Time to diversify brokers.
Although I will receive 3 free trades, this move wasn't meant to play broker favorites or attempt to benefit from bonus perks. I am simply more comfortable diversifying my wealth across a variety of financial organizations. Up to this point my wealth was divided between a taxable Fidelity account, tax-exempt Fidelity Roth IRA, taxable Lending Club account, tax-deferred Thrift Savings Plan account, and taxable bank account. If one organization goes under, I want to be able to access capital from other sources while lawyers sort out the mess. This is especially relevant to stock brokers where the bulk of my assets happen to be parked!
Enter Scottrade. I was specifically looking for a second brokerage with the following characteristics:
-A reputable company that has been in business for a minimum of 20 years.
-Above average customer service.
-Low trading fees.
-Physical branches (minor consideration).
Scottrade has been in business since 1980 (33 years), has over 500 branches including one in my city, and offers exceptional customer service according to the reviews I read. Stock commissions are very low at $7 per trade and compares favorably to my current broker at $7.95/trade (Fidelity). I would note that I have had absolutely zero problems with Fidelity. I highly recommend Fidelity and will continue to use their brokerage service for my Roth IRA. Fidelity also has physical branches in my neck of the woods. Honestly Fidelity's trading platform and research tools seem to be a few steps ahead of Scottrade, and I love quick responses to my questions they are happy to provide. I can't speak highly enough about Fidelity!
The plan for my new Scottrade account:
-All new taxable deposits go here
-Funnel all taxable dividend & interest payments to this account
-Transfer the ~$6,000 cash left in my taxable Fidelity account over here
-Shares already held in my taxable Fidelity account are to remain in that account
-Treat all the accounts as one; don't need to rebuy companies I already own
It's going to be a pain when it comes time to update my blog. However, I think this move will allow me to sleep well at night and be better prepared for the future.
If I happen to make a purchase the next few weeks, it will probably be at Fidelity. The cash transfers are still pending!