Thursday, October 3, 2019

Another Broker Price War

It all started with Charles Schwab announcing that they will eliminate commissions on U.S. stock, ETF, and option trades (they will still charge $0.65 per contract) as of Monday, October 7, 2019. I was then informed that TD Ameritrade has followed suit and will charge $0 commissions as of October 3, 2019.

In the middle of writing this post, I then heard from E*TRADE that they would also reduce their commissions to $0 on Monday. I have an old OptionsHouse account that is now administered by E*TRADE, and was already getting $3.95 trade commission.

So far, there is no news from Fidelity; I assume that they will continue to charge $4.95 per trade. This is another series of moves in the continuing price war among online brokers.

I stopped paying much attention to commissions when they dropped below $20 per trade, saying that "The difference of few dollars is not a big deal." But, it is interesting to note that stock commissions are still going down -- a true race to the bottom. I still remember the days when paying $45-50 per trade was considered very reasonable. We were comparing discount brokerages versus the full service guys at the time.


1 comment:

Super Saver said...


I had been trading free for about year on Merrill Edge. Got used to trading in and out with 5 and less share trades. Now that Schwab (and every other broker) has free trades, I can do the same for my kids accounts, and accounts at other brokers. Lets me scale in and out of a postion gradually, which I like.

Yeah, I also remember when commission had "come down" to $50 a trade with discount brokers. Still I traded in 100 share lots, since it still added $0.50 per share to the cost basis. And it wasn't economical to scale in and out, which was the attraction of mutual funds.

Now I can build a portfolio slowly for our kids, with mutual funds or etfs. Psychologically, reduces the perceived risk of the buy and sell points, for me.