TradeStation is an excellent option for active traders due to its powerful trading platform, high-quality market data, and swift trade executions. Its trading systems remain accessible during trading volume spikes. TradeStation has long been regarded as the gold standard among serious traders. However, the company has made significant efforts to make its services more appealing to casual investors as well as novice and intermediate-level traders who wish to improve their skills. Despite these efforts, our newly developed, retail-focused ratings model still has room for improvement in terms of account fees, educational content gaps, and the absence of life planning tools.
List of Contents
TradeStation : Website
Minimum Balance: $0
Cost per stock trade: $0
Cost per options trade: $0.50-$0.60 per contract, depending on account type
Promotion: Up to $5,000 cash
No-transaction-fee mutual funds: None
Securities Tradable: Stocks, options, futures, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds and cryptocurrency
Customer service: Phone, email and chat M-F 8 a.m.-5 p.m. ET
Account fees: $35 IRA annual account fee and $50 termination fee; $125 outgoing transfer fee; $50 inactivity fee
Mobile applications: TradeStation offers the TradeStation Mobile app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
TradeStation has changed its focus away from high-net-worth, experienced, and active traders. TradeStation’s clientele has shifted toward a younger demographic after removing its minimum funding requirements and platform fees, introducing crypto, launching YouCanTrade, and integrating with TradingView. As more traders of all levels demand stable, dependable platforms, the number of traders who have switched to TradeStation due to its dependability has increased.
Customers of TradeStation have access to the equity, exchange-traded fund (ETF), cryptocurrency, options, futures, mutual fund, bond, and initial public offering (IPO) markets via multiple devices and platforms. TradeStation is ideal for active, technical traders who need sophisticated charting, testing, order entry, and automation capabilities due to its robust and fully customizable trading platform. Through the YouCanTrade education service and community, novice investors and traders can learn about the financial markets and how to use the TradeStation platform. We’ll examine TradeStation’s extensive offering in greater detail to help you determine if it meets your investment needs.
- Phone support (800-822-0512) 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET
- Live conversation with a person Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET
- The website’s chatbot (TSbot)
- Trades can be executed and balance, position, and margin inquiries can be made during market hours (which vary by asset).
You can trade stocks, ETFs, options, futures, and IPOs via desktop, web, and mobile platforms with TradeStation (you can trade bonds and mutual funds with broker assistance). 4 Before placing trades, you must choose the appropriate account from a dropdown menu (i.e., your futures account or your equities account). Additionally, traders have access to the Eurex, ICE Europe, and LIFFE international futures exchanges. Forex is absent, as TradeStation discontinued support for the asset class in 2016.
TradeStation provides two distinct web platforms for trading cryptocurrencies and futures options: TradeStation Crypto and FuturesPlus, respectively. Upon logging in to your account on the TradeStation website, you can launch either platform.
TradeStation offers the following trading products:
- Stocks long and short (over 2400 on the easy-to-borrow list)
- OTCBB (penny stocks)
- Futures options (via Futures Plus)
- Simple and multi-leg options (up to four legs)
- Cryptocurrency (via TradeStation Crypto): Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD Coin, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, Aave, Compound, Chainlink, Polygon, Maker, Shiba Inu, and Litecoin, plus eight spot markets: BTCUSD, ETHUSD, USDCUSD, XRPUSD, LTCUSD, BCHUSD, ETHBT, and LTCBTC
- Mutual funds can be traded with broker assistance
- Bonds (corporate, municipal, Treasury, and CDs) can be traded with broker assistance
TradeStation provides commission-free stock, ETF, option, and futures trading, as well as free market data and no monthly platform fees. Consider that many non-equity trades incur additional clearing and trading exchange fees. These fees are established by the financial exchanges (e.g., CBOT, CME, NYMEX/COMEX, CFE, etc.) and vary by market and exchange membership level. Complete fee information is available on TradeStation’s pricing page, but the following is a summary:
- Equity, ETF, and OTCBB (penny stock) trades are commission-free for the first 10,000 shares, then $0.005 per share. Direct equity orders cost $0.005 per share.
- Stock options cost $0.60 per contract.
- Futures cost $1.50 per contract, per side.
- Futures micro e-minis cost $0.50 per contract, per side.
- Futures options cost $1.50 per contract, per side.
- Cryptocurrency trading fees depend on account balance. USDC deposits, withdrawals, market data, and the TS Crypto platform are free, and there’s no minimum funding.
