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Jbay76 (< 20)

investing blues



March 29, 2011 – Comments (17) | RELATED TICKERS: BA , GOLD

Sorry Fools, got to get this off my chest. 

I just found out the Merryl Edge, in their benevolent wisdom, will not allow me to place a trade in what they consider "speculative" in order to protect me from me.  The irony of the situation here is louder than a room full of crying babies.   This is the same organization that had to file bankruptcy and ultimately got bought out on pennies for the dollar by BofA becuase of speculative investments and now they want to hold my hand....this sucks!  On top of that, what difference would it make if I had the minimum total asset value of 25K or not?  Would that really protect me from me or the ills of investing? No, they're just being idiots!  UUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyone got an investment firm that has fair trading charges,  does not limit your penny stock/pink slip company investing to 10% total asset value, does notlimit that trading style to a required min. or 25K total asset value, and allows data to be downloaded into quicken 2010?I don't do options trading nor have the time/desire  to learn it, so that is not a desire now.

I am just ticked off at merryl edge right now and its the second time this year, as far as I can remember, though 3rd time seems right as well.

Incidentally, the stock I was looking to get invovled with is Caza Gold that I learned of from TMFSinchi's most recent post here....its worth a read folks.

Anyways, thanks for any input into investing companies, both pros and cons.  I'll use it in addition to my own reseach to determine who I switch with.

17 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 29, 2011 at 10:13 AM, Dintaurran (< 20) wrote:

I feel your pain.  I use Scottrade and tried to buy Gold Wheaton about two weeks before it got bought out.  They gave me the same line about protecting me.  When I called to find out what the deal was they did say they would complete the trade with my branch broker however.  I haven't switched brokers yet, but I really don't like being told how I can and can't spend my OWN money!

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#2) On March 29, 2011 at 10:18 AM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:

That does suck becuase among other things, I was just now looking at them to switch to.  Do you have any other vices from them?  On a good note, they did go through with the trade for you, correct?  Merril Edge just said no, friggin buggers!  Atleast Scottrade went through with it.

On a side note, why buy Gold Wheaton weeks before getting bought out?

But afterall, its our own damn money and we shoudl be abelt o spend it willy-nilly if we like!

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#3) On March 29, 2011 at 10:19 AM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:

Sorry, it should read " we should be able to spend it willy-nilly..."

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#4) On March 29, 2011 at 12:04 PM, TMFBabo (100.00) wrote:

I've tried: Scottrade, E-trade, Fidelity, Sogotrade, Optionshouse, and Firstrade.  I'd say Fidelity is the one brokerage I use that has yet to prevent me from trading a ticker, with E-trade coming in as a close second.  Scottrade and Firstrade are pretty annoying and block a lot of pink sheet stocks, so I stopped using both of them. 

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#5) On March 29, 2011 at 12:28 PM, cthomas1017 (98.37) wrote:

Let me interpret what they are really saying...

"We're sorry, but the commisions on this transaction do not allow us to pad our pockets as much as we'd like.  So rather than admit that our internal costs and disorganization are so out of whack, we're going to blame you for being a complete idiot who doesn't know how to blow his (or her) own wad.  Thank you for choosing Merryl Edge.  Now go suck a log.

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#6) On March 29, 2011 at 12:30 PM, TMFBabo (100.00) wrote:

I like cthomas1017's interpretation.  I'd go with a discount broker, not one of those big bank ones such as Merrill Edge, Wells Trade, etc.  As I've already noted, my recommendation is Fidelity.

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#7) On March 29, 2011 at 1:38 PM, Dintaurran (< 20) wrote:

I don't really have any other complaints about Scottrade.  The site has always been up, charts are reasonable for my purposes, and customer service is good when I've needed it.  That said, I've never used another platform, so I could be missing out for all I know.

RE: Gold Wheaton I bought two weeks before the offer came in and the stock jumped 20-30%, not after the offer.

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#8) On March 29, 2011 at 2:22 PM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:



Thanks for that insight.  I just got off the phone with Scottrade and only one thing annoyed me.  They charge $7 fee plus 0.5% of the value of the purchase of stocks under $1.00.  So a $5,000 investment in Caza Gold Corp would cost me a fee of $32 instead of $7 fee I'd be charged to invest 5K into Copper Fox.  Contrary to Dintaurran's story, the agent told me I could blow all my money on a penny stock if I wanted to as long as it did not amount to owning more than 10% of that particular company.

So, clearly the agent wasn't telling me the entire story or someone goofed up Dintaurran's investment at that time.  This is why cross-checking with you Fools is clutch!!! I definitely do not want to go from one raw deal to another!

My workplace 401K is through Fidelity, and I never thought to use them, but will check them next. E-trade is also on my radar and will check with them after I peruse Fidelity.

@Dintaurran....good timing friend!  That's what I was hoping to hear.

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#9) On March 29, 2011 at 2:31 PM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:

I'll post more tomorrow, but Fidelity lets one invest in PMs as part of their IRA and does not charge annual fees and charges less than Merril Edge...this could be interesting!

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#10) On March 29, 2011 at 2:44 PM, TMFBabo (100.00) wrote:

My old workplace had Fidelity as its 401k provider too! Are you allowed access to Brokerage Link? It's a brokerage option for your Fidelity 401k that lets you buy common stocks - you can even deposit money directly into it.  I left my old 401k money in Fidelity without rolling it over into my new 401k, because it was quite awesome.  Brokerage Link doesn't allow options, but you can still buy pink sheet stocks and such.  I'm guessing Caza Gold is CZGDF.PK from my brief searches.

