Although the service is available to anyone with $1,000 to open a cash account or the $5,000 needed for a margin account, the company is not marketing the product externally.
The service would allow customers to trade stocks and bonds and buy mutual funds with money they have invested in their GE Funds IRAs. Customers pay$20 for each order up to 5,000 shares and an additional 2 cents a share after that.
The service also offers:
- financial planning and investment courses
- news and research
- interactive charts
- mutual fund screening tools
- real time quotes
- e-mail alerts
GE Asset Management Services started the brokerage in a bid to retain IRAs that employees and retirees might otherwise transfer to competitors who offer individual trades.
Although the company is not offering its employees the ability to trade with their 401k balances, it plans to offer that capability for companies for which it provides 401k plans, including Hilton Hotels and London Fog Industries Inc.