

    Hope that helps? I guess what I am saying is that there is no single answer for everyone.

  69. Thanks for your input, Jonathan, and as alway, I think it is a sound advice. No need to deplete my future retirement income by playing (probably poorly) the daytrader. I’ll keep the “exploration” theme in mind.

    BTW, just out of curiosity, how much of the $1,000 you currently have in Zecco is your initial principle and how much of it is capital gains?

  70. I just took $1,000 out of my savings and put it in Zecco for now, it’s mainly just earning the money market interest as I haven’t had the time to research any stocks.

  71. Got it. Thanks again, Jonathan.

  72. zecco is the best

  73. Greetings friends. Based on the info here, I’m on my way to opening an account. I’m filling out the Sweep Request form, but am stumped on the “Account Registration” line. Noticed that someone else posted about that, but didn’t see a response. I didn’t see anything on the Zecco site, either.

    Any input?

  74. After you open your account, got to the MyInfo tab and look for the Account Registration Field.

    It will likely be something like one of the following:

    Cash-Individual
    Cash-Joint
    Margin-Individual
    Margin-Joint

  75. You are correct. Thanks much. I hadn’t logged all the way into the site yet.

    Aloha…

  76. Does anyone know how long it takes for a cash balance to become buying power? I’ve been waiting 5 business days for my trading account cash to convert to buying power so that I can buy some stocks. I don’t want to open a margin account. This is quite a nuisance having my funds in limbo. Thanks.

  77. calm&collected says:

    Hi,

    I read the comments here prior to opening an account with Zecco so I figured I would share my experience to help others.

    I filled out the app online. Since I am a US citizen living in Europe, I had to mail a signed copy to Zecco. Having read some of the negetive comments here and since I have another brokerage account already, I was in no rush to get started with Zecco. So, I simply mailed a hardcopy of the app to them.

    Within a few days, I received the “Account Application Approved” email. However, I was unable to sign on to my account. I telephoned them and was talking to a live customer service rep within one minute. When I explained the problem, she gave me my account number and called the “technical guys” and asked them to link my “MyZecco” login with my “trading account”. I then logged out and logged back in and whamo, I had a brokerage account with Zecco.

    Next, I “carefully” set up the ACH. This interface is rather rudimentary so you have to be a tad careful. Everything went smoothly. Transferred funds show up in your account in two business days (i.e., if you transfer Monday, you will see the funds in your Zecco account Wednesday morning).

    Consequent to opening an account, I have had my options trading level changed using email messages.

    I must confess that I found their customer service on par with my other discount broker – eTrade. Telephones were answered promptly and emails responded to within under 24 hours. It would be fair to say that their service surpassed my expectations.

    And man, free trades are grrreeeeeat! I’ve made 10 trades this month already without any problems!

  78. Hi,
    I don’t want to give the wrong impression. I still like Zecco and I am sticking with them. The free trades are great! My above mentioned problem was resolved by email. Zecco emailed me within 24 hours of contacting them about my account balance and buying power not updating in a timely manner. They apologized and stated that if this happens again I should call customer service immediately and they will manually correct my balances so that I am able to trade. So far, nothing has gone so wrong that I want to dump Zecco. They still have my vote of confidence!

  79. Thank you very much for the info!

  80. Does Anyone know if you can Short with Zecco?

  81. By Short, I mean Short Trade Stocks. Not Options.

  82. calm&collected says:

    Yes, GIA, Zecco allows shorting stocks.

    FYI, they do not seem to have stop loss orders of any kind. On the other hand, they do support “relatively complex” options strategies – e.g. spread, straddle, covered call, etc.

  83. Thanks Jonathan!

    I wish that I would have seen this site BEFORE I opened my Zecco account.

    I opened the account with no ID and no problem via fax … I did not want to send all that info over an insecure email … yikes. They need to have a secure email on their web site.

    I transferred ACH funds in and then tried to transfer them out … It took one day to go in but all I got on the ACH Out was Pending Broker Approval. What they fail to tell you anywhere is that there is a 5 business day waiting period for ACH funds that you just transferred in.

    So, I get to wait 5 business days for my money when they got their ACH test 40 cents and 30 cents back from my bank in one day.

    Will I ever use them for my trades? Only time will tell but they will have to improve for sure. In the meantime, hope I get my funds back within 5 business days. I will report back then!

