Tradestation Review 2018

3.8 · 13 April, 2018
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TradeStation is a US based and US regulated broker and member of the SIPC. It offers account protection up to $500,000 per account (Cash up to $250,000) per account. Its parent company is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange, however, TradeStation does not have a banking background.

As a plus

Investor protection is great, up to $500,000 per account (Cash up to $250,000). The fee structure is fairly competitive compared to other brokers. Their mobile application is well designed, user-friendly, with many order types, and good on-the-go features, such as push notification alerts.

On the flip side

On the flip side, account opening can be a lengthy and not a fully digital procedure for Non-US customers. International product coverage is lacking, and the speed, relevancy, and kindness of their customer support are in need of improvement.

Recommended for buy and hold investors with any experience level. 

Compare to other brokers

Tradestation review
Investor protection and regulation

TradeStation offers great investor protection of $500,000 per account, as a plus, their parent company is listed on a stock exchange, however, they do not have a banking parent company, nor do they offer a negative balance protection.

Brokerchooser believes in the most important broker selection criteria is security, so let’s kick off with investor protection.

TradeStation complies with the US SEC regulations and falls under the US investor protection scheme, the SIPC. The SIPC protects client assets to a higher amount than the European investor protections. The limit of SIPC protection is $500,000, which includes a $250,000 limit for cash.

TradeStation Inc. is a US entity owned by a Japanese company, Monex Group. Monex Group operates Monex, one of the largest online brokers in Japan, meaning that the parent is in the finance industry too. Furthermore, Monex Group is listed on the Japanese Stock Exchange, which is a good sign as listed companies are under more scrutiny than private companies.

However, TradeStation does not have a bank as a parent company. Furthermore, negative balance protection measures are not built into the trading platform, and negative account balances will not be canceled at TradeStation. 

A non-U.S. citizen with TradeStation is treated by the SIPC the same as a US resident in case something goes south. All in all, during our TradeStation review, they could be characterized as a safe broker: it's parent company is listed, TradeStation is a member of SIPC and as such, you are covered up to a higher amount compared to European account protections. 

Filter the brokers by investor protection

Tradestation review
Account opening

Account opening with TradeStation is slow, and not fully digital for non-US clients.

Who can open an account?

It is not easy to find a US online broker which serves European citizens. TradeStation is one of the few. All European citizens were allowed to open an account.

Additionally, we did not find any restriction on who can open an account. Surely, there must be a banned country list with the usual suspects like North Korea, Sudan, etc. However, this information is not published.

We were able to open an account with a Central-European citizenship. Brokerchooser's current understanding is if you are not a citizen of a usually back listed country, you will most likely be able to open an account with TradeStation. If we find out more, we will let you know.

Minimum funding requirements

  • Cash account: $500 minimum deposit
  • Margin account: $2000 minimum deposit
  • Futures account: $5000 minimum deposit

Account types

Hold your breath, there are a lot of account types available during our TradeStation review, and it can get confusing even for intermediate investors. Do not get overwhelmed though, it is easy to navigate around, and we did your homework.

The plain vanilla product is an individual cash account which can be used for stocks, ETFs and options trading and needs a $500 minimum deposit. This is also the type of account Brokerchooser tested in this TradeStation review.

There are three factors you need to consider when selecting an account type:

  • With which product(s) you would like to trade with?
  • What should be the account type in terms of ownership and taxation?
  • Do you want to do leveraged trades?

Let's start with the products:

  • Cash account (All products except Futures.)
  • Futures account 

At the time of our TradeStation review, we found that your cash account will give you access to stocks, ETFs, bonds, funds, and options trading too. However, if you want to trade with futures, you need to have a separate account for that.You will be able to handle the accounts under one platform window, but they will be two accounts.

