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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?

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  • Are you allowed to open a trading account just like that ??
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 16:17
  • Is the question hypothetical, or did you see such a fee? Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 18:25
  • I didn't see buy I saw maintanance fees and I was wondering..
    – tomastsc
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 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
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 19:08

2 Answers 2

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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 http://www.tdwaterhouse.ca/document/PDF/apply/forms/tdw-apply-forms-521778-pdf.pdf, page 7. I am not sure if that would be assessed immediately upon opening the account, or at the end of the first year.

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  • 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
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 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. Commented Jan 10, 2013 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
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 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. Commented Jan 11, 2013 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. Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 1:52
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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.

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