  84. calm&collected says:

    Jack said: “What they fail to tell you anywhere is that there is a 5 business day waiting period for ACH funds that you just transferred in.”

    This is untrue. I have used their ACH fund transfer service numerous times. It takes at most two days for the funds to clear AND be available for trading – just like most other brokers I have accounts with.

    Look, personally, I have not had a problem opening, funding and trading in my account. Quite a few other individuals have. Bottom line is, one has to figure out how much one will save every year with free trades and if it is worth going through the “potential” hassle of opening an account. With my frequency of trading, it was worth enduring any potential hassle. I would have been cautious if there were frequent reports of problems with trade execution. However, such was not the case.

    Honestly, a lot of the complaints I read about here regarding availability of funds, setting up a “margin” account, inability to trade relate to missing or inaccurate paperwork. For example, unless you have a margin account, funds from the sale of stock will not be available to reuse for two more trading days. This is how ALL brokerages work. As Sean noted above: “If you pay enough attention to the paperwork, nothing will bother you at all.” This is not just true for Zecco, but any other broker.

  85. My funds are not available to go back to my bank for 5 business days … I did not say for trading … I said funds to Zecco via ACH for trading and then a need for those funds takes 5 business days for some odd reason by Penson. I know it happened to me and is noted no where on the Zecco web site.

  86. Greetings everyone!
    Now, I’ve read, and re-read, Jonathan’s review on Zecco and decided to give it a try. I just have one question. If I set it up as ‘margin-individual’ with fundings in ‘money market sweep’ and trade 40 times in one month. Will I be charged any fee for withdrawing/depositing funds in&out of my money market account? Some were mentioning they have 6-time limit on their money market funds.

  87. zecco is the best . no matter what.

  88. Wow … I have been trying to get my $50K back from Zecco via ACH for the past 10 days … first they said there was a 5 day waiting period, then finally I contacted the CEO Friday and again today — they called me today and said it would finally happen today and that there was a problem on Friday. Still waiting for my $50K … will let you know if the CEO Jeroen Veth comes through.

    For some reason Zecco had to cancel my ACH transfer and change it to a Wire Transfer without any explanation.

    If you are thinking of opening an account — 1st navigate the web site which you can do without funding the account … just open the account and then look around without funding … you will find it very difficult to navigate compared to any brokerage account that I have had … I have had 6 internet brokerage accounts and all are superior to Zecco.

    But, to be fair, I never bought a share at Zecco and hopefully Penson out of Dallas does a good job on execution of their trades … I do not know this for a fact!

    My final thoughts are – try the site first and fund later … much later. Good Luck! I will update tomorrow and we will see if I have my funds from Zecco Trading!

  89. I second the previous comment in regards to website. It’s a huge hassle to login to even just check your balances. The double username/password door that Zecco installed sucks. I rarely use my account now, due to the fact you have to jump through hoops just to see your actual account info. Interface is too cluttered with at least 30 tabs. I’m not even sure what they all are about yet…..

    Definitely not a user-friendly website. Yuck!

  90. Whew! Finally got my $50K back from Zecco after 2 weeks of trying — what a hassel.

    Word to the wise is to try the site BEFORE you fund your acccount.

    They seem to make many errors — such as sending the wire to my checking account and not to the bank address that the wire requires… they did this twice and both times it failed.

    Finally I sent them the correct account number for the brokerage that I wanted the funds wired back into. They initiated the wire not me, but I thought they knew the correct procedure for the wire out — but they did not. The original ACH to them worked fine and it showed up on the 2nd day in my account. But I had to go through 3 or 4 screens to find it.

    So, the bottom line is that it has been a tough 2 weeks and I may or may not try them when I do not need the $50K for an emergency that came up suddenly.

    In the meantime, I will be reading this blog to see if Zecco improves it’s operation.

  91. I tested zecco a couple of times in last two weeks and eventually decided to stop using it. Here are the reasons:
    1. I am concerned about their business sense (and the survivability). What’s the point of sending a written confirmation for every trade? It’s a 41cents cost just for stamp, not to mentioning the overhead. They could (and should) invest a little on their website instead. I noted that all-electronic delivery is a given in most of the places where deep discount avaiable: 5+% saving, izone, to name a few.