There are multiple account types available for each range of products:

Accounts available to every client:

  • Individual
  • Joint with Right of Survivorship
  • Join as Tenants-in-Common
  • Simple IRA
  • Corporate
  • General Partnership
  • Trust
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Custodial
  • DVP/RVP

Accounts available to U.S. taxpayers only:

  • Traditional IRA (U.S. taxpayers only)
  • Roth IRA (U.S. taxpayers only)
  • Sep IRA (U.S. taxpayers only)

You may find further information on TradeStation's account type's page.

The individual account is the basic security account. Per the above list, it is also possible to open IRA accounts. Furthermore, you can open joint accounts, where more than one person can legally use the account. This can be useful for families. You may also open accounts for several generations, the joint with right of survivorship account can be shared by two or more people, and the ownership of the account passes on to the next in line.

Lastly, let's look into leveraged trades and how these effects account types:

  • Cash account (Non-leveraged, $500 minimum deposit)
  • Margin account (Leveraged, $2000 minimum deposit) - trade products with a leverage, except futures
  • Futures account (Leveraged, $5000 minimum deposit) - trade futures, no other leveraged products can be traded

Demo accounts as such were not available during our TradeStation review, there is a 'Preview' button for the mobile app, but this does not let you save anything.  

New: TradeStation Global Account

The TradeStation Global is a new account that offers the missing international market access combined with the TradeStation trading platform.

Technically, TradeStation International acts as an introducing broker to Interactive Brokers. This means that you get Interactive’s wide product coverage and you can choose between IB’s and Tradestation’s trading platform.

For new clients, after filling out basic information on the TradeStation Global website, you will be forwarded to Interactive’s account opening page, where you will finish the process. Your account will be opened under Interactive, with slightly higher trading fees than a standard IB account. As a plus, you get both trading platforms and you can choose where to trade/invest.

For existing IB clients, you can link the TradeStation platform to your IB account, however, this will result in higher TradeStation Global trading fees.

Furthermore, Tradestation recommends this platform for only experienced traders, as a prerequisite to applying, you must:

  • Have at least a good product knowledge
  • Must have executed at least 100 trades previous to registering
  • Minimum 5000 USD of deposit for every new account

The global account is not available for US or Japanese residents or nationals.

Account Base Currencies

  • Cash accounts: USD only
  • Futures accounts: USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, HKD, SGD, CHF and JPY.

Account opening process

TradeStation account opening process is slow, and not fully digital for most customers, making it tedious and slow. US citizens can complete the application process online, while non-US customers will need to take some further steps. As a non-US customer, you will need to physically mail a W8 (US tax) form to TradeStation, this can take up to a few weeks.

For non-US clients, the application starts at TradeStation's account opening page. You input some data about yourself, and you choose which account type you want to trade with.

Tradestation review - account open start

Tradestation review - account open - account types

Once you are finished here, you will receive a pdf document which you need to print and send it to TradeStation. Theoretically, you can send the filled document per fax or per email, but practically you need to send the W8 form per post anyhow, so you might just well post the whole package together. The W8 form is practically a US taxation authority form stating that you are a foreign investor and you are not subject to standard taxation. 

Besides the signed application form, the filled W8 form you need to send a copy of proof of ID and a copy of proof of residency. For proof of ID, passport, ID card, or driving license is accepted. For proof of address, a utility bill or a banks statement does the trick. 

Tradestation review
Funding and withdrawal

Funding and withdrawal options are very limited compared to other brokers.

Funding

For funding, you have three options

Transfer Type Within US funding time Non-US funding time
Wire transfer (Bank transfer) Overnight Up to 15 working days
Check Deposit (physical mail) 3 days Not Available
ACAT 6 business days Not Available


Wire transfer is the US expression for bank transfer. You can transfer money, e.g. deposit your TradeStation account by sending money from your bank account. Theoretically, you could mail a check too.

ACAT stands for Automated Customer Account Transfer and this is the way to transfer securities from one account to the other.

Neither electronic check deposits, nor credit/debit card, nor Paypal or Skrill services are available. This is a bit of a letdown, but quite common at other US brokers too.

