Broker and Brokerage Information Exchange

We have lots (a really lot) of messaging that deals with various brokers and what is allowed/not allowed by them in terms of buying/selling new issues on the Over The Counter (OTC) markets and many other issues.

For instance some brokers allow pretty much any transaction. I personally like eTrade as I have never had a trade rejected by them–while I have an account with Fidelity it restricts my ability to buy Fixed-to-Floating rate issues.

This area is for an exchange of information on all the various brokers–good, bad and otherwise.

Like all the various discussion pages if folks could ‘stay to topic’ the page will be more valuable to all, but staying to point.

If you want to start a new thread go to the bottom of the page and do a comment–instead of a reply.

476 thoughts on “Broker and Brokerage Information Exchange”

  1. you all are making me depressed about Schwab. At some point soon my TDA account will be Schwab, and the more I hear about Schwab the more I’m dreading this. TDA has never missed one of my dividend payments, they always arrive on the day they are supposed to, except the Canadian companies which take until the afternoon or the next day. The only issue I have with them are the thieves at the Bond desk, but I’m certain that’s the case with all the brokers. Sigh.

    1. My account moved over today and it has not been an auspicious start.

      They had the price on EBBGF totally wrong. It was about $5 less than at Fidelity, Vanguard and Merrill. How can they mess that up?

      Then, if you go to trade it on Schwab it shows the same price as the other brokerages. The Bid and Ask are in the $19.60 range but it is shown as being worth $14.40 or so in my account.

  2. My EBBGF 100 share purchase 2 weeks ago at 18.62 is now up a full point or +5.3% …. You know what that means? That means that given Fidelity’s hit or miss policy on charging $50 per transaction on this “ending in F” security, that I have now broken even if I sell it…. Rather than do that, I decided to transfer all EBBGF shares to TDA and consolidate my ENB preferreds there. At least I know definitively that I’ll only get charged 4.95/trade instead of guessing whether or not I’ll get charged $50 at Fido. Yes, I know most will say it’s 6.95 not 4.95 but years ago I negotiated down the commission on TDA and to date the 4.95 has stuck and they claim it will transfer with my account when I get moved in March.
    This surprises me because overall, I’ve felt Fidelity improving in many area while TDA was losing its allure (other than TOS) .. I would have thought I’d move funds out of TDA before I’d be moving more in….. .Oh well

  3. Subject: Customer Service@Schwab. Schwab, up until maybe a year or two ago, seemed to have pretty decent customer service – many of the reps seemed knowledgeable and interested in addressing comments. However, my experiences with them over the past 1 to 2 years have made me re-evaluate … some of their people don’t seem to know their commission schedule details, for example … some of their people don’t seem to read the messages sent and gave a response that acted like the message was about something different than it actually was about.

    I happened to run across a re-post of an article about the Schwab CEO from 2018 that stressed their customer service commitment, and that’s prompted my post here today … in my experience, the customer service there is not today what I experienced back in 2018….

    Those with Fidelity, E-Trade, and IB who’ve had to interact with customer service people there over the past couple of years: are those organizations now doing better than Schwab at customer service?

    1. I rarely call customer service it’s a waste of time. Schwab makes more mistakes than most brokers and often hold dividend payments for a day or two. Fidelity has 5% divvy on sweeps account and that’s enough to make up for all their faults IMO.

        1. You reminded me of yesterday. A friend of mine went through a BoA bank machine to get some cash. The guy before him left his receipt in the machine and he took it to show me. This guy withdrew $800 cash. But dont worry, the receipt showed he (or she) still has over $2.2 million in his checking account. But he still got hit with a $3 transaction fee, ha.

          1. That’s actually sort of relevant – the Schwab debit card offers worldwide ATM fee rebates – I also find their remote check deposit works well, better than my main bank’s.

        2. I think there are a number of reasons why someone keeps most or all of their investments with just one broker whether they have $1 million or more or they have $100K or less. I am not a Schwab user but using one broker simplifies things and also at certain asset levels gets you a better / higher level of customer service

        3. I don’t think you read what I wrote, but what is the problem with having $1M at Schwab? That’s what we’re here to discuss, after all.

