Lightspeed Trading Review

3-star brokerage firm rating

Lightspeed Trading Review

Lightspeed Trading Review 2014: Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit

RealTick PlatformPrice
RealTick platform fee $250 per month
RealTick Express platform fee $100 per month
Stocks and ETFs flat rate plan $9.99 per trade plus exchange fees
Stocks and ETFs per-share plan $0.01 per share with $3 minimum per trade
Options $0.60 per contract, $3 min commission charge
Futures $0.60 per contract, $3 min commission charge

Trader PlatformPrice
Stocks and ETFs flat rate plan $4.50 per trade plus or minus routing fees
Stocks and ETFs per-share plan $0.0045 per share with $1 minimum per trade plus or minus routing fees
Options $0.60 per contract, routing fees may apply
Futures $0.60 per contract plus exchange fees

WebTrader PlatformPrice
Stocks and ETFs flat rate plan $3 per trade, max order size 50,000 shares
Options $0.60 per contract, $3 min commission charge

Investments stocks, options, bonds, futures, ETFs
Lightspeed Trading minimum deposit to open account $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000 for Web Trader, RealTick and Trader plans respectively
FeesLightspeed Trading fees

Lightspeed Trading Application Process

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 review

Lightspeed Trading offers customers three 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!

• 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.

• RealTick platform is suited to active traders, registered investment advisors, hedge funds, financial developers and users who require access to the widest array of market data, analytics and news, features and functionality.

Lightspeed offers two versions of RealTick platform. RealTick Pro is 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 $250 per month.

RealTick Express is a value oriented alternative to the Pro version and offers the following features: customizable display of full market depth, time & sales, limited to 4 level 2 windows conditional orders, advanced charts, scanning tools for watchlists with up to 100 symbols. It costs $100 per month.

LightSpeed Review: Pros

  • Low trading commissions with Trader platform
  • Direct access to ECN’s and exchanges
  • Free practice account
  • Online user community
  • Automated trading

LightSpeed Review: Cons

  • Multiple platforms with complicated fee structure
  • Minimum monthly commission for accounts under $5,000 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 - with Trader platform it's just $0.0045 per share, and any order of up to 200 shares will cost $1 or less (orders with up to 500 shares are $2.25 or less). Options commission is $0.60 per contract with no order charges.

LightSpeed's Web Trader platform design is not intuitive. 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. 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.

In spring of 2013 the company introduced a $25 per month Minimum Commission Fee for accounts with balances of less than $5,000. Of course, it makes Lighspeed way too expensive for investors with small accounts.

LightSpeed Trading customer service needs improvement - a lot of people 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, or looking for an IRA account.

LightSpeed Trading Website

Open Lightspeed account

LightSpeed Trading Reviewed by Brokerage Review on . Rating: 3

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