I'm not sure all companies allow it, but call up the Fidelity representative for your company's plan and ask anyway. 

Fidelity advertises unlimited shares for $7.95 per trade, but it's really up to 10,000 shares.  I've found you can buy up to 10,000 shares per $7.95 order and you can sell more than 10,000 per $7.95 order.  I'm not sure why it's like that, but that's what I've found from my experiences. 

Still, 10,000 is a heck of a lot of shares and should fit your needs for most stocks, unless you're trying to buy tens of thousands of shares a stock under $0.10 or something.

I've recently gotten into options and the commissions for that is $7.95 + $0.75 per contract, which isn't that good compared to brokerages specializing in options (but I'm sticking with Fidelity anyway).  I also don't think Fidelity has an amazing array of shares to borrow for shorting purposes either. 

If you're a long only investor interested in common stocks, I do think Fidelity's a great brokerage.  If you want lower commissions, more shares to short and better options commissions, maybe you go with Interactive Brokers (though they aren't good unless you have a good amount of money and trade a good deal).

I have a Fidelity Roth IRA, but have never tried to buy PMs (except through common stocks).

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#11) On March 29, 2011 at 7:25 PM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:


Many thanks my good man, many thanks!!!  I am going to go with Fidelity for several reasons.  But first, no I do not have access to Brokerage link. I wish I did the way you describe it.  In fact, my company has reduced the number of "core" funds that I am allowed to use, which sucks but the 4 I have suite me quite nicely.

So, I am choosing Fidelity becuase:

1) I can invest in PMs in my Roths

2) They charge $1 less per trade than my current brockerage account (Merrile Edge)

3) No maintenance fee in the brockerage accot, unlike Merrill which charges me $25 per quarter

4) I can invest as much as I have available to me in penny stocks and pink slips, unlike Merril which only allows you to invest up to 10% of your total assett value in such stocks and only if you have a total assett value equal to or greater than $25K.  The one caveat with Fidelity is that I have to do some confirmation call to verify to them that I am aware of the risks invovled in penny stocks.  Thats fine with me.

5) Fidelity is a conservative institution that did not take a bailout, didn't come close to bankruptcy like BofA, who ons Merril Edge, or Merril Lynch, who is know known as Merril Edge

I don't have the time to learn options trading, shorting etc.  I am more a long-term focused investor, and so for me Fidelity will work nicely.  I don't anticipate buying too many penny stocks, but I sure want in on Caza Gold.

So many thanks TMFBabo! Nnow I have to go through the online process for three different accounts, and since I am antibiotics, I can't even enjoy a beer......for the love of Pete! 

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#12) On March 29, 2011 at 7:42 PM, BlackSwanCapital (67.12) wrote:

Interactive brokers.  

Comission: $0.005 per share 

Margin Rate: Libor (seriously, currently about 1.70%) 


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#13) On March 29, 2011 at 8:22 PM, BlackSwanCapital (67.12) wrote:

That's the standard comission, 


Maximum Comission is 0.5% of the trade value, in case you somehow run that cost trading some truly crappy "speculative" plays.

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#14) On March 30, 2011 at 8:52 AM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:

Thanks BlackSwanCapital but by the time I read your post, I had already moved my accounts around.  IB seems like a good deal, somewhat confusing, but a good deal. I think I'll stay with Fidelity a while since I jsut moved my stuff over there.

I have to say, the staff at Fiedlity were awesome.  Each person I spoek with wished me a belated happy birthday, my bday was on Sunday.  No one from Merril did that...chumps.

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#15) On March 30, 2011 at 3:12 PM, silverminer (29.87) wrote:


Did you look into TD Ameritrade? No guff at all about pink sheets there, and no confirmation calls. I about hit the roof when I learned of Merrill Edge's policy on Pink Sheets (and their complete, admited failure to disclose it when my account switched over from BOA). Merrill even threatened to back out some of my completed trades, but backed off when I told them I would pursue legal actionif they did. The company should be investigated for this, as I can not believe it is legal for them to enact policy representing some assumption of fiduciary responsibility without actually claiming any fiduciary responsibility. Any lawyers in the house?

FWIW, the company reps I spoke with at the time made it very clear I was not alone in my outrage, and that converted BOA customers were exiting by the thousands.

In any event, something else is behind their refusal to conduct these trades. It certainly isn't derived from some altruistic aim to protect us from these "unsavory" securities, as I was told. I think an investigation is warranted also to demand answers to their true underlying incentive for blocking these trades.Anyone out there with similar experiences, lets compile them and develop a clearer sense for which brokerages are doing what with respect to restricting access to pink sheet stocks. Once we compile the information, we'll have a better handle on the scope of the problem and the best avenues for addressing it.

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#16) On April 02, 2011 at 12:29 PM, RRobertsmith (< 20) wrote:

very cool blog...positive venting...should be required reading for RL traders

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#17) On July 05, 2011 at 10:11 AM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:

As luck would have it, I'm becoming very fed up with Fidelity rig thabout now.  They make you go through so much more paper work to have full power of attornery and trading rights over someone else's account, only to find out that once all the papework is done, you do not have the right to transfer money into that account, manage how dividends and capital gains are to be used, etc. online.  You either have to call a rep or log into that persons account as him/her self to do it.  This is very counter-productive and frusturating. 

Additionally, I haven't liked their platform either.  It does not allow you the ability to see what your cost basis per share is, only how much you are up or down.  I realize one can do simple math to figure out cost basis/share, but I'm lazy sometimes.

It woudl be nice if you could get a trial period to see if you like their platform, account services etc. ...

I guess I'll go look at TD Ameritrade now.



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