Zecco Review For Online & Forex Traders

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2012-03-1517

Open a Zecco account, free stock trades

While I’ve made it a mission to orient myself with great online brokers around the web, I’ve come to know quite a few of them well enough to favor some over others. As far as Zecco is concerned, I look upon this company as a popular entity in the online broker world: they’re well-known and recognizable, and have some great features to offer. I’ve written a little bit about them before, in my Zecco vs TradeKing showdown post and when I wrote about free stock trades.

But let’s get into a little bit more detail today, and find out what it is that makes Zecco tick, and investigate whether they’re the right discount broker for you.

A Comprehensive Look At Zecco: Our Review

Pricing: Online Trading At Ultra Low Commissions

Do you know where Zecco got it’s name? It stands for “zero commission cost”. For quite a while, Zecco was known for their “free stock trades” mantra but has since changed the way they’re promoting their services. They’re now focusing more on providing rich features and enhancements at low cost as well as superior customer support and free tools. It’s unfortunate that they’ve done away with free trades, as there are still quite a number of discount brokers that are able to boast these types of offers. Needless to say, if Zecco returns with free trades, it would be on an occasional basis, as a special promotion. Zecco’s regular commission reflects a charge of $4.95 for each trade (for stock and options trades).

Take note that the $4.95 per online trade graduates to $19.99 for broker-assisted transactions. Other brokers — like TradeKing ($4.95 flat) and OptionsHouse ($3.95 flat for equity trades) — charge a simple flat fee for all types of trades, whether online or broker-assisted. In general, I prefer and appreciate the simplicity of having one basic flat price since it makes it easy for me to determine how much my transactions will cost me.

Other pricing details: Zecco has no account minimum or inactivity fees. For no load funds, they do charge $10 for online vs $19.99 for broker-assisted transactions. For options trading, they charge $4.95 per leg and $0.65 per contract. However, while they’ve got free tools, you’ll have to pay to use some of their more advanced tools. Some of these premium tools include GainsKeeper for tax planning and Zecco Streamer (the “Full” version) for investment tracking.

Is this what you are looking for? Here’s where you can open a Zecco account.
Open an account with Zecco.

Note that you can open a regular account or IRA account through this broker, as well as custodial, trusts and corporate accounts.

Zecco Trading Center User Experience and User Interface

This brokerage has undergone some positive changes in recent years. As a Zecco customer, you’ll probably spend most of your time in the Zecco Trading Center, an intuitive interface that displays your entire Zecco trading account in one page.

To start with, Zecco provides an All In One dashboard where you’ll get a Summary of your real time account balance that includes your account equity, cash balance and cash available amounts, as well as your buying power (margin and non-margin). You’ll also see your trading activity. You can easily drill down when you select the specific tabs for Balances, Positions and Order Status.

Zecco TradingZecco Trading Center

The Positions area will show your holdings plus your investment performance. This area shows all the stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options that you own. Here, you’ll be able to perform transactions against any position by using the Action menu. You can buy, sell or trade options, as well as view your trade history for that particular holding. You can also quickly access research information and integrated stock charts for a particular investment. Once you select an Action, a Trade Ticket will be filled in for you at the top of the Positions page.

Zecco ActionsZecco Actions

This area is also where you can proceed with more advanced trading strategies, including options trading. There is strong support here for trading options — the process is made straightforward by Zecco’s Options Trade Ticket feature, which presents predefined options strategies and which automatically configures and fills all the legs of your options order. You can select and build from a variety of strategy types (e.g. Call or Put, Butterfly, Calendar Spread, Collar, Covered, Straddle and more). In addition, the Options Strategy Analyzer provides profit and loss information graphically.

Zecco Options TradingZecco Options Trading

Personally, I prefer to stick to basic orders but in case you’d like to get fancy with your transactions, Zecco’s Advanced Orders features can help you set up conditional orders (One Cancels Others, One Triggers Others, etc) and other advanced order types such as Market On Close (MOC), Limit On Open (LOO) and Fill or Kill. Your Order Status shows your open and executed transactions, which are also summarized in the Summary page.