    2. They claim that one of the reasons being free is no “advertisement,” yet I have seen almost everyday a banner ad on cnn money. Also I felt they are not upfronting enough to point out that another big source of their revenue is to “lend” the long-positions you have. (Nothing wrong with that as every broker does that, but why not point out?)

    3. It scared me to read one comment above of not being able to “cancel” an order. Not I often do that, but lack of that capability definetely seems weird (and worrysome to me). (To be fair, I think some complains on the ACH could be unfair. If you have a cash account, and sell on Friday, it takes T+3 to clear the order, and then 2 days to do ACH, so next Friday is not unreasonable; and next Monday is possible).

    I know they are insured this and that, but if things go deadly wrong, the headache and the loss of trading opportunities might just wipe out a significant part of the savings.

    I am fairly sure that they will survive, and nothing that bad would happen. Just not felt right myself. My recent experience with Sunrocket did not help either.

  92. I just opened a zecco account last week and got everything processed just in time for me to buy 2 long stocks before the Fed interest cut. At the end of the day, I reviewed my positions and notice the Last price displayed for both of my stocks were inaccurate !!

    I bought XME @ 59.00 and the stock ended at 61.70. But Zecco shows Last = 59.15 with %P&L only 0.25%. I should have made a profit of 4.57% and not 0.25%!!! ( I dont know what P&L means, but I assume it means my profit).

    Does anyone else have any problem with inaccurate “Last Price” displayed on Zecco trading??

    Ron (above) mentioned about “[another big source of their revenue is to ?lend? the long-positions you have]“. I don’t know what he meant, but I wonder whether this is how Zecco cheats me off my profit temporarily or something??
    I’m now suspicious to use Zecco if their system cannot accurately calculate my profit.

  93. Dan – That’s the after-hours quote. See here: XME

  94. Jonathan – I think you’re right.

  95. Jonathan -

    If I add money market sweep to my zecco account, does that mean that any money in my cash balance (ie Buying Power money) will earn me some interest on a daily basis?
    When does Zecco disburse this earned interest so I can verify?

    Where did you get the following information?
    SC CAT MM Portfolio – fully taxable
    SR ICT Treasury Portfolio – exempt from state/local income taxes
    ST CAT Tax Exempt Portfolio – exempt from federal income taxes

  96. Zecco_on_the_fence says:

    You have to fill out a form and email or fax it in to get the automatic money market sweep. Zecco would prefer to pay you 1% on your account balances and not the 4+% money market rates.

    I have found that they do pay those rates pretty well when I had an ACH transfer to them. But, with a family emergency I needed the funds and it took 2 weeks for me to get the funds back to my bank — they have a 5 business day waiting period but never tell you this fact.

    I finally found the form on their very hard to navigate site at the following link:

    http://www.zecco.com/Downloads.....epForm.pdf

    Here are the rates as of 9-20-07:
    Please indicate your fund selection below:
    ? SC CAT MM Portfolio (4.39%)*
    ? SR ICT Treasury Portfolio (4.24%)*
    ? ST CAT Tax Exempt Portfolio (2.60%)*

    Good Luck!

  97. calm&collected says:

    I am back with some negetive comments on Zecco (for a change).

    On Sept 10, I requested an ACH transfer out from my Zecco account to my bank account. The system accepted the transfer with a status of “Pending Broker Approval”. Apparently, ACH transfers are a manual process at Zecco. Three days later, my transfer request was sitting there with the same status message – “Pending Broker Approval”. I emailed Zecco and a customer service rep said he would look into it and make sure it went through. He lied, because on Monday (one week after I initially placed my transfer request), the status of my transfer still had not changed. So I called Zecco. Got in touch with a live person with no wait time! He put me on hold while he sorted the problem out (22 minutes). The next day I had the money in my bank account.

    As many have noted above, should you see ANY problem, call or email and it will get fixed. Not very efficient, but it does get the job done. To be fair, other brokers I use are far from perfect. I am still waiting on my 1099 for 2006 from eTrade (I spent a few hours on the phone with them). My other broker Fidelity is very efficient and reliable most of the time, however, I have consistently failed to place trades on their web site when the market is volatile (high volume).

    Oh and Zecco’s web site is a challenge. Compared to other brokerage web sites, it takes longer to get used to it. Once you do however, it is easier to deal with.

  98. Hi Jonathan,

    I was just quickly wondering….for Zecco, how do you sell your stock using the buy and sell form on the website?

