Zecco.com Offers Free Online Stock Trading

$0 Commission Trading at Zecco

I’ve been reading about Zecco for a few months now. They have created a free trading zone. This “free trading” zone means Zecco traders will pay no – zero – $0.00 – commissions to buy and sell stocks. Commission free trading for everyone is now available, in Web 2.0 style.

How Can Zecco Offer Free Trading?!

The answer is pretty simple. Zecco makes money through 2 major revenue streams: online advertisements and interest from margin accounts.

Zecco has built up a community area on their site with forums covering all topics of trading, investing, finance, and business, and an area for bloggers and blog readers including commentary on trading, investing, and analysis.

Zecco also realizes interest from margin loans to stock traders is much more valuable income than trading commissions fees. While commissions fees are great income, they are substituting commissions fee income with advertising income. And they’re still holding on the very valuable interest fees attached to trading stocks on margin.

You didn’t think you’d get 0% margin rates, did you?

I’m Opening A Zecco Trading Account

Yes, I am in the process of setting up a Zecco.com $0 commission trading account. I have to fill out forms and fax, as well as mail, the documents to Zecco. In two weeks I should be making my first trade there.

With Zecco, I am going to grow my dividend and value holdings. With free trading, I can reinvest my dividend payments easily, no matter how little cash I am reinvesting. Free online stock trading is very interesting to me and I am still formulating new strategies to take advantage of no commissions fees.

Related Links:

  • Zecco.com – Zecco Trading offers online stock traders and investors free trading – $0 commissions.

54 thoughts on “Zecco.com Offers Free Online Stock Trading”

  1. Sounds interesting.

    Just make sure the margin rates they are charging are cheaper or matching with other margin accounts you can obtain from other financial institutions.

    They have a similar pricing model to many forex dealers out there – trade on margin, pay interest on the amount “borrowed”.

  2. Hi Marco,

    You make an excellent point about checking Zecco’s margin rates versus your current online broker’s margin rates.

    I am not going to use margin at Zecco so I’m not worried about it for myself, but I should have mentioned they’ll likely have higher rates. After all, margin income is a huge source of Zecco income.

    Best Regards,

  3. Thank you for sharing this. Its a very interesting idea and I am surprised no one thought of this sooner. I would be interested to see what their interest rates were on their margin accounts. I currently trade through Scottrade, who I was told has one of the lowest rates around:

    $0.01 – $9,999.99: 10.50%
    $10,000 – $24,999.99: 10.25%
    $25,000 – $49,999.99: 10.00%
    $50,000 – $99,999.99: 9.50%
    $100,000 – $249,999.99: 9.25%
    $250,000 – $499,999.99: 9.00%
    $500,000 – $999,999.99: 8.50%
    $1,000,000.00 and above: 8.00%

    This information is currently as of July 1st, 2006. Enjoy.

  4. Hey Chad,

    I found the interest rates for Zecco:

    Dollar Range: Margin Rate
    $ 0 – $ 24,999: 13%
    $ 25,000 – $ 49,999: 12%
    $ 50,000 – $ 99,999: 11%
    $100,000 – $249,999: 9.50%
    $250,000 – $999,999: 9.50%
    Above $999,999: 8.00%

    Now we can see why they are making so much money from their margin fees. 🙂 The traders who probably (not sure if this is true) use margin the most (under $100k) are getting hit hard with margin fees.

    By the way, my broker TD Ameritrade is much closer to Scottrade’s margin rates but still slightly higher than Scottrade. Scottrade does seem to have reasonable margin rates.

    Best Regards,

  5. Using parentheses in this forum apparently truncates text. Well, I am not going to retype my entire post, but here are Zecco’s margin rates as of today. If they remain competitive with Tradeking and Scottrade over time, I will give them a try. However, if I see volatility in their margin rates, I will stay with another.

    Dollar Range Above/Below Base Rate* Margin Rate
    Above $999,999 Base Rate 8
    $250,000 – $999,999 + 0.75% 8.75%
    $100,000 – $249,999 + 01.25% 9.25%
    $ 50,000 – $ 99,999 + 1.50% 9.50%
    $ 25,000 – $ 49,999 + 2.00% 10.00%
    $ 0 – $ 24,999 + 2.50% 10.50%

    “Base Rate is currently calculated using various market interest rates and internal costs. The Base Rate is subject to change without prior notice.”

