Summary

Recommended for traders focusing on US markets and buy-and-hold investing

TradeStation is a US stockbroker founded in 1982. It is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Clients are eligible for up to $500,000 investor protection per account (including cash up to $250,000).

TradeStation is considered safe because it has a long track record; discloses its financials; and its parent company, the Monex Group, is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Overall Rating
4.6
Fees
4.2
Account opening
5.0
Deposit and withdrawal
2.3
Trading platform
4.0
Markets and products
2.8
Research
4.3
Customer service
2.5
Education
5.0

TradeStation pros and cons

TradeStation's web and mobile platforms are great, as they are user-friendly and well-designed. Stock and ETF fees are low, and the education section is high quality and well-structured. 

Deposit and withdrawal are inconvenient as you can only use bank transfer. There is no forex trading, and customer service could be improved.

Pros Cons
Great web and mobile trading platform Not user-friendly deposit and withdrawal
Low stock and ETF fees No forex trading
High-quality educational tools Mediocre customer service
TradeStation main features and highlights
🗺️ Country of regulation USA
💰 Trading fees class Low
💰 Inactivity fee charged Yes
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $0
💰 Minimum deposit $0
🕖 Time to open an account 1 day
💳 Deposit with bank card Not available
👛 Depositing with electronic wallet Not available
💱 Number of base currencies supported 9
🎮 Demo account provided Yes
🛍️ Products offered Stock, ETF, Fund, Options, Futures, Crypto

Author of this review

András Iván

Author of this review

Andras has over 4 years of experience analysing and trading equities and bonds. He believes that active trading and a more passive investing approach both have merits and everyone can find a strategy that fits their needs. He's eager to help identify the characteristics of specific brokers, so the best match can be found for each client.

András Iván

Broker Analyst

Andras has over 4 years of experience analysing and trading equities and bonds. He believes that active trading and a more passive investing approach both have merits and everyone can find a strategy that fits their needs. He's eager to help identify the characteristics of specific brokers, so the best match can be found for each client.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

TradeStation review
Fees

4.2
To find out more about its trading and non-trading fees, visit TradeStation

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: tastyworks
TradeStation has low trading fees, and you can choose from multiple fee structures. On the negative side, withdrawals can be costly.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees Withdrawal fee
Low stock and ETF fees / Free stock trading
Multiple fee structures to choose from
TradeStation fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock Low $0.01 per share; min $1
EURUSD - Not available
Mutual fund Average $14.95 per transaction
Inactivity fee Low $50 per year if balance <$2,000 or if less than 5 trades per year

How we ranked fees

We ranked TradeStation's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

First, let's go over some basic terms related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of TradeStation for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing the most important fees are commissions.

We also compared TradeStation's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, tastyworks and Interactive Brokers. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of TradeStation alternatives.

To have a clear overview of TradeStation, let's start with the trading fees.

TradeStation trading fees

TradeStation trading fees are low. You can select one of three fee packages:

  • Per trade: all trades cost a fixed $5 per trade. It is recommended if you tend to trade higher volumes.
  • Per share: the commission is $0.01 per share, but there is a $1 minimum. We recommend this structure if you trade frequently but in smaller volumes.
  • Unbundled pricing: trades are priced like the 'per share' option. However, if you trade more than 100,000 shares a month, fees decrease gradually. This option is recommended for very high-volume traders.

Stock fees and ETF fees

TradeStation has generally low stock and ETF commissions.

TradeStation stock and ETF commission of a $2,000 trade
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
US stock $1.0 $0.0 $1.0

Commission-free trading of equities and ETFs is available if you are a US resident and apply for the TS GO or TS Select scheme. Click here for further information.

If you prefer stock trading on margin, you should check TradeStation's margin rates.

Trading on margin basically means that you borrow money from your broker to trade. For this borrowed money you have to pay an interest. This is the margin rate. It can be a significant proportion of your trading costs.

TradeStation's margin rates are high.

TradeStation annual margin rates
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
USD margin rate 9.5% 8.0% 1.6%
TradeStation annual margin rate tiers
Debit balance Rate %
Under $50,000 9.50%
$50,000 - $499,999 8.75%
$500,000 - $1,999,999 5.50%
$2,000,000 -  3.50%

Fund fees

TradeStation fund fees are average

TradeStation commission for a $2,000 fund purchase
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Mutual fund $15.0 - $15.0

Bond fees

TradeStation has generally low bond fees compared with most other brokers we have reviewed. Nevertheless, they are still higher than IB's bond fees.

