A WellsTrade Review: Big Banking Institution With No Limit

Wells Fargo, the company that owns WellsTrade, can trace its roots back to the California Gold Rush, one of the most critical events in the United States in the 1800s.

Wells Fargo has been one of the largest banks in the world for more than 160 has been around for years and has a reputation for being trustworthy by taking care of people’s money in a responsible way.

Read on to find out if WellsTrade, the bank’s online investing broker, is a good fit for you.

A WellsTrade Review: Big Banking Institution With No Limit
Since a fake-accounts scandal broke into the public eye more than five years ago, Wells Fargo has been working to repair its reputation and win over regulators. (PHOTO: GABBY JONES FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

In a Nutshell

Wells Fargo’s Portfolio by Wells Fargo program is a relationship between a bank account and an investment account. This gives WellsTrade clients some very attractive trade discounts and benefits.

Even if you don’t bank with Wells Fargo, you might still be interested in WellsTrade now that it’s free to trade stocks and ETFs.

This WellsTrade review will look closely at the brokerage company, its costs, and services, how it compares to the competition, and whether you, as a self-directed investor, should use WellsTrade.

  • What is WellsTrade
  • The advantages and disadvantages
  • WellsTrade at a Glance
  • Individual Services Feedbacks
    • Trading Experience
    • Account and Investment Minimums
    • Commissions and Costs of Funds
    • Trading Technology
    • Usability
    • Mobile and Emerging Tech
    • Range of Offerings and Investment Selection
    • News and Research
    • Customer Service
    • Security
    • Cost
  • It is Best for
  • The Limitations of WellsTrade
  • Upcoming Promotions
  • Brief Comparison of WellsTrade and other brokers
  • Are you going to invest with WellsTrade?

What is WellsTrade

In 2008, when the economy panicked, Wells Fargo bought Wachovia Bank and its brokerage services. The bank’s online investment platform, came about because these services were changed.

Wells Fargo has been around for a long time, and even though it has had some problems in recent years, the company is committed to rebuilding trust in the relationship between its bankers and customers.

A recent Financial Times’ Agenda study found that Wells Fargo is one of the most open companies regarding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics.

This is good news for investors who care about social issues.

The advantages and disadvantages

There is no one perfect brokerage, but one might be perfect for you. Here are some pros and cons to help you decide if it’s the right investment broker for your financial goals and plan.


    • Simple trading tools for people who are just starting out
    • Trading stocks and ETFs costs $0.
    • There is no required minimum
    • 24/7 customer service
    • Excellent IRA options and range of mutual funds


    • Basic educational supplies and research materials
    • No online chat, only in-person options
    • Insufficient resources for serious traders
A WellsTrade Review: Big Banking Institution With No Limit
Businessman pointing to the metaverse’s growth, success, and finance charts (Photo: freepik.com)

WellsTrade at a Glance

It is a full-service brokerage where you can trade independently or with the assistance of a broker.

Here are some of the fees and features associated with the two distinct types of trades:

WellsTrade at a Glance
Account Minimum  $0
Stock Trading Fees $0 each self-directed stock transaction
$25 for agent-assisted commerce
Options Trading Fees $5.95 + $0.75 each agreement for self-directed transactions
$25 + commission for agent-assisted online trades.
Mutual Fund Trading $0 for load-free, transition-fee-free funds
$35 for self-directed no-load transaction fee funds
$35 for agent-assisted no-load transaction fee funds
Account Fee $30 household annual fee, exempted if certain conditions are met.
Mobile App You can manage your account from your mobile device.
Customer Service Secure email or a voice-activated 24 hour phone system
Promotions  None

Individual Services Feedbacks

The tried-and-true benchmarks for any investor have always been price and performance. Still, brokers quickly realize that availability, comfort, customization, and tools and technology are now crucial factors that both current clients and potential new investors compare and consider.

Here’s a detailed analysis of how WellsTrade performs across various essential service categories.

