What I wish for from ShareBuilder

sharebuilder.jpg I love doing things over the Internet. In fact, one of the greatest things that has empowered individuals in my opinion for investments has been the Internet. Why? You can now buy stocks online through a discount broker. This is an amazing thing.
Couple years back, I had started an account with ShareBuilder after seeing what they were about and so far they’ve never let me down. In fact, after a while, I had opened two different types of accounts with them all managed from one single area. Pretty nifty. At $15.95 a real-time trade, it’s a little bit high compared to other discount brokers, but they got to me on the fact that they could not only do fractional stocks, but they also could set it up for monthly buys. That’s pretty good for those that want to start their portfolios but only have limited amounts of cash month to month.
There’s a pretty interesting thing that I’d like to see from them though. When it comes to banks, most are pretty good about moving money around through different accounts. If you transfer money from your checking to savings or vice versa, it shows up almost instantly and is not an issue.
So why can’t you do this with stock accounts? Say, your regular stock fund transfers one-way to your IRA? You can manage both accounts from the same window, but this would be one of those… take my money and invest it long-term type of deals. Within the same corporation, you would imagine that it’s pretty simple to make it transparent to the user for this feature.
It might be too much to ask for, but stock brokers need to understand that when you begin to market multiple types of accounts to users in hopes that they’ll open more than one, then you have to improve the account-to-account type of interactions also at the same time instead of focusing on user to account interaction only. This isn’t a fault of ShareBuilder by any means, since my current bank seems to have issues with easy setup of credit card payments from the same bank even though all of the accounts can be managed from one single area.
Would this be difficult to do? I wouldn’t think so. You would definitely be taxed on your way into the IRA, but at least it makes it pretty easy to manage funds. If there’s anything that needs to be taught about user interface design, it’s that the interactions between user and application must be empowering the user in an intuitive fashion.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m pretty happy with ShareBuilder. But if anyone is looking to increase their features for user interaction, I offer up the idea of simple and transparent money transferring between accounts.