TradeStation accounts are denominated in USD, and your deposit will be converted to USD. It was unclear from our research what is the exchange rate used by TradeStation, but you can always ask your current bank to convert your deposit to USD. If you are opening a futures account you use multiple currencies for base currency. The available base currencies are USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, HKD, SGD, CHF and JPY.

TradeStation does not charge any fees for funding, please note that you may be subject to fees from your payment provider. 

Withdrawal

Withdrawing money from your account during our TradeStation review went the same way. You will need to do an international bank transfer. This can be done by the Client Centre menu point, and not on the platform. Withdrawing your money has a hefty $35 price tag. However, this is is not the highest amount we have seen among US brokers for withdrawal fee.

More funding and withdrawal info

Tradestation review
Product portfolio

TradeStation has a wide variety of US products available, however, it is lacking on international markets availability.

TradeStation is almost a full-scale broker offering a wide range of products, but only in the US markets:

  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Options
  • Futures
  • Funds 
  • Bonds

During the time of our TradeStation review, they could quote FX, but did not provide FX services anymore, as this business line was sold to Oanda in 2016.

Stocks, ETFs, Options, Futures

Mostly US markets are available for stocks, ETFs, and options, Brokerchooser feels that this is very limited. Within futures and future option classes, there are US and a few non-US markets available.

Available markets:
Stocks, ETFs Stock Options Futures and
Futures Options
NYSE NYSE CBOT
NYSE-ARCA NYSE-AMEX CME
NASDAQ NASDAQ CFE
AMEX OPRA NYMEX
OTC markets   EUREX
BATS   ICE
    LIFFE

Funds

There are funds from almost 80 asset managers to choose from, you may find the list on Tradestation's site.

The largest names, such as BlackRock, Vanguard are of course available. 

Bonds

We do not have sufficient information regarding the available bond types. 

Tradestation review
Fee structure

TradeStation's overall fee structure is fairly competitive, however, some non-trading fees can be quite high.

At a first glance during our TradeStation review, we found that it operates a very clean fee structure, but the more you research the more complicated it gets. It has three packages (per trade, per share, unbundled) for individuals to choose from:

  • The 'per trade' is where all trades cost a fixed price ($5 per stock trade) You get a couple of extra perks, like market data and no software fee. There is a low inactivity fee, $50 per year if your balance goes below $2,000 or you have less than 5 trades per year. This is the most marketed package.
  • The 'per share' is where trades cost a fixed amount per share ($0.01 per share, but minimum $1).  There is a catch that you need to either have $100,000 balance or trade 5000 shares or 50 options per month. Otherwise, a ~$100 inactivity is applied. 
  • The 'unbundled pricing' trades are priced like the 'per share', but if you trade more than 100,000 shares per month, fees decrease gradually. It is highly tailored to high volume traders, we just leave the TradeStation unbundled pricing link here.

Since Brokerchooser believes that most customers will use the 'per trade' pricing, we will use this as a benchmark in our review. 

Trading Fees

During the time of our TradeStation review, we found that the trading related fees are commission based.

  • Stock and ETF's: $5 per trade 
  • Fund: $14.95 per subscription
  • Options: $0.50 per contract + $5 per trade
  • Futures: $1.2 per contract
  • Bonds: $14.95 + $5 per bond

TradeStation's trading fees at the time of our TradeStation review,  were relatively competitive, only comparable to three (Interactive Brokers, Tastyworks, and Degiro) of our other reviewed brokers.

The following fees are price estimates for a usual trade with the following brokers per asset class.

Asset class TradeStation Interactive Brokers Degiro Tastyworks

US Stocks

$5 $1 $1 $3
US Index Options $10 $10 $5 $5
US Index Futures $12 $9 $5 N/A

You can find more information about the usual trades, and also compare TradeStation to other brokers, in Brokerchooser's comparison table.


Non-trading fees

Non-trading fees Amount
Account fee None
Inactivity fee $50-$100/year
Financing rate 8.5% to 6.25%
Currency conversion fee N/A
Deposit fee $0
Withdrawal fee $25 US $35 Non-US
Custody fee N/A
Options Exercise/Assignment $14.95
Broker Assisted Transaction $50

The financing rate is really high and among the more expensive brokers' financing fee.

