As I was reviewing some old notes I had of Wells Trade, the investment arm of Wells Fargo, I see a trend that Wells Fargo has been trying hard to make some money out of these “free-trade” accounts:
- 02/2008 : Introduced 100 free trades for PMA package with $25k or more.
- 08/2008 : Eliminated the respectable money market sweep funds and replaced them with a crappy bank account sweep.
- 12/2008 : Eliminated RMMXX, a relatively high yield MMF at that time, for purchase.
- 01/2009 : Close out fee increased from $50 to $75.
- 03/2010 : Close out fee to increase to $95.
In addition, Wells Fargo has been “cracking down” on people who did not actively use the checking account of the PMA package. These accounts are marked as “dormant” and quite a few people reported having to jump through some hoops to re-activate them again.
With the talk of additional tax on big banks, I won’t be surprised to see another round of fee increase on the horizon. The money for the taxes has to come from somewhere.
Wells Trade did have some good points. Their reps are quite friendly and helpful, and the trading system, while nothing fancy, generally works. They also introduce a good online feature, which is the capability to track and specify specific tax lots for trading, very helpful for a taxable account.
Anyway, because of my upcoming Roth conversion, I am done with Wells Trade. I will be contributing $75 to them for the free trades they have given me over the past three years or so when I close out my accounts later this month. Good luck to all those sticking with Wells Trade.