Etrade vs. Sharebuilder

Well I have had a Sharebuilder account for almost three years and now I’m done, I set up an Etrade account and transferred all assets from Sharebuilder to Etrade.  The process was relatively easy on Etrade’s end but Sharebuilder was a real pain to work with.  First Etrade was a simple 15 minute guided form for each account (I have 2 accounts a regular investment account and a ROTH IRA) and your done, the hardest part was printing off a form that I had to sign and fax to their office which wasn’t even that hard since I can fax from my computer.  Sharebuilder on the other hand was a  pain in the ass, first they locked up my account then said that I’d have to wait 5 business days to even begin the transfer, then once it was stared they would only transfer half of my holdings after 15 days had passed, then after 30 days they would transfer the rest of my holdings and mail a physical check for the cash balance I still had, and to top it all off they charged me $75.00 per account for all this.

Now that I’m with Etrade I see just how bad Sharebuilder really was, first of all Etrade has so many more tools than Sharebuilder.  you can do so much more research and get so much more in depth data on Etrade that I felt stupid for not moving sooner.  Also when I place a trade on Etrade it is executed as soon a possible, when I placed trades with Sharebuilder I could wait for days for a trade to go though, once they just canceled a trade I had made for no reason which made me pay a high price for the stock I was trying to buy.

Now here is the biggest issue I had with Sharebuilder, every year investment firms a required by law to provide their clients with the proper tax forms well before April 15.  This last year 2012 I received my tax paperwork from Sharebuilder the earliest I have ever gotten it, I got it in June.  Every year I would call the Sharebuilder help line and ask where my tax paperwork was and every year they would tell me that it had been mailed out and that I could also access it thought my account online, and every year the the paper work would show up long after April 15 (once it showed up in November) and every year I would try to access the paperwork though my online account and every year it would tell me that ROTH IRA tax form are required by law to be mailed to clients and can not be accessed online.  You have no idea what kind of a nightmare this was every year for my accountant and I, hell it was during one of these times that she suggested Etrade to me.

So to sum things up I guess what I’m saying is if your going to get an online broker do not for any reason set up an account with Sharebuilder.  I’m not saying you have to go with Etrade like I did, I’m just saying do some home work like I should have done in the beginning and take everything into consideration before jumping into it.