  99. buddy kilroy says:

    I’ve been reading this blog and have a question. Does anybody trade options, if so, has the order execution been within a minute or less and has the price been correct?

  100. If you want to trade options regularly, then I would suggest signing up at ThinkorSwim.com. They are great for options

  101. Hi All,

    I have opened an account with OptionXpress (albeit only for stock trading) and they are wonderful. They have a great customer service etc. However, given the free commission in Zecco compared to $14.95 in OX, I am tempted to open the account with Zecco. The problem is that I am a foreign alien (indian) and I am not sure how user friendly Zecco is for us. After all I am going to heavily rely on emails to correspond and not pick up the phone every time I have a problem. I dont care too much about delays in account opening and funds transfer as I am a newbie and any time I get to read up will be worth it
    Any suggestions or other brokers ?

    Thanks

  102. Trebor Nodrog says:

    I just signed p with Zecco a few days ago, I did alot of research of all of the top discount brokers and it was between zecco and tradeking. I chose Zecco (despite reading more reviews on tradeking) because of the 10 free trades with a balance of $2500.00. I was anxious to trade so I spent the 15 dollars for a wire transfer at my Commerce bank and the next business day I was trading. My first order executed immediately. I know some people have said that the balance doesn’t reflect the recent purchases but it does say “buying power” and tells you how much you have left so you can figure it out until the balance hits again. I haven’t tried any other services so I cannot comment on interfaces but Zecco is a bit annoying to navigate, at times I feel its a bit sluggish and it logs you out if your inactive for a few minutes, which is very annoying, good for security if your in a public place I guess and you forget, but I’m at home, maybe you can change it, who knows.

    As for customer service I emailed them about a quick Money Market Sweep question about a day and a half ago and no response, I called up and got them on the phone within 2 minutes going through the prompts, so atleast phone service was better.

    If you don’t have alot of money to invest I would suggest just putting something like $2600 dollars in your account, get the free trades then get the money market sweep and let your remaining unused balance collect interest.

    In the process of looking for a discount broker I was looking for money market and savings accounts and found that WaMu online free checking offers free wire transfers for those in a hurry for funding their account, may be something to look into.

    So far Zecco seems ok, I will report back as I have more time trading with them. Also note this is my first time ever trading and with a broker.

  103. I’m going to get a little into the paranoia, but I was wondering if there is some sort of “behind the scene” priority trade executions between higher fee online broker and low(or free commission) fee online broker like Zecco.

    Let’s say there’s an IPO coming out with a lot of hype and I need fast execution trades in the first hour, does it make any difference if I were to use TDAmeritrade over Zecco ? Does Ameritrade gets priority executions by Wall Street because they charge us commission which they can pay the Wall Street brokers, but Zecco don’t?

    Also, any suggestion whether I should use buy order type “Limit” or “Market” to guarantee the lowest buy possible on an IPO?

  104. Dan,

    Zecco uses Penson Financial Services of Dallas to do their actual order processing so that is good. Penson is a public company and trades on the NASDA as PNSN (Common Stock).

    What I read on several blogs is all good for Zecco’s execution of trades.

    I just received the Zecco letter in the mail that states their new $4.95 trades if you go over your 10 free with $2500 minimum. Maybe, they will use this money to fix their customer service which is abysmal to say the least!

    As for as IPOs … I run a portfolio of several million and can not get into the IPOs since they are so competitive. Brokers save them for only their very big clients.

    As for market or limit … always put in limit orders and never, never put in market orders or some day you will regret it for sure! You never know what you are going to buy at when using a market order!

    Good luck and happy trading!

  105. Dan…

    Agree with Jack above. Been using Zecco for 6months now. The free trades are amazing and they execute trades fast in realtime just like other major brokers like Etrade(gay), Ameritrade, Schwab etc. I should know I also still have an Etrade account(empty now) & Amitrade with stock positions held too.

    ALWAYS use limit orders, only very rarely use market orders in cases the stock is on a huge climb and you can’t get in with limit
    and don’t mind paying more to hold some stock thinking it’ll climb much higher.

    IPO’s you can trade the same when there on the market.
    But never count on getting an IPO at its price offering before it come on the market. That only goes in a type of lottery to major
    shareholders $500,000+ and major institutions/clients/funds.
    Because when it comes on the market you’ll usually see them open 2x or more high then the privatly offered price OR you’ll hear on the news it was priced at $15 and closed at $40 thining you could have got in at $15-$25. uh no!

