|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (October 2014)|
|Predecessors||NetStock Direct, ING Direct Investing|
|Founded||Bellevue, Washington (1996)|
|Headquarters||Seattle, WA, United States|
|Key people||Daniel Greenshields, President|
|Products||Stocks, Options, Automatic Investing, PortfolioBuilder|
Capital One ShareBuilder is an online brokerage firm with its headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Investors can easily buy stocks, bonds, options, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds as partial shares via Automatic Investing and PortfolioBuilder. Real-time trading is also available online, on mobile devices, and via telephone. ShareBuilder provides an award-winning toolset, extensive research and customer service, but does not offer high-end analysis tools. President Daniel Greenshields has overseen the company as it transitioned from an independent firm into part of ING Direct, which is now Capital One 360.
ShareBuilder (formally ShareBuilder Securities Corporation) was founded in 1996 as NetStock Direct. It encouraged recurring, automatic purchases of shares of stock, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds instead of day trading.
In 2005, ShareBuilder began offering 401(k) plans to small businesses. On November 19, 2007, ShareBuilder Corporation was purchased by ING Direct, a subsidiary of ING Group for $220 million. In June 2009, ShareBuilder moved its headquarters from Bellevue, Washington to 83 King Street, in the Pioneer Square district of Seattle, Washington.
In February 2012, Capital One Financial Corporation completed its acquisition of ING Bank, fsb, and its subsidiaries, including ShareBuilder Corporation. ShareBuilder is no longer affiliated with ING Group.
Account operations and types
The following are the basic types of accounts available with ShareBuilder:
- Individual Account – An account for one adult
- Joint Account – An account shared by two adults
- Traditional/Rollover IRA – One of the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) options available to prepare for retirement
- Roth or Conversion IRA – One IRA option to help prepare for retirement (must meet eligibility requirements set by the IRS)
- ShareBuilder ESA (Education Savings Account) – Created to help pay for the education of the beneficiary of the account
- Custodial Account – Account created by an adult, for the benefit of a minor
ShareBuilder does not require minimum account balances, allowing people to invest small amounts of money. Online trades are $6.95 each, while automatic investing (occurring every Tuesday) is $3.95 per investment. Additionally, the PortfolioBuilder feature is $18.95, allowing customers to purchase up to 8 ETFs at a time based on their investment amount and preferences. Both automatic investing and PortfolioBuilder purchase fractional shares based on the investment amount rather than the share price.
Real-time trading is available to all investors. All transactions occur online and are entirely at the discretion of the account holder, thus it is an execution-only service. The company does not have brokerage sales representatives or advisors. Account holders can use ShareBuilder's online research tools to investigate stocks, similar to other online brokerages such as Scottrade, TD Ameritrade and Fidelity.
For approved investors, ShareBuilder also offers basic option trading strategies such as buying calls or puts and writing covered calls. Long margin investing (i.e. buying on margin) is also offered, but not short margin (i.e. short selling). Real-time quotes are also available for approved investors.
Industry Awards and Rankings
ShareBuilder earned two stars and finished twentieth overall in the StockBrokers.com 2011 Online Broker Review. In 2012, they earned three stars and a fifteenth place finish. For 2013, ShareBuilder continued improving, earning three stars, a twelfth place finish, and Best Online Banking Services. In 2014, ShareBuilder shifted up one position to eighth with a four star rating and were awarded #1 Online Banking Services.
- "ING Direct buys U.S. online brokerage for $220 mln". MarketWatch. 2007-11-06.
- "ShareBuilder from ING Direct Signs Lease for 130,000 Square Feet in Historic Landmark in Heart of Seattle". Business Wire. 2008-11-26. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
- Landes, Luke (February 17, 2012). "Federal Reserve Approves Capital One's Acquisition of ING Direct". Forbes.com. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
- "ShareBuilder Review 2014". Retrieved 2014-10-05.
- "2011 Online Broker Review", January 18, 2011.
- "2012 Online Broker Review", February 21, 2012.
- "2013 Online Broker Review", February 19, 2013.
- "2014 Online Broker Review", February 18, 2014.