Information on specific investments and stocks is highly accessible from any page and is presented via charts, training videos and live chat with a Zecco representative. I particularly like the Help Overlay feature that puts you in “Help mode” by providing you more visuals, information, descriptions and guidance as you conduct your way through the application.

Zecco Help OverlayZecco Help Overlay


To Zecco’s credit, they’ve got a community feature that you won’t see in most other broker sites. Their community is called ZeccoShare, and it’s a place where you can interact with other investors and traders, and where you can get questions answered. It’s a place to compare portfolios and trades, and to share your ideas on investing with others. Here, you can create your own profile, visit forums and blogs, and create or join investing groups. They also allow for members to track and view how other community members are investing, but it is up to each account holder to make their activities viewable by the public. They also used to have a virtual trading environment under their community section, called the Zecco Zimulator, where you could practice trading without risk and where you were able to see how other “virtual traders” were faring, but unfortunately, that feature doesn’t seem to be available any longer.

Trading Foreign Currencies Through Zecco ForexTrader

Besides being able to trade stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds and bonds, you can also trade foreign currencies. Zecco also offers Forex trading (that’s foreign currency trading) through Zecco Forex programs.

Zecco Forex Trading

Depending on which package you fall under (Forex Plus or Forex Pro), you may benefit from better and more competitive pricing on tight spreads. And as far as their trading platforms go, the Zecco ForexTrader platforms are available in Desktop, Online (Web) and Mobile forms. These platforms also offer new traders a free $50,000 online Forex trading practice account upon sign up. This helps when you’re just learning how to trade foreign currencies, knowing that your own money is not on the line. If you want to test things out first, you’ll get $50,000 in virtual funds as well as charting features, educational resources, real time quotes and phone or live chat support.

Sign up for a free $50,000 Online Forex Practice Account.
Sign up with Zecco Forex.

Zecco also affords the new customer some flexibility with regards to leverage and trade size with a Mini Account that comes with a $500 minimum deposit and smaller contract sizes (10,000), or a Standard Account for more experienced traders, which supports a contract size of 100,000 and a minimum balance of $2,500. And finally, Zecco Forex licenses the MetaTrader 4 software trading platform which may be more suitable for advanced traders and the more speculative crowd. Just like with Zecco Forex, you can open a MetaTrader 4 virtual trading account to help you practice and learn the ropes on this platform by using $50,000 of play money.

Sure, it sounds like a lot, but these virtual trading platforms have become common fare (and are expected) at sites that provide higher risk services such as options trading and Forex trading.

Tools and Research

Like many other broker sites, Zecco has a Quotes and Research section where you can monitor markets, rates, industry sectors, and financial and economic events worldwide. Their trading and research tools include standard stock/ETF/mutual fund screeners, quote streamers, free alerts, analyzers and mobile apps. For use of more advanced tools such as their Quotestream II (a market data and technical analysis tool) and their GainsKeeper Performance and Tax Planning software, you’ll have to pay extra. And like all other brokers I know, they’ve got their own online “library” which provides users with educational material, videos and webinars. For additional learning materials, you can check the Education segment that’s available (for stocks, options and retirement planning), as well as ZeccoPulse, which covers fresh news on the markets (at pulse.zecco.com).

Zecco Stock Screener

As you can see, there’s a wealth of features here that Zecco has developed for all investors and traders alike. I believe that this is a broker that will especially benefit the more experienced traders.

Now that you’ve heard our opinions, here’s where to find out more about Zecco.
Zecco Brokerage
Zecco gives you low commission rates as well as great support for active traders. Alternatively, for a (very) low commission and great online trading and investing experience, you can also investigate other online brokers with top notch features, tools, customer service and overall high satisfaction ratings such as TradeKing or ETrade. For better pricing, a broker like OptionsHouse may be preferable (but study the fine print to ensure that you are truly getting the low costs that you expect).