  106. Trebor Nodrog…

    Instead of the $15 dollars for a wire transfer at my Commerce bank to fund your account. USe/setup an ACH transfer to fund and transfer out for FREE!

    You just enter your personal saving or checking account #, then call you bank get the banks routing # and set that up in Zecco. Then Zecco will deposit 2 small penny deposits in your account to verify. After your verify you can then fund your account for free or withdraw on the spot for free.
    While making good interest vs your bank account + not being locked in a CD for 6months etc using there money market getting around 4.7% and have the option to quickly take out money when needed with no fees using ACH.

  107. I have nothing good to say about Zecco, I sent a wire transfer supposedly one day to credit my account. Three days now I’ve been waiting meanwhile the investment I want to make is going down the tubes, no-one has been answering their phones for the last two days, is this a viable company?

  108. I’ve had no problems with Zecco. I’ve been using it since around June or so. I’ve also recommended it to friends and family. I like the free trades. I’ve never done a wire transfer, I’ve only used ACH transfers and never had a problem. It is a viable company in my opinion.

  109. pratomorone says:

    I have been trying to open a Zecco account since 10 October and at this date, it is open but not funded. Granted, I live in Italy but am an American citizen (try finding a broker besides them and E*Trade that will open an account for someone in my situation) but their customer service people told me that accounts are normally opened within five days, not almost thirty.

    They have told me (and I have talked to three of their customer service people on the telephone) that it will take another seven to ten days to fund the account. Since I am over the FDIC limit with E*Trade, I am somewhat preoccupied but not overly worried. It took me about a month to find someone that would accept me as a customer.

    If I run into further problems, I will post here.

  110. calm&collected says:

    pratomorone,

    I am in a similar situation as yourself. I am a US citizen living in Europe. These brokers will open accounts for US citizens with foreign addresses: Fidelity, TradeKing, Firstrade, OptionsExpress and Thinkorswim. I was able to open and fund (ACH) my Zecco account in less than one week.

    If I had cash in an ETrade bank account over the FDIC limit, I would be very concerned. I presume you understand that FDIC insurance only applies to bank accounts. Brokerage assets are covered by SIPC insurance and that coverage limit is very high (in the millions, I think).

  111. pratomorone says:

    well, calm&collected, I beg to differ with you on a number of points. Fidelity previously and today, Tradeking told me no, they have no license to operate here in Italy. The other thing you are incorrect on is that any cash in an E*Trade account is automatically moved over to E*Trade Bank and is subject to FDIC regulations that limit the coverage to $100,000 even if it is in the money market funds supplied by E*Trade. SIPC insurance covers only equities and is limited to $500,000, $100,000 of which may be in cash (if it is not in a bank such as E*Trade Bank).

  112. I currently have a regular cash account. Do you know what I need to do to get authorization for day-trading without any restrictions?

  113. calm&collected says:

    pratomorone,

    I have accounts with Fidelity, TradeKing and eTrade with a European address. If a rep at these institutions informed you otherwise, they are ill informed (not unusual). For example, check this page for TradeKing: link

    Re eTrade, I made no claim that cash in an eTrade account is automatically moved over to eTrade bank. All I said was that if I had more than $100,000 in an eTrade bank account, I would be very concerned.

  114. I finally convinced myself to give Zecco a try. I assumed from some of the post here that the setup was going to take a while, but quite the contrary. I applied for an account this afternoon (a Sunday) and received approval via email within an hour. I?m now working on funding my account through the ACH option and we?ll see how that goes (hopefully this will be set up by the end of the work week).

  115. I am Zecco customer. I love it, no problems yet! open an account is little longer but once you set it up its great.

    you have good review thanks for sharing your zecco experience with us.

