Capital One Investing Review 2017

3-star brokerage firm rating

Sharebuilder is now called Capital One Investing. Stock brokerage firm review: fees & commissions, advantages & disadvantages, minimum requirements & promotion offers for opening a new online account with the online discount stock broker.

  • Stocks & ETFs: $6.95
  • Options: $6.95 + $0.75 per contract
  • Mutual Funds: $19.95

Minimum to open: $0 for a cash account.
Open an account: Open an account with Capital One Investing.

Capital One Investing Review

Capital One Investing is a subsidiary company of Capital One, which has provided a wide selection of financial products and investing services since 1988. Capital One is one of the largest financial institutions in the country with over 45 million customers in the U.S., the UK and Canada. In 2015, Capital One merged its self-directed brokerage services (formerly known as Sharebuilder) and advised services, establishing Capital One Investing. Today, Capital One Investing is a full-service brokerage with a wide range of investment services of a discount and traditional brokerage. Please see below for details about the self-directed investment services offered by the company.

Capital One Investing Trading Commissions And Fees

Capital One Investing is committed to keeping the fee structure transparent and easy to understand to any investor. Investors are never charged a monthly or annual maintenance fee, an inactivity fee or other hidden fees that many brokerages tend to sneak into their customers' statements. Generally, investors only get charged if they make a trade.

The fee to buy or sell a stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF) is $6.95, and an order takes place 24/7 but can be executed when the markets are open. Capital One is a less expensive broker compared with the well-known Etrade ($6.95) and TD Ameritrade ($6.95). However, compared with the lowest cost brokers, such as Optionshouse and Ally Invest, which both charge only $4.95 per transaction, Capital One Investing is a more costly option.

Option cost is also moderate. The broker charges only $6.95 plus $0.75 per contract. However, the brokerage firm does not support complex and multi-leg options and offers very few option tools.

Mutual fund trades don't incur fees unless there is a load fee in the purchase. You can research mutual funds according to whether or not they have the load fee, which is $19.95. There are a little over 1,000 mutual funds available through Capital One Investing. For instance, some brokers, such as Ally Invest ($9.95 to buy or sell) , offer greater selections of mutual funds for the same or a slightly lower fee.

Phone trades are $19.95 and only available during business hours.

The broker is lacking in a selection of commission-free ETFs that some other big names, which not always mean more expensive firms or brokerages, offer to their customers.

Overall, the fee structure is fairly transparent. However, there are a few hidden in fine print. For instance, the broker will sap $49.95 from the proceeds if you hold a no-load mutual fund for less than 90 days, and there is a $0.007/share purchase surcharge if the current stock price is less than $1.

Automatic investment is another great option for stock, ETF and mutual fund investing offered by Capital One brokerage. The commission is only $3.95 per security. Investors can choose a dollar amount they want to invest each time, securities they want to invest in and the reoccurrence of investments on a weekly, biweekly, monthly schedule or even only when funds are available. Orders are executed on Tuesday mornings, so clients must schedule them before 5PM EST on Monday.

Capital One Investing PortfolioBuilder Tool

The Portfolio Builder is a newer trade type. It is an investment strategy tool, which in three easy steps allows investors to create a diversified portfolio of ETFs based on specified criteria, such as a dollar amount they would like to invest, investment style and asset allocation model, that fit the customers' investment objectives and financial situation.

Investors can create a portfolio of 6-8 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) using asset allocation models. An entire portfolio can be purchased for one flat commission of $18.95. The same fee applies to selling out of the entire portfolio.

Capital One Investment Review

The PortfolioBuilder's design, as the overall look of the website, is clean, pleasant and very easy to understand.

Capital One Investing Trading Experience Review

Trading on Capital One Investing is very easy. Doing so within your IRA has virtually no differences compared to trading in a C apital One Investing brokerage account. Several accounts can also be managed from the same console with a flick of a drop-down menu.

The Share Calculator can be a very handy tool when buying, especially for computing how many shares can be purchased with an available cash amount based on the commission and current market price (the last traded price if arranging while the markets are closed).

Cash transfers instantly to an investor's account if he has a Capital One or Capital One 360 checking and/or savings account linked to it. External accounts need a few business days for contributions to clear. Those who want to trade immediately might choose to pay a $6.95 Express Funding fee.

Capital One Investment review

Mobile apps are available for iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Mobile apps provide a set of trading and research tools, allowing customers to stay informed, fund accounts and make trades on the go.

Capital One Investing Investment Options Review

Capital One has a limited selection of investments to choose from. There is a wide sampling of index funds, blue chips and mutual funds with low minimum investment requirements, which are perfect for novice investors to embark on the path of self-directed IRAs. Nevertheless, there are also plenty of diversified and high-risk funds to satiate the more sophisticated investors.

