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Eric Reed

Retirement and Investing Expert

Eric Reed is a freelance journalist who specializes in economics, policy and global issues, with substantial coverage of finance and personal finance. He has contributed to outlets including The Street, CNBC, Glassdoor and Consumer Reports. Eric’s work focuses on the human impact of abstract issues, emphasizing analytical journalism that helps readers more fully understand their world and their money. He has reported from more than a dozen countries, with datelines that include Sao Paolo, Brazil; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and Athens, Greece. A former attorney, before becoming a journalist Eric worked in securities litigation and white collar criminal defense with a pro bono specialty in human trafficking issues. He graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and can be found any given Saturday in the fall cheering on his Wolverines.

Posts by Eric Reed:

by Eric Reed Jan 23, 2021

If you bank with Wells Fargo and keep a low-activity portfolio, WellsTrade might be a useful platform on which to trade stocks and other securities. Current clients can use the trading screen to see all of their finances, banking and investments alike, in one place. Investors who do relatively few trades might find this particularly useful. For other investors, WellsTrade probably isn’t the best tool on the market. Its research options are limited, and it lacks some asset classes that will appeal to more sophisticated investors. Pound for pound, such investors can probably do better. It may behoove those seeking hands-on guidance to enlist the services of a trusted financial advisor. Read more

by Eric Reed Jan 23, 2021

By now most mainstream trading platforms are free. Five years ago, offering low-cost trades helped a service stand out. You could accept the wrong fit on a platform in exchange for a free trade. Today no-commission trading is a standard pitch offered by even the full-featured platforms. This has left Lightspeed somewhat behind in the retail market. Despite advertising itself as “low cost stock and options trading.” Lightspeed still charges trading commissions. At the same time it offers a set of highly specific tools that can benefit extremely active (read: fast) traders. Between the two, you have a system which is only particularly useful to traders who want to make high-volume, high-speed transactions, and which charges for each of these (ideally numerous) trades. If you are a professional trader making some real money off of this system, it may work well for you. The benefits of Lightspeed’s tools may outweigh the costs of using it. For a retail investor, you will probably do… Read more

by Eric Reed Jan 22, 2021

Firstrade is an online trading platform that offers two portals, its primary brand, Firstrade, and a secondary brand called Firstrade Navigator. They are competitively priced, offer many types of securities, including mutual funds, give users the ability to engage in sophisticated types of trading and provide high-caliber research material. However, the website’s design leaves something to be desired, a weakness apparent as soon as you open this product and continues as you click past its homepage. Keep in mind that a financial advisor can help you create a solid investing plan and set of goals, and that, in turn, will be useful as you decide on which platform to do your investing. Read more

by Eric Reed Jan 14, 2021

Webull is an online trading platform that allows you to trade and invest commission-free. It bills itself as primarily organized around app-based trading, although as we will note below, Webull’s… Read more

by Eric Reed Mar 08, 2021

Robinhood and E*TRADE may be the two most important names in online trading. In many ways E*TRADE introduced the world to online investments, taking stocks and bonds from the world of corner offices… Read more

by Eric Reed Aug 22, 2022

Having $500,000 to your name is a massive advantage, as there are so many investing opportunities available to you. However, the principles of building a strong portfolio remain the same for all… Read more

by Eric Reed Dec 29, 2020

Wealthfront and Vanguard specialize in two different types of online trading platforms. While Vanguard offers a full-service trading platform, it specializes in mutual funds. Wealthfront, on the… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 02, 2021

Investors looking for online investing platforms choose Charles Schwab or Robinhood for two very different experiences. With Charles Schwab you will get a full-featured investment platform, with all… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 02, 2021

Charles Schwab and E*TRADE are two of the most popular investment platforms available today. Both are full-service products, meaning that they support most mainstream assets and research options.… Read more

by Eric Reed Dec 29, 2020

You would be hard pressed to find two more opposite trading platforms than Betterment and Robinhood. The former is a robo-advisor, about as hands-off as you can get while still making decisions about… Read more

by Eric Reed Dec 29, 2020

Betterment and Acorns are two of the most popular robo-advisors on the market. As robo-advisors, neither lets you directly invest money on your own. You can’t buy or sell any individual assets… Read more

by Eric Reed Oct 27, 2021

Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade offer very similar online trading platforms. Both companies provide full-service trading that allow you to access most mainstream securities and research using all or… Read more

by Eric Reed Dec 16, 2020

The choice between Betterment and Vanguard has more to do with your investment strategy than features offered by each product. Betterment is a robo-advisor service so users invest in a series of… Read more

by Eric Reed May 19, 2022

Vanguard and Charles Schwab have both made their names as retail firms that offer personal financial services and investment advice. While both continue to sell financial and investment management as… Read more

by Eric Reed Oct 01, 2022

Fidelity and Robinhood are about as different as two trading platforms can get. Fidelity is a full-service brokerage firm. You can trade most securities through its platform, either on your own or… Read more

by Eric Reed Dec 03, 2020

E*TRADE arguably ushered in the modern era of online finance. Although far from the only option on the market, it established itself as the brand name for web-based trading in the late ’90s and early… Read more

by Eric Reed May 12, 2022

As investing platforms, Charles Schwab and Fidelity make for a very apples-to-apples comparison. Both are long-standing brokerage houses with a history of financial management, personal advising and… Read more

by Eric Reed Oct 27, 2021

TD Ameritrade and Fidelity are two of the most popular full-service trading platforms on the internet. Ultimately between these two giants, there are relatively few points of true distinction. If you… Read more

by Eric Reed Apr 20, 2022

Comparing TD Ameritrade and Robinhood is a little bit of an exercise in apples-to-oranges. TD Ameritrade is a full-service brokerage firm offering storefront advising, online and app-based trading… Read more

by Eric Reed Oct 01, 2022

Acorns and Robinhood are online investment tools both geared toward younger, newer investors, but they are still quite distinct. Acorns is a robo-advisor tool that helps people invest by… Read more

by Eric Reed Apr 12, 2022

Webull and Robinhood are two popular online stock trading platforms where users can invest and make trades largely commission-free. Webull advertises itself as much to the desktop market as to app… Read more

by Eric Reed Nov 09, 2020

A volatility ETF is an exchange traded fund (ETF) that tracks share price changes in a specific index of the stock market. These funds make their money based on the degree to which prices are… Read more

by Eric Reed Sep 19, 2022

A special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), also known as a blank check company, is a publicly traded company created for the purpose of buying or merging with another company or companies. For… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 02, 2021

One way the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) protects investors is by restricting who can put their money into particularly high-risk, loosely regulated or complex financial offerings.… Read more

by Eric Reed Nov 09, 2020

Dilutive securities are any financial instrument that can increase the number of shares a company has outstanding. Examples include convertible bonds, options, warrants and preferred stock. The… Read more