The message board for ETP has identified that both ETP and EPD offer a 5% discount for DRIP investors. I have learned that e-trade does not pass on that discount to their customers, while both TD Ameritrade and Fidelity DO pass on the company discount. I sent a message to e-trade asking whether they pass on company DRIP discounts to their customers. They replied that they didn`t and they didn`t know of anyone that did. I called them and discussed the fact that both TD Ameritrade and Fidelity offered their customers company DRIP discounts. I suggested that they research TD Ameritrade and Fidelity and then respond to me. I suggest that all e-trade customers ALSO send messages to e-trade to complain about their lack of company discount consideration....point out that their competition does provide the company discount. Maybe they will react to our customer input...or customers can make a few keystrokes and switch to the competitor.
I discussed this with Ameriprise some years ago. They told me their policies - no handling of DRIP discounts in a special manner through the transfer agent - and I moved my account letting the know why.
They can run their company any way they want to. You can move your account anyplace you want to. Frankly I moved my 4 accounts to TD Ameritrade and not only received better service but a large cash bonus as well.
I do not want to get into a war over brokers, but Schwab also provides the DRIP discount, but you have to ask for it. I don't know if they will do it for just anyone, however. It probably takes a certain asset level or position size, because when I asked for it I had to go through my account team...the regular folks at the end of the 800 number didn't know anything about how to make it happen.
DEP offers a DRIP with discount (from participating brokers of course) with the same 5% discount terms as EPD. Dan Duncan was a supporter of the discounted DRIP, so the MLPs he owned are the energy-related MLPs ones with DRIPs. As far as I know they are the only 2 (but my info could be out of date).
One non-energy MLP, Cedar Fair (FUN), also has a DRIP. FUN operates amusement parks (Cedar Point in Ohio, Knotts Berry Farm in CA). As a non-energy MLP FUN does not offer the same tax advantages (postponement) as an energy MLP. I do not know off hand what the discount terms are for the FUN DRIP.
Etrade is a joke. I cancelled my account in 2002 when they started charging an annual fee unless you held $10k invested - I was just getting started and didn't have that kind of spare change to throw around. 9 years later I have 12x that amount at Scottrade. ETrade lost a customer for life because of that one stupid policy.
Now I see this post about keeping the discount on DRIPs and noticed they also charge annual custody fees for hoilding ADRs and partnerships as well. They are not investor friendly, they are only focused on skimming off the top of your gains. Run away!
One thing you should note about Scottrade. If you are the kind of investor that invest in other countries, you will be paying a lot of foreign tax more than the Fidelity and Merrill Lynch. Scottrade does not offer reclamation tax services providing your residency to the transfer agent of the company.
Yeah, I called them and asked about the 5% discount on EPD drip shares and their response was: "No we don't do that for our customers and neither do other brokerages we are aware of". I have 2500 shares of EPD with etrade and 300K in equities and this is the response I received from these guys. I'm looking to bail out myself. FCKem!
This why I left E in Feb for TD. Also I bought PTY and RCS (Pimco CEFs) with the intention of DRIP and recieved cash. Was told by E that it's a foreign co. and they have no agreement with Pimco. Plus the EPD problem all added up to goodbye. No such problems at TD. LOL