Broker Fee Fiasco

Kimberly Lankford tackles broker inactivity fees and saves one reader $430.

More than five years ago, I opened an E*Trade account with a couple thousand dollars. Recently, E*Trade told me it was closing my account because I hadn’t logged on in five years. I discovered I’d been charged an inactivity fee of $40 every quarter for the past five years -- totaling almost $867. I called E*Trade customer service, but no one would reduce the fees. What can I do? -- Greg Thompson, Seattle

Inactivity fees annoy us, too. That’s why we called E*Trade to discuss your situation. E*Trade agreed to cut your fees in half and stop charging inactivity fees if you put $70 more in your account. Our call to E*Trade saved you more than $430.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.