Kapitall Brokerage Review

by JT McGee

Over the past week I had the opportunity to play around with a new broker, Kapitall.com. From the very get-go, I could tell there is something very different about the company relative to other brokers in the space.

You can tell they spent a lot of time working on the site. The attention to detail is very cool – stocks in each industry are color coded with a unique color for their sector. It’s small things like this that make Kapitall different from other brokers.

Kapitall wants to make investing simple. The site has a very impressive user interface which allows investors to drag and drop stocks to build new portfolios. You’ll also find a very cool looking portal for each particular company, which aggregates information about any particular stock or fund.

Here’s a look at the back-end for Ford Motor Company:

I find the community activity in the bottom left corner to be especially interesting. You can see in real time how other Kapitall members are buying/selling the stock on the open market. Is it particularly valuable? I’m not sure – but I find it a cool feature nonetheless.

Research

The site aggregates analyst ratings for each stock, as expected. It also gives you an expected forward P/E ratio for any stock, which Kapitall calls the “price of profit,” or the amount you pay for one year of forward earnings.

Hoping to connect with investors with less experience in the financial markets, the analysis tab is obviously geared to people unfamiliar with typical financial jargon. Here’s a look at the research tab, which explains each number as well as the mathematics necessary to arrive at a particular ratio:

Then there’s the compare-o-matic tool which you can use to compare different companies in different industries. Here’s a view of the sales of American automotive firms relative to CEO compensation:

Social Element

There’s an interesting “game layer” and “social” part of the site that is interesting to me. Each time I log in, I accumulate points, which helps me unlock new features at Kapitall. Also, I can search for friends who might also have a Kapitall account, presumably so that the two of us can message eachother/share our portfolios with one another.

There is an option to ask friends about news that comes out with each position you hold. Hmm, I can see this feature being very, very annoying for people with friends on the site. You can share the question on Facebook, also. Eeek!

I guess that’s cool if Facebook friends happen to be interested in the same things you are.

Trading Commissions

Kapitall is slightly more expensive than other discount brokers at $7.95 per trade. I would suspect that this price comes down over time, which would be consistent with the discounted brokerage industry as a whole. As time goes on, new members are added, and more trades are processed each day, prices should come down.

For now, Kapitall has what it calls “Happy Hour,” a 1-hour period in which all trades are commission-free. Happy hours are announced on the company’s Twitter stream, which you can view publicly without a Twitter account.

All in All

Kapitall is an interesting broker with a great product. I’d like to see the company work on its commissions, as they are slightly above other discount brokers. Also, options would be a major plus, as for right now the broker allows for stock/ETF trades only.

It is extremely easy to use, however, so for people with limited experience with an online broker, Kapitall is a great place to start. Usability is really unmatched, and the GUI is incredible.

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