  6. Also, Zecco’s published interest rate for credit balances is a paltry 1% and is not tiered to your account balance, which might scare away people who hold funds inactive regularly and who have substantial balances. For me, my funds are active most of the time, so the benefit of free trading would save me about a grand a year in cash, about two grand a year in effective buying power through savings. Zecco doesn’t list the profit earned for account balances, between the 5% they get for their huge savings account and the 1% they pay the peasants, because they don’t have to.

    I will give them time to grow and see if their margin rates stabilize. I will also be watching the forums for feedback from their clients.

  7. JD,

    Thanks for prividing great info!

    This is the first I have heard of lower Zecco margin rates… great news for all of us.

    I think with $0 commissions you could afford to have almost 100% of your cash invested at any time. I am going to use Zecco mainly for buying dividend stocks and ETFs. Then reinvest the dividend returns into more stocks… no matter how few shares I’m buying.

    I tend to keep some cash in paypal. It’s easy, convenient if you have the paypal debit card, and it currently returns 5.03% from Paypal money market.

    I think we should cut Zecco a lot of slack. Free trades is a big deal. All the big name brokers generate a lot of revenue from commissions. Zecco is going to have to make up the lost revenue some how – giving you low cash balance returns, high margin rates, and tons of advertising. 🙂

    I haven’t been able to open my Zecco.com account yet. I need to complete the paperwork and mail it back to them. I’m wishing I could completely sign up online without having to mail anything to them first. I’m anxious to start free trading. You can count on a lot of Zecco feedback from me as soon as my account is fully working.

    Best Regards,

  8. Enhanced,

    I’ve been searching for my investment club a discount brokerage that offers no account minimums and a worthy dividend reinvestment policy
    Zecco’s dividend reinvestment policy is pretty much worthless because they don’t allow fractional shares. This really bites into the low cost investor for the following reasons:

    1. Most dividend paying stocks stocks yield is approximately: 2-5% which would be 0.5%-1.25% paid on a quarterly basis. At 2% yearly yield that requires 200 shares to be purchased assuming the stock price stays the same. Here is their policy: http://www.zecco.com/forums/How-does-Zecco-compare-with-Sharebuilder-793_1.aspx#896

    If you are worried about commissions then you probably aren’t purchasing 100 shares to begin with.

    2. Compound interest, that’s the basic principal behind a DRIP to begin with.

    I think it’s nice that Zecco’s offers free trades, but I would prefer both Tradeking and TDameritrade over them as a long term investor.


    BTW, TDameritrade will be offering a full DRIP program beginning next year.

  9. The last comment to the above dicussion was posted almost two months ago. Did anyone join Zecco in the meanwhile? Pls share your experience with us. I am curious.



  10. Thank you for covering us. Because you are on the Zecco beat, I wanted to give you the scoop on the IRA story of this year before it’s released to the MSM. Zecco is coming out with a $0 Commission IRA tomorrow. The elimination of commissions fundamentally changes the landscape of retirement investing. A debate has raged: Mutual funds vs. ETFs – which is cheaper? That debate is over when you combine low cost ETFs with $0 commission trading. All things being equal, investing in ETFs versus actively managed mutual funds in a Zecco $0 commission IRA could make an investor $1,000,000 richer over their investing lifetime due to lower expenses alone.

  11. Zecco trading: Stay away from them. Filled out application online, mailed paper work, funded the account more than 2 weeks ago still not able to trade. Status shows pending approval. I was able to apply and trade same day from other online traders. I guess they are not kidding when they say they are able to make money using your account balances. Obviously bcoz they do not let u use ur money for so long. When called they said waiting for processors approval, whatever that means. Tried to withdraw funds 4 days later ach still showing pending processors approval. Bottom line Zecco bad news.

  12. Paul,

    Did you finally get on Zecco?
    I’m about to start a Roth-IRA. Its a toss up between Zecco and Bank of America. Don’t like the sound of Paul’s last post.

