November 2018 – Annual Commissions Review: Analyzing Discount and Full-Service Trade Commissions

​This report is Broker Monitor’s annual review of the commission schedules for the discount and full-service brokerage firms in our coverage group. The assessment examines commissions for stock, ETF and option trades, no-load mutual fund orders, fixed income commissions and rates for individual bond and CD products. Pricing continues to be an important part of discount brokerage firms’ marketing and differentiation strategies; as such, those firms frequently boast about their commissions with banner images, press releases and dedicated pricing pages. The same does not hold true for full-service firms, which typically do not make pricing information as readily available online. Unlike discount brokerages, full-service firms give their financial advisors discretion over the commissions they charge for their clients. This lets advisors consider factors like an account’s value, lot size and the client’s overall relationship with the firm when assessing commissions.

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