How Does Zecco Stack Up?

Posted by Madison on April 6, 2009

Zecco was on my short list in my search for a new brokerage, since they have dirt cheap, and sometimes free, trades.

I finally got around to checking them out last week after I heard about their April Fools’ Day joke. Apparently, when customers logged in last Wednesday, they were greeted with million dollar account balances. I love April Fools, so I had to check out any company that was willing to participate in such fun!

My Zecco Review

Zecco offers trades at $4.50 per trade, which is pretty cheap. It just barely edges out TradeKing at $4.95 per trade, and easily beats Scottrade (which is the broker I am trying to replace). You can also earn 10 free trades per month with a $25,000 account balance or if you make 25 total trades per month.

Account Details

  • Account Minimum: None
  • Opening Account Minimum: None
  • Account Fees: None
  • Trading Fees: $4.50 per trade, which includes stock and ETF trades. Options have an additional 50 cents per contract. Mutual funds are $10 per trade.

Zecco Details

Stock Screener. The stock screener was my favorite tool at Zecco. It was very helpful, since I could select multiple criteria that our investment club uses for evaluation. I will definitely be sharing that at our next club meeting, since we haven’t been able to locate a free tool that does something similar, so easily. Zecco also has about a dozen preset screens, if you don’t know what you are looking for.

Ticker. Normally, tickers at the bottom of the screen drive me crazy. However, I liked the Zecco ticker, because I could quickly put in my list of stocks to watch and see it scroll while I was working on some research.

Premium Tools. I was a little disappointed to see that you have to pay extra for Gainskeeper ($24.99 for six months). Although, you can try it out for free for two months. They also offer a Quotestream package with premium data analysis tools for $20 per month.

Free Trade Calculation. To get the free trades, you’ll need to reach the $25,000 minimum balance each month. As soon as your end-of-day balance hits it, your account will get the 10 free trades the next day to use in the remainder of the month. If your account goes below $25,000 your free trades will stay in your account.

Sign up for Paperless. They charge $2 per paper statement and $1.50 per paper trade confirmation, so be sure to sign up for the online statements, which are free.

IRA Accounts. They offer retirement accounts, but charge a $30 annual maintenance fee.

Forex Trading. If you are into forex trading, or want to learn more, they offer a $50,000 practice account so you can learn.

My Thoughts

The Zecco sign up was fast and easy. While it didn’t offer immediate approval, I got an email within the hour saying my account was ready to go. Once your account is set up, you can sign up for the free ACH service to fund your account.

The education section isn’t as robust as TradeKing, but then again, I wouldn’t necessarily look to my discount broker for learning how to invest in stocks.

They do offer cheap trades. If you are looking for a cheap broker, but don’t care about lots of extras, Zecco could be the way to go. I’m going to stick with them for awhile and see how they do beyond the initial account opening.

Even though they won’t meet my needs of finding a cheap broker to deposit old stock certificates (they charge $75 for stock certificate deposits), they are in the running for my new regular broker.

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Comments to How Does Zecco Stack Up?

  1. I’m curious what led to your decision to replace Scottrade. I have heard positive feedback from a few different friends, and have not heard negative feedback from anyone. I was about to open an account with them, so I’d like to hear what you were disappointed with. Thanks.


  2. Another positive of changing over from Scottrade to Zecco is Zecco doesn’t charge for re-investing dividend returns.


  3. I might be wrong, but I think you’re in the minority on Zecco’s April fools joke. It might be funny to some, but this small action that Zecco (which they are now claiming was a technological glitched caused by a 3rd party vendor, not a joke at all) intended as a humorous gesture might actually be the downfall of their company. It’s just another example of the power of small– how our littlest actions can have an enormous impact.


  4. I know the 10 free trades are attractive, but there is one fatal flaw with Zecco: inability to do tax lot selling. All they have is lifo, fifo and hifo. This is not flexible at all.

    Also, Zecco has made lots of people angry with their recent antics. Several CSRs were unable to give me a straight answer on the inability to do tax lot selling. Only to find out that I cannot.

    I’d go with either TradeKing or OptionsHouse. I’m going with latter because I’m not a US Citizen. Both have ACAT fee rebate promos running now.

    matt o

  5. I absolutely have to jump in here with a very strong warning: Stay away from Zecco!! The customer service is non-existent. They have nothing you can rely on for tools, and they have the guts to charge you for anything that even resembles being useful. They require you to have $25,000 in your account before you can (maybe) get a free trade, they censor any post you may want to make in the forums, thus robbing people of the right to judge quality based on the experiences of other folks, they have a very, VERY slow web site, they have trouble keeping the site stable during trading hours, and many times you can not get logged in. They are very slow to place trades, they do not allow trailing stop percentages, they have lousy support……I can go on and on about how raw of a deal this is. Be warned, if you decide to open an account with them after reading this advice, you WILL indeed find out many other poor quality shortcomings they have. Stick with Ameritrade, Scottrade, E*Trade and other brokerages that have earned the privilege of your hard fought for dollars. Zecco WILL rip you a hole where you never thought possible.


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