  13. I am also experiencing the same problem. I have funded the account, but they indicated my application was incomplete. They indicated they would email the aplication back that same day. It has now been over a week and each day I speak with another customer service agent who promises to email it. Still nothing. I am closing my account, but I am sure that will be another headache.

  14. I’m experiencing the same problem with the long pending approval. I had the account funded 2 weeks ago and had my paperwork mailed in, and it’s still pending approval. I wonder how long it takes before I can actually trade.

  15. I trust consumer reports and they just published a 2007 ranking of top discount brokerage firms online

    “Firstrade Securities Tops Consumer Reports Latest Online Brokers Ratings”

    I’m not sure a free site based on advertising is a good place for a long term investment, but FIrstrade sounds like a great deal for $6.95.

  16. I was pretty skeptical about zecco as well, and concerned about the security of my sensitive financial data, after reading some horror stories (zecco losing paperwork, POOR customer service, etc). But my experience has overall been positive.

    Account was set-up in about a week or ten days; the website is basic, but performs well. Trade executions have been efficient. I do have brokerage accounts at TDameritrade, and fidelity, and get my research there, but you just can’t beat the commision free trades.
    I am a conservative investor, who likes to buy-and-hold, and dollar-cost-average. I had not been using ETFs due to the commisions to brokerage houses. Now, with FREE trades at zecco, I can diversify, and get into asset classes (commodities ETFs, BRIC ETFs, forex ETFs, etc), I would not have entered earlier. I can dollar-cost average into these ETFs, for free.
    (I have placed more trades in the last few weeks than I placed in the entire year in ’06!)
    As regards Zecco’s customer service, I have never had to use them; so can’t comment on them. But I certainly won’t expect the service I have come to expect from the big-name brokerage houses…
    I hope they stay in business, and help level the playing field for small investors like me (us!).

  17. Lowest rates around can be found at Interactive Brokers. Their rate is a full point or more lower than the nearest competition. However, the commission pricing is volume-based and the account is not suitable for non-active traders.

    One big beef I have with Zecco is that you can’t trade with trade date funds for Cash accounts (like IRAs). You must wait for settlement date (T+3). This was not the case at Wells Fargo (which offers fee-free trades for the first 100 trades per year, minimum $25K balance) nor, come to think of it, at any other broker I’ve had my IRA with (Ameritrade, Scottrade, Datek (R.I.P.), Suretrade (R.I.P.), etc.)

  18. I had a problem with opening my account as well. It took about 3 weeks for the Zecco techs to figure out why the log-in page was not working for my account. But, since that issue has been worked out, I have had NO, zero, not 1 problem with transfering money via ACH both in and out of Zecco. It takes about 3-4 days on average for the transfer. The layout, navigation and design of the website could use a little work, as well as the paperwork involved with signing up, but I chalk that up to inexperience of a fledgling business. the kinks will get worked out. Where it matters, the MONEY, is where everything appears to work fine. trade execution is just as fast as anywhere else, done before I can even get my balances page to load, which only takes a few seconds on a busy day. I believe that most issues people have are with opening accounts, and as I said, that’s a tech issue that Zecco will need to work out. I am more than willing to cut them some slack, as they are saving me plenty of money with 0 commissions.

  19. Zecco is an absolute joke. Run away before you even think about joining. Almost a month and a half later, I still can’t trade. They have my money, but closed me out of my account. They said they didn’t receive all my documents. Bullshit. I told them I wasn’t sending it again and they magically and suddenly found all my documents. I was so fed up at that point that I tried to transfer my money out of my account and back to my bank account. They responded by suspending my account. Now I can’t log in, can’t get my money back, and can’t speak with a customer service rep. This is the worst experience I have ever had in dealing with a company. There are no customer service agents that you can speak to (only email). They repond to your email 3 or 4 days later. I lost nearly $20k on an options trade that wouldn’t go through because they can’t process simple paperwork. Fuck them. No amount of commission savings will ever bring back that $20k. Do me a favor and never join Zecco.

  20. zecco problem you should know. customer service at zecco is
    very very bad. If you send a margin call via email. They
    need to tell the client what is needed to put the account
    back in order. I recieved no email telling me the amount
    needed also no phone call. no phone call for the 15 times
    i called to find out what they needed to fix the account. the
    emails provided no guidence. One email i revieved told me
    my account was in order. only to find out 3 days later
    they closed my account. the boss should look at my
    experience and make sure it does not happen to another client
    why burn money advertising if they can not keep clients. If i had known
    the amount needed, in my cases less then
    $500 i would have wired the money.
    they should also have a comment section
    so they could fix other problems that
    would arise in a new business.

