Good News For E*Trade: $0 Commisions Aren’t Sustainable


Last night, E*Trade dropped another $3 million on another un-funny baby commercial in hopes of luring more people to set up low-margin trading accounts.

This is obviously a tough place to be, but here’s some good news. Zecco, an online broker that’s tried to make money on $0 commissions (seriously) isn’t doing so hot.

TechCrunch has a copy of the letter it sent to clients, informing them that it would no longer be so generous:

Dear Zecco Trading client,

I’m writing to tell you that as of March 1st, 2009, we’re increasing
the minimum level of assets needed to earn 10 free trades per month to
$25,000. We’re also adding a new way to get free trades: customers who
make at least 25 total trades per month will also qualify for 10 free
stock trades per month.

Additionally, as of March 1st, 2009, you’ll be able to earn $75 for
each friend referred to Zecco Trading through our Zecco Friends
program. You can use that cash to offset trade commissions or make new

Why was this necessary now? Anyone who’s read a newspaper lately knows
that the US and world economies have been hit hard over the past 4
months. As a result, some of the largest corporations in the world
have had to cut costs and adjust to new business realities. With
reduced retail trading volumes and lower interest rates, we at Zecco
Trading simply could no longer provide free trades to as many people
as we would like. Read the whole thing >