ShareBuilder Review

Broker Focused on Ease of Investor Experience

ShareBuilder has been designed for investors to easily buy stocks, bonds, options, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds as partial shares via Automatic Investing and PortfolioBuilder.  In order to accomplish the ease of use goal, ShareBuilder provides an award-winning toolset, extensive research, and impressive customer service. Instead of focusing on offering sophisticated analysis tools, ShareBuilder emphasizes an easy to use trading experience and professional guidance that will help users develop skills as investors while they grow their portfolios. Real-time trading is also available online, on mobile devices, and via telephone.

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Best For: 

Best for beginner investors who want a trading platform they can understand

ShareBuilder Highlights

 

  • Over three decades of banking experience gives ShareBuilder the resources of an established bank
  • Offers unique and creative pricing plans that can save investors significant money on trading fees
  • Trading platform was built to be simple, clean, efficient, and as easy as possible for inexperienced investors to utilize

 Pros

 

  • Competitive transaction fee options
  • Multiple portfolio building tools
  • Over 350 branch locations
  • No-fee ETFs available
  • Mobile trading platform

Cons

  • Does not supply sophisticated trading platform tools
  • Branch locations are only in Connecticut (CT), District of Columbia (DC), Delaware (DE), Louisiana (LA), Maryland (MD), New Jersey (NJ), New York (NY), Texas (TX), and Virginia (VA).

Security Research

ShareBuilder has partnered with 3rd party research firms to provide stock specific research reports. Users can review Morningstar ratings and reports for stocks and funds, which includes fundamental analysis from their expert analysts. Additionally, customers get access to Markit Research Team Consensus reports, which bring together ratings and analysis from up to 13 providers in one easy-to-read package.

Portfolio Guidance Tools 

ShareBuilder offers two distinct and unique portfolio guidance platforms.

PortfolioBuilder lets users choose up to 6-8 ETFs and buy them all together in one portfolio for only $18.95.  The platform offers style and asset allocation models that can help less experienced investors build portfolios that best match their investing philosophies. Additionally, this allows users to create diversified investments at a fraction on the cost.

ShareBuilder Investment Plan is a program that automatically reinvests so that users are forced to stay on track in their savings and investing goals. This program allows users to pick a portfolio from over 7,000 stocks and ETFs and set up recurring investments on a one-time, weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. Each investment starts with a base commission of just $3.95, which is a great way for customers to build up a portfolio over time for an affordable price.

Lastly ShareBuilder offers the convenience and expertise of Capital One’s 350+ branch locations, where customers can walk in or have a phone conversation with expert Financial Planners. Customers will receive the guidance needed to build a financial plan to meet their objectives all while tracking their status updates along the way.

Market Analysis Tools 

ShareBuilder offers users a powerful screener tool that enables investors to search the market for securities that perfectly meet their investing parameters. The screener incorporates an immense range of information including: technical data, fundamental data, 3rd party research ratings, geography, earnings information and stock performance. What makes this tool really special is that it can be used for stocks, mutual funds or ETFs, giving investors a tremendous security search tool when putting together a portfolio to match an investing strategy.

ShareBuilder has a very helpful heat map tool for users. This platform shows the biggest gainers and losers across individual stocks, industries, sectors, a user’s own portfolio and a saved watch list so users can track and monitor portfolio holdings and stocks on their radar.  ShareBuilder also offers users a strategy testing tool to back-test trade ideas. This tool allows users to track portfolios using quote data from the last 20 years, making it an extremely powerful and useful strategy generation mechanism.

Fees

ShareBuilder offers customers $6.95 stock and ETF trades that are executed in a matter of seconds during market hours. Trading options has a $6.95 flat fee plus $0.75 per contract. ShareBuilder gives customers access to over 400 Capital One managed no-load mutual funds with no transaction fee.  Non-Capital One funds have a flat transaction fee of $19.95 per trade. This policy makes investing in Capital One’s funds significantly more attractive than outside funds.

ShareBuilder is unique in its pricing for its portfolio construction tools. The ShareBuilder Plan has transaction fees of $3.95 per investment, which includes investments in numerous securities across multiple asset classes. Their Portfolio Builder tool allows users to create a portfolio of ETFs for one transaction fee of $18.95. Lastly ShareBuilder gives customers the options of placing a phone trade for $19.95. ShareBuilder’s array of pricing options gives investors great flexibility, allowing them to trade as affordably as possible.

Quote Data

ShareBuilder’s platform offers users real-time quote data for all of their available asset classes. Users’ trades are executed swiftly, generally in a matter of seconds during market hours. 

Conclusion

ShareBuilder was built as a platform geared towards amateur investors who need professional guidance to create and keep track of long-term financial goals. For more advanced traders, ShareBuilder also offers top quality 3rd party research, as well as advanced built-in research tools. While ShareBuilder was created for beginner investors, it provides an applicable services for investors of any scale and experience background.

About ShareBuilder 

ShareBuilder was founded as a part of Capital One in 1988. Since inception it has grown into one of the largest financial institutions in the nation, with over 45 million customers. Capital One is a fortune 500 company, and has been the recipient of many awards for excellence for their trading platform. ShareBuilder has finished eighth overall in the StockBrokers.com 2011 Online Broker Review. They have also won awards for Best Online Banking Services, #1 Portfolio Builder and Best in Class for Banking.

 

Industry: Online Brokerage

Founded: 1988

CEO: Richard Fairbank

Founders: 

Geos: International

Links to social pages:

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