• There’s a race to the bottom in stock trading fees right now, and JPMorgan is the latest entrant.
  • You Invest, the bank’s new zero-fee brokerage platform, offers 100 free trades for all customers, with options up to unlimited trades for premium consumers.
  • We took the new platform for a spin to see how it compared to digital-only start-ups like Robinhood.
  • The bottom line: it’s not the most easy-to-use interface, but it works perfectly and comes with the backing of the US’ largest bank.

JPMorgan‘s new You Invest product has a major competitor in its sights: Robinhood.

The zero-fee trading app has caused headaches among traditional brokerages ranging from Wall Street banks to online trading sites like TDAmeritrade or Fidelity, all of which have been forced to lower their commissions in response to the pricing war among platforms. 

JPMorgan’s latest retort has come in the form of 100 commission-free trades for all customers, with a sliding scale up to unlimited trading if you’re a “Chase Private Client” customer.

I took the new brokerage offering for a spin to see how it compared to other platforms — and the results aren’t looking good for JPMorgan as it tries to compete with the encroaching, digitally-native competitors. The service has all the functionality needed to hold its own as a brokerage account, but it falls significantly short in other areas.

There is no ability to trade on margin — aka buying stocks on a loan from the bank and not secured by your own cash — and it doesn’t support any complex strategies, like call and put options. Still, it’s a convenient place to manage your investments alongside a checking, debit, or credit account, rather than migrating between sites or apps.

Here’s how the service works:

The initial application isn’t touted on the apps main screen — but you’ll find it in the apps main menu, accessed from the top-left hamburger button

From there, you’ll be asked a handful of standard questions that any brokerage is required by law to ask of a potential customer in order to verify your identity. It also asks about your income, employment, and goals from investing.

There are options for a brokerage account (the one we’re exploring here) as well as traditional and Roth IRA’s.

Once your account is approved, it will show up on the app’s main screen next to any other accounts you may have with JPMorgan or Chase. Here’s what it looks like next to my checking and savings.

You can initiate a trade right from the home screen, or dive into any of your accounts for more options and information. 

Let’s make our first deposit and get to making some trades!

Unfortunately this is where simplicity goes by the wayside. After the initial deposit, there’s no button from inside the brokerage account page to make another cash deposit.

To add more cash to your account (beyond the initial funding), you’ll have to head back to the main screen. After tapping the “transfer” button, you’ll then select where you want the money to go. In this case, we want it in our new You Invest account. Once I’ve set the amount and transfer date, I’m ready to fund my new account.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider