After complaining about Fidelity a month or two ago, I decided to actually do something about my annoyance. I decided to reach out to my broker who handles all my options trading, TD Ameritrade, and move a tiny traditional IRA over. Did Fidelity care? Absolutely not, but I was annoyed and it was a relatively seamless transfer. To move anything else away from Fidelity would be way too much of a hassle, and again, Fidelity wouldn’t even notice or care! It was during my phone call with TD that I was reminded about a very simple personal finance move that is often ignored,
To Save Money Sometimes You Just Have to Ask!
Saving Money with TD Ameritrade
I originally went with TD Ameritrade a few years back after learning about selling naked puts from a buddy. The reason I chose TD Ameritrade is because they would allow me to sell naked options whereas Fidelity was forcing me to stay within a cash secured option world.
It is beyond the scope of this post, but at the most basic level, I take in a premium for a promise that if the stock reaches a certain level below where it is trading out today I will buy it at that level. Approximately 95% of the time the stock doesn’t hit that level and I just keep the premium, or buy the contract back for 50% of the premium I took in (or I roll the contract sometimes). I have written a lot about the subject and if you want to learn more please check out:
- Generating Investing Dollars with Naked Puts
- What to do with In the Money Puts
- Different Strategies beyond Selling Naked Puts
I sell a lot of naked puts every month. Month to date so far I have bought and sold over 50 contracts! Prior to my very simple phone call I was paying $1.52 a trade (which if you trade options you know is already very low). After simply, just asking to lower my trade price I reduced it to $1.00. Granted, when you look at the whole number of “.50 cents” it may seem like nothing, but reducing my trading costs by 30% is huge!
If it had been implemented from the beginning of the year I would have saved hundreds of dollars from a simple phone call. More importantly, as the account grows the savings will continue to compound in my account instead of on the profit margin of TD!
My Plan to Save Money with Other Providers
I used to be much better at making sure my fixed costs which I affectionately referred to as my ‘monthly nut‘ were completely optimized, but with age, laziness and an increased income, I have completely dropped the ball. It doesn’t take a lot to call a customer service representative, and simply, ask for a lower cost option. Some examples of a quick call are:
- Homeowner’s insurance
- Auto Insurance
- Internet and TV Provider
- Cell Phone Provider
- Banking fees (it is 2018 if you pay any banking fees you need to get your stuff together)
- Credit Card Interest Amounts
Next week I am going to spend some time pricing out auto and home owner’s insurance!
Are there any other fixed costs I am missing that can save money with a simple call?