  21. Anyother info on people who actually signed up? Paul had a poor experience, anyone else have any experience wiht Zecco? Good, bad, indifferent?


  22. Hey Paul,

    I opened my TDAmeritrade account and it took them abut the same time. I think zecco.com is the best bet for begginers who have few thousand dollars in their accouts.

    I have TD Ameritrade account i am paying $9.99 per trade but $0 is the best i loved it and i am going to switch there. Just found about it!!!!!!!

  23. I’ve been using Zecco without any issues other than not being able to trade some stocks on a margin. I wired my funds and was able to trade the next day. So far so good for me no complaints as of yet.

  24. Thank you for the helpful information. I’m thinking about opening an account with Zecco, but I wonder if they still have trouble slow processor approval.

  25. i saw ken’s post that tradingdirect has the lowest margin rates. i found that out too on my own. does any1 know of any other broker who is even lower than tradingdirect? i am with tradeking for now, because their minimum maintenance requirment is only 30%. No1 else does better than 35%. and i have been burnt badly before with margin calls (nov 2002), so the minimum maintenance is important too.

  26. I’ve been a zecco man for a couple months, no complaints here.

    My wife likes Scottrade, only because of the ‘Elite’ interface.
    She’ll burn up $700 in commissions before the month is through, probably more like 3 weeks into the month.

    Zecco may not be ScottradeElite, but it meets all my needs, which right now is flexibility with margin and basic trades. I like the ETF’s which short the indeces.

  27. Regarding zecco: YIKES!!! Not sure if I want to fool with this company with the little experience and funds that I have to work with. I’ll just keep my eye on the reviews for awhile.

  28. My husband decided to do business with Zecco because he read positive reviews online. Big mistake. Do good research and check out the company’s rating on http://www.labbb.org... you can see the complaints filed about Zecco and notice that the company is rated D (which is a step above being a 100% proven scam). It took filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the FBI Internet crimes task force for Zecco to stop playing games and give me my money back. I was never allowed to trade, and the money I funded my account with was being held indefinitely as Zecco continued to ask for more and more paperwork to verify my identity. I have always been a US citizen, am employed as a school-teacher, and have never been confused for a terrorist before in my life. Zecco seems to have a problem making that distinction, as I’ve heard from Penson (the company Zecco uses to take money our of our checking accounts) that I am one of many people who has gotten tired of waiting for Zecco to release our funds and called Penson looking for help.

  29. Try and get a withdrawal out of them, and see how easy it is.

    They’ll take your money.

    Let you trade.

    Not charge you commissions.

    But trying to get a simple transfer from them? Still haven’t gotten my money.

  30. quick question:
    if your dividend isnt enough to buy a full share does zecco simply credit your cash account?
    does zecco have a gainskeeper system, as i am horrible with record keeping [i am a painter what do you expect from an artist trying to not have a day job 🙂 ]
    new to all this and loving it.
    with scottrade – who i like but if zecco is better i will switch over. i invest in small amounts so the commissions do matter in my case
    thanks for your help in advance

  31. One of the basics of investing I learned in class was transaction costs that ANY trading or holding strategy has. A no commission structure changes things drastically. Not only can you start investing and feel like you’re in the game, but actually build balances faster using whatever strategy you have. Now it is possible to dollar cost average into stocks, not just mutual funds. Imagine those people who traded a thousand times in the past ten years, and paying 14.95 or so per trade. At what expense did their wealth come?
    The masses that can only afford to pack away $10 a week can now afford to move into equity markets. This enables the larger population to take part in investing.
    Higher margin expenses isn’t a terrible thing. It is possible to build equity wealth without margin, it is not possible to do without transaction costs. Tolerating advertising is sort of a pain, but who says you have to be logged in to your brokerage account all the time. An 18 year old could just open an account, build up to 20 different positions in blue chips, and forget it till he’s 65, and be unaware of advertising.

