Tastyworks vs Tradestation

2021: Tradestation versus Tastyworks. Compare brokerage fees, options/futures accounts, & stock trading platforms. Which broker is better?

tastyworks vs Tradestation Introduction

If you’re an active trader of stocks, options, futures or cryptocurrencies, you definitely have to check out tastyworks and TradeStation. These two brokers attract a lot of frequent traders of such assets who need advanced software. If you want to know which one you should choose, keep reading.


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Mutual Fund
Annual IRA
Tastyworks $0 na $0.50 per contract $0 $0
Tradestation $0 $14.95 $0.50 per contract $0 $0


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating


tastyworks: Trade $50+ in any crypto currency and get in $50 crypto back.

Tradestation: Get $0 stock/ETF commissions.

Tradable Products

tastyworks clients can buy and sell these investment vehicles:

- Stocks
- Options
- Futures
- Options on futures
- Closed-end and exchange-traded funds

TradeStation offers every product tastyworks does plus these assets:

- Over-the-counter and foreign stocks (tasty customers can only trade on the major US exchanges)
- Fixed-income assets
- Cryptocurrencies
- Mutual funds

Winner: TradeStation

Computer Platforms

tastyworks customers can trade on either the broker’s browser platform or desktop software. Both programs are free to use, and in fact, they are quite similar. The web-based system doesn’t offer very good charting, but the desktop software delivers nearly full-screen charts with technical indicators.

tasty works vs trade station

Both programs have similar order tickets. Available order types include limit, market, and stop. The desktop program also has bracket orders.

One really nice feature on both programs is a curve trading mode. In this mode, the trade ticket shows contracts or stock shares in graphical format. These can be dragged along a bell curve of standard deviations for more insight.

TradeStation also has both desktop and browser platforms. Unlike tastyworks, the web-based platform at TradeStation has very good charting. Plus, the software has an order ticket with lots of professional-level orders, such as trailing, OCO, bracket, and OSO. A simulated trading mode makes practicing these orders simple.

The desktop program is even more advanced than its web-based cousin, with very sophisticated charting and many advanced order types. Just in case you don’t find what you’re looking for, an app store sells additional widgets for the platform. Traders who sign up on the TS SELECT commission plan can use the desktop software without paying any commissions.

Winner: TradeStation

Mobile Software

Just like its PC platforms, TradeStation has added simulated trading to its mobile app. This is a great way to practice the software’s many features. They include:

TradeStation App

- Horizontal charting with many tools
- Trading matrix, which is similar to Level II quotes
- Hot lists with many categories
- Forex quotes (although trading is not possible)
- Cryptocurrency trading
- Watchlist

tastyworks’s app has a watchlist. In fact, it offers several (so does TradeStation’s). But tastyworks doesn’t provide a practice mode, so you’ll have to learn the software in live mode.

tastyworks or TradeStation

Compared to TradeStation’s app, tasty’s app does not have good charting at all. There is no full-screen mode, for example.

Winner: TradeStation

Day Trading and Swing Trading

Shorting. If you want to short equities, you’ll find a short locate tool at TradeStation. tastyworks doesn’t have one.

Extended Hours. TradeStation has a longer after-hours trading session.

Level 2 Quotes. Only TradeStation customers can see bid and ask numbers at specific market makers.

Direct-access Routing. Same story.

Routing Fees and Rebates. Ditto.

Margin. tastyworks charges 8.00% to 5.00% for margin loans. TradeStation has a wider spread, from 9.50% to 3.50%.

Winner: TradeStation

Option Tools

tastyworks is known for its options tools. All three of its platforms (mobile, browser, and desktop) provide trading in derivatives. There are nine option spreads integrated, and if you’re looking to trade something else, you can create your own multi-leg trade.

TradeStation customers can trade options on all of the broker’s platforms as well. We counted 15 integrated spreads plus a custom mode where it’s possible to create your own trade, up to 4 legs.

The desktop platform offers an independent app for options trading. Called OptionStation Pro, the software is free to use and provides a lot of advanced features, including 3D charts, direct-access routing, and Greek values.

Winner: TradeStation

Other Services

Dividend Reinvestment Program: tastyworks, but not TradeStation, offers a free DRIP plan.

IRAs: Available at both brokerage firms.

Fractional-share Trading: Neither brokerage firm offers whole-dollar investing.

Investment Advice: Same story here.

Winner: tastyworks


Small Accounts: For IRAs, we recommend tastyworks (TradeStation charges an annual fee). For taxable accounts, we suggest either tastyworks or TradeStation on the TS GO commission schedule.

Mutual Fund Investors: TradeStation is it.

Beginners: While we do like tastytrade, the educational branch of tastyworks, TradeStation offers a larger amount of learning materials that are geared towards new investors. For example, TradeStation customers have access to live training sessions and online courses.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: Toss up. tastyworks doesn’t have an annual IRA fee, but TradeStation has mutual funds.

Stock/ETF Trading: We propose TradeStation on the TS SELECT plan.


tastyworks: Trade $50+ in any crypto currency and get in $50 crypto back.

Tradestation: Get $0 stock/ETF commissions.

Tradestation vs tastyworks Verdict

Other than IRAs and DRIP service, tastyworks significantly underperforms its rival. This includes options trading, which tasty is known for. While its software is nicely designed, it just doesn’t have the sophistication that TradeStation manages to deliver.