TradeStation commission of a $10,000 government bond trade
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
US Treasury bond $20.0 - $5.0

Options fees

TradeStation options fees are low. However, there is a flat fee of $14.95 for exercising or being assigned an option.

TradeStation stock index options commission of 10 contracts
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
US stock index options $10.0 $12.5 $6.5

Futures fees

TradeStation futures fees are low, though not the cheapest on the market. We checked the prices of Micro E-Mini contracts.

TradeStation stock index futures commission of 10 contracts
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
US micro e-mini stock index futures $5.0 $8.5 $2.5

Crypto fees

Crypto fees depend on your account balance. The bigger your balance, the less your orders will cost.

TradeStation crypto pricing
Account Balance Maker orders Taker orders
$0-$100,000 0.500% 0.500%
$100,000-$1,000,000 Free 0.250%
$1,000,000- Free 0.125%

Maker fees apply when your orders are not marketable immediately, while taker fees apply when your orders are marketable.  

Non-trading fees

TradeStation has average non-trading fees. There is no deposit fee and no account fee. Also, ACH withdrawals are free of charge.

On the other hand, non-trading fees can be high if you don't pay attention to certain criteria. There is an inactivity fee that kicks in after one year, and wire withdrawal comes with a high fee: it is $25 for wire transfers within the US and $35 for international wire transfers.

TradeStation non-trading fees
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee Yes No Yes
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

The TradeStation inactivity fee is $50 per year if you use the per-trade fee structure and

  • your balance drops below $2,000 OR
  • you make less than 5 trades per year

The inactivity fee is $149.95 per month if you use the per-share fee structure; however, the fee is waived if:

  • you hold 10 round-turn futures and/or futures options contracts OR
  • your balance is above $100,000 OR
  • you make more than 5,000 stock or 50 options trades per month

These fees favor high-volume traders.

TradeStation review
Account opening

5.0
To experience the account opening process, visit TradeStation

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: tastyworks
TradeStation account opening is fully digital, user-friendly and fast. On the other hand, USD is the only available base currency (except for futures accounts).
Pros Cons
Fast Only USD accounts (unless you trade futures)
Fully digital
User-friendly

Can you open an account?

Visit broker

TradeStation is a US broker, but clients from all over the world can open an account.  Note that as a non-US customer, you will have access to fewer products, account types and fee structures (such as no-commission trading).

There isn't a definitive list of eligible countries, but unless you are a citizen of a country that is usually banned from financial markets such as North Korea or Sudan, you will most likely be able to open an account with TradeStation.

What is the minimum deposit at TradeStation?

The minimum deposit differs by account type.

  • Equities account
    • Cash account: $1 minimum deposit
    • Margin account: $2,000 minimum deposit
    • Day-trading account: $25,000 minimum deposit
  • Futures account: $5,000 minimum deposit

Account types

You can choose from a wide range of account types at TradeStation.

1. TradeStation accounts by tradable products

  • An equities account gives you access to stocks, ETFs, bonds, funds and options
  • A futures account gives you access to futures
  • A futures options account gives access to futures options
  • A crypto account allows you to trade cryptocurrencies

TradeStation Crypto was introduced in June 2020. If you already have an account at TradeStation, you can easily apply for crypto access through the TradeStation Client Center. If you don't have an account yet, you have to open both a TradeStation Crypto and a TradeStation Securities (Equities) account. The crypto account uses assets (cash) in the equities account for trading.

2. TradeStation accounts by ownership and taxation

  • Individual - owned by a single person
  • Joint - owned by multiple clients
  • IRA - individual retirement account (only for US clients)
  • Entity - when the owner is a business entity
  • Custodial - for minors (18 to 21 years old); an adult must manage the account

You can find further information on TradeStation's account types page.

3. TradeStation accounts by leverage (margin availability)

  • Cash account -  there is a $1 minimum deposit; trading on margin is not possible
  • Margin account - $2,000 minimum deposit; trading on margin is allowed

How to open your account

TradeStation account opening is fully digital and user-friendly. For regulatory reasons, US brokers cannot open your account instantly. Still, TradeStation's account opening is one of the fastest among US brokers. It usually takes 1-2 business days for your account to be approved.

