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WellsTrade Review 2019
12 Feb 2019 3 min
News: WellsTrade Review 2019

WellsTrade is an online and mobile brokerage platform launched by the American financial services giant Wells Fargo. It allows the users to access Wells Fargo Banking and Broker services along with a stock trading solution. It is quite a convenient option for those who have an existing relationship with Wells Fargo Bank and also for occasional traders. However, serious traders who want a top-of-the-line platform for online investment may find it unsatisfactory.

Let us find out more about what benefits WellsTrade offers and where it lacks.

Key Features of WellsTrade

The main feature of the WellsTrade platform is that it is linked with Wells Fargo’s traditional banking services which allow their existing customers to manage everything on a single application. There is plenty of research material and reputable third-party research tools available which helps brokerage customers take informed decisions. Some other important highlights of WellsTrade are:

  • Invest in IRAs, stocks, options, bonds and mutual funds.
  • Choice of more than 1,200 mutual funds that require no transaction fee.
  • Several layers of protection against broker insolvency, custodial failure, and other losses.
  • Easy to use interface; convenient navigation.
  • Support of over 19,000 registered representatives and 14,000+ financial advisors.
  • More than 250 analysts and economists generate in-house research.
  • WellsTrade does not have dedicated desktop platform.
  • Excellent interaction between banking and brokerage arms of Wells Fargo.
  • Easily available live telephone support.

Fees and Charges Associated with WellsTrade

The basic fee structure of WellsTrade is slightly higher than that of other online brokerage platforms. The table given below shows some important fees and charges:

Services

Charges

Basic Annual Fee

$30

Stocks and ETFs

$5.95 per trade ($2.95 if account linked to Portfolio by Wells Fargo)

Mutual Funds with no transaction fee; no loads

Free

Mutual Funds with transaction fee; no loads

$35 per trade

Options

$5.95 + $0.75 per contract

Treasury Bills, Bonds and Notes

$50 per transaction

Trading stocks priced less than $1 per share (Penny Stocks)

Greater of $34.95 or 3.5% of principal

Option Exercises & Assignments

Agent assisted only

All Other Fixed Income Transactions

Subject to markup or markdown


As we can see from the table above, customers who link their account with the Portfolio by Well Fargo can get a competitive rate. They get the $30 monthly account fee waived off if the account balance exceeds $25,000 and if it exceeds $100,000, they may qualify for the Private Advisory Group on WellsTrade. For others, however, this platform is costlier as other cheaper and quality brokerage firms are available in the market. Also, for penny stock investors, WellsTrade is quite expensive.

Where does WellsTrade Lack?

Several users and critics are of the opinion that WellsTrade seems to have been designed for the not-so-active investors. The procedure is slow and requires some old-fashioned means such as mailing the paper forms. Some aspects where WellsTrade lacks are:

  • The web platform is quite basic
  • It is limited in its functionality
  • A hard copy of documents is required to be sent via mail to activate a trading account which can be quite a hassle for many users.
  • It is completely on the web and the pages take a while to load.
  • It is more of a banking app than a trading app.
  • Slow response of the website may put off many active investors who would like to trade in a fast-paced trading environment.
  • There is no hot click functionality on the charts so the user has to navigate back to the ‘buy and sell’ page after reading a chart.
  • There is no online chat support and on top of that, you may have to dig for finding the email customer support as well.
  • There is good research material available but the investment education content on WellsTrade does not really help with the actual workings of stocks and associated risk.

The Bottom Line

WellsTrade is quite a convenient and efficient platform for those who would like to buy and hold. It also meets the comprehensive banking needs of Wells Fargo customers. However, it does not work too well for extremely active traders because of the out-of-date procedural requirements and slow and no-frills interface. There are several other mobile brokerage platforms that offer better and faster services at similar rates.