Zecco Trading is the online discount broker best known for giving away 10 free trades each month. But low cost is not the only thing Zecco offers. Zecco also offers powerful investing tools, a community for like-minded investors to share their portfolios and investing tips, and great customer service. We’ll cover all of these features, but since Zecco is a discount online broker, let’s start with cost.
Zecco’s Trade Commission Pricing
Zecco’s pricing structure is simple. If you have more than $25,000 in your account, your first 10 trades are free, and trades after that are just $4.50. If you account balance is under $25,000, you can still get 10 free trades if you have 25 or more total trades each month. After that, or if you don’t hit 25 trades in a given month, the cost per trade is just $4.50. Here’s a handy price comparison chart:
So what if you hit the $25,000 mark in the middle of the month? Not to worry, because Zecco has thought of everything:
- Reach a $25,000 account balance (end-of-day) at any time throughout the month and get 10 free stock trades for the remainder of the calendar month.
- A $25,000 account balance on the last day of the calendar month qualifies you for 10 free stock trades for the following calendar month.
- Account balance includes stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, cash and money market funds. Account balance does not include margin loans.
- Unused free stock trades do not roll over into the following month.
Here is a chart showing just how Zecco’s pricing structure works:
Trading Options on Zecco
For investors looking to trade options, Zecco offers just about every feature one could want. In addition to executing option trades, Zecco offers a number of useful tools. For example, Zecco offers a profit and loss calculator to graph the potential outcome of an option strategy. Investors can also use available calculators to determine the likely outcome of a trading strategy or its volatility.
Opening an IRA with Zecco
With Zecco, retirement savers can open up a traditional, Roth or rollover IRA. As with other account types, with IRA accounts investors get 10 free stock trades every month in the first account of each IRA type when they maintain a $25,000 balance or execute 25 trades each month. Note that Zecco does not currently offer SEP IRA accounts. There is no minimum required to open an IRA account, but there is a $30 annual IRA fee.
Zecco Quotes & Research
Zecco offers a wealth of investing research. In addition to market quotes, investors can track news, financials, earnings estimates, and historical prices on all listed securities. Investors can track trades by insiders as well as analyst ratings. Zecco also offers a profile of each security, which provides a snapshot of information helpful in making investment decisions.
Zecco Investing Education
Zecco offers an education section on its website that provides numerous articles and videos on investing. The educational section of the site is a good resource regardless of whether an investor has an account with Zecco. The videos are a bit corny, but the information provided is generally sound. Here’s one of Zecco’s videos on Investing Basics:
Investors can also trade currency through Zecco. An interesting feature is a free $50,000 online Forex trading practice account. Practice accounts are common among forex online trading platforms. With Zecco, the practice account comes with the following features:
- Easy-to-use, practice version of the Zecco Forex trading platform
- $50,000 in virtual funds – trade risk-free
- 200:1 leverage
- Real-time quotes in 37 currency pairs
- Powerful charting
- 24-hour news headlines
- Daily and weekly Forex research
- 24/6 support by phone and live chat
So how does Zecco make money?
This was the big question when Zecco first launched its free trade program. And it’s an important question, because when ever anybody offers something free, one wonders if there are strings attached. In this case, Zecco answers the question for us:
- 10 free stock trades every month: We lose money giving you free stock trades. However, the cost of executing a trade has become very low. (Shows you how much those other brokerages are making off you with their fat commissions.)
- Beyond the first 10: Once you’ve made your free 10 stock trades for the month (or don’t have $25,000 in your account yet or haven’t made 25 trades), we charge you $4.50 for each additional trade. See details.
- Options Trades: For options trading, we charge $4.50 per leg and 50¢ per contract. Although we do charge for options, we challenge you to find a better deal than that.
- Margin: If you choose to borrow margin and leverage your investments, we make money on interest.
- Cash Balance: If you leave money hanging out in your cash account while you’re deciding what to invest in, we make a little interest on that money. And you do too.
- Advanced Tools: Some more advanced tools on our site are not free. We provide them as a premium service to interested customers.
- Website Ads: We make a small amount of money by allowing other companies to advertise on our site. Sometimes, you might even see a competitor’s ad sneak in. We don’t care though — we challenge you to find a better deal.
Is Your Money Safe with Zecco
Zecco’s clearing firm, Pension Financial Services, Inc., is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). SIPC protects the securities customers of its members up to $500,000. This is not unique among online trading portals, but it is important to confirm that any online broker an investor might use is a member of SIPC.