To open an account at TradeStation, you have to go through the following steps:

  1. Account setup: choose the account type. You can also choose a personal account manager.
  2. Personal information: enter personal information, like your address or date of birth.
  3. Employment information: add details about your employment status and your employer.
  4. Financials and experience: answer a short questionnaire about your trading experience. You also have to estimate your annual income and net worth.
  5. Verification: verify your identity and address. For identification, TradeStation acceppts a driver’s license, passport or national ID card. For proof of address, you can upload a utility bill or bank statement.

TradeStation review - Account opening

TradeStation review
Deposit and withdrawal

2.3
To find out more about the deposit and withdrawal process, visit TradeStation

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: tastyworks
TradeStation's deposit and withdrawal functions are somewhat limited, as you can use only bank transfer; and the fee for wire transfer withdrawals is high.
Pros Cons
No deposit fee Credit/Debit card not available
Deposit and withdrawal in cryptocurrencies High fee for wire withdrawal
Only USD accounts (unless you trade futures)

Account base currencies

If you open an equities account, only USD is available. For futures accounts, you can choose from a great selection of base currencies: USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, HKD, SGD, CHF, and JPY.

Base currencies at TradeStation vs similar brokers
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Number of base currencies 9 1 22

Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your trading account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency, you don't have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. These usually offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates, as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Compare digital banks

Deposit fees and options

TradeStation deposit is free of charge. However, you can use only bank transfer. This is a bit of a letdown, though quite common at other US brokers too.

If you are from the US, you can also use ACH or checks. Additionally, if you have an equities account, you can set up an Automated Account Transfer (ACAT) to transfer cash and securities electronically from an account at another financial institution.

TradeStation deposit options
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No No No

Bank transfers for US clients are usually completed in one day, but for non-US clients this can take up to 15 business days. We tested it and it took us 4 business days as non-US customers.

You can only deposit money from sources that are in your name.

TradeStation review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

TradeStation withdrawal fees and options

TradeStation's ACH withdrawal is free of charge. However, wire withdrawal costs $35 for non-US clients and $25 for US clients.

Withdrawing money can be done in the same way as deposits, i.e. only via wire transfer for non-US citizens; and ACH, wire transfer or checks for US citizens.

TradeStation withdrawal fees and options
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

How long does it take to withdraw money from TradeStation? We tested the bank transfer withdrawal and it took 1 business day.

You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.

How do you withdraw money from TradeStation?

  • Log in to the TradeStation Client Center
  • Click the 'Transfer Funds' tab
  • Choose your preferred method of withdrawal
  • Enter the desired amount, currency, and scheduled date
  • Preview and confirm the withdrawal request

Deposit and withdrawal in cryptos

Both deposits and withdrawals can be done using cryptos. The available cryptocurrencies for both processes are the following:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • US Dollar Coin (USDC)
  • Ripple (XRP)

Withdrawals are processed only on banking days, between Monday and Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Compare to other brokers

TradeStation review
Web trading platform

4.5
To try the web trading platform yourself, visit TradeStation

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: tastyworks
TradeStation has a nice-looking, user-friendly web trading platform with a safe login process, but it lacks price alerts.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No price alerts
Clear fee report
Two-step (safer) login
TradeStation platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 4.5 stars Yes
Mobile 4.8 stars Yes
Desktop 2.5 stars Yes

TradeStation revamped its web trading platform in 2018. It has a good design and user interface, offering a comfortable trading experience for both first-timers and professionals.

The web trading platform is available only in English.

Look and feel

The TradeStation web trading platform is user-friendly and it has a neat design.

The platform is customizable: you can choose from 9 layout types, and you can also create your own. The tabs can be easily resized and moved around.

TradeStation review - Web trading platform

Login and security

TradeStation offers the option to set up a safer two-step login

We recommend using it for additional security. To enable it, you have to download the Symantec VIP Access mobile app.

Search functions

TradeStation's search function works well, but ironically, the search function itself is not easy to find at first. Instead of a conventional 'magnifying glass' search field, you can search for products under the 'Quotes' tab.

