Zecco is a subsidiary of Zecco Holdings, inc. Founded in July of 2006 by Jeroen Veth as an online trading community, it quickly grew from a simple forum with less than 10 employee’s to a full fledged online broker within 5 months. With headquarters in San Francisco, California and further offices in Glendale, California and now the considerable resources that came as part of a business merger with TradeKing, Zecco are able to provide for the big traders as well as the self-directed “little guy”.
The company name (Zecco) actually represents the unique selling point the broker was founded upon, Zero Commission Cost. Unfortunately at the end of the first quarter in 2011 they announced they would no longer be offering free trades in any market and adopted a more traditional business model.
Forget what you may have heard in the past, Zecco now offer a very respectable level of customer service to all their clients. In the past, with the aforementioned free trades, Zecco was operated on a shoestring budget. This in turn meant that customer support was slow and rarely came up with a solution to traders issues.
Since the introduction of commission and fees the department has had a complete overhaul, with phone lines opening times being extended, live chat being added and email, fax and mail response times being more than halved.
Zecco also pride themselves on being a very “current” brokerage, keeping up with the latest technologies and trends to keep themselves fresh. With that in mind it should come as no surprise that this discount broker has a very strong presence on social media sites with active Facebook and Twitter accounts in addition to a company blog that is usually full of useful information and tips.
Zecco does everything with a splash of style, that is made evident from the moment you land on their webpage, however we were shocked to find that style also extended to their trading platforms. All of their platforms maintain the company’s colours of black and pink which may sound weird but you will have to trust us, it just works.
Aesthetics aside, they also hold their own in terms of functionality. Pretty much every type of trade you could possibly want to place is here, from basic options trade to strangles and spreads. The platform is extremely simple to use, with everything clearly labeled and well laid out.
At the time of writing there was only one mobile platform available, which is for the iPhone and iPad, however an Android platform is currently in development. If you are more of a social type then Zecco offers something truly different with their Facebook app, called Wall Street. Through this app you can research, place options orders and interact with other traders. It’s not the most comprehensive solution but it’s nice to see a brokerage try something new and can make the day move along a little quicker.
Fees and Commissions
As we mentioned earlier on, until 2011 Zecco offered free trades in a couple of markets but withdrew that offer to allow for improvement of their services across the board. Thankfully they have not gone from one extreme to the other, now charging a very respectable $4.95 per options order with a $0.65 fee per contract. That still represents great value and puts them in the top 5 brokers that we have reviewed in terms of pricing. Equity orders are also $4.95 per trade, with broker assisted orders weighing in at $19.99, plus $4.95 but without a cost per contract.
If you are looking for something a little more “human” then Zecco are certainly for you. They break away from the mundane by adding a little colour and razzle dazzle to just about everything they do. Their fees are well below the industry average and customer support has made the transition from their major weakness to undeniable strength. They also push boundaries and try new things, which means you are likely to get features and products way before any other broker even considers implementing them.