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Favorite Brokerage?
#41
(10-01-2019, 10:52 AM)MikeWa Wrote:
(10-01-2019, 10:26 AM)Otter Wrote: I will probably open a Schwab account now.

If you open their brokerage/checking combo "High Yield Investor Checking Account" you will also get a free and unlimited access to ATM worldwide with no foreign transaction fee.

I opened their account just for that, ATM access, but now I may be moving one of my brokerage accounts to Schwab as well.

Carefull!!
So they say that there is no transaction fee but what does it really mean?


Firstly, and most importantly, your card issuer has zero control over the fees that the owner of the ATM charges.  Your card issuer can promise you the world but if the ATM owner says there is a surcharge, then there is a surcharge. (and this is often the case)

Secondly, in a foreign country you will very likely be withdrawing something else than your regular currency. Sure, no transaction fee, but at what rate will they give you the currency? If you think it's the real time exchange rate, you're most likely wrong.

So while they say no fees, in reality it will often look more like $5 + 1-2%.
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#42
(10-01-2019, 12:16 PM)crimsonghost747 Wrote:
(10-01-2019, 10:52 AM)MikeWa Wrote:
(10-01-2019, 10:26 AM)Otter Wrote: I will probably open a Schwab account now.

If you open their brokerage/checking combo "High Yield Investor Checking Account" you will also get a free and unlimited access to ATM worldwide with no foreign transaction fee.

I opened their account just for that, ATM access, but now I may be moving one of my brokerage accounts to Schwab as well.

Carefull!!
So they say that there is no transaction fee but what does it really mean?


Firstly, and most importantly, your card issuer has zero control over the fees that the owner of the ATM charges.  Your card issuer can promise you the world but if the ATM owner says there is a surcharge, then there is a surcharge. (and this is often the case)

Secondly, in a foreign country you will very likely be withdrawing something else than your regular currency. Sure, no transaction fee, but at what rate will they give you the currency? If you think it's the real time exchange rate, you're most likely wrong.

So while they say no fees, in reality it will often look more like $5 + 1-2%.
I know what you mean. When traveling, I always chose ATM that do not charge any fees, it is not always easy, but possible.
I managed to find one even in Aguas Calientes (access to Machu Picchu).


I haven't tested my Schwab debit cad abroad yet, have it only few months, but many travelers forums recommend this one and claim it worked for them. Schwab is supposed to reimburse any ATM fees. See a note from their web site below:

"Unlimited ATM fee rebates apply to cash withdrawals using the Schwab Bank Visa Platinum Debit Card wherever it is accepted. ATM fee rebates do not apply to any fees other than fees assessed for using an ATM to withdraw cash from your Schwab Bank account. Schwab Bank makes its best effort to identify those ATM fees eligible for rebate, based on information it receives from Visa and ATM operators. In the event that you have not received a rebate for a fee that you believe is eligible, please call a Schwab Bank Client Service Specialist for assistance"
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#43
yeah an ATM with no fees is good, if it's available. Sometimes it just isn't possible, in many countries in Asia it is very much a fixed fee and every single ATM (that I've bumped into) in the whole country has it. The fees are pretty modest over there but when coupled with withdrawal limits it can become quite a bit. And then there is the currency exchange rate, which I've found to be often atrocious. (this depends on your card issuer)

If you mess around with currencies a lot, transferwise's account is really a must. It has saved me hundreds, if not thousands, in the couple of years that I've had it. It is horrible for ATM withdrawals though as they charge an extra fee once you go over the limit (it's either 200 or 300 euros per month)
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#44
TD Ameritrade also cutting commissions to 0.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/2...line-Stock
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#45
(10-01-2019, 05:55 PM)Caversham Wrote: TD Ameritrade also cutting commissions to 0.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/2...line-Stock

I had everything in there on a DRIP. Guess I'll be turning that off now.
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#46
I decided to give Schwab a try. In addition to web interface they also have desktop trading platform called StreetSmart Edge. I found nice tutorials in YouTube and wanted to try it myself.
Software is not available by default. You need to ask their customer support for access to the tool. Once provided, you can download software from your account page.
After successful installation I couldn't login to the tool.

Now this will be slightly technical.....
I checked my firewall logs, and of course my firewall was blocking traffic between the software and their servers since Schwab tool doesn't use standard SSL ports. I tried to enable ports and destination addresses I saw in the logs. Unfortunatelly it was a no go. Each time I did so, new ports and destination addresses would pop-up and were blocked by the firewall.

I decided to contact Schwab technical support through chat and they basically refused providing me with software requirements. Looks like it is a no go for me. I think other platforms, like TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim or Merrill Edge Market Pro use standard SSL ports (TCP 443) and pose no problems with typical firewall configuration.
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#47
(10-17-2019, 10:00 AM)MikeWa Wrote: I decided to give Schwab a try. In addition to web interface they also have desktop trading platform called StreetSmart Edge. I found nice tutorials in YouTube and wanted to try it myself.
Software is not available by default. You need to ask their customer support for access to the tool. Once provided, you can download software from your account page.
After successful installation I couldn't login to the tool.

Now this will be slightly technical.....
I checked my firewall logs, and of course my firewall was blocking traffic between the software and their servers since Schwab tool doesn't use standard SSL ports. I tried to enable ports and destination addresses I saw in the logs. Unfortunatelly it was a no go. Each time I did so, new ports and destination addresses would pop-up and were blocked by the firewall.

I decided to contact Schwab technical support through chat and they basically refused providing me with software requirements. Looks like it is a no go for me. I think other platforms, like TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim or Merrill Edge Market Pro use standard SSL ports (TCP 443) and pose no problems with typical firewall configuration.

Not sure if Schwab monitors this forum, but few hours after this post I received all required information from their customer support.
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#48
With most of them going to zero commissions with basic trades not sure it matters anymore other then personal preference?
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#49
(10-27-2019, 07:17 AM)rayray Wrote: With most of them going to zero commissions with basic trades not sure it matters anymore other then personal preference?

The true difference now (to me) is quality of research functions.  Brokerages like Schwab and TD are very good.  I hope that continues because it matters to me.  Most of my money is with Vanguard  because I trust them and commissions were $2.  They aren't concerned with individual stock research and the commission advantage is gone.  I kept a smaller TDA account open only for the research, even though I dislike some of their tactics.  This may be fluid going forward so I am going to keep things where they are for now.
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#50
(10-27-2019, 10:26 AM)fenders53 Wrote:
(10-27-2019, 07:17 AM)rayray Wrote: With most of them going to zero commissions with basic trades not sure it matters anymore other then personal preference?

The true difference now (to me) is quality of research functions.  Brokerages like Schwab and TD are very good.  I hope that continues because it matters to me.  Most of my money is with Vanguard  because I trust them and commissions were $2.  They aren't concerned with individual stock research and the commission advantage is gone.  I kept a smaller TDA account open only for the research, even though I dislike some of their tactics.  This may be fluid going forward so I am going to keep things where they are for now.

I am with fenders on this one, though I am far from an expert. I have accounts with Merrill, TDA and Schwab. I rarely use their web interfaces, but rather desktop client. Merrill Market Pro is Java based, so not really a classic desktop client, but works great, has a very nice, clean interface, very flexible with basic stock research.
I don’t like TDA Thinkorswim, charts are blurred comparing with ME, not so easy to configure. Schwab StreetSmart Edge, which I recently started playing with, seems to be very nice, flexible and more intuitive than TDA. It also has plenty of research functions built-in, including screeners. I like it more and more and am considering moving my securities from TDA there.
Both Merrill and Schwab clients play very well with multiple monitors and Windows 10 virtual desktops.
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