TradeStation review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

TradeStation has outstanding order management functions.

You will find orders from the most basic to the professional level:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Trailing Stop
  • Order-sends-order (OSO)
  • One-cancels-the-other (OCO)
  • Bracket

To get a better understanding of these terms, read this overview of order types.

You can also choose from a great variety of order terms: 

  • Day
  • Good-'til-canceled (GTC)
  • Good-'til-day (GTD)
  • Immediate or cancel (IOC)
  • Fill or kill (FOK)
  • At the opening
  • At the close
  • 1/3/5 minute

TradeStation review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

We could not find a way to set order notifications or price alerts. This feature would be useful to have in future updates.

Portfolio and fee reports

You can check your account performance and the fees you have paid through the Client Center. Here, you can see your performance under the 'Account' tab, which clearly shows your profit/loss history and how much you have paid in fees.

Visit broker

TradeStation review
Mobile trading platform

4.8
To try the mobile trading platform yourself, visit TradeStation

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: tastyworks
TradeStation's mobile platform is great. It is very user-friendly and well-designed, offering price alerts and excellent order management. However, search functions could be better.
Pros Cons
User-friendly Limited search functions
Two-step (safer) login
Good variety of order types

The TradeStation mobile trading platform is available on both iOS and Android devices. It's only available in English.

It has very similar functions to the web platform, so we'll focus only on the differences here.

Look and feel

The TradeStation mobile trading platform is user-friendly and has a neat design.

TradeStation review - Mobile trading platform

Login and security

TradeStation offers safe login functions. You can log in using two-step verification, and then set up biometric authentication.

Search functions

Search functions on the mobile platform are OK. You can search by typing the symbol you are looking for, but you cannot filter according to asset types.

TradeStation review - Mobile trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use the same order types and order terms as on the web trading platform.

TradeStation review - Mobile trading platform - Charting

Alerts and notifications

You can set price alerts and notifications on the TradeStation mobile platform, unlike on the web platform.

Visit broker

TradeStation review
Desktop trading platform

2.5
To try the desktop trading platform yourself, visit TradeStation

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: tastyworks
TradeStation offers a desktop trading platform with many advanced features and customization options. For that reason, though, it is not very suitable for beginners.
Pros Cons
Good customizability (for charts, workspace) Not user-friendly
Good variety of order types Poor search function
Two-step (safer) login Poor design

TradeStation's desktop trading platform is so advanced and has so many functions that even a separate review would not be able to cover them all. Still, we have tried to provide a comprehensive summary.

At the time of our review, the desktop platform was only available for Windows and only in English.

Look and feel

TradeStation's desktop platform is not user-friendly and has an outdated look. If you are an advanced and professional trader, the platform is ideal. However, if you are a first-timer or a long-term investor, you'll struggle to take advantage of many of its features.

The platform has good customizability. You can also choose from pre-defined workspaces, like a day trader or a futures trader workspace.

TradeStation review - Desktop trading platform

Login and security

Similarly to the web trading platform, you can set up a safer two-step login.

Search functions

The search function is hard to use, as each tab has its own different search feature.

Placing orders

You can use the same order types and order terms as on the web trading platform. You can also set some advanced features, like an activation rule.

However, it's not easy to find where you can actually place an order. If you open the Active Trader layout, there is a tab on top called 'Trade'.

TradeStation review - Desktop trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can set up price alerts and order notifications on the desktop trading platform. However, we were unable to figure out how to do that because of the complexity of the platform.

Portfolio and fee reports

You can see your profit/loss balance under 'Trade Manager', but you can't view the fees you have paid.

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TradeStation review
Markets and products

2.8
To dig even deeper in markets and products, visit TradeStation

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: tastyworks
TradeStation grants access to a wide variety of US products, but its non-US market coverage is poor. Also, forex and CFDs are not available.
TradeStation asset classes
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Stock Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes
Forex No No Yes
Fund Yes No Yes
Bond Yes No Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No Yes
Crypto Yes No Yes

TradeStation has a good US stock offer. Its fund, options and futures selections fall roughly between those of its most immediate competitors.

Stocks and ETFs

At TradeStation, you can trade on the biggest US stock markets, like the NYSE or NASDAQ. You cannot trade on non-US stock exchanges. 

You can buy ETFs traded on US exchanges even if you are a European client. This is a unique opportunity that most European brokers do not provide.

TradeStation's stock and ETF coverage matches that of tastyworks, but lags behind Interactive Brokers, which covers markets all over the world.

TradeStation stock and ETF selection
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Stock markets (#) 5 4 78
ETFs (#) 2,300 2,200 13,000

Funds

TradeStation's fund coverage is mid-range. However, it does include the biggest names, such as BlackRock or Vanguard.

TradeStation mutual fund selection
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Fund providers (#) 55 - 260

Bonds

TradeStation only allows you to trade bonds over the phone; they're not available on any of the online platforms.

Options

At TradeStation, you can trade options on equities and futures. The options coverage is wider than at tastyworks, but lags behind that of Interactive Brokers.

TradeStation options selection
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Options markets (#) 10 8 33

Futures

TradeStation gives you access to the biggest US futures markets, like CBOT or ICEUS.

Weighed against its immediate competitors, TradeStation has a wider futures selection than tastyworks, but ranks behind Interactive Brokers, which covers markets all over the world.

TradeStation futures selection
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Futures markets (#) 11 8 32

Cryptos

As of June 2020, TradeStation introduced crypto trading. You can choose from among more cryptos than at Interactive Brokers or tastyworks.

TradeStation crypto selection
  TradeStation tastyworks Interactive Brokers
Cryptos (#) 7 - 2

At TradeStation, you can trade the following crypto and cross pairs:

  • Bitcoin (BTCUSD)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCHUSD)
  • Ethereum (ETHUSD)
  • Litecoin (LTCUSD)
  • XRP (XRPUSD)
  • Ethereum / Bitcoin (ETHBTC)
  • Litecoin / Bitcoin (LTCBTC)

You can also deposit and withdraw in cryptos at TradeStation, a really unique feature among brokers.

TradeStation review
Research

4.3
To check the available research tools and assets, visit TradeStation

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: tastyworks
TradeStation offers great research, including detailed fundamental data and high-quality news. On the flip side, some research tools are not free.
Pros Cons
Good interactive chart Many add-on research tools are not free
Trading ideas
Data on asset fundamentals

Trading ideas

TradeStation provides trading ideas, but only on the desktop platform. You will find recommendations about each asset class written by TradeStation staff.

Fundamental data

TradeStation offers very detailed fundamental data, provided by Yahoo. However, it is likewise only available on the desktop trading platform.

You will find many types of data, from financial statements to earnings ratios.

Charting

Charting tools are really sophisticated, and cover advanced features on all platforms. There are over 170 technical indicators. On the flip side, it is not user-friendly. TradeStation review - Research - Charting

News feed

TradeStation offers a high-quality news feed. It can be found under the 'Market Insights' section of the public TradeStation website, as well as on the trading platforms.

At Market Insights, news is categorized based on products and sectors. On the trading platforms, you can filter news based on several criteria, and you can also search for an asset symbol.

TradeStation review - Research - News feed

Other research tools

You can access a wide range of research add-ons by TradeStation and external developers, available on the desktop platform. Some of these are free, but many are available only for a hefty subscription fee.

TradeStation review - Research - Other tools

Compare research pros and cons

TradeStation review
Customer service

2.5
To find customer service contact information details, visit TradeStation

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: tastyworks
TradeStation's phone, live chat and email support are okay, but you can only contact them on weekdays.
Pros Cons
Phone support No 24/7 support
Live chat

You can contact TradeStation via:

  • live chat
  • telephone
  • email

Customer service is available only in English.

TradeStation's phone support is okay, as most of the time they give quick and relevant answers.

TradeStation also has a live chat function. Waiting times can be a bit long, but we got relevant answers during our test.

The quality of email support was okay, as we got replies within 1-2 business days, but the relevancy of the answers was not always the best.

We also missed 24/7 availability.

TradeStation review - Customer Service

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TradeStation review
Education

5.0
To check the available education material and assets, visit TradeStation

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: tastyworks
TradeStation's educational materials are great, including high-quality tools such as a demo account, educational videos and articles.
Pros Cons
Demo account None
Trading platform tutorial
Educational videos

At TradeStation, you can learn in the following ways:

  • Demo/Simulation account
  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Webinars
  • Quality educational articles
  • Booklets
  • Live events

You can use a demo account to familiarize yourself with the platform. We think this is the best way to learn how the TradeStation trading platform works. However, only those with a funded account can use it.