Created July 24, 2009. Updated March 15, 2012. Copyright © 2012 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Manshu July 25, 2009 at 7:45 am

They allow forex trading also? That’s pretty neat.

Silicon Valley Blogger July 25, 2009 at 7:50 am

Yep! Haven’t come across Forex trading in the standard brokers lists just yet. So this could be the next feature added to other popular trading sites as well.

carole July 25, 2009 at 7:52 pm

I maintain the $25,000 balance in order to get the free trades, but use TDAmeritrade for my research. Their website is much more user friendly than Zecco’s. Once I select a stock, I just click over to Zecco to make the purchase.

1 Serial Entrepreneur July 27, 2009 at 3:47 am

This pretty good. I like using eToro though. But this is the first time that I’m reading about this, so I’m going to give it a try anyway!

Thanks for sharing. cheers.


Options Investing August 3, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Zecco seems to have good services. I can see many useful tools here.

Steve November 9, 2009 at 5:35 am

I too use etoro usually but I might give this a try after this article. Great post. I’ve used TDAmeritrade in the past and found it great so I will be curious to see how this lines up.

karenina February 4, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Great! This info is useful for new traders like me, thanks!

Stephen March 20, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I’ve received a lot of recommendations for Zecco and so I signed up for it. Their support is great too.

ForexKM March 23, 2010 at 6:54 am

I have been trading options with optionsxpress and they have been very helpful and friendly so far. The platform has many features including “dragon scan”- a scan of strategy available and many others.

For forex trading, I’m using the Saxo Trader multi platform and they had been serving me well too.

Seems that the Zecco’s platform is well received here too.

Forex Stock Market September 15, 2010 at 10:25 am

Zecco works well for me. I like their community in particular. They are also one of the more reputable brokers with a Forex trading section.

Jonathan March 18, 2012 at 7:31 am

This is a really good review. I’d been wondering for a while what Zecco could offer, and this helps a lot. I didn’t realize they’ve done a lot of changes — I used to know them as the “free trades” brokerage. I guess there are less and less of these offers now?

max forex April 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Ok, first off, I am turning 18 real soon, so in my state, that is the legal age for stock trading with all major online trading companies. I plan on funding my account with about 1,000 dollars to start with (I’m still young). I plan on trading maybe 5 times a month or whenever I need to (not a day-trader, more like a week-trader), so what online trading service is right for me? I like the reviews of Ameritrade, but then again, I’ve seen good reviews and good prices for Zecco trading and also Scottrade. Which should I use?

Silicon Valley Blogger April 1, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Are you a Forex trader or a regular stock trader? I have a whole section on brokers here that you could check. I would go for a solid broker with low commissions if you are trading that often. If you’re also trying out options, then OptionsHouse has good rates. Otherwise, I would go with TradeKing. Scottrade and ETrade are good choices for those who want comprehensive services and offer more support to passive investors. Zecco has Forex trading so it may be a consideration for those who want to trade regularly as well as trade forex.

I also summarize my thoughts on these brokers here.

Braxton May 12, 2012 at 12:09 am

I used Zecco as a broker when I started Forex trading. In fact, their service still remains the best (for me). I left trading because I am yet to acquire the knowledge needed to make money trading currency. As soon as I learn how to trade very well, I will get back to using their company!

In Day Trading August 29, 2012 at 9:22 am

I started using Zecco as well, and never had problems. They always respond to my rookie questions. Did anyone try their new futures trading?

Daniel October 13, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Zecco is an excellent broker with great service. Choosing the best Forex broker possible is very important and can literally make the difference between huge profits and losses.

Tosin eye October 17, 2012 at 1:43 am

Hmmmm….Forex traders need to imbibe the principle of money management.

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