Cheapest Brokerage Account

Cheapest brokerage account company in 2017. Online stock investing firm with cheapest fees, cost on options, stocks, mutual funds, and ETF trades.

Cheapest Brokerage Account Commissions and Minimum Deposit

Stocks and ETFs flat-rate plan$5 ($4 for IRA)
Stocks and ETFs per-share plan $0.01 per share first 500 shares, $0.006 per share after that; $1.00 minimum per trade
Options per trade plan $5 + $0.50 per contract ($4 + $0.30 per contract for IRA)
Options per contract plan $1.00, no base or ticket charge, market or limit orders
Futures from $1.20 (1 to 300 monthly contracts) to $0.25 (20,000+ monthly contracts) per side, per contract + exchange, regulatory & overnight fees
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 $500 for cash account, and $2,000 for margin account
FeesTradestation fees
Promotion linkTradestation promotions

Naturally, we start this cheapest online brokerage firm review with broker commissions. TradeStation has three pricing plans: per-trade, per-share, and unbundled. With per-share plan traders pay $0.01 per share for the first 500 shares, and $0.006 per share after that with $1.00 minimum per trade. With this pricing schedule all trades of up to 100 shares will cost $1, and trades of up to 500 shares will cost $5 or less.

With TradeStation's per-trade plan customers' stocks and ETF's commission is only $5 per trade for non-IRA accounts. This drops to $4 per trade for IRAs with $25,000 balance.

There is also an unbundled pricing schedule for high-volume traders. Under this plan, TradeStation charges just 1¢ per share for accounts that place up to 100,000 trades per month, with a per trade minimum of $1. The rate gradually decreases to 0.2¢ for a volume of over 5 million monthly shares, and the minimum drops to just 50 cents per trade.

Fixed-income transactions are $5 per bond, with a $14.95 minimum. Mutual funds also cost $14.95 per trade. Penny stocks have no surcharges; although TradeStation does charge for real-time OTC data.

A brokerage account does have a $50 annual fee, which can be waived with a $2,000 balance or 5 trades per year. The broker does not require any minimum deposit to open an account.

TradeStation New Account Setup

It took us about 12 minutes to complete online account application. When filling out the forms, users will get a chance to choose which pricing plan suits them 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 application is approved (took 20 minutes for us) the company will email account funding instructions. Users could transfer funds with wire transfer, by mailing a check, or by moving account from a different broker. The company does offer ACH transfer - but for some reason users need to contact customer service to set it up. For ACH setup a client will need to print and fax a form TradeStation sends and a copy of driver's license. Website/Trading Platform/Tools

Advanced Trading Platform

Cheapest Brokerage Account

TradeStation's direct-access platform is one of the best we've seen! It offers all the bells and whistles traders expect from the professional trading software. Users 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 trading tools are fully customizable.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this broker 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 Trading

TradeStation offers one of the best in the industry mobile smartphone and tablet applications for iOS and Android devices. The apps allow users to trade stocks, options, futures or forex. Among other features, customers can set up real-time alerts, get streaming quotes in real time, and analyze charts with indicators. The apps are rated very highly by customers: 4.5 stars in Google Play and 4 stars at iTunes.

Cheapest Brokerage Account


Cheapest Broker Pros

  • Very low commissions on all investment products
  • Great direct-access platform
  • Best charting package
  • Trading modeling functionality
  • Rich selection of investment products
  • Active online trader community
  • Virtual trading (practice account)

Cheapest Broker Cons

  • No mutual funds screener
  • Fees for market data. TradeStation still charges for many data packages, including Level II quotes, which are free at TD Ameritrade
  • $35 annual IRA fee for accounts under $25,000
  • $50 annual fee if client makes less than 5 trades and average account balance is less than $2,000
  • Direct routing fee of $0.004 per share applies. Orders greater than 10,000 shares will be charged $0.0005/share for all shares in excess of 10,000 in the same order.

Cheapest Brokerage Summary

TradeStation Securities offers three commission plans for stocks and ETFs: pay-per-share, flat-rate, and unbundled. Flat-rate commissions are lower than the average in the industry - $5 per stock and ETF trade ($4 for IRAs with $25K+ balance). Pay-per-share commission plan is even cheaper: first 500 shares are $0.01 per share, $0.006 per share thereafter, with $1 minimum per trade. Unbundled plan is used by professional traders.

In 2017 we rated TradeStation "Best for Futures Trading" and "Best for International Investors" for the sixth year in a row. We also included it into our list of recommended brokers for options trading.

We recommend TradeStation as the cheapest brokerage account for institutional investors as well as for stocks, ETFs, options, and futures traders.

TradeStation Promotion Code

Open Tradestation Account

Updated on 8/15/2017.

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