Scottrade Reviews

Updated September 20, 2014
Updated September 20, 2014
442 Reviews
2.8
442 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Scottrade Founder, President, and CEO Rodger O. Riney
Rodger O. Riney
358 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The work/life balance is great--I never put in longer than an 8-hour day (in 40 reviews)

  • It's also a great place for young college grads to get resume experience (in 30 reviews)


Cons
  • Small office environment, lack of growth/promotion unless willing to move to St (in 25 reviews)

  • no room for advancement unless you want to change your job title and keep doing the same thing (in 21 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 18 people found this helpful  

    WHAT HAPPENED??

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Investment Consultant  in  Saint Louis, MO
    Current Employee - Investment Consultant in Saint Louis, MO

    I have been working at Scottrade full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Decent pay (if you are single with no kids and no intention of more than a paycheck to paycheck employee), good health benefits, minimal commission's are being compensated now, great people to work with in the branch.

    Cons

    Regional managers do not know squat about sales, spend more time writing our interactions in CRM than making sales calls or helping clients. Regional managers constantly hound employee's if they 1. Don't make enough attempts to call prospects 2. Don't get enough business contacts. 3. Do not uncover enough outside assets. 4. Don't reach their sales goals - exactly in that order. Who has ever heard of that in sales? Bottom line is you should do whatever it takes to meet your quotas, instead every employee is just trying to get the attempts and business contacts without being able to close them. And if you don't document the activity you don't get the commission (which is not that high in the first place). SKDM - Sales key dialogue model is a joke, GST$ is a joke. How is the regional managers going to coach us when they've never been in sales? Oh, I know just read the book verbatim and it should work and if it doesn't we will find someone that will use the SKDM and make it work. I've been in sales and is probably why I am doing well, some of these brokers aren't made for it that's is why they are leaving to company because of all the pressure the job comes with now. I know subconsciously I've been implementing SKDM and now haven't been able to gather much assets as I did before, therefore, I am going back to my old ways.

    This is the role of an investment consultant @ Scottrade:

    - New account processing
    - international new accounts
    - Compliance
    - Margin
    - Bank specialist
    - Rules and regulations
    - IT
    - technical support
    - Stockbroker
    - Receptionist
    - Client relationship manager
    - Sales
    - Negotiations
    - MIddleman to Guidance
    - Client services
    - Account transfers
    - Retirement specialist
    - Accounts receivable (deposits)
    - Accounts payable (withdrawals)
    - Cost basis specialist
    - ETC. ( there's a lot more)

    Each Investment consultant int he branch network has to know all rules, regulations, and processes of all the different departments at corporate, they have DEPARTMENTS WITH A TEAM of people doing one thing. Getting any help or guidance from Corporate can be a task itself because honestly why would they care, they don't have to hear the yelling from the client's anyways.
    Also there are too many rules involved with what's considered a contact, what's considered an attempt, and what's considered a qualified close. Stop with the "It is what it is." response every single time. Why the need to document every interaction? We should only document the interactions with people who have qualified assets. NO need to document every attempt, contact, opportunity and waste our time when we could be closing client's. If upper management want's real sales people the IC's should only concentrate on sales and have back office handle the rest.
    Guidance solutions? Want the IC's to get all the information and the guidance officer reap all the benefits without doing anything? Give the client guidance without giving guidance? Pre-call plan but don't pre-call plan? How much more confusing can this get? Do this and that but don't make it seem to the client we are doing this and that? Please corporate be a little more confusing so I can rip out the rest of my already thinning hair.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't lie to us and say you're going to keep the same corporate values while implementing sales. If corporate wants better results give us the right tools, not portfolio manager or our guidance solutions which are ineffective. Create a better website, better platforms, better options to withdrawal money, instead of this complicated alternative of banking. Right now our platforms are the main thing people are complaining about. Read our quarterly reviews, ALL the complaints are the inefficiencies of the platform. More than half of the branches get the 900 club for the service we provide. Everything bad review I've read is something about the website and mobile app. Please Rodger take back the helms, we will work harder for you, keep the commission plan and the quotas, but get rid of the documenting non qualified assets and have us concentrate more on just sales only, attempts and contacts is not the end all be all to our success.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 16 people found this helpful  

    Death Spiral

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Branch Manager
    Former Employee - Branch Manager

    I worked at Scottrade full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    None, some decent benefits but better is available from competitors at this time.

