Lightspeed Trading Review 2015: Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit
|Stocks and ETFs|| $4.50 per trade|
|Stocks and ETFs|| $0.0045 per share|
|Options|| $0.60 per contract|
|Futures|| $0.60 per contract|
|Monthly Software Fee: $100 for Lighspeed Trader; $130 for Sterling; $275 for RealTick Pro; $0 for WebTrader|
|On Lightspeed Trader and Sterling Trader, a minimum commission charge of $1.00 will be applied to any order|
|On RealTick, a minimum commission of $3.00 will be applied to any order|
|On WebTrader, minimum commission of $4.50 will be applied to any options order. Per-share equities pricing not available on WebTrader|
|Investments|| stocks, options, futures, ETFs|
|Lightspeed Trading minimum deposit to open account|| $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000 for Web Trader, RealTick and Trader plans respectively|
|Fees||Lightspeed Trading fees|
We start Lightspeed Trading review with account opening process: company definitely needs to improve its speed and make it paperless.
Users opening an IRA account have to print PDF forms (and download a new version of Acrobat Reader if they don't have it), fill
out the forms by hand, then mail them (there are no fax or email options). A non-IRA account is easy to open
by simply filling out all the forms on the website.
Customers can open the following types of accounts: Individual, Joint, Option, Futures,
Corporate, Partnership, Sub, LLC, Roth IRA and Traditional IRA.
Lightspeed Website/Trading Platform Review
Lightspeed Trading offers customers a number of trading platforms:
• Lightspeed Web Trader: browser-based trading and account management, with features like
Options Strategy Center, News, Calendars, Research, and more. It is terribly designed and extremely
buggy. Between the bugs and design issues it sometimes takes a few minutes to enter a simple order! It's free to use.
• Lightspeed Trader: direct market access trading system; fully customized; could trade
equities, options and futures from one platform. It also offers hot-key and point-and-click trading. Charting is not as good
as at the competitors. The price tag is $130 per month.
• RealTick Pro: fully featured trading software for the professional traders and includes advanced order entry
and trading with real-time global data; customizable user interface; hotkeys and hot buttons; MarketMinder quote display, and streaming news.
It costs $275 per month.
LightSpeed Review: Pros
- Low trading commissions
- Direct access to ECN’s and exchanges
- Free practice account
- Online user community
- Automated trading
LightSpeed Review: Cons
- Multiple platforms with complicated fee structure that changes often
- Minimum monthly commission for accounts under $15,000 is $25
- Mutual funds are not offered
- $25,000 minimum to use Trader, $10,000 minimum to use RealTick, and $5,000 minimum to use Web Trader are high
- $30 annual IRA fee
- Web Trader platform is badly designed, is full of bugs, and it could take a lot of time to enter the order
- Extended hours trading is not available on the Web Trader platform
- Customer service is spotty
- Few investment products
- Not available on mobile devices
LightSpeed Trading Review Summary
Lightspeed Trading provides direct access to ECN’s and exchanges which is a must for active traders. The company offers very low trading commissions
- it's just $0.0045 per share or $4.50 per trade. Options and futures commission is $0.60 per contract with no base charge.
Web Trader is a browser-based platform with non-intuitive design. Its performance is very slow. But what disappoints even more,
is that the platform is full of bugs, and it often makes trading a frustrating experience. Even a simple form to contact customer service gives an error.
The absence of extended hours trading at Web Trader is a big disadvantage too.
The company's LightSpeed Trader platform is a downloadable software. It is much more stable and usually performs well, though it could
get slow on high-volume days. Customers will need at least $25,000 account balance to get access to it.
The company now charges a $25 per month Minimum Commission Fee for accounts with balances of less than $15,000. Of course, it makes Lighspeed way
too expensive for not very active investors with small accounts.
LightSpeed Trading customer service needs improvement - a lot of clients complain about it.
If you are a beginner investor, this is probably not a broker for you.
Lightspeed Trading is a decent brokerage for very active stock, options and futures traders who need cheap executions. If you do not trade
on daily basis than
TradeKing (review) is a better option to you, especially if you are a
beginner, buy-and-hold investor, have less than $15,000 to trade, or looking for an IRA account.
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