Lightspeed Trading Review: Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit
|Stocks and ETFs|| $4.50 per trade|
|Stocks and ETFs per share plan|| $0.0045 per share, $1 minimum|
|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|
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 an ever changing number of trading platforms. Below we will mention two platforms that have been
available for the last few years. All software offered at the company, except Lightspeed Web Trader, comes with a steep monthly price tag of at least
• Lightspeed Trader is a 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 is a fully featured trading software for the professional traders that includes advanced order entry
and trading with real-time global data; customizable user interface; hotkeys and hot buttons; ophisticated charting with studies, and streaming news.
It costs $275 per month.
- Minimum monthly commission for accounts under $15,000 is $25
- Mutual funds and bonds are not offered
- $25,000 minimum to use Trader and RealTick platforms, and $5,000 minimum to use Web Trader are high
- $30 annual IRA fee, $20 IRA opening fee
- Multiple trading platforms offerings that change often
- Poor investment research
- Customer service is spotty
- Most platforms offered are 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:
just $0.0045 per share with $1 minimum per trade in their "per-share" plan and $4.50 per trade in their flat rate plan. Options and
futures commission is $0.60 per contract with no base charge. However, there are multiple market data fees
as well as routing fees that investors should also keep in mind. Minimum amount to open most accounts is $25,000.
Currently, LightSpeed Trading offers probably the largest number of trading platforms and that number changes a few times a year.
The company's LightSpeed Trader platform is a downloadable, fully customizable software. It is 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 brokerage 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 small investors. Multiple IRA account fees will also discourage retirement investors.
LightSpeed Trading customer service needs improvement - a lot of clients complain about it. Coupled with complicated trading software, absence of
learning materials for new investors, and complicated, active trader oriented pricing structure it makes the firm a poor choice for beginner investors.
Lightspeed Trading is a decent brokerage for very active, experienced stock, options and futures traders who need cheap executions. If you do not trade
on a daily basis and don't have at least $25,000 available for trading than this is not a firm for you.
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