  4. I know I complain a lot about challenges at schwab, but I keep meaning to post this little bonus about trading at schwab:

    If you use the “all-in-one” tool on, you can pick from multiple types of orders that offer nice flexibility. I have had some flexibility at other brokers (when Schwab had almost none), but Schwab is now pretty flexible.

    Confession: I don’t know when these expanded order types became available. May have been years ago, but a rep told me about them a few months ago – and it was a surprise to me. now lets you choose from a whole bunch of order types:
    -Day (regular trading day)
    -Day + extended hours (covers extended hours from 7am to8pm, plus trading day)
    -Good til cancelled (and you can pick any day up to 179 days out for expiration)
    -GTC + extended hours (you pick a date up to 179 days out, and order covers all regular and extended hour sessions until then)
    -am extended hours,
    -pm extended hours
    -(plus Fill or kill and immediate or cancel)

    I like their new GTC because I like to be able to set a date. For some issues, I want finer control (like cancelling the day before ex-div, etc.). than the old “blanket” 60 day GTC. Its also nice to not have to have orders expire so often.

    I like the ” + extended hours” for some trades. For some issues, extended hours sometimes offer oddball pricing I want to take advantage of. (in fact, I had a couple of little GTC + extended hours orders fill this afternoon.

    There are, of course, some limitations. key ones that jump to mind:

    -You can’t use the expanded order types from Streetsmart edge. It is written/supported by a vendor, so I don’t know whether it will ever get updated.

    -you can’t cancel or modify expanded order types from anywhere other than the website (and on the phone, I think). So if you place an order on, you have to go back to to modify or cancel it.

    1. Private – I think many / most of those have been available at Schwab for a bit.

      Their FOK and IOC in particular seem a little more flexible there than some others seem to be.

    2. I’m new to Schwab via the TD takeover and I am not impressed with their platform. However, their customer service has been quite good.

      Schwab is playing catch up with the 21st century. I’ve had many of the ‘bonuses’ you described at Interactive Brokers for 20+ years. Be that as it may, at least you’ve discovered new found flexibility that helps you facilitate your trading.

  5. Now that my E*TRADE acct has been moved to “E*TRADE by Morgan Stanley”, Foreign Tax Withholding is not reported. Instead, MS silently deducts it from the dividend. No other broker does this in my experience. Infuriating.

    Does anyone know whether MS correctly reports Foreign Tax Withheld in end-of-year 1099s?

    1. You can change the amount on your tax reporting if it’s wrong. You might have to defend it after a mailed inquiry from IRS. Happened to me a few times and they never challenged my answers. Though you have to be paying attention to the numbers. Morgan Stanley’s clientele is wealthy people who don’t care about nickel and dime fees so they probably don’t notice things like that. Buying etrade was a strange move for them.

  6. I thought today was my big TD transfer to Schwab day. I guess I was wrong. My HSA transferred, by my other accounts are still trading at TD. Rep said it could even be next year before the transfer.

    1. Same exact thing happened to me. 1 account transferred. 3 still left at TDA. What a joke. I even received emails that said all accounts would transfer over the weekend. Obviously a learning curve, but Schwab’s platform seems cumbersome compared to TDA and Fidelity. As an example, REGCP on TDA shows 2800 shares traded with a clear bid/ask spread. On Schwab, it shows volume of 0 and no bid / ask at all. I have to click on the buy button to see bid/ask and it’s still showing no volume.
      Oh well. Guess I’ll give it some time to learn the new platform…..

    2. I have not heard a single thing from TD about transferring my account.

      I still have a TD account that has about $20 in it. it was a divi I received after I had moved my account from scottrade to schwab (during that takeover), so it got rolled to TD. I keep it just so I can access research, etc. on TD.

      I asked schwab when I would get transferred (while I was on with a broker about something else). He laughed and said probably in the very last batch.

      1. I got an email today that my tiny TDA account will move to Schwab on Nov. 6.

        They are now officially scraping the bottom of the barrel.

        1. I am moving the same day. I will probably give it a look and kick the tires, but I suspect most of my accounts will move over to Fidelity where the bulk of my money is anyway. I might choose IBKR though because I don’t have an account there and they seem to offer some things the other brokers don’t.

          I have to keep enough at Schwab though to keep using ThinkorSwim so it all gets very messy at some point.