Trading Experience

It has straightforward but efficient trading capabilities that cater to novice to mainstream investors rather than experienced and active traders. Its self-directed platform is simple to use, accessible, and quick.

It is ideal for investors who want to create an online portfolio but need more prior experience doing so.

On the other hand, active, seasoned investors might desire more bells and whistles.

Investors can benefit from an “Intuitive Investor” robo-advisory account that will give you a diversified portfolio and active monitoring of your investments if they are willing to deposit at least $10,000 into a newly opened brokerage account and Wells Fargo bank account.

Additionally, Wells Fargo Advisors, the country’s third-largest full-service retail brokerage, offers investors who want to work directly with a financial advisor the opportunity to do so.

Account and Investment Minimums

Nowadays, it’s pretty common for self-directed platform investors to have no minimum account balance requirements.

WellsTrade charges a $30 household annual fee despite having a $0 account minimum. But there are a number of acceptable ways to avoid paying this fee; you can avoid it if you:

  • Maintain a $250,000 balance in your account.
  • With Wells Fargo, open the Portfolio bank relationship package.
  • Sign up in the delivery of documents electronically.

Commissions and Costs of Funds

To compete with other online brokerages like Charles Schwab and E-Trade, WellsTrade reduced its stock trading commission from $5.95 per trade to $0 per trade.

These days, trading stocks and exchange-traded funds are free.

Mutual funds with no load or transaction fees can be traded for nothing.

Option trading still costs $5.95 plus $0.75 per contract. You will be charged an additional $25 on top of the regular fee if you use an agent to trade.

Additionally, penny stocks with less than $1 cannot be traded on WellsTrade. You must pay either $34.95 or 3.5% of your principal for these.

Trading Technology

High-tech trading today gives investors effective ways to investigate and buy stocks. WellsTrade will do the job even though it doesn’t claim trade execution speeds faster than the speed of light.

However, its online stock quote monitoring is less effective than expected. Quotes are delayed or need manual refreshing because there are no real-time quotes.


A WellsTrade account can be created quickly, and orders for stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds can be entered easily. Email confirmations are sent out promptly after orders are placed. The web-based platform isn’t the fastest in general, but it is simple to use.

In the same way, entering orders is a simple but laborious process that requires a lot of page-turning.

You have access to various powerful tools that can assist you in making investment decisions.

The primary tools are screeners, which allow you to research bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and other financial instruments, and the Portfolio Screener, which enables you to keep track of quotes, news, and charts crucial to your investment portfolio.

Mobile and Emerging Tech

Online brokerage companies are making switching between desktop and mobile apps simpler without interruption.

For tablet and smartphone users who want to place trades and track orders, manage watchlists, get market news and real-time quotes, and view account activity, the WellsTrade Mobile app is the industry standard.

It is available at the Apple Store and Google Play store. Remember that some features and materials are only accessible via the website and not the mobile app.

Range of Offerings and Investment Selection

When a standard account is opened online, brokerage cash services are included. These services give you easy access to online transfers between Wells Fargo accounts and smartphone check deposits.

Depending on which account you choose, WellsTrade offers impressive options for traditional and Roth IRAs that enable you to save for retirement with tax-deductible contributions, tax-deferred earnings, tax-free withdrawals, and tax and penalty-free monitoring of your contributions.

Additionally, WellsTrade offers a wide selection of mutual funds, including over 2,000 with no transaction fees or loads. The mutual fund screener is simple to use and generates almost 9,000 funds that are available for purchase.

Futures, cryptocurrency, and forex trading are not offered by WellsTrade.

News and Research

Regarding stock trading, investors want every advantage they can get. The companies regarded as industry leaders know how to go above and beyond the typical information and research fare many brokerages offer. B

e prepared for the WellsTrade website’s absence of virtual investment classrooms or sandbox trading. Both live news streams and webinar offers for financial education must be included.

Although many brokers lack them, everyone would have them in an ideal world.