There are two pages where you can find education tools:

  • TradeStation University
  • Education section under the 'Market Insights' tab

At TradeStation University, you can watch platform tutorial and general educational videos. You can search for keywords, or filter items based on your experience level.

Under this tab, you can also find some scheduled live events, although these are mainly US-based.

When you open 'Market Insights' and scroll to the 'Education' category, you will find high-quality articles. TradeStation review - Education

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TradeStation review
Safety

To find out more about safety and regulation, visit TradeStation

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: tastyworks
TradeStation is overseen by top-tier US regulators; and its parent company is publicly listed, boosting transparency. However, negative balance protection is not provided.
Pros Cons
Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority No negative balance protection
High level of investor protection Does not hold a banking license
Financial information is publicly available
Parent company listed on stock exchange

Is TradeStation regulated?

Yes, it is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

TradeStation is based in the US and was founded in 1982.

Is TradeStation safe?

To be certain, we highly advise that you check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • what the background of the broker is

How you are protected

TradeStation investor protection
Country of clients Protection amount Regulator Legal entity
All Clients $500,000 ($250,000 cash limit) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) TradeStation Securities, Inc.

TradeStation handles all customers through one US legal entity.

This matters because you are covered by the US investor protection amount, called SIPC. However, only equities accounts are eligible for this scheme. So, if you have a futures account, your assets on that account won't be eligible for protection.

SIPC investor protection protects against the loss of cash and securities in case the broker goes bust. The limit of SIPC protection is $500,000, which includes a $250,000 limit for cash. A non-U.S. citizen with TradeStation is treated by the SIPC the same as a US resident in case something goes bad. These amounts are substantially higher than what most European investor protection schemes offer.

Not all investments are protected by SIPC. In general, SIPC covers notes, stocks, bonds, mutual fund and other investment company shares, and other registered securities. It does not cover instruments such as unregistered investment contracts, unregistered limited partnerships, fixed annuity contracts, currency, and interests in gold, silver, or other commodity futures contracts or commodity options.

On the flip side, TradeStation does not provide negative balance protection.

Background

TradeStation was established in 1982. The longer track record a broker has, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises. 

Furthermore, TradeStation is owned by Monex Group, a Japanese online broker. It is one of the largest online brokers in Japan and is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. This is a good sign, as listed companies are more transparent and are under stricter scrutiny than private companies.

Providing annual financial statements, and being regulated by the SEC and FINRA are all great signs for TradeStation's safety.

Find your safe broker

TradeStation review
Bottom line

Visit TradeStation if you are looking for further details and information

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: tastyworks

TradeStation is a great US broker.

The web and mobile platforms are very user-friendly with many functions. It also offers low stock and ETF trading fees. On top of that, TradeStation's education materials are well-structured and high quality.

On the other hand, the deposit and withdrawal functions are not user-friendly as you can only use bank transfers. There is no forex trading, and customer service has room for improvement.

Feel free to try TradeStation if you prefer trading on US markets. We recommend it for buy and hold investors with at least some experience.

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TradeStation review
FAQ

Below you can find links to all aspects of TradeStation in this comprehensive collection.

Lower fees, lower costs?

We detailed this in our TradeStation fees article.

What about the minimum deposit?

Our ultimate guide to the TradeStation minimum deposit is updated regularly.

How to start your TradeStation account?

Look no further than our evaluation of the TradeStation account opening.

How's their trading app?

Here's our expert view after checking the TradeStation trading app.

Is the quality of customer service satisfactory?

All you need to know about the TradeStation customer service.

Legit or scam?

Is TradeStation legit features all the key aspects you need to look at to see if a broker is safe and legit.

Free or premium? Or both?

A glance at actual costs and whether TradeStation is really free.

Is this broker good for beginners?

We checked it in Is TradeStation good for beginners.

Should you buy your silver bullets on TradeStation?

Research for silver bugs in the Silver buy on TradeStation guide

I want to trade options, are they available at TradeStation?

We explored the topic in Can you trade options on TradeStation?

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