    Cons

    System is archaic. Advanced options forced company to go to an options company and have them host accounts instead as separate accounts from clients normal Scottrade ones. FRIP was created because after 10 plus years the company still couldn't figure out how to hold partial shares. Outages are not uncommon, site slowness is normal and embarrassing when demoing for clients in the office. Recently internal and external systems entirely down during trade day. Branch spends its day getting yelled at, either by clients who didn't want to be cold called, clients who feel they lost money per system, or management who feels they didn't bring in enough assets.
    Overgrowth created an environment that took Scottrade from cash flush to fighting for its life. Forced to switch to sales, they are handling it poorly using fear of job loss as primary tool. Huge amount of job postings, from a company that ceased all growth. The positions come from the key talent leaving in droves.
    Short of being bought out, I can't see the company surviving. They blame the economy for the status, and never accept the blame internally at the top. Lots of missteps, lack of any long term plan.
    Had a fellow manager who got cancer after 15 years with company, they went to fire him immediately after 6 weeks of chemo. No loyalty or respect exists any longer. Each person for themself. Morale is horrible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They won't listen, and will resent suggestions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 10 people found this helpful  

    Smoke (a lot of smoke) and Mirrors

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Headquarters  in  Saint Louis, MO
    Current Employee - Headquarters in Saint Louis, MO

    I have been working at Scottrade full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The benefits or working at Scottrade are rapidly declining and the employment market starts to turn to the upside, things around here are looking pretty dismal as I lose more and more coworkers that became friends to better firms.

    Cons

    The biggest Con at Scottrade is, well, the Con. If you choose to take the purple pill you have to knowingly buy into a lot of false rumors. The biggest of which would be our wonderful Founder and CEO. Only a few people know that Rodger's father actually bought this company and was really the backbone of the founding principles which dictated how employees should be treated, how customers should be treated and the company should be run. When Rodger's father passed we see that Scottrade started to be run with the same direction and dedication as Rodger's previous endeavor with Ed Jones, which in Rodger's own words, he had no idea what he was doing and sat around all day with zero production. The direction of Scottrade has been similar to other companies who lost their actual founder and the reins turned over to the less than prodigal son. With the recent changes to the "culture" it should not be any surprise that Rodger is packaging this company for sale to recognize the full benefit of what was "gifted" to him by his father.
    Another example of swallowing the purple pill would be how so many could turn their back on the racist statements made by Rodger during branch manager meetings and even more so in smaller groups where certain departments were actually referred to as "plantations" by our CEO, Rodger.
    I have to say that I enjoy reading the reviews on Glassdoor.com about Scottrade. It does seem that the company is barreling over a waterfall as its balance sheet becomes more attractive but this is the result of charging all those fees that the former Scottrade saw as bad business to give that final kick in the stomach to a client wanting to try something different, we recognized that they probably wouldn't be back.
    I found it interesting that somebody has posted that we have started looking into assistance in creating a union for Scottrade employees. This seems to be the only protection against the less honest promises that have been made. Hey Rodger, where are the employee stock options that you mentioned while forcing the sale of the stock back to you by those of us that were able to invest early on? Oh that's right, when the founder gifted you this company I could see where you deserve all the shares.
    The brokerage business is booming and I see many start ups that have the potential to take Scottrade's market share and I am actively in talks with several of these companies as I am actually overwhelmed by the ideas Ive heard as opposed to Scottrade's outsourcing of Advisors and the $7 trade and most of all the most elementary set of investing tools which are of the lowest quality.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Per several phone calls that I have received regarding charging former employees an ACAT out fee when they were required to maintain their investment accounts at Scottrade and saw better value with other firms upon their end of employment, you may want to back track a bit and refund these charges or, well lets just say your better off refunding these fees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 10 people found this helpful  

    Scottrade is the barrier to client's financial success

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Stock Broker
    Former Employee - Stock Broker

    I worked at Scottrade full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Can't think of any at this point.

