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Opening a ShareBuilder ING Direct Investing Account with $90 Costco Bonus

My company completed an IPO in late 2007. I have a few stock options that have vested, however, the strike price is too high when compared to the stock’s current price. Due to the lack of recent news of any sort about my company, the stock is trading at what I think is a depressed price. For a long time I’ve been searching for a way to invest in my company at this depressed price.

The only problem was that for over a year my earnings went straight into a savings account for a condo down payment. Now that I’ve made my down payment, I’m trying to contribute to my 2008 and 2009 retirement accounts. I’ve been hoping to magically find an extra $2,500 to open a Zecco account for the free trades. When that didn’t happen and I found a $90 bonus offer for opening a ShareBuilder account through Costco, I decided this would be a good opportunity to invest in my company.

Step 1 – select whether you are a Costco executive, gold star or business member. Fortunately, I am an executive member.


Step 2 – select the account type. Since I already have a Roth IRA opened with Vanguard and I don’t have any children (at least I hope not), I opened an Individual Account.


Step 3 - enter your personal information.


Step 4 – enter your contact information.


Step 5 – verify your Costco member information, which can be obtained on the back of your membership card.


Step 6 – Create your username, password and security question answer.


Step 7 - answer some citizenship, employment status, anti-insider trading and backup withholding questions.

Step 8 – agree to the terms and conditions.

At this point your ShareBuilder account is completely created. You have the choice of selecting a pricing program or finishing the process. At the time I wasn’t ready to research the pricing programs. A few quick notes about ShareBuilder. There is no account minimum and there are no inactivity fees. I will do a complete review once I’ve used ShareBuilder a few times.

My Plan

To receive my account bonus I have until 03/08/09 to purchase a stock or ETF using the automatic investment plan or make a real-time purchase. I plan on buying one share of my company’s stock. The transaction fee is $9.95, which results in about a $15 upfront commitment. I should then receive my $90 bonus in 6-8 weeks, which I will use to buy as many shares of my company as possible. If everything goes as planned, and my company’s stock price increases, I will then have a nice little play account to test my ability to beat the market. If everything doesn’t go as planned, I will only have lost $15. At the very least, I will have some fun at the expense of ShareBuilder and the stock market.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of this Costco/ShareBuilder promotion, the deadline to create your account is 01/31/09. What would you do with a $90 account bonus at ShareBuilder?

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