Zions Direct Broker Review
Zions Direct is a discount online broker that focuses on catering to self-directed traders while offering a full range of products including stocks, options, ETFs and specializing in fixed income products like bonds and CDs. They are a subsidiary of Zions Bancorporation which offers banking services throughout the nation. Zions Direct prides itself on their bond store that has over 30,000 bonds to choose from at wholesale prices where many products can be purchased commission free. By focusing their resources on fixed income products they have fell short for equity and option traders by offering very little in terms of powerful software or charting capabilities.
Their customer service came in the middle of the road mainly because of minimum availability and no chat service. They were however quick to answer phones and were able to answer my questions in a professional manner. One positive note about Zions Direct is that you can open an account and check out their products without depositing any cash. So if you’re interested then you can check them out through this link.
Commissions & Fees
Zions Direct offers fairly competitive commission rates with equities at $9.95 when trading on their online platform and you can add on another $25 if you are calling in a trade. Stocks priced under $1.00 will cost you $29.95 plus $0.01 per share, so you can see that they are not really a penny stock friendly broker. Options are on the higher side with their base rate at $10.95 plus $1.50 per contract. That will add up to a lot if you’re an active option trader so this may not be the best broker for you. If you are trading Mutual Funds the cost for a loaded fund is zero while a fund with no-load is $19.95 per transaction while bonds are just $1 per bond with a $9.95 minimum and a $50 maximum.
As you can see their commission schedule falls in line with some of the higher priced brokers and if you like to trade penny stocks then its going to cost you quite a bit more. Their commission schedule isn’t their strong point as there are plenty of other brokers that offer cheaper commissions with similar services.
Trading Platform & Tools
Zions Direct offers little for a trading platform and offers only the very basics in quoting, data feed, portfolio performance analysis and account alerts. It has little to offer other than that and really isn’t even a consideration for active traders to use. Their system is slow and unimpressive and is more of a tool for clients who trade casually or are more interested in trading bonds.
Zions Direct has been around for a long time but they seem to have lost track of their competition in terms of what they are offering and what price points. They charge too much for what they have to offer and if you’re an active trader they basically have nothing to offer you. This broker is much better suited for fixed income traders who do not need to be in and out of trades on a daily basis. They seem to be more focused on attracting wealthier clients that are focused on retaining wealth and not so much on active traders like myself. They do, however, have excellent customer service that was professional and quick to respond to my questions when setting up my account. I just wish they had more availability and had a chat service. They are a solid broker that has been around for a long time but I can’t recommend them as a good broker for active traders. Their trading software and website isn’t nearly powerful enough and their commission schedule is just too much for active traders.
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