jump to navigation

22 steps to open a commission free account at zecco.com June 12, 2007

Posted by deminvest in investment, investment strategies, zecco.

On Monday 04/26/2007 I decided to open a zero commissions trading account. Knowing how lazy I am, I thought it would take me at least a month to start filling the forms, but I did underestimate the magnetic attraction that the word “free” has on us proletarians!

When trading is free we never want to stop

Here I am, subscribing on zecco and helping Low Cost Society triumph once more:

1) Easy beginning… Opened an account in seconds. What surprises me is the fact that they don’t even require email confirmation. Even Terms are almost readable.

2) Making it a trading account is a bit more complicated … longer forms to fill…

3) Not nice at all: they want again the same mail address I gave before. They also want me to type it again to confirm it… Why make me type 3 times my mail address? Don’t you guys at Zecco know how lazy we are??? Since we are not stupid, we must be lazy, otherwise we would be richer than the big guys, we would not look for free trades and would have our private banker!

4) Not nice at all: they don’t say which fields are mandatory. That way they force me to waste time giving out stupid data (useful only for their marketing department) like:

  • Annual Income,
  • Net Worth,
  • Liquid Net Worth,
  • Income Source.

Do they really need to know all that? Do I really have to know the meaning of those questions?

I will leave them unanswered and see if the system accepts my application anyway.

5) I am stuck: they want Passport number from foreigners. I don’t have a passport here in my office, so I am stuck. I will need to continue tomorrow.

6) No I don’t want to be stuck. I’ll give them my ID card number instead of Passport number. ID Card is used as passport for traveling around Europe. Hopefully they will not know the difference 🙂

7) Zecco generated a pdf. I printed it. I will fax it to them then I will send them the original by email

8) ….. FOUR WEEKS LOST…. The printed document is still on my desk. Why? Simply because on the printed document it doesn’t say where I should mail it or at what number I should fax it. I lost two weeks because I was too lazy to go back on the website and find address and fax number! Ok from zecco’s website: “fax (909) 657-6638 or e-mail us copies of your required documents. Also, you’ll need to print, sign and send the original required documents to Zecco Trading, P.O. Box 4328, Ontario, CA 91761. ”

9) I decide that after having lost four weeks, two more won’t make a difference, so I decide to skip the effort of faxing 12 pages document page by page. I mailed it now… Will continue this post soon (I hope!)

10) After having wasted 4 weeks with papers on my desk, I just can’t stand loosing 10 more day and I get upset to mailing service and zecco document handling: SO I write them this rather unfair mail:
“Subject: did you receive my papers? hi, did you receive my papers?
I am ready to transfer funds and eager to start trading at zero commissions.”

you may notice how viciously I tried to let them believe I was ready to handle them large sums of money…. Briana answered nicely on next day (which is good):
“Thank you for contacting Zecco trading.
We have not received your paperwork. If you did not save your
application to your hard drive we will be more than happy to email
you a copy per your request.
If you have submitted your paperwork, Please allow 5 business days for
the information you provided to be updated to your account.
We hope this has been helpful and look forward to doing good business
with you.
Should you have any questions, please refer to www.zecco.com
Thank you for your interest in Zecco.

11) YEAH! on June, 4 my zecco account is approved… But the road to free trading is still long, narrow and full of thorns. According to Zecco there are 4 more steps to start trading:

12) I have to:

“SIGN IN TO YOUR TRADING ACCOUNT Sign in to your Trading Account with your “Trading Key” password. Your initial Trading Key is a combination of the first three digits of your Social Security Number and the last four digits of your new Zecco Trading Account Number, as displayed in the Trading Key box (no spaces).”…

Ok. I’ll try. I have no clue what the “Trading Key” password is. Nothing in “in the Trading Key box”. I can’t get in. I don’t even have a social security number, because I am not a US citizen (as zecco should know from the tons of forms I had to fill.

