Review of Online Stock Trading Broker Zecco

As online stock trading moves well beyond the novelty phase into its status as a commodity, online trading firms are working hard to compete on the basis of tools as well as price. Zecco does the former relatively well (with more bells and whistles being added daily), while it’s an outright industry leader when it comes to the latter.  Here’s a look at what you can expect as a Zecco customer.

Trading Tools

Zecco – a shortened version of ‘zero commission’ – offers a surprisingly robust number of tools and features, considering it’s in the deep-discount realm of the online trading world.  All the market data one would expect from established competitors like Schwab and TD Ameritrade can be found at zecco.com…..news, charts, and even sector and commodity performance reports. The site even makes select television news clips available.

While those things would generally be expected from most online stock trading sites, Zecco’s version stands out in that it isn’t clunky or overwhelming to navigate – many other sites have become overloaded to the point of being annoying.

Where Zecco really sets itself apart, however, is the integration of its community and its research.

Were it not one of the biggest and most active, Zecco’s stock trading community’s input would mean little. With reported membership in the thousands though, the collective opinion of all those investors may well be worth considering.

All the basic research an investor would want to review before making a buy/sell decision is available…. earnings history, ratios, profiles, news, etc. What’s also available is the community’s average opinion on that stock. Even better, you can view the degree of ownership and how it’s held (long versus short) – in real portfolios – by the community’s members.

Conversely, you can sort and search for the community most-loved and least-loved equities, and make buy/sell decisions from the top down.

Zecco Streamer

All of the above-mentioned features are access via the zecco.com website; simply login to you account, and click. Web-based tools like these can have shortcomings, however….. namely a lack of streaming quotes, charts, and news. Zecco Streamer solves all those problems.

Since it’s java-based, there’s no software to download (assuming you’re running a recent version of Java). Just open it up from the website, and leave it running as long as you like. The streaming tool is also completely customizable, meaning you can rearrange its layout and appearance to display exactly what you want. You can even save that layout for use later.

Or, for those more versed with Quotestream II (from Quotemedia), Zecco also allows its customers to access that platform.

Nice Additional Features

Zecco.com has really taken the sector analysis ball and run with it… much more so than many of its peers. Even the community’s collective opinion on sectors and industries can be measured. The stock screener as well as an ETF and fund screener round out the list of stock trading tools. And, for option traders, there’s a complex-order entry tool, a strategy builder with templates of all the spread possibilities, plus a P&L calculator.

Pricing (subject to change)

As of the time of this review, stock trades cost only $4.50. For more active traders and higher account balances though, some trades can be free. Option trades cost $4.50, plus $0.50 per contract. There are no account fees or maintenance fees.

Bottom Line

For active traders (several trades per month) who need a basic trading platform, with the occasional use of bells and whistles, Zecco is a good choice. Though higher-end, institutional-level traders may not be satisfied, it was never designed for those traders. Retail traders should appreciate the platform.

Photo via zeccomedia