Capital One ShareBuilder Review

By on May 24, 2013


Update: If you decide to open an account with Sharebuilder, make sure you take advantage of their current $100 bonus offer for new accounts. Apply here to redeem this offer.

Ok…on with the review…

In 2012, Capital One and ING Direct merged to become Capital One 360. The ING investment program, ShareBuilder, was greatly benefited by this move and continues to grow as a solid option for beginner to novice investors. They are known for their low commissions and simple automatic investment services, as well as their solid array of research tools at their customers’ disposal to aid them in the process up building up a respectable portfolio.

Another plus is their lack of minimum balance requirements on those wishing to open an account (most brokerages require between 1k – 10K just to get in the door). If you’re considering ShareBuilder for your next investment platform, read on to determine whether or not ShareBuilder is right for you.

Ease of Use

The simplicity and easy navigational features are two of the first things you’ll notice when you stop by ShareBuilder’s website. The platform is easy to explore, and doesn’t bog you down with dozens of links to sift through before getting where you need to go, so there’s not a huge learning curve you need to slave through to get started.

Also, whether you have an iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Kindle Fire, or iPad, the Capital One 360 apps are there for you to monitor your portfolio while on the go, which is nice for people who live on their smart phones like me.

Pricing and Products

ShareBuilder offers two main plans when it comes to investments: Basic and the “Advantage plan.” Neither of them has a minimum balance requirement, and the two pricing program options chart will give you a glimpse into the benefits of each program. Market and limit orders are $7.95 per transaction with the Advantage plan; $9.95 with the Basic plan. Automatic investing grants you twelve transactions with the Advantage plan ($1 thereafter), or you can pay $4 each time with the Basic plan. Typical margin rates are 7.20% with the Advantage plan; 7.70% with the Basic. The first month’s subscription is free with Advantage and $12/month thereafter—it is free with the Basic plan.

In terms of investments offered, ShareBuilder allows you to buy: stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options trading, stop-limit orders, no-fee IRAs, and more. Account options with ShareBuilder include: Roth and Tradition IRAs, individual and joint accounts, custodial accounts, and the Education Savings Account (ESA).

Apply Now – Learn how you can get $100 when you open a Sharebuilder account

Analytical Tools

One of the perks of investing with ShareBuilder (aside from the low commissions and no minimum account balance) is the wealth of information available to those looking to educate themselves on the processes of investing. Their market overview page is neatly formatted and makes it easy to not only follow the latest trends on Wall Street through its news section and Dow, NASDAQ, S&P, etc. charts, but to find useful information on how to invest in stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, etc. They make it a goal to help beginners grow their knowledge, and want Capital One 360 clients to do well. To fulfill that motive, they’ve put a plethora of analytical tools and valuable reading resources on their website to help you reach your investment goals and grow your portfolio.

Automated Investing Made Easy

If you’ve read any personal finance books, blogs, or much of this site, you’ll know that automating your finances is one of the quickest paths to financial success. The more you can automate, the more you can relax, which is what we all want, right?

Few brokerages come close to what ShareBuilder currently has with its automated investing system: weekly, biweekly, or monthly automatic deposits into your investment account from your bank or even your pay check. Just set it and forget it. It’s quick, it’s efficient, and it keeps up a steady stream of income to expand your portfolio over a regular intervals. This can be done from your checking account or straight from your paycheck itself, and ShareBuilder allows you to dictate when and how much is deposited into your account. For instance, if you make $4,000 per month, you could opt to have $400 automatically funnelled into your ShareBuilder account each month (or on a more frequent basis; again, it’s your choice). This is like having an employer-funded 401(k) or IRA account with a regular broker, except the ball is in your court: you get to decide what to invest in, and how much you want to invest.

Apply Now – Learn how you can get $100 when you open a Sharebuilder account

Final Word

Capital One’s ShareBuilder is a solid brokerage if you’re a beginner or novice looking for an easy way to invest. It doesn;t have all the bells and whistles of some of the high end brokers, but it can be personalized to meet your unique needs, its technologically efficient both online and on the go, its fees and commissions structure are reasonably low in comparison to its competitors, and the customer service department is readily available to answer your questions on everything from opening an account to investing in a new ETF. The research tools and tutorials, along with the option of automated withdrawals from your paycheck or checking account to your investment account, make ShareBuilder a platform worthy of looking into.

Apply Now – Learn how you can get $100 when you open a Sharebuilder account

In the spirit of full disclosure, this post may contain affiliate links, which means that when you click links and purchase items, Money Street Smart may get a referral commission. We only recommend products & companies that we firmly believe will help our readers, and when when you order through our links, it helps us to continue to offer you lots of free stuff. Thank you in advance for your support!
Russell Kith

About Russell Kith

Russell Kith grew up in small town Wisconsin, the youngest of 4 boys. Having devoted most of his adolescent years to troublemaking, he left home at 18 and roamed across the world taking a variety of jobs he declines to specify. These days, you can find him writing about personal finance on the web. You can follow Russell on Google+ or Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.