    Cons

    Sub par pay. Asset gathering structure that forces daily cold calling.
    Management that truly couldn't care less, and threatens to fire anyone not a " team player", which is anyone who suggests that perhaps the strategy taken isn't the best and to think over alternatives.

    Turnover is huge. Those at the top know full well what they are doing. Jane/ Rodger/ Matt openly predicted up to 80% of branch managers leaving in a worse case scenario. Matt was put in place to be the unpopular guy so Rodger could deflect criticisms and claim he wasn't aware later on. They know fully well what they are doing, they planned it.

    Poor tools, clients that lose money more than the norm ( documented). Scottrade has become a barrier to its client's financial success. Internally it is well known that the average Scottrade client underperforms the market year after year. We market to a segment that needs basic educating, make it seem to them like they can easily trade with the pros, teach them enough of the basics so they give us some of their money, then stand back while they proceed to lose it. We basically teach folks how to load the gun, don't teach them proper guy safety, then claim no obligation when they shoot themselves. But now, Scottrade branch employees who knew all this previously and at least felt morally ok because we tended to be people's play accounts, are being forced to try and get client's larger assets brought over. Now we can do real damage if we can just get hold of their retirements and true savings. Branch is told to keep calling them, document the contacts to get credit, and get those assets regardless of suitability. Feels like you are losing your soul to get that paycheck.

    Branch employees hate their jobs, matched with being underpaid for the industry, and having to cold call when they no longer believe they are doing any good except for cash to the company so they are leaving in bulk. Atmosphere is bad, future outlook is bad.

    Run for the hills.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ha, they openly get angry when suggestions are made. There are no open minds in St Louis any more.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    The Blind Leading the Stupid

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Investment Consultant  in  Newark, DE
    Current Employee - Investment Consultant in Newark, DE

    I have been working at Scottrade full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    401k match, vacation time to get away from this hell hole

    Cons

    -Scottrade has the false impression that their new direction, "sales the scottrade way", is going to save th i sinking ship. Unfortunately, they have thrown their employees head first into the deep end of the pool without any flotation device. What started as a respectable, albeit low level, brokerage firm has turned into a hideous excuse for a sales firm. While under construction, the company decided to hire a blend of executives and VP's that is the who's who of TD idiocy, but were all convinced they earned this title. They have come in with zero knowledge of how to turn a service based company into sales based company but persuaded themselves they need a pat on the back for what they have achieved this far, which it turns out isn't much. Teaching your Investment Consultants how to go from the nation's top password unlocker to a mediocre asset gatherer is not something that happens overnight. Nor is it something that is learned from a branch manager who has zero experience in sales or coaching.
    - The associates that are actually succeeding at what the company's main goal is, asset gathering, are made to feel it's unimportant if they are not hitting a blanket amount of outbounds calls. Or, if you are meeting your outbound numbers and your assets are low, that is also brought to your attention and all the blame is on you, not your incompetent "coach". You will never do well enough to not have someone constantly on your back. Obviously, motivation is really high in the branches.
    - Let's talk about the comedy show that is our Guidance Solutions. I don't know if Scottrade is just messing with us or if they really believe in this Greek tragedy. Our clients have been begging for help for years and we continue to come out with "solutions", that have all crashed and burned and this is just the latest offer of an inadequate product. Investment Consultants are supposed to refer so many clients per month, however the people we do refer either: 1. Never hear from our GSG team or 2. Get stuck talking to a used car salesman pushing a product they don't need, which is most likely what the client came to Scottrade to avoid. It's laughable, and when you ask for feedback they tell you that you didn't screen properly, always shifting blame.
    - Technology, technology, technology. Now Scottrade will claim that according to some b/s survey done by a company no one in the IT world has heard of that our tech is among the top, but clients as well as employees know better. What they don't tell you is that it's among the top in Chesterfield where the only other thing is a outdoor mall. We are constantly behind, and by months or years, our competitors with our technology and when we finally release a product after many delays, it's an embarrassment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The company actually has some intelligent associates that could do well given the right tools. Your current method of providing less than adequate training tools or coaches and then telling us it's our fault for not using them correctly is getting old quick. Get rid of Matt Wilson as he is a cancer to Scottrade. Due to this the only employees you will be left with shortly are those who are waiting to get fired as all the true talent will have found a company worth working for.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 15 people found this helpful  

    I hope this company is dissolved soon

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Scottrade full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    This company offered the minimum in every aspect.

