Tradestation rating

TradeStation Review


TradeStation Pricing and Minimum Deposit


InvestmentsCommissions
Stocks and ETFs flat-rate plan$0
Options $0.60 TS Select plan; $0.50 TS Go plan
Futures $1.50 TS Select plan; $0.85 TS Go plan
Mutual funds $14.95
Bonds $14.95 + $5 per bond
Forexcommission-free with tight spreads and fractional pips

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, futures, forex, ETFs
Tradestation minimum deposit to open account $2,000 for cash TS Select account, $0 for cash TS Go account, and $2,000 for margin account
FeesTradestation fees
Promotion linkTradestation promotions


Review of TradeStation Brokerage


TradeStation is known for catering to professional traders; but with a new $0 commission schedule, non-professionals should sit up and take notice. Here’s what the brokerage firm has to offer:


TradeStation Pros


Good software. TradeStation has a mobile app, a browser platform, and an advanced desktop trading environment. The latter program offers several apps for a variety of trading functions. We’ll take a look at these programs shortly.

Multiple pricing schedules to choose from. While many firms offer just one commission plan, TradeStation has several.

Global stocks. TradeStation customers can trade directly on foreign exchanges, a rare service.


TradeStation Cons


Lack of fund resources. While mutual and exchange-traded funds are available, research materials are on the low end.

Some services are completely missing. As we shall see soon, some investment services are entirely absent at TradeStation.


Investment Vehicles


TradeStation Investments Rating

TradeStation clients can buy and sell equities, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, closed-end funds, option contracts, fixed-income investments, cryptocurrencies, and futures. The last category includes options on futures and E-mini futures.

A separate account can be opened to trade forex, contracts for difference, precious metals, and global stocks (in partnership with Interactive Brokers).


Customer Service


TradeStation Customer Rating

TradeStation has a variety of phone numbers, each with its own purpose. For general customer support, a company rep can be reached on the phone anytime during the week from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm, EST. The broker does not operate any weekend hours. Technical support is available 24/7 starting Sunday at 3:30 pm and ending Friday at 8:00 pm.

TradeStation does not have any branch locations. It also fails to offer any foreign language service. There is an online chat service located inside the broker’s website after logging in; but it operates fewer hours than the broker’s phone service, and it’s oftentimes out of service.

An Artificial Intelligence makes an appearance on the front page of the site. Named TSbot, it is only capable of answering basic questions. It did not perform well during our testing.


TradeStation Customer Review


Cash Management


TradeStation Cash Management Rating

TradeStation clients don’t get to use checks or a debit card. The brokerage firm does have ACH and wire transfer tools on its website; and that’s about all there is to report on.


ETF's


TradeStation ETF Trading Rating

TradeStation does have a security screener (that’s coming up); but it is able to look only for stocks and futures. If you have a ticker symbol, you can enter it into a research window; but it returns only a minimal amount of information. The broker’s website does not have an ETF center, nor are there any fund reports or commentary.


Mutual Funds


TradeStation Mutual Funds Rating

The state of affairs for mutual fund investors isn’t much better. There is no mutual fund screener, which is a major blunder. In our TradeStation test account, there was no way to research mutual funds or trade them. Apparently, they have to be traded over the phone with a rep. The broker-dealer offers about 2,000 mutual funds from eighty fund families.


Pricing


TradeStation Pricing Rating

After the broker price war in the U.S. saw equity commissions drop all the way to $0, TradeStation responded by launching TS Select and TS Go. Both of them come with zero commissions on stock, ETF, option, and futures trades. On the TS Select plan, options cost an extra 60¢ per contract; while futures cost an extra $1.50. With TS Go, stock options are an extra 50¢, while futures cost 85¢.

Commission-free trading is only valid for the first 10,000 shares in a trade. Each additional share above that level costs 0.5¢. Directly routing stock trades carries the same fee. Direct routing of option orders costs an extra $1 per contract.

Both pricing plans charge a $50 annual fee. This antiquated charge can be avoided by maintaining a $2,000 account balance or placing five trades per annum. The Select plan requires a $2,000 opening deposit. Go requires nothing.

Both schedules offer free use of the broker’s mobile app and browser platform; although only Select accounts can use the desktop program for free. Go accounts can use it, but TradeStation charges commissions on those trades. Real-time data is free for both commission schedules.


Portfolio Management


TradeStation Portfolio Management Rating

TradeStation is designed strictly for self-directed traders. The company does not offer financial planning or investment-advisory services of any kind.


Account Types


TradeStation Account Rating

TradeStation customers can open several account types. On the taxable side, there are individual, joint, and custodial types. Businesses and trusts have their options as well. And TradeStation offers 4 IRA types: Roth, SIMPLE, traditional, and SEP. A former employer’s retirement plan can be rolled over into a TradeStation IRA.

The brokerage house does not have a self-employed 401(k), a 529 plan, a Coverdell Education Savings Account, an estate account, or an Inherited IRA.


Website


TradeStation Trading Rating

The TradeStation site is used mostly for account management and transferring funds. Investments cannot be traded on it.

But the broker does have a browser platform. Launched from the website, the software provides a plain interface with effective trading capability. Charting on the software offers 4 graph styles, several technical indicators, and extended-hours price history. A graph can be expanded the full width of the monitor.

The trade ticket offers direct-access routing plus trailing, OCO, bracket, and stop order types. There are 13 duration choices, the most we have ever seen. Some esoteric options include 3-min and GTD+, which allows the user to specify a specific expiration date.

There is a watchlist on the platform; although it is entitled “Quotes.” An inactivity timeout can be turned off, and a hotlist shows the market day’s biggest movers.