13) HORRIBLE!!! I can’t give the stupid “Trading Key” password… So I have to call! Can you imagine? Already my first international call to zecco. Fortunately I have skype to pay less. Had to wait 5 or 6 minutes to talk to a representative. Guess what? he told me a secret:

14) The secret is that FOR FOREIGN CUSTOMERS the ” first three digits of your Social Security Number ” can be replaced by 999 !!! I asked him: why don’t you write than anywhere??? Why didn’t you tell me by email??? Do you have fun in hearing my voice???. Well I put 999 then the last four numbers of my account… and…

15) guess what… I have to “sign” an on-line agreement with NASDAQ stating that I am not professional… I do…

16) I have to sign a MARKET DATA DISPLAY SERVICES (Usage-Based Services/Nonprofessional Subscriber Status) with NYSE. They ask for my name for the 11th time, also they want to know: Subscriber’s occupations, Name(s) and address(es) of Subscriber’s employer(s), Subscriber’s title(s) and/or position(s), Subscriber’s employment functions (description)… Boring to fill in all that stuff. Couldn’t zecco make it faster?

17) I am presented, again the SAME CONTRACT!!! With the same data to fill. Now for (American Stock Exchange Non-Professional Subscriber Agreement). UNBELIEVABLE! I have to give them the same data as in 15). The form is still blank. Horrible for a lazy person like me!!!!!

18) I am done!!! Yea Yea Yes!!! I can trade… only I don’t have funds…. But I still try! I buy one Goggle share (that I can’t afford!) It says: GOOG: Bid 513.03 Ask 513.16 Last trade 513.04. Now I wonder… why this difference between Bid and Ask? Is that something Zecco uses to get commissions (they sell at higher price and buy at lower price)? Or is it a normal? Is that the “book” that traders talk about? I actually heard about something called “spread”. Anyway this spread is very narrow. Just about 6 cent or 0.1%. I think this spread is connected with trading. Some people offer to to sell at a certain price, others to buy at a little bit lower and placing an order in between you get the shares. So it is not commissions, but it is part of trading. Only maybe zecco is more transparent than other trading sites and shows that spread more openly. I will investigate.

19) But my trade was refused: “Insufficient buying power” which is just fair: I have to TRANSFER FUNDS TO ZECCO in order to start trading for real:
You may wire funds directly into your Zecco Trading Account. Please provide your financial institution with these instructions.

Bank Name: JP Morgan Chase
Address: 277 Park Ave. New York, New York 10172
ABA: 021000021 (for non-domestic wires, use SWIFT Code CHASUS33)
Account: 066600030
FBO: Penson Financial Services
FBO Address: 1700 Pacific Ave. Suite 1400, Dallas, TX 75201
FFC: Your Name: _________________________
Your Zecco Trading account number: ___________________

20) Will have to call my bank for the international wire transfer.

21) On 6/6/2007 I called my bank and ordered them to transfer $4000. It should take about 10 days for my money to reach zecco. Cost is EUR 9.95 from my bank. Considering the fact that it will be the only commission on 4 trades buying and hopefully, if targets are met, 4 trades selling, then, four more buys… It is definitely a bargain.

22) COOL!!! GREAT!!! WONDERFUL!!!! on June 12 2007 I have a ballance of $4027.55. It is more than I expected. Banks charged very little commission on this money tranfer. Good. I’m ready to do:

Zero Cost Commissions trading!

Commisions have always been an issue for a little investors like. My strategieshave always been conceived to avoid paying too much commissions. Commission free trading is a new start for me and I will have to rethink my investing strategy according to this new favourable scenario. Just great!


1. Zecco Review - June 17, 2007

Haha! Funny commentary on the long, painstaking process of opening a Zecco account. I guess offering free trades does have its ups and downs. But last week, Zecco went from $1,500 to $0 minimiums, so everyone out there should really open an account and give it a go.

However, beware of the $10 mutual fund trade fees! It doesn’t make sense to buy mutual funds with Zecco; Only Stocks/ETFs are eligible for the free stock trades. I wrote a bit more on the entire Zecco Review process because step by step walk-throughs are the best.

Glad I came across your blog, and keep it up.

2. deminvest - June 18, 2007

TJP, thank you for adding valuable info.

It is good to know that people can open zecco accounts without minimum. Also thank you for warning my readers about those bad mutual fund trade fees. I had not looked at them becauseI don’t even consider mutual funds as investing option: outrageous yearly commissions they charge on customer’s capital are not justified by their supposed stock-picking ability.

I suggest everybody in the US to read your “Zecco Review”. It is well done. I have the feeling that setting up a zecco account it much simpler for an US inverstor than it was for me.