          1. I’ve been at IBKR for nearly 25 years. It’s not the easiest platform to learn but for trading speed, it’s fast. You can buy or sell an equity in as few as two mouse clicks. Creating option combo orders is cumbersome.

            I was with TD for nearly as long and was migrated to Schwab in June. I was lost for a few weeks. I ran into some funky things and I had to contact customer service a number of times. At the same time, I opened a Fidelity account. IMHO, Fidelity’s platform is smoother than the others. The customer service at Schwab and Fidelity has been top notch.

        2. I still havent received info. I must be the last batch other than my HSA they moved already. Im fine with it since SOS hasnt been moved yet. Somebody mentioned ones that used it extensively would be going last. I dont know if that is true or not.

    3. Same here. After much fanfare by Schwab, a surprise that only 1 of 3 accounts transferred over.

      Schwab site appears underwhelming and a bit clunky compared to TD. Fidelity on the other hand continues to improve. Considering a consolidation to Fidelity.

      1. They haven’t contacted me at all.

        I have a TD account because they were able to take something I owned when Merrill would no longer hold it despite selling it to me. I suspect that will put me at the end of the line for a changeover.

        Think or Swim is the only reason I may keep an account with them after the changeover. I have a key spreadsheet linked to it. I am not even sure any of the other brokers besides IBKR would have something which can automatically pull quotes like ToS allows. I had better start looking though since I don’t trust Schwab not to screw it all up.

        1. Hey Don,

          One thing I would suggest – ask them to set up a phone or phone/video appointment with a streetsmart edge (SSE) specialist. I did that when I transferred in and it made a world of difference.

          The specialist gave me at least an hour one-on-one live tutorial, plus he helped me set up my SSE “desktop” in a way I could understand. He was actually knowledgeable about the system at the broker I was coming from, so it was super helpful.

          Not perfect by any stretch, but it gave me enough of a “leg-up” to get going so I could figure things out.

          1. Schwab has a blurb on their site today indicating that SSE is going to be sunsetted in the future as they go “all-in” on think or swim (which it seems they are also in the process of rebranding)


            1. What surprised me about this is that you have to actively switch your Schwab accounts to TOS, and once you’ve done that, you can’t go back.

              I hope there will be some kind of migration tool for SSE watchlists and layouts.

    4. Grid,
      What do you think of all the talk about schwab being in trouble and possibly bankrupting (e.g. today’s video in diamond nest egg)? Anybody thinking to move out of schwab (or td if still there)? I have various accounts in both and am considering moving out. I also have accounts at Merryll and WellsFargo.

      If I don’t want to consolidate into Merryll or WF, what other brokers do you like? Fidelity?

      1. dd, I havent heard anything credible that suggests any problem. Even if there was that would be with the bank side. The brokerage funds are walled off and segregated anyways. I’m personally not losing any sleep over it. I still have a Vanguard account, but definitely am not considering moving any of the future Schwab money there or opening up another account. But that is just me.

  7. If you own MS-F or NI-B check the last dividend you received – especially if held at Vanguard. They reported these dividends as ‘Interest’ in my case.

    When I called Vanguard, I got a very disappointing response – they told me I must contact the issuer – Morgan Stanley!! After calling again and speaking to their bond desk, they are now looking further into the matter. Has anyone else have had a similar experience?

    Am I wrong in thinking that these preferreds give (taxable) interest rather than potentially QDI dividends?

  8. I received a response from Schwab concerning how dividends and interest are paid out sporadically throughout the day. Basically the information was if they receive the payment “in the morning” it will show in the account in the afternoon and payments received later in the day show up the next morning.

    So sounds like there will not be anything changing regarding how they handle income coming into your account at Schwab. Kinda different from what happens at other brokers, but I guess that’s just the way it is.

  9. Anyone have experience with Schwab’s Intelligent Income (robo advising) platform (SIP)? As I get older, I am becoming concerned about my ability to effectively manage my dividend / interest investment portfolio. I am looking for a cost effective alternative. On the surface SIP appears to meet my needs and has an option to focus on dividend / interest investments.

    Planning to give it a trial with a mid 5 figure investment. But, looking for additional feedback before I run the trial.

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