Ally Invest rating

TradeKing Review

TradeKing has been acquired by Ally Financial and renamed Ally Invest. For up-to-date information go to Ally Invest Review.

TradeKing Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit

Stocks and ETFs $0
Options $0.50 per contract
Mutual funds $9.95
Bonds $1 per bond with $10 minimum, $250 maximum
Treasuries commission-free
Certificates of Deposit (CDs) $24.95

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, CDs, forex, treasuries, ETFs
TradeKing minimum deposit to open account $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
Promotion links TradeKing promotions

TradeKing (member of SIPC) is one of the lowest priced brokerage houses charging $0 for stock and exchange traded fund trades. No-load mutual fund transactions are also cheap at only $9.95. Broker has a surcharge on stocks priced under $1.00 to discourage very risky penny stocks trading.

TradeKing's commission falls to only $3.95 per stock or ETF trade for clients making 30+ trades per quarter or anyone who has a $100,000+ account balance. Option contracts in these cases are only 50 cents each.

TradeKing minimum deposit required to open an account is $0 - this applies to both retirement and taxable accounts.

TradeKing New Account Setup

TradeKing's new account setup took just 10 minutes to complete. To open an account simply click on their current promotion link - Up to $3,500 cash bonus + $0 commission trades. - than hit "Open My Account" button and you'll be taken to application forms. All forms are very well designed, though some of the questions in our opinion should be optional.

To fund the account, we opted for setting up ACH link to our checking account, which is what most users will do. To complete ACH setup process, the user must mail, fax, or email (the email option is not mentioned on the website but appears in the email TradeKing sends after registration) a copy of his/her photo id and a voided check. We scanned both of these documents and emailed the file to TradeKing. Two days later ACH was ready to be used.

Types of accounts available include Individual, Joint, Custodial, Transfer on Death, Trust, Corporate, Investment Club, Partnership, LLC, Sole Proprietorship, Traditional, Roth, Rollover IRAs, SEP, Coverdell, and SIMPLE IRA.

TradeKing Mutual Funds Review

TradeKing offers over 8,400 mutual funds for sale on its website. More than 1,700 of these have no load. That leaves approximately 6,700 with a load. At TradeKing, load funds carry no transaction fee. Searching for a fund to buy is simple with the broker's handy screener. Users can search by criteria including asset class, expense ratio, beta, and return history. Risk analysis metrics, such as R-squared, standard deviation, and the Sharpe ratio also appear in the screener. TradeKing clients can find other helpful mutual fund resources on the broker's website. These include articles on mutual fund topics, such as a comparison between actively-managed and passively-managed funds, and the tax implications of mutual funds.

The minimum investment amount required to purchase a mutual fund at TradeKing varies by the fund family and the specific fund. Some are as low as $1,000 and as high as $100,000. The minimum investment required in an Individual Retirement Account also varies. There is no low balance fee for mutual funds at TradeKing. The firm's no-load funds come with a rock-bottom $9.95 transaction fee, which is applied on both the buy and sell sides.


At TradeKing, an IRA costs nothing to setup or maintain. However, the inactivity fee discussed below is applicable to IRA's. The firm also has a $50 fee for transferring or terminating an IRA. All funds must be removed from the account for the termination fee to be applied. Both a $50 termination fee and a $50 transfer fee would be applied in the case of a complete transfer of all assets. For partial transfers, there is a $10 charge for each position transferred out of an IRA, with a $50 maximum. The broker's customers can open a Traditional, Roth, SEP, SIMPLE, or Rollover account.

The TradeKing website has a small selection of IRA resources. These include a helpful FAQ covering topics such as an explanation of the differences between types of IRA's, how to trade options in a retirement account, and how to add a beneficiary to an IRA.

TradeKing Website/Trading Platform/Tools Review


TradeKing Review - Account

TradeKing has a user-friendly website where both research and order entry can be performed. There are also effective screeners for all securities available through the broker. These screeners can be used to search according to a wide variety of criteria, including P/E ratio, market capitalization, industry, and earnings growth.

TradeKing Review - Investing

At the bottom of the browser appears a quick bar. After typing in a stock's ticker symbol, the bar displays the stock's vital information, such as bid-ask spread, volume, and last trade price. A small blue arrow on the bar can be used to go to option chains, news, or charting. The trade button on the bar can be used to quickly enter an order.

Advanced Trading Platform

Beyond the traditional website, there is a browser-based platform called TradeKing LIVE. Clicking on 'TradeKing LIVE' within the browser produces a new tab with the trading system. Here, users can look over indices, check out market events, review position and account information, and transfer funds. And that's just the home screen. There are various tiles on the home screen that can perform a variety of functions.

