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Financial freebies

Financial freebies

Who doesn’t love free stuff? A US-based firm is offering free stock trading for investors, an idea which can easily be adopted in the region.

August 28, 2008 9:30 by

“$0 stock trade,” sounds a little exaggerated. But a California-based firm is actually offering free stock trading for investors, says Springwise.

Zecco is an online financial portal and community through which investors can make 10 free stock trades every month when they maintain an asset balance of $2,500. The cost otherwise is $4.50 per trade.

There is also Zecco Share, a social network for investors. Members can create profiles, contribute to blogs and forums and join investing groups. They can also share their portfolios, their trades and their performance for discussion with other members.

So how can Zecco afford the freebies?

The company says the cost of executing a trade has become very small. Also it does charge for options trading, and it earns revenue from online ads. Since its launch in late 2006, Zecco says it has gained over 90,000 trading customers.

Zecco’s model seems quite simple: you keep the money with them, they give you some free stuff, and it can easily be used anywhere, including in the Middle East. Dubai even boasts an Online Trading Academy, which offers courses for professional stock traders (costing $2,250) and options traders ($1,750).

Online trading is already gaining popularity in the region; Mubasher, E Trade and Al Dhafra are some of the local companies who operate here. Considering that, is it time we tried out new business concepts, like giving out freebies?

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