Tag Archive: Brokerage

Withdrawing money from Sogoinvest

As mentioned in a previous post, a few people have voiced concerns of the “hoops” that they have to jump through to get their money out from the Sogoinvest account (for example, see Raj’s experience HERE and Sogo-Nogo’s experience HERE and HERE).

With the recent cash dividend distribution from my VWO holding, I decided to test drive Sogoinvest’s current cash withdrawal process and see if there is an excessive delay from the time I request an ACH withdrawal to the time I receive the money in the bank. For comparison, keep in mind that an ACH withdrawal requested from the Ameritrade Izone website on business day T should get the money into my bank account on day T+1. In any case, since I have also some cash dividends to withdraw from Ameritrade Izone, I am going to initiate two withdrawals at the same time and track which one credits the money to my bank account first.

According to Sogoinvest’s website, you need to set up the bank accounts that you want to be able to perform ACH-withdrawals to by first mailing them a completed form with the required information and a voided check. I have completed this step some time back in August 2006. Hopefully they have not lost the paperwork!

Now for the fun part. The following is the time-line that I experienced and I will update it as soon as a new stage is reached:

  • 12/29/2006 (Day T+0) :
    • Sogoinvest 7.22am PST: ACH withdrawal form was faxed. The remote fax machine acknowledged with a receipt.
    • Izone 7.30am PST: ACH withdrawal request submitted online.
  • 12/30/2006:
    • Noticed that the ACH amounts were debited from both Izone and Sogoinvest. Everything seemed to have gone smoothly.
  • 01/02/2007 (Day T+1) 7.00am PST:
    • Both the ACH requests were credited to my bank account.

Well, I am pleasantly surprised that the ACH push from Sogoinvest had been as fast as that from Ameritrade Izone. I can think of the following reasons why my cash withdrawal from Sogoinvest had been smooth

  1. I had submitted the appropriate paperwork to link up my bank accounts for ACH-push.
  2. I had faxed in a properly completed ACH withdrawal form.

Or someone at Sogoinvest is monitoring my blog and giving me priority. 😉

Seriously, I think the real reason why some investors are experiencing problems with cash withdrawals is that they have not submitted the appropriate paperwork (as requested by Sogoinvest) to link up the bank account for ACH-push.

Of course, whether this additional paperwork is necessary or not is questionable since Sogoinvest had already implemented the industry standard ACH verification system (verify two small deposits). Most other financial institutions operate fine with this ACH verification.

Now if only Sogoinvest would implement the online ACH withdrawal request instead of having to fax in the request…

Sogoinvest or Zecco?

I opened a Sogoinvest account some time in August and have been adding money periodically to the account. So far, I have not made any withdrawals from this account.

During this time, a few people have voiced concerns of the “hoops” that they have to jump through to get their money out from the Sogoinvest account (for example, see Raj’s experience HERE and Sogo-Nogo’s experience HERE and HERE). This got me concerned since I want to know if I can make a timely ACH withdrawal whenever I need to.

On Sogoinvest’s website, it was stated that

  • Currently ACH withdrawals require a completed withdrawal form. Online ACH requests are coming soon.

But this message must have been there for about four months now, and the online ACH withdrawal is nowhere in sight. I asked Sogoinvest what’s up with the online ACH withdrawal. They replied promptly. Here’s what it says

  • We are still working on developing online ACH withdrawal requests to be available for our SogoInvest customers. We have had other things in development, our latest update to SogoInvest, SogoElite, which has caused this to be put on hold. Currently you have to fax in an ACH withdrawal request for ACH withdrawals to be initiated.

At the same time, Zecco is starting to look more interesting because of the generally OK experience that users have. For example, see ML’s post Testing driving Zecco.com (read also the comments). Also, it seems like their IRA accounts are finally going live some time in January 2007. In addition, their FAQ has clearly explained some of the reservations I had with using Zecco.com, two of which are

  • Do you make money on the spread between bid and ask?
    Zecco Trading does not make markets and therefore does not participate in the spread between the bid and ask on any security. All of our orders are entered as agency orders and are therefore never marked up by us. We route all orders through our clearing firm Penson Financial Services who then automatically routes them for best execution.
  • Does Zecco Trading receive payment for order flow? Or sell it’s order flow?
    Zecco Trading does not receive payment for order flow. All orders are routed and executed by Penson Financial Services.

One question I still have though is the statement

  • Please keep in mind that only the first account of any account type is eligible for our Free Trading program. Any multiple accounts of the same type with the same registration are not eligible for the free trading program.

Since I would possibly like to open an IRA and a taxable account, I would like to know if both accounts would be eligible for the free trade program. I sent Zecco an email and will post the reply here when I receive it.

Update: I received Zecco’s reply and I am pleased with the answer:

  • Thank you for contacting Zecco Trading. You are able to open both the IRA account and Individual Account. They are of different account types; and therefore, they are eligible for free trading program.

Free online equity trades at Bank of America

2006-10-10-boafreetrade.pngThe discount brokerage price war is really heating up. Now, Bank of America has joined in the battle as well.

According to Bank of America’s website, an investor can

… get as many as 30 commission-free online equity trades per month with:

  • A self-directed brokerage account with Banc of America Investment Services, Inc.
  • A combined balance of $25,000 or more across any of your Bank of America, N.A. deposit accounts (including checking, savings, and CDs)

This exciting new opportunity is not yet available in your area. It is being unveiled across the country in phases and is expected to be complete by spring 2007.

HERE is the link to their FAQ; additional features includes:

2006-10-10-boafeatures.png