Capital One may be best known for its line of credit cards and ubiquitous commercials ("What's in your wallet?"), but it has also grown through acquisitions into a global banking and financial services powerhouse. In 2012, Capital One purchased ING Direct, including its popular online brokerage, ShareBuilder(R), which it subsequently renamed Capital One Investing.
Today, Capital One Investing is a full-service brokerage offering a range of investment services, including advised and self-directed accounts. Investors can trade stocks, bonds, options, mutual funds, and ETFs as whole or partial shares via its ShareBuilder and PortfolioBuilder plans, and its Fund Evaluator can help them decide which funds are the best fit. Trading is available via the web or on mobile devices. Capital One Investing provides basic research and analysis tools, with a particular focus on long-term asset selection and portfolio construction. In addition, personal financial advisors are available to customers by phone through Advisor Connect. With relatively high pricing compared to some competitors, Capital One Investing is best for existing banking customers of Capital One.
Capital One Investing gives customers access to U.S. stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds. Pricing is at the higher end compared to its peers, with $6.95 stock trades and $19.95 mutual fund orders. Screeners for stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds can help you find the investments that best match your criteria. You can also use the PortfolioBuilder tool to customize a portfolio of ETFs for your goals and risk profile. What you won't find here is access to bonds or other fixed-income markets, forex, futures, or CFDs.
Capital One Investing is a member of both FINRA and SIPC, so it is a regulated investment house. The Capital One brand name has a high degree of recognition and trust, and the company has a national presence, with hundreds of banking branch locations.
Capital One is a household name with a solid reputation, and the trust associated with its brand is valuable. You can be assured that your accounts are safe, and your privacy is respected.
There are a few special features that give Capital One Investing an edge against the competition. For example, you can fund your account up to $5,000 per day from your linked Capital One banking accounts, instantly and for free, via Express Funding. The ShareBuilder tool lets you set up a recurring automatic investment plan, and the PortfolioBuilder tool can help you create a portfolio of ETFs that fits your long-term goals.
Capital One has some unique and useful tools that beginner and intermediate-level investors can benefit from. Setting up a recurring investment plan is easy with the ShareBuilder tool, and those automated trades will cost you a reduced $3.95 each. PortfolioBuilder lets you create a customized basket of ETFs. The "What if I Had Invested" tool is a neat way to learn from your trading mistakes and see how much more (or less) your portfolio would be worth if you had done things differently. If you'd prefer to have someone else make your investment decisions, Capital One Advisors Managed Portfolios could be for you. The minimum balance is $25,000, and fees start at 0.9% a year, which is a little pricey compared with other services, such as robo-advisors.
Capital One Investing relies entirely on its desktop web experience for trading, research, and account management - without a dedicated trading platform like other online brokers are adding to their toolkit. Still, the web experience is intuitive and easy to navigate.
Capital One Investing's traditional online brokerage layout is clean and simple to use, with an intuitive trade interface and menus. It's especially convenient if you're also a Capital One banking customer because you can use the same web-based platform for your investment and banking accounts and move money between them.
The basic website platform is all you get: Capital One lacks a dedicated professional trading platform, which more advanced traders may prefer and some other providers offer. Security might also be an issue. The site requests a One-Time Code for account verification but lacks in other added security measures for web login.
The Capital One Investing mobile app is available for iOS and Android. The app is easy to install and can be used to monitor markets or get market news without having to log in. The app lets you trade, monitor your portfolio, and transfer funds - but it lacks a number of important tools that you'd expect to find in a trading app. The app gets quite low user ratings in both the iTunes and Google Play stores.
Capital One Investing's mobile app is easy to use on the fly and even offers some functionality even when you're not logged in. You can manage your accounts and transfer funds in and out using the app.
As with Capital One Investing's desktop platform, the mobile app is also lacking in some common mobile app functionality, such as charting tools, screeners, and alerts.
Customer service is available by phone, live chat, or email (via a form), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time but live phone help isn't available 24/7. There is no dedicated line for the hearing impaired and you can't get help in person, but on the upside, Capital One seems to be responsive to customer queries on its social media accounts.
Capital One Investing has the research tools that you'd expect from a self-directed platform focusing on investment selection and portfolio construction as opposed to short-term indicators generated by fundamental or technical analysis.
Capital One Investing has built some unique tools that you won't find elsewhere. Its research tools are tailored for the long-term strategic investor, not short-term day traders. Capital One also provides useful third-party research, including analyst reports and ratings from partners such as Morningstar, Sabrient, The Street, and Markit On Demand.
The Capital One Investing platform is not designed for technicians. Its technical analysis is basic, and you won't find signals or pattern recognition. Fundamental analysts may also be disappointed by the lack of pre-calculated financial ratios. While some of its competitors are integrating sentiment indicators from social media like Twitter, Capital One has not taken that step yet.
The educational resources Capital One Investing provides are a bit skimpy. The Knowledge Center has instructional articles, but there are no educational videos, webinars, or other more interactive resources you'll find elsewhere.
Capital One Investing lags behind the competition in its suite of educational resources, which are limited to text articles and lacking in videos and webinars. In addition, there is no progress tracking or online classroom to help you gauge your knowledge. Still, you'll find a good number of articles that you can filter by topic or by skill level.
Banking is where Capital One shines, and customers with Capital One bank accounts or credit cards will have easy access for funding accounts, consolidating statements, and viewing account details all in one place online.
Capital One customers can enjoy an integrated experience for their banking and investing needs. Account transfers are straightforward, with no need to wait days for the money to clear. With an investing account you'll have free checking and debit card service, plus you can pay your Capital One credit card balances with money from your brokerage account. In addition, you can consolidate your statements to cut down on paperwork. If you're a former ING or ING Direct customer, you'll also be able to link your accounts to Capital One Investing.