3. snip - July 8, 2007

Yes, it’s a long process. No, even US investor have problem.
I have permanent residence in US.
After online registration and pdf printing, and emailing that ,
still they need the “present test”: with strange wording.
It says “states that a client who is of foreign status has to be approved to become a resident alien in the US.”

I contest that, but they still need that. After that they need the visa and 5 days, …what 5 days?

it is now 30 days after my first deposit, and 12 days after my second one, still I cannot trade.

I miss the appel jump already that at least already 2 k.
Phone conversation reveal that they need approval from another financial service in new york.

Also apparently if you register after 10th of May, you can do everything online.

Stupid of me to assume that online brokers are about the same.

I opened Scottrade in one day and the as soon as the money in
(wire is 1 day) I traded directly.

So, what is 7 $ for 2k profit?

After I heard the May 10th regulation (no paper work, everything online), I ask them to open new account , transfer the money from the old account and cancel the old account.
This was unanswered. When I brought it up in the phone conversation, the reply was, ” You almost there the money is ready, just this one (present test) and 2-3 days before you set up”

When I tried to buy, it refused.
Now another 5 days…?

4. retirein - July 9, 2007

Snip, I am really sorry for what they did to you. This convinces me that zecco.com should be used as second trading account.

5. Andrew - December 5, 2007


From what I read it looks like you’re not US citizen or resident. I filled out a W8-BEN form and send it along with the other paperwork. Did you have to get an ITN number from IRS?

6. deminvest - December 5, 2007

No Andrew, I did not have to get anything from IRS. I just filled in all the forms generated by zecco site and printed by me. This W8-BEN was among them. I sent them to zecco and got my account opened.

7. Zecco Victim - December 6, 2007

Very very slow in posting your funds in and very very slow in letting you transfer funds out. They will hold anything above $10,000 for 5 business days or longer if you don’t complain. They will try to keep your margin balance as long as they can even when it has exceeded the days since they held your deposits coming in. They will cancel your fund transfer requests out when you have the cash in your account. Any brokerage firm that has a (909) and a non 800 number for contact is second rate. You get what you pay for and how much are the commissions? Bunch of Mc Donalds graduates working on the phones as well. Did I forget their website which is a joke? Two sets of passwords to get in and the worst trading platform I have seen. Try using the history or cash history and a pension services page pops up with id/password requirement. I have used Schwab, TD Waterhouse, TD Ameritrade, Datek , Ameritrade, and Scottrade. This is by far the worst trading platform. Even trading platforms from pre 1999 is better than this trash. Be warned stay away from Zecco. Better yet try them out and see for yourself.

Zecco would be great for students, new investors, or small accounts. Anything above the minimum and you will pay in fustration. Thank god I put only a small fraction of my funds into this hell hole third rate trash trading brokerage firm. Currently have TD and Etrade. I love the real time fund transfers of Etrade level 2s as well as TD’s Apex free unlimited wires. I never tried wiring money out of my Zecco but I am afraid they would charge me for something that would take days or the same speed as their ACH tranfers.

Good Riddens

8. Tjey - June 21, 2009

what in hell !! I’m waiting almost a month to approve my account. I’m a new to this field but i don’t even thought that it will take so much time to wait man. Finally today received that my account is approved. Than i’m trying all day to enter my account it is not working. Fucking trading key is not getting me in!!! Why they didn’t indicate anything about trading key for foreign citizens!!! Shit! It’s not good man! it’s not good! I send email they send me email like ‘ I’m apologize …’ shit things. Is this a service !!! I starting to think that I made mistake choosing this broker. Better to choose E trade !!! I want to ask that Can I open new account in Etrade while closing Zecco account ? Is it possible ?

Deminvest - June 22, 2009

yes, you can open an etrade account while closing your zecco account, but commissions at Etrade are much higher

Tjey - June 24, 2009

Thanks ! for answer Deminvest. You know that I’m relatively new this field. So, if you suggest book for novice trader what book would suggest to read and why… Thanks!

9. Why do I have an hard time suggesting a book for a novice trader? « Democratic Investments by the people for the people - June 25, 2009

[…] by deminvest in Single stocks, investment, investment strategies, stock I own, stocks. trackback Yesterday Tjey, one of my 3 or 4 readers,  asked me: “[…] if you suggest book for novice trader what […]

10. deminvest - June 30, 2009

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: