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Overall

Capital One Investing is a great fit for investors seeking automatic investment plans, and clients of Capital One 360. It also offers casual investors an easy way to research and trade.

Commissions & Fees
Offering of Investments
Platforms & Tools
View More
Best in Class
  • Ease of Use
  • Banking
  • New Investors
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By Blain Reinkensmeyer on February 21st, 2017 | Last updated: February 21st, 2017

Dislikes
  • No trade platform
  • Limited offering of trade tools
  • After-hours trading not supported
  • No complex options
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Capital One Investing Review

For our 2017 Stock Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked sixteen different online brokers over a period of six months. In total, we conducted 349 customer service tests, collected 5,277 data points, and produced over 40,000 words of research. Learn more.

Capital One Investing started out as ShareBuilder back in 1996 (Capital One acquired ShareBuilder in 2011) with the goal of making investing affordable and easy. Today, in 2017, Capital One Investing continues to thrive, thanks to its automatic investments, pleasant customer service, and clean website.

Commissions & Fees

Capital One Investing is the only broker to offer its clients a separate rate to take advantage of discounted automatic investments.

Under the broker’s base commission structure, regular stock trades cost $6.95, options trades run at $6.95 plus $0.75 per contract (complex, multi-legged options are not supported), and automatic investments are $3.95 each.

Where Capital One Investing comes out on top in a big way is with its automatic investments (also known as the ShareBuilder Plan), which give clients the ability to automatically buy shares of stocks, ETFs, or select mutual funds each month (all automatic investments take place on Tuesdays).

Compared to the big-name brokers such as TD Ameritrade, ETRADE, Scottrade, and Fidelity Investments, Capital One Investing is less expensive. However, compared to other discount brokers such as OptionsHouse, TradeKing, and the like, Capital One Investing is more expensive.

Capital One InvestingE*TRADETD AmeritradeScottradeOptionsHouse
Stock Trade Fee (flat)$6.95$9.99$9.99$7.00$4.95
Options Base Fee$6.95$9.99$9.99$7.00$4.95
Options Per Contract Fee$0.75$0.75$0.75$0.70$0.50
Mutual Fund Trade Fee$19.95$19.99$49.99$17.00$20.00
Broker Assisted Trades Fee$19.95$25.00$44.99$32.00$25.00
Commissions & Fees 3.5/5 2.5/5 2.5/5 3.5/5 4.5/5

Where Capital One Investing comes out on top in a big way is with its automatic investments (also known as the ShareBuilder Plan), which give clients the ability to automatically buy shares of stocks, ETFs, or select mutual funds each month (all automatic investments take place on Tuesdays). It is this simplicity that makes Capital One Investing so attractive for investors who want to "set it and forget it" with their IRAs.

Customer Service

Capital One Investing's phone customer service was consistently an enjoyable experience, and we were impressed. Reps were almost always enthusiastic, professional, and helpful. We were on hold for longer than one minute less than 20% of the time and the reps were clearly well trained, always making sure to conclude all calls on a warm closing note.

Phone aside, email support yielded mostly positive experiences. The only real drawback to Capital One Investing’s email support was response times, which took more than two business days, on average.

Live chat support had similar results. We had one perfect test score, and all but one chat session was connected to a rep within one minute. Our longest wait time was just under 12 minutes.

In the end, Capital One Investing had more highlights than lowlights across the board; however, compared to the rest of the industry, the broker finished in the middle of the pack. See: Best Brokers for Customer Service.

Ease of Use

The shining star in Capital One Investing’s arsenal is the website's ease of use. Everything, from navigation to placing trades and performing research, is an effortless experience.

The shining star in Capital One Investing’s arsenal is the website's ease of use. Everything, from navigation to placing trades and performing research, is an effortless experience. The website boasts a very clean design, and it is clear Capital One Investing takes its time before launching anything new to ensure a top-notch user experience.

Capital One Investing Trade Ticket

If there is one recommendation I would make for Capital One Investing in 2016, it would be to create a customizable dashboard for clients to replace the current boring My Accounts overview page.

Research

For research, I found Capital One Investing's coverage of equities, ETFs, and mutual funds to be very strong, thanks to their use of Morningstar as their primary provider. Although the broker purposely supports little more than 1,000 mutual funds for trading (focus on quality over quantity), I was impressed by the depth of research provided.

On the topic of quality over quantity, Capital One Investing only offers no-load and no transaction fee funds. Excluding loaded mutual funds is a decision I fully support as numerous data studies clearly show there is no net performance advantage for paying higher fees. To help clients make a good decision, clients can use the Fund Evaluator tool to analyze any mutual fund they’d like and view lower cost alternatives.

Capital One Investing Fund Evaluator

Funds aside, after pulling up Apple (AAPL) in the research area, I was pleased to see four third-party research reports available for us to read. To dig deeper into research, clients have the ability to build custom side-by-side stock comparisons and compare fundamental data. Screening for investment ideas is also a breeze.

Capital One Investing quote screen

Capital One Investing’s research offering extends beyond vetting potential trades – it also includes client portfolios. The Portfolio Allocation and Analysis tools allow clients to assess their portfolio allocation, returns, and even break down their real equity exposure by fund. Full transparency into the client’s portfolio is not commonly found with other brokers.

Capital One Investing Portfolio Analysis

Platforms & Tools

Capital One Investing does not offer a formal desktop or web-based trading platform; instead, it relies on its website. Put simply, there isn’t anything for advanced traders to be excited about because active traders are not Capital One Investing's target market. See: Best Brokers for Platforms & Tools.

That said, Capital One Investing does have several innovative tools for regular investors. Using PortfolioBuilder, clients can create their own diversified portfolio with up to eight ETFs, aligning their investment style and long-term goals. Once a new portfolio is compiled, it can be purchased and sold for a single flat rate of $18.95.

Capital One Investing Portfolio Builder

Portfolio Builder is Capital One Investing’s approach to “do-it-yourself” passive indexing. The primary disadvantage of Portfolio Builder is that it is not fully automated, unlike a formal robo-advisor service. Despite the potential for lower fees on an annualized basis, the requirement of manual fund selection and conscious portfolio oversight are two critical drawbacks that should not have been overlooked. Because of this, I would recommend using a robo-advisor over PortfolioBuilder. See: Best Robo-Advisors 2017.

Other Notes

As far as investments go, Capital One Investing has a weak offering. Complex options are not supported, nor are after-hours trades or shorting.

However, Capital One Investing, through Capital One, is the only company (alongside Bank of America Merrill Edge) to offer credit and debit cards, checking and savings accounts, as well as home mortgages.

However, Capital One Investing, through Capital One, is the only company (alongside Bank of America Merrill Edge) to offer credit and debit cards, checking and savings accounts, as well as home mortgages. Through Capital One 360, the company also supports universal login for clients for easy account management. More simply put, synergies for current banking clients are widespread.

Lastly, in 2016 Capital One formally began offering advisor services. While StockBrokers.com does not test advisor services yet, for investors seeking professional portfolio advice and management, Capital One Advisors Managed Portfolios is an option. The minimum investment is $25,000 and annual management fees start at 0.9%.

Closing Thoughts

Capital One Investing shines in its ease of use; it performs well in research and customer service, but limits its offering of investments and tools desired by active stock and options traders.

Capital One Investing should continue to thrive doing what it does best: offering a great solution for casual investors and those seeking automatic investments, as well as giving current Capital One 360 clients an easy way to access the markets.


Blain Reinkensmeyer

Reviewed by Blain Reinkensmeyer Blain heads research at StockBrokers.com and has been involved in the markets since placing his first stock trade back in 2001. He developed StockBrokers.com's annual review format seven years ago which is respected by broker executives as the most thorough in the industry. Currently maintaining funded accounts with more than a dozen different US regulated online brokers, he's executed thousands of trades through his career and enjoys sharing his experiences through his personal blog, StockTrader.com.


Ratings Overall

Best in Class

2017
12

Overall
  • Ease of Use
  • Banking
  • New Investors
2016
11

Overall
  • Banking
2015
13

Overall
  • Banking
  • New Investors
2014
 8

Overall
  • Customer Service
  • New Investors
2013
12

Overall
  • Customer Service

Commissions & Fees

Commission Notes

Capital One Investing offers one set of primary commission rates along with a special rate for discounted automatic investing.

Note that Costco member exclusive pricing ended September 1, 2015. Existing co-branded accounts (opened prior to September 1) can continue to access Costco pricing ($5.95 online trades, $9.95 PortfolioBuilder trades and $2.00 automatic trades).

Stock Trades
Regular trades - All regular stock trades are $6.95 each. For stocks priced under $1.00, add $0.007 per share with a minimum $6.95 commission, maximum of the lesser of either 15 percent of the principal amount or $500.

Automatic investments - Automatic investments are $3.95 per trade. All automatic trades are made on Tuesdays.

Other notes - PortfolioBuilder trades are $18.95 each time you buy or sell or portfolio of 6 to 8 ETFs. Phone orders available for $19.95 per trade. Capital One Investing does not currently support the ability to short stocks.

Option Trades - Options trades cost $6.95 + $.75 per contract.





Trade Commissions Breakdown

Stock Trade Fee (flat) $6.95
Stock Trade Fee (per share) N/A
Options Base Fee $6.95
Options Per Contract Fee $0.75
Options Exercise Fee $20.00
Options Assignment Fee $20.00
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $19.95
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $19.95
Minimum Deposit $0.00

Margin Rates

Margin Rate Under $24,999.99 8.20%
Margin Rate $25,000.00 to $49,999.99 7.75%
Margin Rate $50,000.00 to $99,999.99 7.20%
Margin Rate $100,000.00 to $249,999.99 7.00%
Margin Rate $250,000.00 to $499,999.99 5.75%
Margin Rate $500,000.00 to $999,999.99 5.40%
Margin Rate Above $1,000,000.00 5.20%

Miscellaneous Fees

Bond Trade Fee N/A
Treasury Trade Fee N/A
IRA Annual Fee $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $75.00
Returned ACH Fee $5.00
Returned Wire Fee $5.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $0.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee N/A
Paper Statement Fee $5.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $5.00
Domestic Wire Fee $30.00
International Wire Fee $30.00

Account Features

Offering of Investments

Advisor Services help Yes
Bonds (Corporate) help No
Bonds (Municipal) help No
Bonds (US Treasury) help No
CDs help No
Clearing Firm help Pershing
Commission Free ETFs help 0
Direct Market Routing - Stocks help No
Direct Market Routing - Options help No
DRIPs help Yes
# of Easy to Borrow Stocks help 0
Forex Trading help No
Futures Trading help No
Member FINRA help Yes
Member SIPC help Yes
Mutual Funds help Yes
Mutual Funds (No Load) help 1202
Mutual Funds (Load) help 0
Mutual Funds (NTF) help 459
Mutual Funds (Total) help 1202
Mutual Funds Phone Trades help Yes
Mutual Funds Web Trades help Yes
No Fee IRAs help Yes
No Inactivity Fees help Yes
No Minimum Deposit help Yes
Options Exercising (Web) help Yes
Options Exercising (Phone) help Yes
Options Trading help Yes
Complex Options Max Legs help 1
Options Trading (Mini) help No
Options Trading (Weekly) help Yes
OTCBB / Pink Sheets help Yes
Stock Trading help Yes

Customer Service

Phone Support help Yes
Email Support help Yes
Live Chat (Current Clients) help Yes
Live Chat (Prospect Clients) help No
24/7 Support help No

Platforms & Tools

Desktop Platform (Windows) help No
Desktop Platform (Mac) help No
Web Platform help No
Active Trading Platform help NA
Charting - Display Corporate Events help Yes
Charting - View Historical Trades help Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies help 27
Charting - Drawing Tools help 1
Charting - Trade Off Chart help No
Charting - Notes help No
Heat Mapping help Yes
Ladder Trading help No
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks help No
Level 2 Quotes - Options help No
Option Chains - Streaming Real-time help No
Option Chains - Total Columns help 7
Option Chains - Quick Analysis help No
Option Analysis - P&L Charts help No
Option Analysis - Probability Analysis Basic help No
Option Analysis - Probability Analysis Adv help No
Option Positions - Contract Rolling help No
Stock Alerts Delivery - Email help Yes
Stock Alerts Delivery - Sound help No
Stock Alerts Delivery - Text SMS help Yes
Streaming Time & Sales help No
Streaming TV help No
Trade Hot Keys help No
Virtual Trading help No
Watch Lists - Streaming Real-time Quotes help No
Watch Lists - Total Fields help 9

Research

Research - ETFs help Yes
Research - Mutual Funds help Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB help Yes
Research - Fixed Income help No
Misc - Global Markets Overview help No
Misc - Portfolio Allocation Breakdown help Yes
Misc - Portfolio Builder help Yes
Equity Research - Earnings Analysis help Yes
Equity Research - Insider Analysis help No
Equity Research - Metric Comparisons help Yes
Equity Research - SEC Filings help Yes
Equity Research - Social Sentiment help No
Equity Research - Research Reports help 4
ETF Research - Performance Analysis help Yes
ETF Research - Top 10 Holdings help Yes
ETF Research - Morningstar Style Box help Yes
ETF Research - 3rd Party Ratings help Yes
ETF Research - Research Reports help Yes
Mutual Fund Research - Fees Breakdown help Yes
Mutual Fund Research - Top 10 Holdings help Yes
Mutual Fund Research - Performance Analysis help Yes
Mutual Fund Research - Prospectus help Yes
Mutual Fund Research - 3rd Party Ratings help Yes
Mutual Fund Research - Research Reports help Yes
Screener - Stocks help Yes
Screener - ETFs help Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds help Yes
Screener - Options help No
Screener - Bonds help No

Education

Has Education - Stocks help Yes
Has Education - ETFs help No
Has Education - Options help No
Has Education - Mutual Funds help Yes
Has Education - Fixed Income help No
Has Education - Retirement help No
Investor Dictionary help Yes
Client Webinars help No
Client Webinars (Archived) help No
Live Seminars help Yes
Videos help No
Retirement Calculator help Yes
Progress Tracking help No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes help No

Mobile Trading

iPhone App help Yes
iPad App help Yes
Apple Watch App help No
Android App help Yes
Android Tablet App help No
Mobile Site help Yes
Touch ID help Yes
Account Transfers help Yes
Quotes (Real-time) help Yes
Quotes (Streaming Real-time) help No
Watch List (Real-time) help Yes
Watch List (Streaming Real-time) help No
Watch List Syncing help Yes
Market Movers (Top Gainers) help Yes
Custom Screening / Scanning help No
Charting - Stock Comparisons help No
Charting - Technical Studies help 0
Charting - After Hours help No
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields help No
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields help No
Stock Alerts Delivery - Push Notifications help No
Customizable Homescreen help No
Streaming TV help No
Trading - Stocks help Yes
Trading - After-Hours help No
Trading - Conditional Orders help No
Trading - Mutual Funds help No
Trading - Simple Options help Yes
Trading - Complex Options help No
Trading - Option Rolling help No

Banking

Member FDIC help Yes
Checking Accounts help Yes
Savings Accounts help Yes
Debit Cards help Yes
Credit Cards help Yes
Mortgage Loans help Yes
Mobile Check Deposit help Yes
Online Bill Pay help Yes
Mobile Bill Pay help Yes
ATM Fee Reimbursement help No
No Fee Banking help Yes
Retail Locations help 800

Order Execution

Receives Payment for Order Flow (Equities) help No
Receives Payment for Order Flow (Options) help No
Client Liquidity Rebates help No
Financial Information Forum (FIF) Participant help No

Compare Capital One Investing

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All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 2/20/2017 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The StockBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest pricing data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page. For stock trade rates, advertised pricing is for a standard order size of 500 shares of stock priced at $30 per share. For options orders, an options regulatory fee per contract may apply.




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