WellsTrade does have a lot of educational resources, but they need more excitement of those offered by other investment brokers.

Despite the abundance of resources available for financial education, even novice investors have the desire to go deeper. These resources typically consist of screenshots and articles outlining the fundamentals of investing.

Not seeing educational videos is what is truly strange. A webpage with screen captures even contains the “See WellsTrade in Action” demo.

Customer Service

You’re somewhat out of luck if you’re an old-school investor who wants to walk into a WellsTrade office and organize your financial future.

Although most Wells Fargo brick-and-mortar banks have tellers who can assist you with deposits (made through a related, limited-purpose Wells Fargo Bank account in your name), WellsTrade investors will primarily use the voice-activated 24/7 phone system or secure e-mail to communicate with the broker. There is no option for online chat.


It is now standard practice for investment firms to have fraud protection guarantees designed to give their clients peace of mind as customers manage their investments using their desktops, tablets, laptops, and smartphones.

Wells Fargo’s Online Security Guarantee program stipulates that the bank will compensate customers for any losses from unauthorized third-party activity.

Wells Fargo was acknowledged as a leader in fraud prevention, detection, and resolution in Javelin’s 2017 “Account Safety in Banking Scorecard” report.

Customers can find a wealth of advice at the Wells Fargo Security Center to safeguard their accounts and personal data.


Along with the charges already mentioned, WellsTrade charges additional fees. All other bonds are priced using a markup/markdown system, and fixed-income Treasury securities are priced at $50 per transaction.

Fees for closing an IRA and closing an outgoing account both cost $95 each.

A WellsTrade Review: Big Banking Institution With No Limit
Federal regulators recently imposed sanctions on Wells Fargo, preventing it from expanding its balance sheet.

It is Best for

WellsTrade excels in the following areas:

  • Minimums for accounts and investments
  • Inexpensive trading of stocks and ETFs
  • Variety of offerings and investment options
  • Security

The Limitations of WellsTrade

The following are some of the areas in which WellsTrade fails:

  • News and Research
  • Customers Support

Upcoming Promotions

WellsTrade does not currently offer any coupons or discounts.

If you open a new Everyday Checking account with Wells Fargo and are eligible for the bonus, you can receive $400.

If you become a customer of Wells Fargo and connect your WellsTrade account to your bank, you may be eligible for a variety of perks, including lower interest rates on loans and savings accounts, rewards for making trades online, and more.

Brief Comparison of WellsTrade and other brokers

You can see how WellsTrade stacks up against the competition in the table below. WellsTrade, like many other brokers, requires no opening deposit and has no commission on stocks.

WellsTrade vs. Other Brokerages
Broker Stock Commission  Account Minimum Promotion
WellsTrade $0 $0 None
Merrill Edge $0 $0 Up to $600 in cash when you open a new account.
TD Ameritrade $0 $0 With a new account deposit, you can receive up to $600 in cash and 60 days of commission-free trading.
Charles Schwab $0 $0 With a deposit of $100,000, you can execute 500 commission-free online equity and option trades for two years.
Fidelity $0 $0 500 trades with no commisions when you deposit $100,000
Firstrade $0 $0 Rebates for transfer fees of up to $200
Robinhood $0 $0 Upon approval of your brokerage application, receive one share of free stock.
E-Trade $0 $500 Up to $2,500 in cash and up to 500 commission-free trades with a qualifying deposit.

Are You Going to Invest with WellsTrade?

How well a broker integrates with your current financial banking services may be a key determinant of which broker you choose to invest with.

Going with WellsTrade makes sense for current Wells Fargo bank customers because it is more convenient, and the company is known to them.

Although only some brokers can satisfy clients’ needs, the best brokers go above and beyond for their clients and provide incentives to draw in new ones.

Many of the features and services offered by WellsTrade fall flat, aside from the advantages of connecting your WellsTrade investment portfolio to a Wells Fargo bank account.

Too many businesses produce and maintain superior trading platforms, apps, technology, research, and education services.


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