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Common Questions

What are commission-free trades?

Commission-free trades are motif portfolio or single stock trades that carry no commission fees when executed.

In a Motif trading account, all professional motif and single stock trades (outside of built or community motifs) are commission-free when you select the option to trade at next market open. Auto-reinvest dividends, auto-invest, and auto-rebalance trades of professional motifs are also commission free.

With an optional Motif BLUE subscription, you get three commission-free real-time trades and five commission-free next market open trades for motifs built by you or the community per month. Unused commission-free trades do not roll over to subsequent months.

In a Motif Direct Index account or Impact account, all trades are commission free.

What are “next market open” trades?

When placing a market order, you will have the option to execute it in real-time or at the “next market open”. When selecting “Next market open” or if the trade is placed after market hours, it will be scheduled to be executed when the market opens on the next trading day (9:30am ET).

The benefit for selecting this option is that these trades carry no or reduced commission fees. All automated trades (e.g. auto-invest, auto-rebalance) are also executed at the next market open.

Keep in mind, placing market orders at market open can be considered risky because a lot can change from market close one day to market open the next. For example, company’s earnings announcement with significant news, world events, and activity in international markets can all create volatility in overnight stock prices.

What is a motif?

A motif is a basket of up to 30 stocks or ETFs intelligently weighted to reflect an investment theme, market insight or innovative trend. Choose from one of our professionally built motifs, customize, or design your own. Then buy your motif in just one click.

To build your own motif, click “Build a Motif” under “Trading” in the navigation menu.

What are the commissions and fees for retail trading?

Commissions vary by account type, investment product, and trade execution.

Motif Direct Index and Impact accounts carry no commission fees. Commissions for retail trading accounts are as follows:

IPOs and Secondary Offerings can be purchased commission free.

For a detailed breakdown, please check our Retail Pricing Page here.

How are professional motifs built and how are securities selected?

In Trading accounts, you can view the Motif Construction Process to get information on how motif portfolios in our professional catalog are built and how securities are selected.

For details on how we built a particular motif portfolio, go to the Overview page of the motif and click the “How We Built This Motif” link.

In an Impact account, your funds are invested across seven asset classes, optimized for your selected asset allocation. Click here to learn more about our Impact Portfolio investment methodology.

In an Direct Index account, your funds are invested in the underlying stocks of the index, such as the Motif 500. The Motif 500 index is designed to measure the market performance of U.S. stocks trading on U.S. exchanges. The index captures the performance of the top 500 largest market cap companies and is weighted by a float-adjusted market cap.

When does the auto-rebalance of professional motifs occur?

Enrolled motifs with an available update are automatically rebalanced on Mondays at 9:30am ET. Note, if the auto-rebalance falls on a market holiday, your motif will be updated the following day.

You stay in control by selecting which of your professional motifs will be auto-rebalanced, and you’ll always be notified before a rebalance occurs. If you need to make a change, you may cancel an upcoming rebalance transaction at any time before 9:20am ET on the scheduled rebalance date.

What is settlement?

After you buy or sell securities, settlement occurs when the security or cash proceeds is transferred to your account. This is commonly referred to as “T+2” which stands for “trade date plus two days.” It can take up two days after the order executes for the transaction to settle and is the industry standard.

How do I open an account?

Are motif trades real-time?

When placing a motif portfolio trade in a trading account, you may have the option to execute it in real-time or at the next market open. Choose the real-time option if you want your trade to be executed immediately during market hours.

With this option selected, your order will be immediately placed for each individual security contained in the motif. And, if you decide to sell a motif, or selected individual securities it contains, those orders will be sent to the market for execution in real-time. A commission fee may apply — see Fee & Commission Schedule for details.

Trades placed in Motif Direct Index and Impact accounts are executed at the next market open.

What is a clearing firm?

Clearing firms handle the back-office detail and processing for brokerage firms. They process and settle trades, process fund movements, and are responsible for holding customer shares and other assets. Motif Investing’s clearing partner, Pershing LLC, is one of the industry’s leading firms with a strong track record in expertly handling the needs of online brokerages.

How is my Brokerage account protected?

Motif Investing is a Member of SIPC, which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). Explanatory brochure available upon request or at www.sipc.org .

Our clearing firm Pershing LLC has purchased an additional insurance policy through a group of London Underwriters (with Lloyd’s of London Syndicates as the Lead Underwriter) to supplement SIPC protection. This additional insurance policy becomes available to customers in the event that SIPC limits are exhausted and provides protection for securities and cash up to an aggregate of $1 billion. This is provided to pay amounts in addition to those returned in a SIPC liquidation. This includes up to $1.9 million to any one customer in respective cash. Similar to SIPC protection, this additional insurance does not protect against a loss in the market value of securities.