Zecco Switches To Electronic Statements and Trade Confirmations

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For those of you who have been using Zecco and their free stock trades, no longer will you have to endure a paper trade confirmation being mailed to your home for every single trade. Here’s how to switch:

How do I sign up for Paperless?
Just sign into the trading center with your trading key. Select the “Account Statements” link in the “Account Records” section on the left-hand menu. Then click on the corresponding button for electronic confirmations or statements (or both). When signing up for Paperless, please check “myInfo” in your account to make sure you have a valid email address in our records. Click on “Submit” and you’re done! Your next account statement and/or trade confirmation will be available for viewing online. You will be notified of new documents available for viewing via email.

Even if you aren’t as excited about this as I am, be sure to switch over to electronic statements anyway by May 30th. Because after that, they are going to start charging $1.50 per paper trade confirmation and $2 per paper statement mailed to you.

Active Trading Confessions…
Why do I care? Well, despite my belief in passive investing for the vast part of my portfolio, I’ve continued to dink around with my free trades from Zecco for the last several months, and have actually been “beating the market” and am currently up over 10% this year – ha! Of course, I’ve also been down as much as -20%. Let me tell you, this sadly generated a lot of paper!

But don’t worry, we’re only talking about $500 worth of stocks or so – I don’t consider this really part of my investing portfolio. Instead, I consider it entertainment that is cheaper than buying video games or playing online poker. I’m looking to learn more about options trading next.

For those unfamiliar with Zecco, here’s the quick rundown. You can get 10 free trades per month if you reach $2,500 in account equity. Otherwise, it is $4.50 per trade. “Account equity” means value of stocks + cash. So $1,500 in cash and $1,000 in stock positions would qualify. As long as you reach $2,500 total any time during the month, you will get 10 free trades for the rest of that month.

Although they have improved their customer service (toll-free phone number, shorter hold times) and stock quote systems since their beginnings, at the heart this is still a discount brokerage firm. (Duh.) Don’t expect too much hand-holding. No minimum balances or account fees for regular taxable accounts. $30 annual fee for IRAs. For more details, see my Zecco Review.

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  1. Ugh, space is cheap! Why won’t they allow older records to be kept online?

    Also, I love the mentality Zecco gets whenever they introduce a new feature. They act as if they’re doing you a favor then put all sort of restrictions on it, e.g. “Wow! Now you don’t have to deal with all of that paper in the mail! You can get your accounting statements online!” When in reality it’s “you MUST get your statements online for now on.”

    And remember when they switched from 40 free trades a month to 10 and promised all of the great new features that would be developed with the cash they saved? Most of those features (i.e. Gainskeeper) came at a premium.

  2. I read your review about zecco. I do trade using sharebuilder but I’m still not sure about the differnces in prospects between these two. If you can review sharebuilder also that will be really helpful.

  3. Would you mind disclosing your active trading strategies? Since you are aware of all of the pitfalls of active investing, I’m curious to see what you are trying to exploit.

    I have to admit that reading this posts reminds me of the time when I found out that John Bogle invests a significant portion of his portfolio in actively managed mutual funds. It also reminds me of the moment I realized that Santa isn’t real. At least it’s only pocket change.

  4. I don’t take it too seriously, if anything it just shows how a untrained monkey can have a great run. It’s fun to trade $100 at at time when there are no commissions. 🙂

  5. mh1:

    This is actually a good thing. It probably cost Zecco quite a bit to mail out confirmations and statements all the time. It still costs them. So now that they have the ability to have electronic statements, anyone who desires paper statements is just costing them money. So they’re just trying to recover their costs. I’m all for this, if this allows Zecco to actually have a profitable business model and stay in business.

    Also, Gainskeeper is a third party product. So the charge for this product comes from the makers of Gainskeeper, and not directly from Zecco.

  6. I want your opinion on Zecco. I was thinking about going with Zecco but heard horror stories of people not being able to process a withdrawal and, in-effect “losing” their money for an extended period of time to their Zecco account. Have you been able to process a withdrawal?

  7. I’ve made multiple withdrawals and deposits, with no issues. It takes the usual 2-3 business days. Their ACH transfer web interface has also been improved recently.

  8. I like zecco, but they are a pain sometimes. I talked to a guy there on the phone a while back about electronic records and he told me they were required by law to send paper confirmations – lol.
    I was disappointed when they lowered the free trades to 10 and raised the equity limit to 2500 to get them.. I used to use all 40 trades. Now I just let a couple stocks sit in there. I might start playing options in the zecco acct. though.

  9. So if you’re only trading $500 of play money in the account, how are you getting free trades? I thought the minimum for free trades was a $2500 account balance? Do you transfer cash in for a couple days just to cross that threshold and then transfer it back out?

  10. anonymous says

    Do you ever wonder why Zecco can charge $0 for trades? I suspect it’s because they charge you the full bid-ask spread to make a trade. That is, while you don’t get charged a commission per trade, you may end up paying just as much or even more in the execution of the trade. I’m curious as to your views on this.

  11. re: bid ask price

    I’ve used Zecco, and have found that they are actually quite competitive when executing your trades. They have actually “better” my price on a couple of my trades. Of course, one user is not meaningful, but I can tell you that Zecco does its job pretty good.

  12. hey wow, I’m glad they implemented this option. I didn’t even realize this was available till I check my feed reader.

    did they send notification on the update via email or something, because I didn’t get squat. good thing I checked else I’ll be scratching my head over $1.50 charges…

  13. Thanks a ton for this. I haven’t logged on to Zecco for a while and didn’t even realize they’ll start charging for those lovely paper statements.

    I’m playing on Zecco with not much money too. Only problem is it becomes a tax headache at the end of the year as the transactions won’t import online to my tax software (turbo tax if i remember correctly). Any fix for this?


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