Looking for a full service investment broker with access to international markets? With this broker, it’s possible, but there’s a catch. Read on to find out why in our StockCross Review.
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Review of StockCross
StockCross is a full service online broker that strives to offer personalized, one on one investment services. Their online platform caters to both domestic and international investors who use it to place trades and keep track of their investments.
Established in 1971 StockCross Financial Services, Inc. is one of the largest privately-owned brokerage firms in the nation. Currently, StockCross is headquartered in Beverly Hills but it has offices in major cities across the United States. Traders consider yourself warned. Their commission schedule is a bit on the expensive side but they do offer a lot in return.
- Customer Service
- Personalized Service
- Prices and fees
- Account minimum and inactivity fee
- FINRA Fines
Variety Is the Spice of Life Right?!?
They offer all the standard financial products like stocks, options, ETFs, Mutual Funds and fixed income products. These options can satisfy the needs of savvy investors, everywhere, who require a firm that can help them diversify their investment portfolios.
In for the Long Haul
From what I can see, Stockcross focuses on providing the resources need to grow your portfolio over the long run.
Their website is professional and user-friendly – always an added bonus, with a ton of resources for retirement planning, tax guides and educational purposes.
How to Get Started
To open an account you must have at least $1,000 in equity for IRAs and $2,000 for all other accounts. This is far more than what other brokerage firms would charge, even the most elite of them. As a result, this could be limiting to the new investor starting out with limited capital.
When You Need Help
Sometimes you just need help and StockCross delivers on all accounts. The customer support is impressive. Specialists, customer service associates, and technical support staff are on hand when you need them.
And, if you don’t want to call? No problem, simply open up an online chat and presto, problem solved.
For those of you who value customer service, this broker doesn’t disappoint. You won’t be let down with this broker.
Try Before You Buy
You don’t rush out to buy a car without driving it first? It might look all sparkly and shiny but be a lemon on the road.
Luckily, StockCross lets you try before you buy. No chance of buying a lemon here.
Now this is cool, StockCross actually lets you have access to advice from their investment specialists, FREE OF CHARGE!!!
They also provide site tours to potential clients to help them become familiar with the site and the firms services. Furthermore, they also offer online tutorials which are quite helpful for the newbies.
Personalized Approach to Their Trading Platform
When you head on over to the tools and platform, you’ll be impressed. For example, the trading platform can be personalized. Think customizable time and sales, charting, watch lists, alerts, your positions and balances, to name a few.
They even have an advanced platform that has some great features. In my opinion, while it is powerful in it’s own way, it won’t satisfy active day traders who need hotkeys and direct market access. If that’s you, I highly recommend you check out more powerful platforms like TD Ameritrade’s ThinkorSwim or SpeedTrader.
But all things considered, it’s most certainly adequate for investors.
If I’ve lost you and you don’t know the difference between an investor and a day trader, no fear.
What Are StockCross Fees and Commissions? (Pricing Review)
- Ccommission structure is pretty well hidden, and it’s not added to the total sale price.
- Day traders, don’t fall off your chair. What I’m about to tell you is a jaw dropper.
- The company charges $19 per stock and ETF trades.
- Options trades are priced at $19 plus $2.50 per contract.
Haha, yes, you read that right. Of all the brokerage firms I’ve seen, this perhaps is the most expensive. So what do you do with this information? If you’re anything like me, I want to save money. And as a active day trader, StockCross doesn’t make the most sense money wise for me.
If you’re in the same boat, I suggest checking out some of the low-fee brokerages out there. Firstly, you have a lot to choose from. Secondly, many charge less than a third of the price of StockCross.
What’s more, while it’s great that the company offers foreign securities, there’s a catch. Investors are on the hook, these stocks have a $75 transaction fee attached to them.
Also, if you happen not to trade in a given year, they take a $50 charge for the privilege of letting them hold your money and paying below market rates.
Are everywhere! Like most brokerage firms, the company tends to add-on multiple fees, no surprise there, just be aware.
They charge you a $50 maintenance fee on your account. What’s more, canceling a payment will set you back $25. Even monthly statement fees cost, $2 a piece to be exact.
One other thing to keep in mind, if your account goes negative they sell your shares without notifying you. Personally, this leaves me a bit hesitant.
A significant drawback to the brokerage is their lack of a mobile trading app. For the busy investor who is always on the go, this will be a deal-breaker.
$800,000 Finra Fines
To cut a long story short, when a transaction is complete, firms are required to deliver the shares to a registered clearing agency for settlement.
And, the firm must be net flat or long in the relevant security at the end of the “close-out” date. If the shares are not delivered in time, the SEC’s Reg SHO requires the firm to either purchase or borrow the securities to cover their failure to deliver.
If the failure to deliver is not closed out, the firm cannot accept additional short sale orders of the security without first borrowing or arranging to borrow the security.
Well the FINRA came knocking and found that from November 2009 to May 2013, StockCross was not complying. At the end of the day they were not meeting their close-out obligations. Apparently this was due to a software flaw. It resulted in failure to deliver on 1,826 occasions.
Additionally StockCross executed at least 4,132 short sales at a time when it had an outstanding close-out obligation for such securities, and did not first borrow or arrange to borrow the security.
What’s more, the FINRA found that StockCross did not have a supervisory system. This would include written supervisory procedures designed to achieve compliance with Rule 204 of Regulation SHO.
Needless to say this is concerning but has since been resolved.
The Bottom Line
The range of investment opportunities will satisfy investors looking to diversity their portfolio. Coupled with access to specialized support, users will feel supported every step of the way. I must admit though, StockCross’ incredibly steep commission rates are too difficult to justify. Since there are so many discount brokerage firms that offer similar services, it’s a tough sell.
Despite their excellent customer service and user-friendly platform, you can get better bang for your buck elsewhere. And if StockCross wants to compete with the other brokerages out there, they should reduce their fees accordingly.