The good part is that you will have no account opening fee, it is free of charge, which is nice considering you will have the help of a dedicated account manager.

For the per trade 'basic' account, there is only an inactivity fee of $50/year if your balance falls below $2,000, or you have less than 12 trades per year. The inactivity fee is higher for per share investors, around $100 per year, if your balance is below $100,000 or trade less than 5000 shares or 50 options per month. 

There are some limitations to TradeStations fee structure, you should be aware of their inactivity fees, they are tailored to suit the high volume traders better. 

Tradestation review
Web trading platform

TradeStation offers a well-designed web trading platform, however, it lacks some functions, such as a clear fee report, order confirmation, and price alerts.

Brokerchooser’s opinion

We felt that this platform is good. Even beginners will not have a problem, and it also has sufficient functions for a day trader. 

Brokerchooser felt that the web trading platform provided great customizability at the time of our TradeStation review, and good trading functions, with an overall focus on a clean and tidy trading workspace. 

Login

Logging into the trading platform does not require two-step authentication, Brokerchooser felt that this security needs some improvement.

UX, user-friendliness

TradeStations web trading platform has an easy-to-use, friendly user experience. It has a clean design, with an eye-pleasing dark-light theme to choose from. Menus are easily accessible, buttons are placed in logical places, actions (such as orders, charts, news) can be found with ease. 

Customizability

TradeStations web trader offers a great customizability, windows can be rearranged in several layouts, there is also an intuitive drag and drop function. Each window is pegged to a tab, just like in Google Chrome or Safari, users will gain fast understanding into the inner workings of the web trader platform.

Product search function

Finding the search function can initially be difficult, as the web trader is lacking the conventional 'magnifying glass' search field. Instead, you will have to click on the tab, which brings on the search field. However, once you have found it, the drop-down search window has a clean design. The search is also intuitive, you can either enter the ticker or the name of the product. There are also filter options provided while searching for options, and a country/currency filter for futures. 

Chart tool

tradestation web platform charting tool screenshot

The web trader also offers various charting functions. You can choose from different chart studies (e.g. moving average lines, stochastic flow, dmi, CCI average), further analyze the chart with drawing tools, change the chart time area based on sessions and many more options await.

Order panel and Order types available (including available time frames)

tradestation-order-panel-web-platform

On the standard order panel the following can be set for and order:

  • Symbol
  • Quantity
  • Order type (limit, market, stop limit, etc.)
  • Route
  • Duration
  • Account number 

The following order types can be placed on TradeSation's web trading platform:

  • Market
  • Stop Limit
  • Stop Market
  • Trailing Stop
  • Trailing Stop %
  • OSO
  • OCO

The available time frames are as follows:

  • Day/Day+
  • GTC/GTC+
  • GTD/GTD+
  • IOC
  • FOK
  • OPG
  • CLO
  • 1/3/5 minute

This is an extensive range of order types and time frames, as it also includes advanced order functions like OSO, or OCO. 

Fee report

At the time of our TradeStation review, Brokerchooser could not find a way to download, access, or print a fee report on TradeStation's web trader. 

Alerts and Notifications

Brokerchooser could not find a way to set notifications or alerts for TradeStations web trader.

Available languages

Currently, only the English version of TradeStations web trader platform is available. 

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Tradestation review
Mobile trading platform

TradeStation's mobile platform has some advantage. You can easily make orders or set alerts, notifications.

Brokerchooser’s opinion

Brokerchooser felt that the mobile platform is well designed, and offers a great range of tools and options for any trader. Logging in is simple on iOS, Touch ID can be utilized for fast access to your trading. Good charting tools and custom lists make it simple to track your portfolio. Alerts and push notifications mean that you will never miss an important event. On the other hand, the app is currently only available in English, which is a bit of a letdown. 

