TradeStation Review 2015: Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit
|Stocks and ETFs flat-rate plan|| $9.99 (1 to 9 trades/month); $7.99 (10 to 29 trades/month); $6.99 (30 to 99 trades/month); $5.99 (100 to 199 trades/month); $4.99 (200 or more)|
|Stocks and ETFs per-share plan|| $0.01 per share first 500 shares, $0.006 per share after that|
|Options per contract plan|| $1.00, no base or ticket charge, market or limit orders|
|Options per trade plan|| $9.99 + $0.70 per contract (1 to 9 trades/month); $7.99 + $0.50 per contract (10 to 29 trades/month); $6.99 + $0.40 per contract (30 to 99 trades/month); $5.99 + $0.30 per contract (100 to 199 trades/month); $4.99 + $0.20 per contract (200 or more)|
|Futures|| $0.25 - $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, flat-rate or unbundled. 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. Unbundled plan
is for professional traders.
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, or 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 is one of the very few online brokers offering automated trading. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Mobile smartphone and tablet applications are available for iPhone and Android. These are not as powerful as at other brokers and
don't even offer watchlists or alerts.
TradeStation Review: Pros
- Low commissions for active traders
- Great direct-access platform
- Best charting package
- Trading modeling functionality
- Rich selection of investment products
- Active online trader community
- Good mutual funds pricing at $15 per transaction
TradeStation Review: Cons
- $99.95 monthly 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). Fee also doesn't apply for accounts with $100,000+ balance
- High stock and ETF commissions for those who don't trade a lot
- Direct routing up to 1,000 shares is no additional charge, $0.004 per share thereafter
- $35 annual IRA fee
- Steep learning curve to master the trading platform
- Only about 100 mutual funds available
- Minimum amount to open account is high: $5,000 for non-daytraders and $30,000 for daytraders
TradeStation Review Summary
TradeStation Securities offers three commission plans on stocks and ETFs: pay-per-share, flat-rate, and unbundled. 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 $1 minimum per trade. Unbundled plan should only be used by a professional trader.
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 from the fee 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).
TradeStation is known for offering 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 great software and low futures commissions.
In the March of 2015 Barron's magazine gave TradeStation the highest star rating for both "Best for Frequent Traders" and
"Best for International Traders" categories. The firm also received top ratings in six major categories in the 2015 Technical Analysis of Stocks and
Commodities (TASC) Readers' Choice Awards. TASC readers voted TradeStation "Best Trading System for Stocks" and "Best Trading System for Futures"
for the eleventh consecutive year. TradeStation also won "Best Institutional Platform" and "Best Professional Platform" for the thirteenth year
in a row as well as "Best for Real-Time Data" for the sixth time.
In 2015 we rated TradeStation "Best for Futures Trading" and "Best for International Investors" for the fourth year in a row.
TradeStation charges $35 annual IRA fee. Because of this and the platform fee, 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
In summary, we recommend TradeStation for institutional investors. It is also great for active stocks, ETFs, options, and futures traders provided they could avoid an
inactivity fee. For mutual funds, retirement, inactive and "buy-an-hold" investors we suggest researching
Top Online Brokerages, all of which do not charge platform fees.
Reviewed by Brokerage Review on
Reviewed by Editor and TradeStation customers.