Costco members get special benefits, including RICHARD WEISS/AR TVILLE
a $40 bonus deposited in their account after their
firsttransactionandaquarterlyrebate(25percent and how much to invest; decide how often to
for Executive Members and 10 percent for Business invest—monthly, weekly or one time; and provide a
and Gold Star Members) on all automatic transac- funding source, such as a checking or savings
tion fees. Through August 28, a Costco Passport account, from which funds are directly withdrawn.
offer increases the bonus amount to $75 for John says that members who would like assis-
Costco and ShareBuilder
simplify the process
By T. Foster Jones
COLLEGE. A NEW HOME. Retirement. Admirable
short- and long-term goals. But how best to achieve
them? How do you figure out what investments to
choose, how much to invest and how often?
Costco and ShareBuilder make it easy and affordable to answer those questions. Through this popular
program, Costco members have the opportunity
to establish investment accounts and set up IRAs and
Educational Savings Accounts—all online.
“ShareBuilder is a simple, flexible and affordable way to build wealth through long-term investing,” says John Gleason, Costco Member Services
manager. “Using ShareBuilder, you can make regular, automatic investments in more than 4,000
stocks and Exchange Traded Funds.
“This program offers great value to our members,” continues John. “There are no account minimums and no inactivity fees so it’s inexpensive to
open and maintain an account.”
Executive Members and $50 for Business and Gold tance choosing investments will appreciate the Port-
Star Members. folioBuilder Plus feature.
ShareBuilder is different from typical broker- “In less than 10 minutes, PortfolioBuilder will
ages in that the low transaction fees allow members help you establish a simple and personalized invest-to invest a little bit at a time on a weekly or monthly ment plan,” he says (see sidebar).
basis, rather than having to make lump-sum invest- “I wanted to have better control over my retirements. Each week or month (you decide), Share- ment fund,” says Angelo Roscetti, an Executive
Builder automatically withdraws the designated Member in Wilmington, Delaware. “ShareBuilder
funds from your bank account and buys the invest- gives me a way to supplement my 401(k) and to
ments you have selected. You can start or stop your invest in stocks that my 401(k) does not offer. I
plan at any time, or invest on the schedule that you looked at some of the other online firms and found
feel most comfortable with. ShareBuilder to be the easiest to use.” C
ShareBuilder also offers real-time trades, which
let you buy or sell immediately during market hours.
“They offer so many tools on the Web site,” says ShareBuilder is offered through ShareBuilder Securities Corp., member NASD/SIPC, a subsidiary of ShareBuilder Corp. ShareBuilder Securities
Julie Mattos, a Costco Executive Member in Wash- Corp. is a registered broker/dealer that is not affiliated with Costco. Costco
ington state. Mattos, a stay-at-home mother of two, is not a broker, is not a member of any stock exchange or SIPC and is not
facilitating investment in Costco or other companies. See costco.com for
is looking to add to her long-term investments with all applicable terms and conditions.
some aggressive short-term funds. “I like the fact
that you get the latest news that’s going on with each
company—you can do all your research on one site.
It’s very user friendly.”
There are three steps to setting up an automatic
investment plan: Select your favorite investments
For more information about ShareBuilder, or
about any of Costco’s Member Services, go
to costco.com and click on “Services.”
SHAREBUILDER’S ONLINE TOOL,
PortfolioBuilder*, can help you
establish a customized investment plan for your goals.
Here’s how the program
works: Answering a series of
simple questions, Portfolio-
Builder walks you through all
stages of the investment
process. Addressing invest-
ment goals, experience,
comfort level and timing, it
asks you questions such
as: What do you want
from your investments?
When will you need the
money? What kind of
investments—high or low
risk—do you prefer?
The program analyzes
your responses to help deter-
mine your risk profile, then rec-
ommends a specific monthly
investment amount and sug-
gested portfolio of Exchange
Traded Funds (ETF) that will put
you on the path to making
your goals a reality.
ETFs are baskets of
stocks that track a specific
index, such as the S&P 500 or
the Dow Jones Industrial
Average, and are bought and
sold like stocks throughout the
market day. They are an easy
and efficient way to achieve
“This financial model is
like those you’ll find in any
adviser’s office,” says Costco’s
John Gleason. “With PortfolioBuilder, you can create a
diversified portfolio that
closely matches your goals
and investing style.”
“It was very easy to use,”
says Angelo Roscetti, who
signed up with ShareBuilder
in January. “It asked all the
right questions—all the
questions that I would
*Although ShareBuilder carefully evaluates
the portfolio recommendations generated
by PortfolioBuilder based on customers’
stated investing goals and risk tolerance,
ShareBuilder makes no representation
regarding the likelihood or probability that
any proposed investing plan will in fact
achieve a particular investment goal.