The web trader and the phone app bare similar functions, set basic trades, and access basic analysis tools such as charts and some historical data. Brokerchooser found the help function in the app useful, each screen displays help bubbles on request.  When testing the app during our TradeStation review, we were unable to find any bugs, the system ran well. 

At the time of our TradeStation review, we found that they provide a mobile platform for all major systems. iOS, Android applications are available. Brokerchooser tested the mobile iOS app.

All in all, the mobile platform boast equivalent functions of the web platform and can be characterized as a well designed mobile trading platform.

Look and Feel

The user-friendliness of the application is good. Navigating the app has a fast learning curve, and buttons and menus are logically placed. Overall, it is an easy app to master. 

You can set your customized list of quotes, and have several lists with different products added.

tradestation review - mobile platform - stocks list

Login

Logging into the application is easy, you will have to write your username/password only once, from then on you can use Touch ID. 

 

Search functions and Charts 

Easy and intuitive product search makes it possible to search for a symbol, or a company name directly.

The chart tool offers basic view functions, great gesture controls, with zoom functions. 

tradestation review - mobile platform - charts

Placing orders

The order panel is straightforward and easy to operate. You can click trade, and enter your desired trade details on each products page.
The following order types can be placed on TradeSation's web trading platform:

  • Market
  • Stop Limit
  • Stop Market
  • Trailing Stop
  • Trailing Stop %
  • OSO
  • OCO

The available time frames are as follows:

  • Day/Day+
  • GTC/GTC+
  • GTD/GTD+
  • IOC
  • FOK
  • OPG
  • CLO
  • 1/3/5 minute

This is an extensive range of order types and time frames, as it also includes advanced order functions like OSO, or OCO. 

Alerts and Notifications

Alerts can be customized for each product. You add a custom alert for any product, and there is also a list of your current active and disabled alerts. 

Automatic push notifications are set to alert your when your trade has been made. 

Available languages

At the time of our TradeStation review, only English was available. 

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Tradestation review
Desktop trading platform

TradeStation's platform has a good customizability and order types. However, platform lacks user-friendliness and a clear fee report.

Brokerchooser’s opinion

TradeStations downloadable desktop trading platform is a real dinosaur giant of trading platforms. It is very not intuitive design and controls, a very complicated and complex functions palette, and a very outdated look combined.  

This design best suits daily traders, and professional traders, and is clearly not aimed at beginners and intermediary traders. 

tradestation-welcome-screen-desktop-app

Available on...

During the time of our TradeStation review, the desktop application was only available for PCs with Windows.

Login

Logging into TradeStation's desktop application uses simple, username and password method. However, you may request two-step authentication through the client center. We felt that the two step authentication was not advertised at all, we only found it after searching their website. Brokerchooser feels that this should be improved, two step authentication should be turned on as standard. 

UX, user friendliness

This is the weak point of TradeStations downloadable desktop trader. There is a complete disregard for UX design, and not one user friendly element in the application. 

Customizability

The desktop application offers good customizability. Their use of tabs, and windows allows to customize your workspace as you wish. The application saves your preset preferences, once logging-out. 

Search function

The search function is simplistic and feels out of date. The database searches a large array of products, but predictive functions are missing. You have to be aware, each tab utilizes the search differently. You have to be on the right tab (e.g. charting) when using the search function. 

Chart tool

The chart function is complicated, complex, and not very user friendly. Even the basic functions are hard master, for example, the zoom function works unlike any other app we tested. We could not figure out how to set the time interval for the chart. On the other hand, you may customize your chart viewing with tabs, and organize them on separate windows. Your custom view will be saved automatically. Brokerchooser felt that this is quite unique, not many other trading applications offer this level of customizable workspace. The charting tool also holds over 170 indicators, which is a very good number. Chart trading function is also available. 

tradestation-charting-function-desktop-app

Order panel and Order types available (including available time frames)

There are 4 different order panels: equity, options, futures, forex. As we mentioned above, forex is no longer available on TradeStation. All of the order functions are very sophisticated, there is an extensive list of order types (e.g. OSO, OCO, if touched). Trading algos are also built into the desktop trading application, which can be a great tool for institutional traders, or illiquid trading instruments. 

tradestation-order-panel-desktop-app

Alerts and Notifications

Once you order is filed, there is no separate window popping up, but there is a voice notification built in. Push notifications are sent through the mobile app, if the user has it downloaded already. 

We were unable to figure out how to set price alerts, this is due to the applications complexity, and old design. 

Added features

Several add-ons and advanced functions are available on TradeStations downloadable desktop trader. Per example, stock screener, and advanced option trading function. 

Fee report

At the time of our TradeStation review, Brokerchooser could not find a way to download, access, or print a fee report or account statements on TradeStation's downloadable desktop trader. 

Available languages

At the time of our TradeStation review, the only available language was English. 

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Tradestation review
Research

There is only very limited research functions available on TradeStation.

Brokerchooser’s opinion

There is no dedicated research team, no news room, very limited suggestions. On the other hand, the charting has many of the research capabilities, similar to other online brokers. Overall we felt that the research should be improved on TradeStation.

Is there an own research team? What do they provide?

TradeStation, at the time of our TradeStation review, did not have a resarch team. They provide news snippets in their web trader application, with limited analysis.

What kind of fundamental data is available?

Fundemental data is only available on the TradeStation downloadable trading platform. Here you may find company basic financial data, and other relevant ratios. 

There are two types of research available, the news section, and the hot lists section.

On the hot lists section, you can view categories such as the gainers, losers, % gainers, %  losers, 52 week high and lows. Select the desired product and the activity, and a list will be generated. On the list, you will find the requested search results. Brokerchooser felt that this function needs some improvement. We were not able to find further information on this screen, only a static list, where even the symbols of the lists were not clickable. 

Is there any recommendation on any asset classes? (e.g. target prices on stocks, commodities? Chart patterns for trading?)

There is no recommendation for asset classes apart from the hot lists option. Brokerchooser felt that the hot list option was lacking many functions, it was unresponsive, and overall quite bad. 

Is there any news flow?

At the time of our TradeStation review, there was a news flow, however, it was limited to the news that you search for. This means that you will only get news, if the product you searched for has any. 

The news section provides news snippets. The news articles may be viewed by searching for a stock, or another product. In either way, news associated with the search will be shown. These news snippets are imported from news sites, and they are not written by TradeStation. Brokerchooser found that often there were no news results for popular companies. At the time of our TradeStation review, we were displayed a 'no results' screen when searching for big companies like Exxon Mobil, and Google. 

Newsletters

At the time of our TradeStation review, we could not find any newsletter registering options. You do get a few webinar notification emails, which comes automatically after you start your registration. 

Available languages

At the time of our TradeStation review, only English was available. 

More research info

Tradestation review
Education

TradeStation offers trading platform tutorials and beginner trading know-how videos with great production quality.

Brokerchooser’s opinion

They are a definite nice to have, and the production quality and the materials made it easy to digest. 

Trading platform tutorial materials

Videos explaining how to use TradeStation's trading platforms. All of the trading platforms have relevant how-to, and tutorial videos alike. 

Trading and investing related education

Videos related to basic trading knowledge (e.g. what is the stock market) are available. 

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Tradestation review
Customer service

All main support channels are available at TradeStation. However, the support is often slow and give incorrect answers.

Customer service is mediocre at best, the main customer service channels are available. However, their quality, speed, and effectiveness are in desperate need of improvement. 

However, we must mention that the account managers direct communication is timely and well structured. 

Available customer service channels:

  • Email
  • Phone
  • Live Chat
  • Dedicated account manager

We tested the live chat for our TradeSation review on several occasions. The Live chat is available EST 9am to 5pm. While the chat was very responsive, the quality of the answers were not. We were often given incomplete, or wrong answers, while other times the representative only sent over a link. Similar issues were discovered through their email support. To our specific questions, we received template or incomplete answers. The email response time was also quite long, it often took 72 hours for the response.