    Those of you who have several brokerages for different purposes are pretty smart. You can use Zecco for your small transactions and ETF positions, another for buying something on margin that you don’t have the cash for, and a paltry sum at some expensive full service place for your research to support your activity at the other two.

    Thanks, Jay, for the warning about new accounts and having funding tied up. Perhaps new people from here on should open an account with 10 or 20 dollars in case they bungle new applications, then build up later.

  32. Zecco cancels accounts over negative feedback over the recent pricing structure change. Zecco did it to me. Lets see how soon this gets edited.

    Watch what you say to zecco. BEWARE of ZECCO.com for investing, trading, options and stocks. It took over 5 weeks for them to setup my account and it still has not been created correctly. I don’t even have any stocks to transfer in. When talking to customer service I need to start over every time which takes a lot longer if any problem needs more than one phone call to resolve. There have been reports from people that the setup process is not clear so if you fund your account after they say everything is a go and you have not turned in your government tax papers they will withhold a sizeable chunk of your money.

    Recently they changed their policy where if you no longer meet the New minimum balance requirements you do not get free trades. Even though their whole business model is built on free trades you don’t get any. Now my account is halfway setup at this point and I log in and I receive the notice saying everything is changing the minimum requirements for account, and the amount of free trades, and that you must meet the $2500 minimum to be able to receive their now ten (down from 40) free trades a month. I have not even traded my first stock with this service and the terms are changing. On top of that there is a $50 transfer out fee (up from $0) that is imposed now. This seems like bait and switch to me.

    Now they contact me because they don’t have the required information that was already sent to them when my account was setup the first time. I send back that I don’t have time to start this process over with and I do not feel confident more or less in the company anymore. I also let them know that I am not happy with their business model now affects me and how I have been treated as a customer since the start. Now I have heard people criticize the company on their site which is always deleted by the moderator’s but also on the internet. I felt that I would make my own decision as their site seemed informative and I thought I know what I was getting into. All I wanted was for them to understand they are pushing customers away and that it would be beneficial to grandfather the people in that have been with the company or just signed up before this was enacted. I was not notified of this change by email or us mail as they stated before it went into affect and I just wanted to use my account with their new restrictions if need be but not be shutout by the new minimum balance.

    Now I have my major funds at another broker since I wanted to make sure this company was of the straight and narrow before I brought my whole account over to them (like a lot of people do). Now these people are shunned away which may lose them business.

    Now I understand that they are a new company but they don’t need to close my account because I stated I didn’t think I what they were doing was fair to me and to others. Most business owners would like to hear the feedback before it costs them money from customers taking their business elsewhere.

    Moral of the story is watch what you say to Zecco they may close your account if they don’t like what you say.

    Zecco if you would like to contact me I would be more than happy to talk to you.


  33. I also got robbed $6,000. Zecco keeps saying that they want more and more paperwork to release my money and after turning them in they still haven’t given me back my money.

    So I’ve filed a complaint with the SEC, Attorney General, Amex, BBB and I’m not done yet. Looks like they are going belly up so I hope their SIPC premiums are paid up so I can collect it from the SIPC.

  34. I would have to agree with the sentiment that “Zecco sucks”. I don’t normally take the time to write such reviews, and I would generally choose different words. But I would not recommend them to anyone. Perhaps they are just experiencing growing pains. I have almost memorized their customer service number – always something wrong. The executions are good, because they use an underlying provider – Penson. But their website, customer service, timeliness will put you at risk. Perhaps they will get better over time. But I would advise you to use someone else… you get what you pay for.

  35. I am about to open an IRA with zecco or someother. Just wondering how secure is their website and how safe it is for long term investing, considering an IRA.

  36. I had the same initial problem with the pending paperwork. But I called Zecco customer service and they just fixed it on the spot.

    Other than that my experience has been great, and you can’t expect a company that makes no money off trades to be able to invest that much money in staffing, customer service, and quick response time. For a small investor it’s definitely worth the trade off for slightly slower service.

  37. “There are no customer service agents that you can speak to (only email). They repond to your email 3 or 4 days later.”

    I statement just isn’t true. I’ve called Zecco several times and they have always picked up the phone quickly and been very responsive.