  116. SocKrates says:

    Wow! Zecco really looked good. cheap trades, no min. lets me daytrade with almost no overhead. BUT…
    It’s been almost two weeks now transfering money. Heres a break down:

    1. signed up for zecco, didnt realise I was only signing up for the community
    2. had to sign up again, a trading account this time
    3. took three days to find out what my trading key was, btw the email is not marked as “your trading key” or anything, so be careful or you will delete it.
    4. started the ach external account process. recieved two deposits from zecco, entered them in, and sucessfully set up the account. total wait time, 8 days.
    5. transfered $300 in $100 increments from my external to zecco, zecco approved the first one, CANCLED the second one, and DENIED the third one with no explination!
    6. been a few days since the $100 was supposed to clear. its in my cash history, yet not avalible, nor have they actually removed the cash from my external account.
    7. my external account is now PENDING deposit confirmating AGAIN! I don’t understand, did zecco lose my last confirmation and is trying to do it again without telling me? they have not sent any new deposits, and the old ones are invalid. I’m lost.
    8. trying to transfer $50 at this point as a test. it is pending, but will not go through.

    This is insanly slow and complicated. This is turning into a total waste of my time. Zecco’s website is one of the worst I have seen! And believe me I’ve seen some bad ones (I’m a web designer). The navigation is HORRIBLE! I’m about to throw up my hands and quit. I would rather pay sharebuilder’s $9.95 than put up with this. Is ANYONE having luck with zecco? I’m afraid to invest now, becuase people will not put up with this kind of stuff for long and Zecco will end up a dead site like the other not so great online brokers. Paying a ACAT transfer out fee because the brokerage is bankrupt is not high on my list of things to do, is it your’s?

  117. I’ve been trying to open a Zecco account for several months. Endless problems: online application didn’t work with my PC monitor size and couldn’t get to the final button. It was lost. 2nd application was tried on my laptop instead. Zecco doesn’t work in the Opera browser. Emailed to ask if it went through. No response. Called and they said I’d have to do it again. Went to a friends PC and tried a 3rd time. Waited. Emailed. Called again and they said they couldn’t see it but would mail an app. Through all this, I had to keep chosing new passwords which proved my old ones were still there. 4th application doesn’t arrive. Emailed; no response. Called and they said they’d mail another. 5th application shows up. Sent it in. I get a letter back saying they need a copy of my passport. Sent it in. Then I get an email saying my SS# “doesn’t match my name”!? I sent them further documentation but they said they can’t see my account and I may need to start over. Now I have all these private documents floating around. (And how can my SS not match my name? It’s my on records they’re talking about and I checked – they’re accurate).

  118. sillycat says:

    Hi Jon, Did you finally open a margin account with Zecco? I called their CSR and he told me they don’t do hard pulls even when you apply for a margin. I am suspicious. I read someone’s comments here and it seems to be true though. Did you take a hit?

  119. sfordinarygirl says:

    I’ve had so much trouble opening an account – the future date for the ROTH IRA contribution completion never seems to move forward. I’ve called their customer rep and they said to try different date combos until it works. Decided to just forgo it and stick with etrade.

  120. tradeforfun says:

    I have had a terrible time trying to fund my Zecco account. They drafted the funds from my bank account 4 business days ago, and they still won’t let me trade. My cash balance is still showing $0. I called customer service, and they requested a printout from my bank showing a positive balance after their draft which I promptly provided, and they said I could trade tomorrow. I just now received a follow up email 10 hours later saying I needed to provide more information. They didn’t send this email until after they had closed for the day; therefore, I can’t speak to anyone about my problem, and I still won’t be able to trade tomorrow. So far, Zecco has been extremely difficult and unprofessional. Nothing like E-Trade or Fidelity which I have used in the past. Very disappointing…

  121. NewbieTrader says:

    I also had a terrible time, first setting up my account and then funding my account. Zecco had some screw up, so for a week I could not login in to my trading account once I opened an account. Then I called the CSR and he told me there were 2 account numbers associated with my account, and those were different from what the last four numbers I could see on the trading login page screen. I could not get to any other page as my trading key was not working at all. Then after this was resolved, I tried to add my bank account, I see the deposits in my account next day but when I go to verify them, Zecco just did not accept them, I kept trying for a day or two and then called CSR. CSR said there was some screw up and my bank account number got mixed up with someone else’s account and he or she might have seen my account number….I was like how could that happen, he said just to be on safer side I might want to change my account number or the account linked to Zecco. I decided not to as I don’t keep much money in that account anyways. But man going back and forth with CSRs for 3 weeks was just frustrating, the only reason I wanted to be with Zecco was the low commission of $4.50 otherwise I would rate my first experience with Zecco as “D” Now my account is fine and I have had no problems so far.

