Can I invest on Grain?
Grain is a stock market discovery tool. We break down financial data and deliver it in a way that is beautiful, simple, and useful. Our company is not a brokerage or investment advisory firm. That said, you have two options to invest on Grain.
First, if you don't have a U.S. brokerage account, you can open a new one on Grain, powered by Third Party Trade LLC (member FINRA & SIPC). Check the background of Third Party Trade LLC on FINRA's BrokerCheck. Second, if you already have a U.S. brokerage account, you can link it to Grain.
What are the fees and minimum account size to open a new brokerage account?
$3 fee per trade. No minimum account size.
How old do I have to be to open a new brokerage account?
You must be at least 18 years old to open a U.S. brokerage account.
What info do I have to enter to open a new brokerage account?
Don't worry, the account application takes less than 2 minutes.
There are a few pieces of information that all brokerages are required to collect: full name, phone number, Social Security number, birthday, address, citizenship, job status, and a few questions that don't apply to most people: Are you or a family member a senior executive, or 10% shareholder at a public company? Are you or a family member a current or formerly politically exposed person or public official? Do you or a family member work for another brokerage?
Why do I have to enter my Social Security number?
All financial institutions are required by the U.S. Patriot Act to obtain, verify, and record information identifying each person who opens an account. Your SSN is also required to issue you a tax reporting form each year.
What happens to my investments and cash balance if something happens to Grain?
If something happens to Grain, your investments and cash balance will not be affected. Your account with Third Party Trade LLC will remain open and nothing will happen to your invested positions. Third Party Trade LLC also has a Business Continuity Plan, which can be viewed here.
What other brokerages does Grain currently support?
We currently support trading and portfolio viewing for E*Trade, Fidelity, OptionsHouse, Scottrade, TD Ameritrade, Tradier, TradeKing, and TradeStation.
What am I sharing when I link my existing U.S. brokerage account?
We never see your brokerage credentials or store them on our servers. Your credentials are used once to authenticate and verify the account your provide belongs to you.
What security measures do you use to protect my information?
When you link a U.S. brokerage account, we use a service called TradeIt to handle the connections. TradeIt uses the same 256-bit encryption that banks and brokers use. Brokerage information is always fully encrypted, and verified by VeriSign and TRUSTe.
What are ETFs?
ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds) are collections of assets like stocks and bonds that are brought together to mimic movements of a certain market, industry, or country. You can buy shares of an ETF like you buy shares of a stock. Unlike mutual funds, ETFs trade throughout the day on an exchange.
What factors go into Grain's ETF scores?
We believe everyone has the ability to manage their own investments. At Grain, our goal is to build simple tools that help you make informed decisions. Grain's scores are part of a quantitative system to compare ETFs at-a-glance.
These scores are based on three metrics: liquidity, expenses, and diversification. Liquidity is measured by average daily trading volume. Expenses are measured by expense ratio. Diversification is measured by total number of holdings (how many different stocks or bonds are in the ETF) and concentration of holdings (what percentage of the ETF's assets is concentrated in its ten biggest holdings).
Each ETF is assigned a percentile ranking for each of these metrics relative to all other U.S.-listed ETFs. The average of these three percentile rankings is the score you see on Grain.
We recognize there are limitations in these scores. They do not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any fund. They are not a prediction of future returns and should not be the only tool you use to determine which ETF to purchase for your portfolio. Please use them as a high level starting point for your research. There are a number of other metrics you may wish to consider, including dividend yield, volatility, and performance. You can find these metrics on individual ETF prospectuses (legal documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission), or on sites like ETF.com and ETFdb.com.
Are there any fees to connect my brokerage?
No, Grain does not charge any fees to link your account.
How does Grain make money?
Grain is paid a small flat fee by Third Party Trade LLC for each customer order transmission. This fee does not change based on the number of shares, value of the underlying securities, or whether the order results in an executed trade.
Are you giving me investment advice?
We do not provide recommendations or offer investment advice. You are solely responsible for evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of any content (generated by our users, third party providers, or other third party web sites or services) before making decisions based on such content.
While we may use third party providers to provide access to your personal brokerage accounts to view corresponding account positions, balances, and order history, or facilitate communication of messages that contain order information to brokerages services, we are not a broker-dealer, brokerage, brokerage service, advisor, or financial planner. Our aim is to provide financial information in a more accessible format, so you can go and do your own research and make your own decisions.