  38. Hi,
    I am on the way to fund my zecco account and I would like to have fresh feedback.
    Did they improved their services?

  39. Horrible, Horrible service. Their website needs lots of work! You get what you pay for. I attempted to cancel an order and it wouldn’t let me. I placed a new order and it never appeared on my screen but when I called, it was on their screen. Multiple problems with their trading platform. My advice STAY AWAY FROM ZECCO!!!!!

  40. zecco offers free trade for 10x/month, but if you go over it you have to pay premium. my experiences tell me that if you trade ove 10x a month it is wiser to go another brokerage like interactive broker or sogotrade. they have the best rate around plus sogotrade is going to upgrade their services soon. sooner, it will offers roth ira and option account.

  41. I haven’t had a single problem with Zecco. I’ve had an account for over 1 year and I’ve emailed customer service and recieved return emails and phone calls. I can’t relate to any problems. The only issue I have is they changed the free trades to limit of 10 per month, and a minimum balance of $2500 so it makes it harder for the small trader to start out. You can also open another account if you need more than 10 trades each month. $4.95 a trade is about what others charge.

  42. Stay away from them.
    They lost me over $50,000 over this year, all because of their “margin requirements”. They exercised unauthorized trades in my account, even though I had enough cash, had a margin account, and was not using any of their money (did not borrow anything!).
    Their software is vastly inferior to other brokerages. They send you completely outdated information or provide no information on margin calls which they then upload just at the last minute and ante-date it so to appear as if they sent it a day before. They also can mark your account as a day trading account even though you had not made any trades at all!

    I am currently seeking an arbiter to file a complain. Please, if you know a good one let me know. I also would join any class suit against this company.

  43. Last September I opened a 2nd account w/Zecco Trading in the name of my business. I did not request or authorize margin capability in the account at that time, nor have I ever done so. I then requested an ACH link to my business savings account with ING Direct. This was an error on my part in that ING Direct business savings accounts allow only 1 ACH link, which I already had set up with my local bank. My problem…no one else’s.

    In order to fund this 2nd Zecco account, in early October I made an ACH request on the Zecco site for funds from my ING account. A few days later I saw on the Zecco site that funds in the exact amount I had requested were now available for trading. I immediately set a limit stock buy order. The next morning it was filled. That day the stock price plunged. The following morning I had a margin call notice from Zecco in my inbox. After a phone conversation with a Zecco rep, I had to send almost $2500 to Zecco to satisfy the margin call. During the conversation, the rep told me I owed an additional $25 because ING Direct had made the ACH transfer and then reversed it, triggering Zecco’s no-funds-available fee. After sending the money, I monitored the Zecco site. Strangely, that additional $25 I had sent remained in my available balance. At the end of October, I saw that “interest” had been deducted from the $25. It was at this point that I became suspicious of Zecco’s story that ING had transferred the funds and then reversed the transfer. ING wrote me stating that this had not happened; the transfer request had been denied upon receipt and the funds were never transferred to Zecco at all. I have been an ING customer for 7 years and am completely satisfied with them.

    When I questioned Zecco about the “interest” deducted from the $25, a rep admitted that their system had “mistakenly” ID’ed my account as margin instead of cash. It took over a month of my insistence for the “interest” to be credited back to my account.

    Zecco Trading and/or Penson Financial Services baited me into that fateful stock buy; there are no 2 ways about it. That constitutes fraud, pure and simple.

    If you’re thinking about opening a Zecco account, DON’T DO IT. If you already have one, take your $$ and RUN (don’t walk) away!

  44. Zecco Trading has so far been my worst experience ever, though I haven’t dealt with many online brokers. I was lured by the concept unlimited of free trades in the past (the $30.00 yearly maintenance Fee wasn’t an issue) & decided to try it with a small IRA account as a test, about $5,000. Shortly after the unlimited of free trades turned into 10 free trades a month which would still work for me, though it did cost me some commissions. With the latest change of $25,000 minimum requirement I decided this wasn’t for me so I transferred the account to an existing account in TDAmeritrade which just arrived today with a $81.00 debit (Zecco’s cost for transferring funds & closing the account). I don’t usually believe that you get what you pay for, but in this example it has been a very costly test with no upside. I would recommend exercising caution on using this low rated broker.

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