 

tradestation-review-customer-service online chat welcome page

We must note, that during the account opening they were helpful, for example, upon making a mistake in the written application form, we could change the mistake via e-mail. Furthermore, they have dedicated account opening experts who keep track of your progress, this way you do not have to explain your entire situation each time you contact them, the dedicated support member keeps track of your progress and possible issues/questions. 

Contact customer service

Tradestation review
Bottom line

TradeStation has a long-standing history with brokerage, however, they should do a better job of putting their experience to good use. 

On the plus side, TradeStation offers great protection, up to $500,000 per account (Cash up to $250,000), with an exchange-listed parent entity. Their product portfolio and fees are also above average, and they did a great job with their mobile application. 

On the other hand, their account opening procedure is long for Non-US customers, and funding/withdrawal options need to step into the 21st century. The international product coverage is lacking, and the customer service is slow, with irrelevant, unkind answers.

Recommended for buy and hold investors with any experience level.

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Tradestation logo

TradeStation is a US based and US regulated broker and member of the SIPC. It offers account protection up to $500,000 per account (Cash up to $250,000) per account. Its parent company is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange, however, TradeStation does not have a banking background.

As a plus

Investor protection is great, up to $500,000 per account (Cash up to $250,000). The fee structure is fairly competitive compared to other brokers. Their mobile application is well designed, user-friendly, with many order types, and good on-the-go features, such as push notification alerts.

On the flip side

On the flip side, account opening can be a lengthy and not a fully digital procedure for Non-US customers. International product coverage is lacking, and the speed, relevancy, and kindness of their customer support are in need of improvement.

Recommended for buy and hold investors with any experience level. 

Compare to other brokers

Overall

Pros
  • US regulated, with a high amount of account protection
  • Fairly competitive pricing
  • Well designed mobile application
Cons
  • Lengthy account opening procedure for non-US citizens
  • Lacking international product coverage
  • Customer service knowledge is limited, slow, and unkind

Investor protection and regulation

Pros
  • Good level of protection of $500,000/account ($250,000 cash/account)
  • Parent entity listed on stock exchange
  • US regulated (SIPC)
Cons
  • No negative balance protection
  • No banking background

Account opening

Pros
  • Many account types
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Customers accepted worldwide
Cons
  • Slow account opening (over 3 days)
  • Not fully digital (for non-US customers)
  • Only one account base currency (for cash accounts)

Funding and withdrawal

Pros
  • Bank transfer is available
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card funding and withdrawal not available
  • Lengthy funding and withdrawal - over 3 days
  • High withdrawal fee ($35/tansaction)

Product portfolio

  • Equities
  • ETFs
  • Funds
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Futures

Fee structure

Pros
  • Competitive trading fees
  • Three fee packages to choose from
  • Per trade fee structure favors high volume traders
Cons
  • Relatively high financing rate
  • High withdrawal fee
  • Inactivity fee ($50-$100/year)

Web trading platform

Pros
  • Good variety of order types
  • User-friendly
  • Good customizability
Cons
  • Bad search function
  • No price alerts available
  • Downloadable version only for Windows

Mobile trading platform

Pros
  • Good variety of order types
  • Price alerts available
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Only English version is available

Desktop trading platform

Pros
  • Good variety of order types
  • Good customizability
  • Large number of add-ons and added features
Cons
  • Bad search function
  • No clear fee report available
  • Not user-friendly

Research

Pros
  • News flow available
Cons
  • No in-house research team
  • No analyst recommendations for stocks, bonds, etc.
  • No fundamental data available

Education

Pros
  • Trading platform tutorial videos available
  • Educational videos available
  • Good production quality
Cons
  • None

Customer service

Pros
  • Phone support available
  • Live chat available
  • Dedicated account manager
Cons
  • Slow support
  • Irrelevant answers

AUTHOR OF THIS REVIEW

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager
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