I recently completed the application process and got started trading with my OptionsHouse broking account (bought CAT Shares), and so far has been a very smooth trading experience. The reason I switched trading from my current brokers – E*trade and Zecco (with whom I will continue to maintain accounts) – to this relatively new online broker, is simply for the cost. They offer flat $2.95 stock trades and $9.95 all in option trades (with no minimums!), and using this special new customer promotion I got 100 free trades, which means that for the next few months my trading is all free. Signing up with them was pretty straight forward (give yourself about 20 to 30 mins) and a day or so later they FedEx you the final forms to sign and return in their pre-paid envelope. If all the paperwork is good, you should then have your full account access in a couple of days.
The best thing is that as soon as you sign up online you get a virtual account, that you can try their trading platform with (using virtual money off course). This is a good way to get an idea or their trading platform before committing any funds and also a good way for new investors to learn about trading. As you can see their online trading platform is great and for an ultra low discount broker their available research was excellent. I also had to use their live online help feature to confirm a fund transfer and found it really easy to use, and unlike a lot of helpdesk’s they were able to answer my questions. If you are looking for an alternate or cheaper broker – they are definitely worth trying.
Getting Rewarded For My Costco Shopping
After moving to my new home, one store I have been visiting a lot is Costco (equivalent to Sams Club or BJ’s wholesale clubs). Have never shopped there much before buying a house, I now seem to be there every other weekend and despite their low prices (which they can do because of their volume sales and in-store brands) I have probably spent over $5000 with them in under 3 months! And with the upcoming holiday season I can see myself shopping there even more. So when I found out about their expanded and upgraded no fee Amex-Costco card, I quickly signed up for it. You can earn 3% cash back for annual gasoline purchases, 3% cash back for restaurants, 2% cash back for travel, and 1% everywhere else. If I am going to spend money there, I might as well get back as much cash back/benefits as possible. Even without the Costco related benefits this card has a decent rewards program, which is hard to find following all the new credit card regulations. A final thing – make a list when you go shopping. It may not lower how much your essential spending, but at least it will reduce the amount of impulse shopping at these big warehouse stores.
~ Travel Hacking for Noobs: How We Save Hundreds on Airfare, Get Free Accommodation, & Make Money while Overseas @ Man vs Debt
~ How to Spend Smarter This Holiday Season @ Consumerism Commentary
~ Increased efficiency – Good for earnings, Bad for workers @ Keep My Dollar
~ Is Saving for Old People? @ The Simple Dollar
Have a Good Week Folks!
Past Weekly/Weekend Updates:
~ Weekend Review: Dude – Where’s My Stimulus Jobs Gone?
~ Weekly Wrap: Jobs, Housing to Buying Gold in a Low Dollar Environment
~ Moving Words on Living Life in a Presidential Eulogy