Tradestation fees explained

Dec 2018
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Overview of Tradestation fees and charges

Tradestation logo

It's safe to say that Tradestation's fees are low in general. They either don't charge a brokerage fee for things other brokers do charge for, or they only charge a small amount. This means that you can use Tradestation even in case you trade frequently like multiple times a week or daily.

Here's a high level overview of Tradestation's fees

Tradestation Fees snapshot
AssetsFee levelFee terms
US stock feeLow$0.01 per share; min $1
EURUSD fee-Not available
US tech fund feeHigh$14.95 per transaction
Inactivity feeHigh$50 USD per year if less than 2000 USD on balance or less than 5 trades per year.

Tradestation fees
Tradestation fees explained

Online brokerages in general charge much lower brokerage fees than traditional brokerages do - this is largely due to the fact that online brokerages' businesses can be much better scaled: From a purely technical standpoint it doesn't make that much of a difference for them if they have 100 or 5000 clients.

This is not to say however that they don't have any fees at all. They make money by charging you at various events for various rates. Usually you need to keep an eye on these 3 types of fees:

  • Trading fees - these are brokerage fees that you pay when you actually do a trade, i.e. buying an Apple stock or an ETF. What you pay is either a commission, a spread or financing rate. Some brokers apply all of these.
    • A commission is either based on the traded volume or it is fixed.
    • A spread is the difference between the buy price and the sell price
    • Financing rate or overnight rate is charged when you hold your leveraged positions for more than one day.
  • Non-trading fees. These occur related to some operations you make in your account, i.e. depositing money to your account, withdrawing money from it or not trading for an extended amount of time.

We compare Tradestation fees with its closest competitors, Interactive Brokers and tastyworks.

Tradestation fees
Tradestation trading fees

Tradestation's trading fees are low which makes it suitable for you even if you trade often (i.e. multiple times a week).

Let's break down the trading fees into the different asset classes available at Tradestation.

Trading fees

Tradestation's trading fees are low.

Stock fees and ETF fees

Tradestation has low stock trading fees.

Stock fees of a $2,000 trade
TradestationInteractive Brokerstastyworks
USA$1.0$1.0$2.5
UK -$8.7-
Germany-$4.6-

Fund fees

Tradestation fund fees are high.

A $2,000 fund buy fees
TradestationInteractive Brokerstastyworks
USA tech fund buy$15.0$15.0-
Europe stock fund buy$15.0$4.6-

Options fees

Tradestation's options fees are average.

Stock index options fees of 10 contracts
TradestationInteractive Brokerstastyworks
USA$10.0$7.0$5.0
UK-$24.7-
Germany-$19.4-

Futures fees

Tradestation's futures fees are low.

Stock index futures fee of 10 contracts
TradestationInteractive Brokerstastyworks
USA$15.0$8.5$12.5
UK-$24.7-
Germany-$22.8-

Financing rates

Tradestation financing rates are high.

If you want to trade on margin and prefer to hold your positions long, financing costs can be significant.

Tradestation yearly financing rates
TradestationInteractive Brokerstastyworks
Apple financing rate9.3%5.8%8.0%
Vodafone financing rate-3.9%-
EURUSD financing rate-4.9%-
EURGBP financing rate-3.3%-

Tradestation fees
Tradestation non-trading fees

When it comes to looking at all the non-trading fees Tradestation is an expensive broker. This means that they tend to charge you a lot for non-trading related activities on your trading account, like withdrawal fee.

Non-trading fees include various brokerage fees and charges at Tradestation that you pay not related to buying and selling assets. Among some others, typical non trading fees are withdrawal fee, deposit fee, inactivity fee and account fee.

A high level overview of how Tradestation stacks up in non-trading fees
TradestationInteractive Brokerstastyworks
Withdrawal fee$25$0$45
Deposit fee000
Inactivity feeYesYesNo
Account feeNoNoNo

Tradestation fees
Tradestation deposit fee

Deposit fees are applied when you send money to your trading account from your bank account. Usually brokers don't charge money for that and Tradestation is not different: you will see the exact same amount on your brokerage account that you sent by any of the deposit methods Tradestation offers.

Tradestation deposit methods
TradestationInteractive Brokerstastyworks
Bank transferYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardNoNoNo
Electronic walletsNoNoNo
Deposit fee000

Tradestation fees
Tradestation withdrawal fee

Unfortunately, quite like the majority of the online brokers we have reviewed Tradestation does charge a withdrawal fee of $25 for the bank transfer. This means that you need to pay this amount of money when you transfer your money back to your bank account. It's up to you to decide whether this is a high amount or not as it's dependent mostly on the size of the transferred amount.

Tradestation withdrawal fees and options compared
TradestationInteractive Brokerstastyworks
Bank transferYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardNoNoNo
Electronic walletsNoNoNo
Withdrawal fee$25$0$45

Tradestation fees
Tradestation inactivity fee

Tradestation does apply an inactivity fee and it is $50 USD per year if less than 2000 USD on balance or less than 5 trades per year.. This means that you need to be strategic about your trading activity to avoid getting charged after a longer time of no trade. The fact that Tradestation charges an inactivity fee makes it less ideal for you if you are a buy and hold investor.

Tradestation has high inactivity fee.

TradestationInteractive Brokerstastyworks
Inactivity feeYesYesNo
Inactivity fee$50 USD per year if less than 2000 USD on balance or less than 5 trades per year.$10 per month if you don't generate minimum $10 commissionNo inactivity fee

Read more about Tradestation inactivity fee on their own site.

AUTHOR

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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