WellsTrade by Wells Fargo brokerage firm review. Fees & commissions, advantages & disadvantages, minimum requirements & promotion offers for opening a new online account with the online discount stock broker.

WellsTrade brokerage firm rating

  • Stocks & ETFs: $5.95,
  • Options: $5.95 + $0.75 per contract
  • Mutual Funds: $35


WellsTrade Review

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. through its affiliate Wells Fargo Advisors LLC, offers a number of products and services for investors of all types. Wells Fargo Bank is among the largest US banks based on assets, mortgages, market capitalization and other factors.


WellsTrade Account Offerings

The level of investment experience, the need for investment advice and the sophistication of the investment vehicles that one chooses to employ are key determinants of the type of account that is best suited to meet the client’s needs. Wells Fargo Advisors has different type of accounts to satisfy each type of customer.


WellsTrade Full-Service Brokerage Service Review

Clients can invest through a traditional, full-service brokerage account, for example. This gives the highest, most personalized level of service, including access to in-person meetings with an investment advisor, telephone access, online and mobile support and transactions. This type of account also gives access to the widest range of asset classes and investment vehicles. Not surprisingly, this type of relationship requires a significant investing relationship with Wells Fargo to gain access (minimum threshold of $100,000) and can bear significant transaction fees depending on the complete relationship with Wells Fargo and Company as a whole, including banking, brokerage, mortgage, loans, etc.


WellsTrade Discount Online Brokerage Service Review

The WellsTrade® Online Brokerage is another option. As stated, this is an online brokerage for those more inclined to make and execute their own investment strategy. There is no minimum balance to open the account, which is quite nice, and the account can be linked to other banking products to facilitate transfer of funds between accounts. The Online account is mainly accessed, you guessed it, online. There is no monthly maintenance fee to access the account and there are many tools available for the investor on the site. The asset classes available for trading through this account are stocks, ETFs (exchange traded funds), mutual funds and stock options. This account will be analyzed in more depth shortly.


Wells Fargo Brokerage Managed Portfolio Solutions Review

The Managed Portfolio Solutions from Wells Fargo Advisors is an option that offers a lower entry threshold than the full-service account as well as more moderate fees in the form of an annual fee based on assets under management. The investment products and advice revolve around the utilization of funds, both mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) to meet specific investment goals according to the risk profile of the client. This can be a good option for someone who takes a semi-passive approach to their investments while still wanting some flexibility and support.


Wells Fargo Advantage Funds Review

The last option is to invest directly in the group of mutual funds offered by Wells Fargo Advantage Funds®. In reality, the best option to access this type of product (exclusively) is to open a separate account directly with the fund. There are a wide variety of funds available, no transaction costs, low maintenance fees which can be waived with moderate minimum balances and complimentary support online and by telephone.


WellsTrade Online Brokerage Account, PMA Review

The WellsTrade® Online Brokerage is the option best-suited for the individual investor who has some experience, knowledge and understanding of the investment vehicles that are offered, is clear about the risks involved in each alternative as well as the rewards. The investor who knows where they want to go and how they want to get there, who does not need or want advice or assistance from brokers, generally, may find this to be an ideal account for them. For people new to investing we recommend to choose a firm form a list of best brokerages for beginners.

Costs are fairly low for online trading – $8.95 per trade for most stocks and ETFs for the standard account, $6.95 per trade for the PMA (premium) package – and for an additional $25 one can make an agent-assisted trade. There are better brokerage firms, well-established companies, with lower trading commissions, great customer support including one-on-one guidance at branches and better trading tools. Great examples is Ally Invest ($4.95 per stock, which is sixth largest brokerage house in the United States.


WellsTrade Fees & Commissions Review

Stocks and ETFs $8.95
Stocks and ETFs with PMA package $6.95
Stocks and ETFs (broker assisted) $33.95 ($31.95 with PMA)
Options $9.95 + $1 per contract
Mutual funds $35
Auction of Treasury Bills, Notes and Bonds$50 per transaction

Costs for other transactions (penny stocks, mutual funds, margin rates and various operational costs) are clearly outlined in the commissions and Fee Schedule.

Many tools are available to the online investor to evaluate stocks and funds including real-time quotes, historical pricing, charting, watchlists, portfolio tracker, stock screeners, alerts, as well as commentary and research from Wells Fargo and S&P. Once positions are held, the tools allow access to portfolio and individual holdings level information regarding profits/loss, activity, performance, etc. Online access to electronic documentation (statements, trade executions, 1099s) is an additional benefit for clients as well as the ability to download to Quicken® or Excel®.


WellsTrade Brokerage Disadvantages

Lack of proactive problem resolution is a big disadvantage of the brokerage. However, even with all the technology and tools– which work well, but are pretty standard among online brokerages – problems can, and do, still arise. If they do, they may not be manually or automatically detected, creating confusion, lost opportunities and frustration. Once a person from Wells Fargo gets involved, the problems may be resolved more or less quickly, but you will likely receive courteous, prompt, effective attention.

We opened three accounts at one time (online brokerage and two IRAs) by filling out the paperwork for each of the separate accounts. A few days later these accounts all appeared online. When we began trading, two of the accounts executed with no problem but one of the accounts did not. We were surprised when we didn’t get the expected trade confirmations on one of the accounts but assumed that we must have made some mistake. Being more careful in subsequent transactions, we found that we were receiving confirmation numbers when placing orders but just the same the orders were not being executed. Finally, we called and was told that there was a signature missing which impeded trading. This demonstrated a lack of proactive customer service on behalf of Wells Fargo Advisors at the time of account opening (why didn’t anyone contact the client about the missing signature?), at each transaction request (why wasn’t order rejected instead of accepted and confirmed?) and each transaction failure (no notification).


WellsTrade Review Summary

Overall, clients can expect a very good level of products and service from Wells Fargo Advisors and Wells Fargo Bank, but today there are better options. Take a look at the list of online stock brokers.


WellsTrade Promotional Offer

WellsTrade does not offer any promotions now. Take a look at the top brokerage promotions 2018 for current offers from industry's leaders.

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