However, bonds and CDs also cannot be bought through Capital One brokerage. This is of concern for conservative investors and those nearing retirement age. The closest you can get are bond funds, mutual funds and ETFs that invest mostly in CDs and T-bills. For example, Ally Invest offers bond and other fixed-income investing for a reasonable price, and access to great bond research tools. The broker charges only $1.00 per bond with a $10 minimum and $250 maximum per transaction, $0 for Treasuries and $24.95 for CDs.

Capital One Investing Retirement Investing (IRAs) Review

Capital One Investing offers traditional and Roth IRAs that can be managed entirely online. Overall, Capital One IRAs present great value for the money and are user-friendly. It is very seamless to establish and manage but with some caveats, depending on your level of financial literacy as well as your investment objectives.

Many people are intimidated at the prospect of managing their own retirement assets, but there is nothing wrong with this, otherwise financial advisers would never get clients. However, if you’re used to a professionally-managed account, this is not the IRA for you. Phone trades are offered at a premium but do not include investment advice. You’re on your own.

IRA accounts are fees-free, but a steep $75 fee will be charged if you choose to transfer an account in full. Partial account transfer out cost is $15 per security with $75 maximum, which is fairly expensive compared with the amount required by other companies, therefore Capital One Investing is not included on the list of best brokers for IRAs.

When making contributions to an IRA, investors can clearly see which tax year is selected and how much more they can legally contribute for that year. They also get automated emails congratulating them when they are close to hitting the contribution cap, so they do not accidentally get penalized for putting too much money in.

Customers will also get reminder emails every time they trade and make a contribution, and for milestones like their birthday and anniversary of opening an account. Some of these emails even tend to have a sense of humor about them.

Capital One Investing Research and Education Review

Capital One does provide a good tool to research investments, and it also showcases fund picks based on historical performance, dividend yield, market cap, and other criteria you can use to look up and compare investments. A snapshot of any investment offered for sale can be accessed just by clicking on the ticker symbol.

Capital One Investment Review

One drawback of this feature is that investors won't be able to get such on-point information for every asset they may have rolled over from a previous retirement account or assets Capital One no longer offers. Investors will need to find out elsewhere, and that fact can cause inconvenience.

When you go to the Capital One Investing website, the first thing you'll notice is how incredibly simple it is to understand and use. No doubt, cleanliness and overall user-friendliness are very beneficial to any investor. However, this simplicity does not add up to much to those investors who have lack of knowledge in finance or those who are new to investing. The brokerage does not offer much in terms of investors' education. The broker might not be the best choice for people who are just starting and want to learn more about investing.

Capital One Investing Advantages

  • Clear and straightforward pricing
  • No account set up, maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Low cost automatic investments
  • No-fees IRAs
  • No minimum requirement to open an account
  • Cost-effective investment strategy tool PortfolioBuilder
  • Free Dividend Reinvestment Plans
  • Convenience of online banking through Capital One bank
  • Well-design, simple to understand tools
  • Great customer support

Capital One Investing Disadvantages

  • Very basic trading tools
  • No after hours trading
  • Limited investment choices
  • A $0.007/share purchase surcharge on stocks under $1

Capital One Investing Review Summary

Capital One Investing is committed to making the investing process as transparent and easy to understand as it can be for its customers without making them dedicate their time to charts, expertise and analysis.

The broker's top-rated competitors, such as Ally Invest, and TD Ameritrade, offer a wide variety of services, better research and educational tools, which can become a great start for new investors. The broker's basic tools and slow executions won't satisfy more sophisticated investors and active traders either. They might want to make more research or choose a firm among today's top 10 investment companies.

Those people who are looking for simplicity and more inclined to a passive investment style will find Capital One brokerage a very pleasant and satisfying experience. Capital One bank customers can benefit a bit more from the extra simplicity and ease of use of the broker.

Capital One Investing Promotional Offer For A New Account

None at this time.

Capital One Investing Commissions and Fees

InvestmentsPrice
Stocks and ETFs$6.95
Stocks and ETFs phone trades$19.95
Options$6.95 per online trade + $0.75 per contract
Mutual funds$19.95

Capital One Brokerage IRA & Account Fees

FeeAmount
IRA Setup Fee$0
Annual IRA Fee$0
IRA Termination Fee$0
Full Account Transfer Out$75
Partial Account Transfer Out$15.00 per security ($75.00 maximum)
Outgoing Wire Fees$30
Account Closing Fee$0

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