    Cons

    I had to deal with a less that ethical business practice working for this company and it wasn't until recently that I decided I did not want to be personally jeopardized as others have that have recently had to leave the company. I had to bring it to the attention of both FINRA and the SEC regarding, well at this point, "unethical" trade practices. It wasn't long ago that I had a client enter a very large bond order, actually multiple orders. The fantastic trading services in fixed income cancelled 2 of the orders because they thought they were duplicate orders, even though the orders represented different amounts and different cusips. When the error by trading was identified within minutes of their action the client had lost the opportunity of $13,000 gain per a price movement on these bonds. When the compliance department was notified, because of the amount at stake I was required to lie to the client and indicate that it was their own error. Unfortunately this was not the first time I was required to hide the truth from a client. But pending the request for all of the recorded calls I expect the industry regulators to take another look at the ability for this company to monitor its own actions. Also the undisclosed outside business activity by many managers and branch associates may indicate that the wonderful regional managers may not be able to supervise braches adequately from their "work from home" position. These calls clearly indicate that Fixed income trading, the regional manager and compliance departemnt all clearly acted, in minimal, an unethical manner.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No advice to "upper" management but I hope others will come forward with their stories of similar behaviors. In my 8 years this seems to be the norm. Make the customer whole if they will accept a few free trades as compensation and blame the trade error on the client if it is substantial loss of value.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 9 people found this helpful  

    Ameritrade "Lite"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous  in  Saint Louis, MO
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Saint Louis, MO

    I worked at Scottrade full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    A good amount of vacation time so you can look for another job on your days off and meet with your career counselor, and probably your mental health professional

    Cons

    1. You have this sinking feeling that the company is slowly being taken over by TD Ameritrade. Matt Wilson has hired all his cronies and given everyone the Ameritrade playbook, with Scottrade branded on it. If you’ve ever seen that movie “single white female” you know what I mean. Scottrade is Hedy’s character as they are eerily copying every single thing about Ameritrade’s business model. Has this ever worked in the history of business? Another company copying another companies business entirely and being successful?
    2. severe micromanagement for the IC role. You get a weekly dissection of everything thing you did and most importantly failed to do. The reality is that it is a lot of luck based on how wealthy your territory is and if your branch is understaffed or overstaffed. The branch staff is like a bunch of hungry lions waiting for the next meal (client with 50k) to call or walk in. When some Ic’s or managers have not been fed in days and their regional manager is breathing down their neck the branch can become an unsavory mix of complaining and vitriol directed at one another. Teamwork? How about each person just making sure they do not have the worst numbers so the trap door under their desk doesn’t open and send them directly to the unemployment line.
    3. If you are in a branch with fair and equitable folks it might be ok but most branches are not like that. Managers “poach” the good accounts ( Dr. Smith opens a rollover..hmm, wonder if he has 50k) and then give the IC’s the 19 year old college kid or deadbeats to call (address comes up in trailer park) and then ask them why their numbers are not good. The whole job is waiting for someone to say I Have “50k” and then claiming you “influenced” them , by people some fictitious notes in. Hopefully the new Audit team will start cracking down on all the fraudalent activity.
    4. We have to now push an inferior and commoditized guidance product. Every large, reputable online firm has an established guidance division. These ETF portfolios are everywhere from learn vest, to vanguard, schwab etc). So we have to push this product that we charge twice as much for as our main competitors because we are so late in offering. Branch associates have to be the “guidance consultants” fluffers as we are not licensed as investment advisers and have to set up 3 way calls with St Louis and listen in which is another story in itself.
    5. Let your fingers do the walking. You will be cold calling and then cold calling some more trying to come up with pathetic reasons to annoy clients. If you enjoy perfecting voicemails to trick the client into calling back to hearing about the crappy new tool that scottrade has then this will be like home.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too many branches. There is just no need for 500+ branches. Branches need to be heavily consolidated. Ameritrade has 100 offices, copy that. 2 person offices make no sense as people leave and 1 guy has to run the branch by himself for weeks, months at a time.