Clicking on the chart tile produces another tab for charting. Price history can be shown between 1 day and 13 years. The time interval can be 1 minute, monthly, or anywhere in between. There are several technical indicators available. One or more stocks can also be added to a graph to compare against the original stock. The graph's style can be set to bar, colored bar, candlestick, hollow candle, or mountain. There is a trade button in the upper-left corner. Clicking on the button generates a trade ticket. It is also possible to detach a chart so that it can be displayed full screen. The platform does have a minimum account requirement of 1 trade or more every twelve months, or an account balance of $2,500 or greater.

TradeKing Live Review

TradeKing also offers Quotestream, another advanced platform. Customers must execute 10 trades or more every month to qualify. The software has multiple watch lists, market news, option chains, and streaming quotes.

Mobile Trading

TradeKing clients can buy and sell stocks, options, mutual funds and other products on Android, Apple, and mobile web. Charting is available along with a watch list and option chains. The app also displays the day's biggest equity movers and global indexes. A stock's profile page shows vital information for security analysis. A customer service contact is available, as are streaming quotes. Users can also sign up for account alerts.

TradeKing Review - Mobile App

TradeKing Trader Community

The first to introduce social networking into the world of online trading, now boasts a vibrant and helpful online investor community called Trader Network. Its users can share experiences, ideas, strategies, and see what others are trading and how they are performing. They can even gather insights and analysis from professional traders.

TradeKing Review: Pros

  • TradeKing’s $0 equity commission is lower than Motif’s $4.95
  • Qualified traders who can get the $3.95 price will have a good value. Fidelity and Schwab’s lowest rate is $0
  • Eliminating TradeKing’s annual fee was a nice move by Ally. Other brokers do have one. TradeStation, for example, charges $35 per year for IRA’s
  • Traders who qualify for 50¢ option contracts will pay less than they would at Scottrade, who charges 70¢
  • TradeKing’s mutual fund selection is larger than Capital One Investing, who offers just over 1,000
  • Most brokerage houses don’t have a trader community. These firms include Vanguard, optionsXpress, and WellsTrade
  • Not all brokers provide customer service around the clock. Scottrade and Robinhood, for example, do not
  • TradeKing is one of the few brokers to provide trading in forex and futures. Fidelity and Schwab don’t offer the products

TradeKing Review: Cons

  • Additional $0.01 per share on the entire order for stocks priced at less than $2
  • Short after-hours trading: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST, instead of 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST


TradeKing will reimburse another firm's transfer fee, up to $150, when a client moves an account worth at least $2,500. There is no promo code required for this offer. The special only refunds transfer fees. It does not cover closeout or termination charges.

TradeKing Review Recommendations

TradeKing is the perfect broker for investors seeking a bargain in financial services, charging just $0 for stock, ETF, and option trades (options are just 50¢ extra per contract). With rates falling as low as $3.95 for those who trade often, the firm is a great value, especially for active equity traders.

Beginner investors at TradeKing get no surcharge on trades executed with the help of the broker, access to one of the best investor communities, easy-to-master trading tools, and great customer service.

Mutual fund investors get to buy any top performing mutual fund they want for the low price of $9.95, which is 2 to 7 times lower than what other brokerage houses are charging.

TradeKing Review Summary

TradeKing is one of our favorite online brokers - we rated it one of the Top Brokerage Firms for the last six years. TradeKing does not have minimum account balance requirements or hidden fees. Beginners can place broker-assisted trades for the same low price as online trades - $0, and can learn to trade and get investing ideas with help of the website's friendly trader community.

TradeKing's mergers with two other discount brokers - Zecco and MB Trading - created one of the largest brokerage houses in the United States. But this did not affect the pricing - the company still offers much lower commissions than all bigger brokerage firms. Last year TradeKing got acquired by Ally Bank - the leading online bank in the United States for the last 5 years.

After integration of MB Trading's technology is completed, TradeKing will offer its clients direct market access; access to MB Trading’s paper trading capability; futures trading; and MB Trading’s Market Analysis Software offerings.

TradeKing does not charge account setup, maintenance, inactivity or annual fees for both IRA and taxable brokerage accounts.

Traders who are active during extended hours (after 4:00 PM EST, when stock market is closed) will be disappointed with TradeKing: the broker's after hours trading time is 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST, instead of 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM EST time period common at most other firms.

For anyone who doesn't want to manage their investments themselves and would rather have an investment firm take care of their money, Ally Invest Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio is a low cost option. They offer two types of professionally managed portfolios, called Core and Momentum (the later is more dynamic), designed by Ibbotson Associates. The fee for managing clients money is a fraction of what is charged by a full service brokerage: 0.25% for Core portfolios (or $1 per month if balance is under $5K) and 0.50% for Momentum portfolios. Another difference with full service brokerage is that customers don't need a quarter of a million dollars to get started: funding minimums are $500 for Core Portfolios and $5,000 for Momentum Portfolios.

To sum up TradeKing review: unless you trade after hours or penny stocks, you should give TradeKing a try. You can open a cash account with no money down and no commitment (all non-IRA accounts don't have account closing fees), and see how you like this broker completely risk-free.

TradeKing Promotion Offer

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