TradeStation Review 2015: Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit
|Stocks and ETFs flat-rate plan|| $4.99|
|Stocks and ETFs per-share plan|| $0.01 per share|
|Options|| $1 per contract|
|Futures|| 25¢ - $1.20 per side, per contract + exchange, regulatory & overnight fees|
|Mutual funds|| $14.95|
|Bonds|| $14.95 + $5 per bond|
|Forex||commission-free with tight spreads and fractional pips|
|OTCBB|| $9.99 (100,000 share position maximum)|
|Pink Sheet Stocks|| $9.99 (100,000 share position maximum)|
|Investments|| stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, futures, T-Bills, OTCBB, Pink Sheet Stocks, Forex, ETFs|
|Tradestation minimum deposit to open account|| $5,000 for non-daytraders, futures and forex accounts, $5,500 for futures and forex IRA accounts, and $30,000 for daytraders|
It took us about 12 minutes to complete online account application. After it's done, you have to wait for an application to be approved.
When you are filling out the forms, you will get a chance to choose which pricing plan suits you more: per-share or flat-rate. Per-share plan works best
for small trades of up to 1,000 shares, while flat-rate is for clients that are often making trades with 1,000 shares or more.
After your application is approved (took 20 minutes for us) the company will email you account funding instructions. You could transfer funds with wire
transfer, by mailing a check and by moving account from a different broker. The company does offer ACH transfer - contact customer service to set it up.
For ACH setup you will need to print and fax a form they'll send you along with a copy of your driver's license.
TradeStation.com Website/Trading Platform/Tools Review
TradeStation's direct-access platform is one of the best we've seen! It offers all the bells and whistles you
expect from the professional trading software. You have an ability to trade equities, futures,
options, and forex from one place.
TradeStation offers automated trading, but users have to be very careful with
this tool. Firm's technical analysis and back-testing software has been recognized as the most popular
among futures traders for many years. The order entry and execution part of the software makes TradeStation a
superior product. All the tools are fully customizable and there is video help built in to almost every screen on the platform.
Users can create different custom trading strategies and do back testing to improve those strategies before trading. They can even
follow multiple market trends and plan strategies accordingly. All of this is possible through a comprehensive database, consisting
of historical market data and analysis that the platform offers.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of TradeStation is the TradeStation Simulator, which allows members to test their trading plans and
ideas in real-life simulated scenario without actually risking anything.
There are numerous Webinars available throughout the week to keep customers in touch with the markets, from a weekly futures market outlook
to a daily stock-market session.
TradeStation Review: Pros
- Great direct-access platform
- Best charting package
- Trading modeling functionality
- Rich selection of investment products
- Active online trader community
TradeStation Review: Cons
- $99.95 fee if not traded at least 5,000 shares in previous month (or 50 options contracts a month; or 10 round-turn futures or futures option contracts;
or 50 round-turn single stock futures). Excluded are also accounts with $100,000 balance
- High stock and ETF commissions for those who don't trade a lot
- Lots of fees for market data
- Direct routing up to 1,000 shares is no additional charge, $0.004 per share thereafter
- $35 annual IRA fee
- Steep learning curve: trading platform is too complicated for beginner investors
- Poor research amenities
- Excluding the first 10 free cancels, if the total number of cancels is more than the total number of contracts executed per day, per account,
there is a $1.00 options cancelation charge per each cancel that is over and above the number of contracts executed
- Minimum amount to open account is high: $5,000 for non-daytraders and $30,000 for daytraders
TradeStation Review Summary
TradeStation Securities offers two commission plans: pay-per-share and flat-rate. Flat-rate commissions are
higher than the average in the industry - $9.99 per stock and ETF trade if making less than 10 trades per month (it gets much
cheaper for very active traders). Pay-per-share commission plan, on the other hand, is very cheap: first 500 shares are $0.01 per share,
$0.006 per share thereafter, with just $1 minimum per trade.
There is potentially a huge additional cost: customers have to trade at least 5,000 shares or
50 options contracts a month to avoid very steep $99.95 monthly fee (excluded are also accounts with $100,000 balance and clients making
10 round-turn futures or futures option contracts or 50 round-turn single stock futures). Additionally, there are multiple
monthly market data fees to consider, which non-professional traders would usually not want to pay.
TradeStation is known for one of the best trading platforms among online brokers with powerful strategy creation, useful testing tools,
and custom-built analytics. The firm is targeting very
active investors (daytraders), and it is most popular among futures traders because of low futures commissions.
TradeStation charges $35 annual IRA fee. Because of this and platform fees, it's not the best choice for an individual retirement account.
Firm's powerful trading platform has a steep learning curve, and will be too complicated for beginner investors.
We recommend TradeStation only for futures traders. For stocks, options, mutual funds and exchange traded
funds (ETFs) we suggest researching Top Online Brokerages, which offer
lower commissions and no trading platform fees.
Reviewed by Brokerage Review on
Reviewed by Editor and TradeStation customers.