Personal Finance & Money Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who want to be financially literate. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Can any broker like TD, TradeKing, Schwab, etc, can charge me just because I have entered my details and open an account in their website?

Even if I didn't deposit anything?

share|improve this question
Are you allowed to open a trading account just like that ?? – DumbCoder Jan 10 '13 at 16:17
Is the question hypothetical, or did you see such a fee? – JoeTaxpayer Jan 10 '13 at 18:25
I didn't see buy I saw maintanance fees and I was wondering.. – tomastsc Jan 10 '13 at 19:07
@Dumbcoder You can open an account but I don't know if that's counts and if you pay even if you are not trading or depositing anything... – tomastsc Jan 10 '13 at 19:08

Yes. A broker can charge you for opening an account, if you agree to this. Make sure you check what you are agreeing to, when opening your account.

Many brokerages will only charge you a per-transaction fee. In some cases, even that fee may be waived. I buy my mutual funds through TD Waterhouse (in Canada), for example, and pay no fees because of my other accounts with TD Bank, and because I buy TD Waterhouse mutual funds.

If I did not have a market value of $25,000 or more with TD Waterhouse, though, I would be subject to an annual administration fee of $25 for a Basic RRSP account (in which I can buy stocks and mutual funds). See, page 7. I am not sure if that would be assessed immediately upon opening the account, or at the end of the first year.

share|improve this answer
You say that yes and I think you are right, but is there any example of a broker that takes a fee just because you registered with your details and that's it?? – tomastsc Jan 10 '13 at 19:09
I have edited my answer to include the annual fee charged by my TD Waterhouse account, which is waived in my case. Note that 'registering with your details' and 'opening an account' are different. – ChrisInEdmonton Jan 10 '13 at 20:16
So if you weren't thier bank client and you just open an account, they will still charge you, even if you had 0 dollars, no deposits, no trades?? – tomastsc Jan 10 '13 at 20:50
Yeah. I'm not sure why this is so surprising. Why would you open an account if you didn't plan on trading? As an (imperfect) analogy, if I rent an apartment, I'm charged rent for it even if I don't actually move in, once I sign the rental agreement. – ChrisInEdmonton Jan 11 '13 at 0:25
@tomastsc Your phone company, cable company, internet provider, water company, trash company, or bank; will charge you a monthly or quarterly fee even if you never make a phone call, watch a TV show, send an email, use a drop of water, take the can to the curb, or write a check. – mhoran_psprep Jan 11 '13 at 1:52

It seems to me you should be aware of fees and how/why they are incurred. If a broker says they charge, say, $10/qtr maintenance fee, and you are under the waiver balance, you'll see that fee applied to the account, even if you've not yet funded it.

Why open an account with no assets? In my case, I had funds that would be transferred from a retirement plan to a new IRA. The IRA was opened with no balance so it could receive the funds a week later. But, I had a family balance that waived fees.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.