Desktop Platform


TradeStation Platform Rating

Although we were quite impressed with the browser trading system, TradeStation customers who want more can move to the company’s desktop platform. As already mentioned, TS Select customers can use it without paying commissions; but TS Go clients have to pay to place trades on it.


TradeStation Trading Platform Review


The software recently underwent a major overhaul, and it was rebranded TradeStation 10. This new software has a lot of the same features the old platform had. Charting once again is on an advanced level with several tools.

Multiple tabs exist at the tom of the platform, such as “Day Trader” and “Balances, Positions, Orders.” These are default layouts that automatically deliver windows and an arrangement designed for the named activity.

There are many useful features on the platform for day and swing traders. During our examination, we found Level II quotes, direct access to market venues, time & sales info, a basket order tool, and an algorithm order tool.

An “Apps” store sells (yes, sells) additional software programs that advanced traders might be interested in—tools like technical studies.

Missing on TradeStation 10 is streaming video news.


Mobile Trading


TradeStation App Rating

TradeStation keeps the ball rolling here with another home run. A watchlist appears on the mobile app immediately after login. Many columns can be added and deleted, including last price, volume, the day’s high and low prices, and 52-week numbers. Besides stocks, futures and currencies can be added.


TradeStation Review: Mobile App


Security profile pages show a chart that can be rotated horizontally for better analysis (with tools). Option chains can be displayed for any asset that has them. Besides calls and puts, we found strategies like straddles and verticals.

The software’s trade ticket offers direct-access routing, one of the few mobile apps to do so. Other highlights include the same long list of duration choices available on the browser system, bracket orders, and OSO (order sends order) with bracket.

It’s easy to add an investment to the platform’s watchlist; just click on the star on the security’s profile. Besides stocks, the software permits trading in options and futures, but not mutual funds. A hotlist shows the day’s big movers. Another great feature we really like about this app is a demo login for practice trading.

Once again, streaming financial news is absent; and sadly, so is mobile check deposit.


Security Research


TradeStation Security Research Rating

TradeStation doesn’t emphasize general investment education, but there are resources for that on the broker’s website. A “Learn” tab is in the top menu, and this opens up a large selection of articles and videos on many topics. Examples we found include how to use option chains and how to trade futures.


TradeStation Investment Research Review


TradeStation has a channel at YouCanTrade. It hosts live webinars, a weekly newsletter, and daily insights.

TradeStation’s software offers a lot of financial research. News articles appear on all three platforms we have looked at: mobile app, browser, and desktop. The browser system and mobile app show pictures with news articles, which are usually courtesy of Benzinga.

Perhaps the best research tools are on the desktop. Here, we found a screener that can search the securities markets by many, many criteria not available on other scanners. Examples include long term debt to total capital, receivables turnover, and auditor name. We found the search tool harder to use compared to other scanners, however.

An options research window shows Greek values, historical volatility, projected price range, and many other advanced features.

TradeStation does not offer any third-party stock reports.


Other Services:


TradeStation Services Rating


Cryptocurrency Trading


TradeStation recently launched a cryptocurrency trading service with a dedicated crypto platform. Available digital currencies include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and XRP. Wallets are not yet available.


TradeStation Crypto Trading Review


A securities account must be linked to the crypto account. As of now, it’s not possible to deposit or withdraw digital currencies.

The broker’s crypto platform offers data on selected currency pairs, such as LTC/BTC and BCH/USD. Charts show volume and price with a few technical indicators.


Securities Services


TradeStation customers get no DRIP service. The broker also doesn’t offer recurring deposits into the few mutual funds it offers.


Global Trading


TradeStation customers can buy and sell foreign assets through a separate account. The service is a partnership with Interactive Brokers. There is a $1,000 minimum deposit for the account. Some of the available exchanges include Austria, the Netherlands, India, and Switzerland. Unfortunately, trades do have commissions in this account.


TradeStation Comparison


TradeStation Comparison

Although TradeStation has some good software, other brokers offer tools that may be more valuable in some situations. For example, Merrill Edge offers very good option tools, including profit/loss diagrams on its website. As we saw, TradeStation has no tools on its website.

E*Trade has a more advanced browser platform than TradeStation, with a more sophisticated order ticket. For example, it shows a profit/loss diagram for any entered ticker symbol or symbols. TradeStation’s ticket doesn’t do that.

Most brokers don’t offer cryptocurrency trading. Robinhood does, but it pales in comparison to the many resources TradeStation offers.

Other brokerage firms, like Fidelity and TD Ameritrade, offer checks and a debit card. TradeStation should do the same.

Schwab and Ally Invest offer 24/7 customer support, something TradeStation customers could benefit from.


Recommendations


Mutual Fund Investors: TradeStation has no mutual fund resources. We have to suggest Ally Invest instead. The broker offers more than 12,000 funds with lower commission.

Individual Retirement Accounts: Fidelity offers more IRA types than TradeStation and a long list of target-date mutual funds. Fidelity is our pick.

Beginners: Although TradeStation does offer security investigation tools, it doesn’t have many resources geared towards beginners. In fact, the company seems to cater to sophisticated traders who know what they’re doing. Beginners should go to Ally Invest.

Active ETF and Stock Trading: For stocks, TradeStation would be a good choice. For ETF’s, we recommend E*Trade or Webull.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: TD Ameritrade offers financial planning and better retirement options.

Small Accounts: Because of TradeStation’s primitive yearly account fee, we can’t recommend it for small traders. They should go with M1 Finance instead.


TradeStation Review Summary


TradeStation has made many improvements in the past year, bringing services closer in line with industry standards. In some areas, it has surpassed its competitors—mainly in crypto and global trading. In other areas, it still lags behind with outdated fees and lack of resources.


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