    Merge already-why are we spending millions to attempt to have advanced options only to realize we can’t? Why are we spending millions to establish a guidance department when behemoths like vanguard can offer the same product at half the cost?? Focushares, our expansion to hong kong, FRIP. Do you see the pattern? Guidance will eventually join this illustrious group, but this time its diffrerent. The guidance bet is an all chips on black bet. Mr. Wilson has bet the entire firm on its success. When the Fed's latest stock market bubble cracks we'll see how this bet works out.

    The writing is on the wall. There is just too much competition in the online brokerage industry for Scottrade to survive. The next bear market will make this evident.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 7 people found this helpful  

    Beware: Absolute Disaster - Horrible Culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Investment Consultant  in  Saint Louis, MO
    Current Employee - Investment Consultant in Saint Louis, MO

    I have been working at Scottrade full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Currently has good work/life balance, but I can see that changing very soon. Please keep in mind though, if you take time off (vacation or sick), the company still expects you to make up for the sales contacts that you missed being out of the office.

    Cons

    Worst culture I've ever worked in
    Management has absolutely no idea what they are doing
    Management uses threats against employees to achieve the simplest of tasks
    Management lies to employees and thinks that we are too dumb to see what they are doing
    Company transitioning into a sales organization, but is not willing to pay for the assets brought in
    Heavy micromanagement
    No one wants to work at Scottrade anymore. It is seriously horrible! Almost everything is looking for another job and will be leaving soon

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The financials show that the changes you made are a success, but most of it is just from cutting costs. You demolished the company culture faster than I thought was even possible. Scottrade is a horrible place to work now. They will not admit it, but I estimate that 80% of branch associates are looking for another job. We are not wanting to leave because Scottrade is becoming a sales organization. We are leaving because you have absolutely no idea what you are doing. You lie to us, you threaten us and you do not support us. You want us to do sales, but you have no idea how to do sales yourself. I am honestly ashamed to tell people that I work at Scottrade. It's a shame because I previously felt proud about my job. You cannot run a company with a branch network in the same fashion as a company with a call center structure. We have been a service organization for over 30 years and have to deal with a tremendous amount of time-burning situations with clients. If you want us to truly do sales, you need to get rid of the servicing that we do within the branches.

    I don' t know why I'm putting in so much time writing this review. One of your biggest issues is that you don't listen to employee's. You will eventually see what you've done to a good company. Your financials look good now, but it will catch up with you later once your cost-cutting efforts slow down. It has become so bad that some have talked about forming a union within the company.

    I previously approved of Rodger Riney, but after hearing him lie to us multiple times both in person and on conference calls, I have lost all faith in him as both a leader and a person.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Finding Its Direction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Investment Consultant  in  Saint Louis, MO
    Current Employee - Investment Consultant in Saint Louis, MO

    I have been working at Scottrade full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Good Work/Life Balance and Benefits. If you like sales and put in the work the incentive bonuses can be nice if you work in a high net worth area. Generally smart caring people, and a CEO who cares about the firm and individual success.

    Cons

    Going to a sales/advice firm but is done at a snails pace. With the initiative get more money in the door service has fallen at the wayside to make sure you hit your numbers. Managers in sales coach roles now and they don't have a clue how to sell. Not much communication between branches and upper management at corporate office. Hardly any chance of advancement, and if you do advance you must relocate to St. Louis.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    The good gone bad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Former Employee - Anonymous

    I worked at Scottrade full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    New to the industry and you need a stepping stool.

    Cons

    Unprofessional Sales strategy. Very low level. Kind of like Scottrade is attempting to compete with Ruth Chris and use a Mcdonalds theory. Matt Wilson will be the demise of the company. My heart goes out to Rodger. Keep your chin up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't put sales in a box. Everything works and everything doesn't. Just allow employees to use what they work the best and they are comfortable with instead of forcing one way only. Matt needs to be honest. They have places that can help him with that. Repentance isn't so bad either.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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