ShareBuilder is a subsidiary of ING Bank and is consistently rated as one of the top discount online brokerages. If you have an ING Direct account, you can connected it with your ShareBuilder account which makes the entire process of investing simple – and creates the opportunity for ShareBuilder’s most notable feature of automatic investing.
Automatic Investing with ShareBuilder
While many investors push for frequent day trading and short investments, ShareBuilder promotes the idea that wealth is created through long term investing and automatic investments. They are also a fan of reinvesting your dividends.
There are some very attractive rates for individuals using ShareBuilder with automatic trades. You can purchase fractional shares which means every cent of that investment is going toward the cost of buying your selected stock.
Automatic investing allows you to purchase specific dollar amounts of stocks on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly schedule.
Real Time Trades with ShareBuilder
If you decide you don’t want to use the automatic investing feature of ShareBuilder, or that you would like to supplement it with real time trades, you can do that as well. You can buy or sell your stocks in share amounts real-time, act immediately on your investment decisions and conduct orders in seconds during market hours.
Open a ShareBuilder Account
If you have about ten minutes, you have enough time to open an account. You just need to have your standard personal and financial information available to open the account online – including your social security number, employer, bank account data, identification and address. They also ask you about your trading experience.
Once you’ve opened your ShareBuilder account, you have some options for the plan you’d like to use. There is a Basic Plan, Standard Plan and Advantage Plan available. On the Basic Plan, you don’t pay a monthly fee but you pay $4 for each automatic investment. The Standard Plan is $12 per month, and you get up to 6 automatic investments included at that price, with additional automatic investments at $2 each. For individuals who want to use more frequent automatic investing schedules, the Advantage Plan is $20 per month and includes 20 automatic investments and additional automatic investments at $1 each.
Real-time trading will cost the same per trade no matter which ShareBuilder plan you select and seem a bit pricey at $9.95 per online trade. For more info on ShareBuilder’s pricing, visit their pricing page.
How to Use ShareBuilder
If you have an ING Direct savings account or an Electric Orange checking account through ING, you can connect them to your ShareBuilder account and transfer money for free, instantly. If you use another bank account, you can transfer money to your ShareBuilder account through ACH, checks, or wire transfer. If you’d like to place a real-time order and cover the cost of the order from your bank account immediately, ShareBuilder uses Express Funding and charges $5 per trade to do so.
You can set up automatic transfers from your bank to your ShareBuilder brokerage account to fund your automatic investing, or you can make real-time trades via the internet or phone.