Zecco is my new favorite discount brokerage. They offer $4.50 trades for stocks and options, as well as $0 trades if you execute more than 25 trades a month or have more than $25,000 in your account. This is huge, as it basically eliminates a big part of the cost of personal investing. I highly recommend switching from whichever brokerage you’re using now.
They have a really nice user community interface that allows you to see what other users are doing in real-time, and how their portfolios are performing. You can also opt to share your performance with others, though I have this turned off currently.
I managed to move my entire account from Scottrade just using a web browser and email (of course, I had to take a picture of a paper document I signed and send in an image of it). But the ability to do this and avoid fax machines is very convenient.
I really like the options strategy builder. It allows you to see a real-time plot of how different straddles, strangles, naked and covered options work. It’s 100% customizable – you can plug in anything you want.