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Enterprise Products Partners L.P. Message Board

  • paulobx1951 paulobx1951 Feb 17, 2010 10:16 PM Flag

    Thoughts on Online Brokers

    I currently have my account at the local Edward Jones office in my home town. It has been convenient but expensive when I want to buy or sell. I was thinking about going with a cheaper online broker. I am mainly a buy and hold investor. I don't do much trading. What are you're favorites? What do you suggest? I am 58 and seriously looking at MLP's for the future. Thanks.

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    • I have my main account with Fidelity for no other reason than they give me $8 trades and they have pretty good research available. I also have a Wachovia/Wells Fargo tradeing account ($1000 minimum)soley to have access to their excellent MLP coverage. Like in any situation you need the best information you can find. Good luck

    • I use Fidelity and I am very happy with them. They provide an abundance of good research information and $8.00 commissions.

    • rheldt Feb 19, 2010 2:40 PM Flag

      I have used T. Rowe Price for on-line brokerage about 20 years. Pershing handles TRPs brokerage business.Not the cheapest, about $13.90/ trade but very professional, reports are timely and accurate.

    • None of those who have kindly contributed to this discussion have mentioned their access to analyst research - or the size of the MLP coverage universe they get from their brokerages.

      I believe their are discount brokerages [maybe Fidelity?] that gives their clients access to research from Barclays. But if you are only getting research from Morningstar or S&P, then as an MLP investor - you will be lost. If you are not getting a DCF forecast and a CAGR estimate, or know some of the credit metrics [debt/EBITDA, debt to total assets value and debt to market cap], then how can one compare MLP to MLP?

      If your interest is mainly in MLPs, then access to the research from Morgan Stanley, Well Fargo, or UBS is where you need to go. This extra info should aid you to trade less frequently and make better buys.

      One can sign up for access to Citi research - which is free. Their DCF estimates have had a history of being outside the consensus [during the first half of 2008 and 2009] - and it took until early fall before they came in line with the sector. Having slightly off price/DCFs will through off your buying or selection skills.

      The Barclays DCFs are also not in line with the other analysts - but there are not off by much.

      Summation - find out about the access to research before you made a change.

    • I left Scottrade because they were not forwarding information and charged for mailing trade verifications. I like eTrade very much.

    • Interactive Brokers

      $1 commission

      1.25% or LOWER ANNUAL margin interest rate.

      Allowed to buy $566,000 worth of stock for every $100,000 worth of equity.

      $200,000 worth of account equity allows you to buy $1 million worth of stock.

      The ANNUAL interest to borrow that million dollars is .75% (less than 1% interest ANNUALLY)

      Makes it VERY hard not to make money with MLP's. Borrow at 1% and collect 7% distributions

      • 2 Replies to stanmancini
      • >Allowed to buy $566,000 worth of stock for every $100,000 worth of equity

        Not sounds too good to be true. It can happen for the day traders when the daily activity is not reconcile yet. For buy and hold person, $100,000 can max around $200,000 buying power which I don't even like to get close to this because you can get margin call and lost all your money when market melt down.

        >The ANNUAL interest to borrow that million dollars is .75% (less than 1% interest ANNUALLY)

        I don't think it is that low. I sometimes dip into a little margin for just a few days a month. The interest charge is charged right to my account the next month definitely a lot more than 1%. Once the FED raise the rate, the loan rate will go up too. IB used to pay decent rate(3%?) for cash. Now it basically disappear after FED drop the rate to 0.25%.

        >$1 commission

        That for 100 shares trade only bacause they charge 0.005 commission per trade. So, it is $5 when you buy 1000 shares. Also, the hidden charge of monthly account fees of $15 if don't generate at least $30 commission for a month. The fees may be waiver if you switch to plan B which pay $9.95 flat commission per trade. So IB is no good for low active investors considering the service department is very hard to reach.

      • I trade thru Wells Fargo Advisors and pay a lot in commission. The broker I use put me on to MLP's in the mid 1990's. I buy and hold MLP's, but once in awhile I like to buy and sell other stock. I buy on margin once in awhile and have no problem with Wells. I like my statments and the way thing's are handled and I belive the broker has to making a living too. I have been retired ten year's and have a very good income off my MLP's. I also have O and XEL for some inbetween income.

    • I recently moved 2 accounts from Scottrade because they won't reinvest dividends for stocks, only for mutual funds. I have an account with TDAmeritrade that I like a great deal: good rates ($9.99) plus good tools.

    • I've been with Scottrade for several years. A plus for them is they have local offices which is handy if you are depositing securities.

      I didn't mind paying big commissions (AG Edwards & Sons) when I was making money but made me mad as hell when selling a loss stock to get stuck with a large cut.

    • Why waste your money on E.Jones? They dont give a damn about you!! I like TDAmeritrade and Scottrade.Both have treated me great!! Good luck,love the MLP's especally kmp,kmr,and epd.Use your own judgement.

      • 1 Reply to tyshellnik
      • >>>Why waste your money on E.Jones? They dont give a damn about you!!

        LOL...yeah, I agree. They are more interested in making money with your money than they are with making YOU money with your money. They pimp American Funds mutual funds because they make a killing on them.

        I had a EdJones account (still do actually). The rep was trying to get me to invest in some new whoopdeedoo account that they were offering. I pointed out to the rep what the differences were in the returns I achieved September 2008 to late 2009 in my Schwab and Fidelity accounts versus the EdJones account. I was actually UP quite nicely for the period, she was down with the money that she was "professionally" managing. She shut the heck up after that.

        I actually like Fidelity and their Active Trader Pro software...better than Schwabs Street Smart Pro. It is fast and easy to execute trades, and for $7.95/trade it is a pretty good deal.

        Now it EXC would get off the deck and make us some money...

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