  122. I stumbled on this while searching for negative reviews on zecco, as I wasnt comfortable (unlike many) giving my personal info to the level of DL, etc AND mailing in a whole bunch of id info to them. Everyone asks what happens if they pack up and leave..well u may get some of your $ back as they’re insured, but what happens to personal info ??
    they now know you better than your spouse does !! and they can do whatever they want with that info !!

  123. Thanks. Very nice review.

  124. Hi,
    I opened an account oct 24th 2008 with $1000.00 to try out the free trade month. I received my buyers power 27th so I placed a limit order VTI 24@41.60 on Oct 27th, 2008 $999.60 absolutely free, no commission . I had a little problem with my next ach but it registered error status after pending instead of submitted. I emailed cuistomer service who responded within twelve hours. I sub mitted another ach with no problems. This beats Fidelity mutual funds…

  125. I’m disappointed with Zecco’s ACH transfer procedure. After linking an external savings account, I pulled money into Zecco trading on 11/13, money was withdrawn on 11/14/08. But, due to a hold of 5 business days, my money will only be available at Zecco on 11/24 ! Meanwhile Zecco is eating the interest…

  126. My personal experience with zecco started off really good. It took some time to get my account set up. Then it was smooth until a week ago when i was prompted to change my trading key. I HAVE BEEN LOCKED OUT SINCE THEN!!! Customer service trys to reset my trading key but that just gives me something to put into the website.

    Waiting to buy AIG at $1.50. I decided to buy at $1.52 before it started going back up. Thats when i got locked out. I have contacted them via email and phone severeral times. At this point i am ready to cancel my account but kinda of concerned about what kinda of process that would be. At the moment i just want my cash out so that i can invest it in the stocks i want before Jan 20, 2009. Already i have lost .23 per share with this company. Im currently looking at Tradeking and E-Trade since timing is important in the market and whats the use of having an account that you cant access. Does anybody have any suggestions on other online sites that i can establish over the internet/email.

  127. Hi Johnathan, Zecco is changing it from $2,500 a month to $25,000 a month by March 2009 in order to get 10 free trades. Or if you make 25 trades you get 10 free trades.

  128. fast trader says:

    when i opened an account with zecco they were giving me 10 free trades for no minimum balance, then they increased it to 2500.00. it was ok up untill they moved the minimum limits to 25000.00 , Now bank of america gives 30 free trades for accounts over 25000.00 and more advanced trading tools free as well, so my question is why bother to have zecco account open? I am pretty sure people at penson financial services know this, and if they do, this basically means they are trying to shut down shop, or get rid of the customers, at this point i am highly inclined to close this account and will do it once i am sure no fees are being charged. I am a little sceptical about there fees as well , recently on a transaction of 23K they charged me 3.33 with no details on how it was calculated.

  129. akfisherman says:

    I’ve had an account with zecco for about a year. I had the usual problems funding my account. Trading was OK except for the user unfriendly interface. BUT GETTING YOUR MONEY BACK WHEN YOU WANT TO CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT IS HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  130. fast trader,

    Although Bank of America will give you free trades, you have to maintain a $25,000 balance in a DEPOSIT account to qualify for the free trades. You can not use that $25,000 to buy stocks or else you will pay commissions. You would need additional money in excess of your deposit account balance in your brokerage account to trade for free.

    fast trader said:
    “bank of america gives 30 free trades for accounts over 25000.00″

  131. Heads up… Zecco has almost doubled their fees on a sale. There was no notice to me of this new fee. I found out the hard way… after the sale was completed. They tell me the notice of the new sec/finra is on their website. I still haven’t found it. This is an elected fee that they now pass along. Scottrade does not charge the finra fee. I’ve opened this zecco acccount as a test before transfering my scottrade account. Thank god I did. Zecco seems to be one suprise after another. Suprises are something best left for birthdays… NOT something I expect, or will tolerate from my broker. Bye Bye zecco

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  1. Festival of Stocks #37

    Welcome to the May 21, 2007 edition of the Festival of Stocks. This 37th edition is being hosted at the Value Investing News Blog. The Value Investing Blog is a blog that covers developments at the Value Investing News community.

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  2. [...] mere two days after I ranted about Zecco’s slow opening procedure in the second part of my Zecco Free Trades Brokerage Review, reader Richard alerts me that they have removed the mail-in paperwork requirement for many new [...]

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