My Marsco Online Stock Broker Trading Account Review 2011
Marsco is one of the oldest online discount stock brokerage which offers several financial or cash management services. Marsco’s brokerage account is designed for investors who want the flexibility to invest or trade in a wide securities selection, without paying for a lot of extras. Investor or trader can invest in thousands of publicly-traded securities including: Stocks, Options, Bonds or Fixed Income and Mutual Funds. Marsco also offers cash management services such as check writing and electronic funds transfer for easy access to funds or loan balances. Investors or traders can trade stock online for $3.95 per trade with no shares limit and option for $3.95 per trade plus $1.25 per contract. It also offers a complete web based trading platform.
History & SIPC Protection
Marsco was founded in 1986. The current headquarter is located at Roseland, New Jersey. Marsco has been known by trader and investor since the online brokerage service is still not popular or non-existence. It is also known as the oldest online brokerage and is very popular with its phone / broker assisted services.
It currently uses its own clearing service to hold the client asset. Marsco Investment Corporation, member of FINRA & SIPC, holds and clears all client trade. All Marsco brokerage accounts are insured under SIPC up to $500,000 ($100,000 cash).
Inside Marsco Online BrokerageClick thumbnail to view full-size
Products & Services
The commission fee structure of Marsco Brokerage is as follows:
- Products: Stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds
- Market Orders: $3.95 / trade
- Limit Orders: $3.95 / trade
- Broker Assisted: $25.00 / trade
- Mutual Funds: $15.00 for no-load funds.
- Options: $3.95 /trade + $1.25/contract
- Minimum to Open: $2500
- Inactivity Fee: $0.00
- Online Statement: Free
- Mailed Statement: $2 / statement
- IRA Maintenance Fee: $30 / year
- Some Other Fees: Tender Fee: $25.00. DTC Out: $20.00/security. ACAT Out: $50.00.
- Maximum Margin Rate: Based on proprietary base rate
Other Discount Brokerages
Opening an account
Opening account is straight forward; customer just can apply either by mailing the application from or fill the online application through Marsco website. You can open individual, joint, corporate, custodial, and Individual Retirement accounts (IRA). If needed, they may require you to submit some identification such as Driver license. The application only takes about less than 15 minute. Once you are done, you’ll need to wait for their approval. If you apply through mail or fax, you will need to wait for Marsco customer service confirmation. Then, you can setup how you want to fund your account. You will need to fund your account with $2,500 for initial funding. To maintain a margin account, you will need $2,000 account balance at any time.
There are 4 different ways to fund your IB account:
- Wire Transfer – usually can be done same business day
- Transfer an account from other brokers .This will take more than 10 business days
- Mailing a check will take up to 5 business days
- Electronic Transfer (ACH transfer) will take up to 2-3 business days.
For International or Foreign investor or non US resident, you can apply Marsco account by printing the new application form. Typically, you will need to submit your account by mail or fax, please check with customer service. You will need to submit W-8Ben and copied ID or Passport along with your application. The minimum balance to open an account is $2,500 as well.
Other services such as checking writing, option agreement and ACH transfer features can be applied by submitting corresponding forms from Marsco Website.
Commission Trading details
to eOption or Just2trade, Marsco also offers flat rate commission structure for
its customer. Also, it is an online discount broker with straight forward
commission pricing. The option trading fee is very
competitive as well.
For stock trades, all market and limit order stock trades are $3.95 per trade whether customer buy stock or sell stock. This means to buy stock online, it will only cost $3.95 per trade. The trade doesn’t have any restriction in term of shares price (i.e. no shares limit). For Pink Sheet and Bulletin Board, it will cost the same only $3.95 per trade only for trading order. Broker assisted trades are $25 per trade. For example, if investor buys 100 shares of $50 stock, it will cost only $3.95 per trade. If trader buys 300 shares of $1.00 stock, it will cost the same $3.95 per trade commission. You can also try a demo account for better understanding of the website before you are opening an account with Marsco. It has a basic stock screener provided by Standard & Poor’s (S&P).
You also can place the following stock order:
- Market order
- Limit order
- Stop Loss order
- Stop Limit order
For Options trades, Options trades will cost $3.95 plus $1.25 per contract. To trade option such as buy option and/or sell option, customer will pay for $3.95 ticket fees plus any additional option contracts (1 contract = $1.25). This ticket fee is slightly more expensive than other discount brokerage such as Just2trade and eOption. For any exercise or assignment please check with Marsco customer service. For example, a trader buy a 1 contract option will cost $5.20 commission and if a trader buys 10 contracts option, it will cost $16.45 commission fee. If you use broker assistance for option trading, you will be charge $25 ticket fee per trade plus $2.00 / contract. Option trading definitely is not Marsco strong area.
For mutual funds, all mutual funds will cost $15.00 per trade. For mutual fund exchanges, it will cost $5.00 only. There is no additional fee for load mutual fund.
For bond or fixed income trades, there 3 structure commissions such as:
For Treasury Bills, Notes & Bonds trades, it will cost $35 per trade.
For Corporate & Municipal Bonds, it will cost $5 per bond.
All Fixed Income Sercurities commission fee will depend on Net Yield Basis.
Other products, there are no offerings of futures and forex trading at the present time.
Advantages and Disadvantages using Marsco Brokerage
Pros of Marsco
- Flat rate commission fee of $3.5 per trade for trading stock with no shares limit
- Offer after market hour trading feature
- Easy access web based trading platform
- Support non US resident account
- Offer IRA account services
- Only $2,500 is needed to open a new account
Cons of Marsco
- No direct access software trading only web based trading
- No education section and research report is minimal
- There is IRA account maintenance fee of $30 per year
- No mobile application support
- No complex or conditional orders as well as special order such as Market On Close (MOC) or Market On Open (MOO)
- No support for Forex or Future trading
Customer’s complaints from research:
- Wrong trade was executed due to mixed up stock symbol ticker
- Slow response on email support from customer service
- No Direct Access Software for trading
- Option fee is higher than other discount brokerage
Even though Marsco is the oldest online brokerage company, I personally would only recommend using them for stock trading only. With it flat rate commission of $3.95 per trade, Marsco definitely in Top 10 discount brokerage in term of stock trading. There is also no additional requirement to meet this low commission fee and there is no limit of shares for trading. I wouldn’t recommend using Marsco for option trading or IRA account. For option trading, the ticket fee and contract fee is rather high than other discount broker such as Lightspeed, Interactive Brokers or Just2trade. For IRA account, Marsco does charge $30 fee per year for IRA retirement account.
The web based trading is definitely quick and reliable. There is no software trading support currently. This certainly will not attract any active trader which would like a quick and no slippage performance in trading. The stock screener is rather basic, but it does provide enough tools for investor to do some research. The lack of educational resources or financial research report definitely will deter investor who prefers full brokerage service to try Marsco. There is also no Mobile App support for trading currently.
Disclosure: I have no affliation with Marsco. I just use their trading platform for trading. Please do your own research for additional details.
Updated on 3/14/2011