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Home Opening an Account
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Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 25 March 2009 03:30

Open an online account

One of the things I wanted to do with this site is not just inform people on the best ways to invest money and avoid mistakes, but also help them save time. If you are anything like me, you probably just want a narrowed down list of the best places to do business with and you can choose from that. So I decided to create a section of companies I recommend, either because I have experience with them as a customer, their reputation, or just because they are a good value - like low fees or high savings rates.

Savings / Money Market Accounts

For Savings and Money Market accounts I recommend ING Direct. I have my own money market account with them and i've been more than happy with them. Since they are 100% online I found they pay pretty high interest rates compared to other banks and savings institutions. Now, because they they don't have branches you do need to have a checking account with a regular bank to transfer money back and forth. So here's what I did, I opened a free checking account with Washington Mutual which doesn't cost me anything, and I use that as a link to my ING Savings account. So I get the best of both worlds, totally free checking and a high interest rate on my money :-). If you want the same kind of setup I have, you can do it completely online, and it only takes a few minutes (you'll need to open the Washington Mutual account first if you plan to have your checking account with them):

www.ingdirect.com

www.wamu.com

* Note: Some banks offer higher interest rates initially but these are typically "teaser" rates just to get you in the door. Once you're in the rates drop like a rock. So always read the fine print!

Online Stock Trading / Brokers

For online brokers and stock trading, I like zecco.com and sharebuilder.com. Both of these brokers allow you to open account with no minimum. Sharebuilder.com has pricing programs that let you purchase mutual funds with no fees, and charges as low as $4 for stock trades. zecco.com offers free, no-commission stock trades (10 per month) if you open an account with $2,500 or more (I don't know of any other broker that offers free trades). If you open an account with less than $2,500, zecco.com only charges $4.50 per trade which is still one of the lowest I could find. All in all, I think these two brokers offer the best value.

www.zecco.com

www.sharebuilder.com

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Last Updated on Saturday, 28 March 2009 02:08