- The margin interest rate ranges from 3.5% to 9.50%. The rate on $10,000 is 9.5% and 8.75% on $100,000.
- A $50 per year inactivity fee if you don’t maintain a $2,000 end-of-month equity balance or place fewer than five trades per year.
- Account transfer costs $125. Transferring an IRA adds $35 custodial and $50 termination fees.
- Domestic wires cost $25 and international $35. Wire transfers and paper checks are free.
- Paper invoices and statements cost $1 per page.
- Broker assistance is free.
All TradeStation platforms support conditional orders (including one-cancels-the-other and order-sends-order), bracket orders, and trailing stops, and multiple orders can be entered concurrently. Additional advanced order rules, such as activation rules that allow orders to be sent to the market based on price or time, are available on the TradeStation 10 desktop platform.
Before executing a trade, you can modify the default tax lot relief method assigned to your account for each asset type via the gain/loss tax management feature in the client center. Using the gain/loss tax management feature, you can modify the tax method after placing a trade but prior to its settlement. Other adjustments require a live broker conversation.
The process of opening a TradeStation account is streamlined and relatively quick. On the same day you can open an account, fund it, and begin trading stocks and options. The TradeStation website has been updated numerous times over the past few years, and it’s simple to locate information about pricing, products, platforms, and educational opportunities.
Customers of TradeStation can trade on multiple trading platforms and devices. This includes the flagship TradeStation 10 Desktop platform, a web-based platform with most of the functionality of the desktop version, and a mobile app for iOS and Android with full functionality. You can view charts with streaming data and news, add technical indicators, and create custom watchlists regardless of the platform you employ. The same instruments are accessible on all platforms, and there are multiple entry methods for trade orders, including the option to use conditional orders, profit targets, and stop-loss orders.
TradeStation’s workflow is intuitive and fully customizable, despite its intimidating appearance. You can customize your experience by setting trade defaults, hotkeys, and workspaces (workspaces let you organize and save the various analysis and trading apps you want to use).
TradeStation trader apps. You can launch these apps by clicking on the platform. “Chart Analysis”, “Hot List”, “RadarScreen”, “Matrix”, “Time & Sales”, “TradeManager”, “OptionStation Pro,” and others are built-in trading apps. TradeStation TradingApp Store offers free or monthly third-party tools.
TradeStation’s window linking is convenient. This lets you link windows using a common symbol or interval. Link a RadarScreen, Chart Analysis, and Matrix window. Chart Analysis and Matrix will update to any symbol you click in RadarScreen. Research and order entry are faster with window linking.
All TradeStation platforms offer real-time streaming data, and you can place, modify, and cancel orders from a chart or keyboard shortcuts. Monitor the market and place trades (including one-click limit orders) using the Matrix. Matrix combines a market depth window, an advanced order-entry tool, and an order-tracking system into a single, customizable window.
All platforms (including mobile) let you enter multiple orders simultaneously on TradeStation 10 Desktop. You can open OptionStation Pro from the main platform to trade options. Launch TSCrypto when you log into TradeStation to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. You’ll need a separate crypto account to trade.
Security, Reliability and Transparency
- The Auth0 Guardian app, the Google Authenticator app, and SMS text messaging all support two-factor authentication.
- Biometric (face or fingerprint) login for mobile devices.
- TradeStation carries excess Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) insurance with a $300 million aggregate limit, provided by Lloyd’s of London, to cover amounts in excess of those returned in a SIPC liquidation. The maximum for a single customer is $24.5 million, and the cash limit per account is $900,000.
- TradeStation is regarded as an exceptionally stable and dependable platform with minimal downtime. In the past year, it has maintained a 99.999% uptime, operating flawlessly even during periods of extreme volatility.
- According to the Identity Theft Research Center, there were no serious data breaches at any TradeStation location.
TradeStation is a member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), and is governed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). By selecting “Pricing” from the main menu at the very top of any website, it is simple to access specific details regarding pricing structures, commissions, service fees, margin rates, market data, and exchange fees.
News and Education
TradeStation offers a customizable news app on all platforms, with Benzinga providing real-time news. You can symbol link positions and watchlists to stream relevant news or filter by subject. TradeStation’s proprietary market commentary, known as TradeStation Market Insights, is accessible on the desktop platform and website and is updated throughout the trading day.
TradeStation provides a variety of educational resources on its website, such as articles, videos, and a glossary, as well as courses, quick tips, frequently asked questions, and live events, to help you learn how to use its trading platforms. An active community forum provides a venue for asking questions, searching for answers, gaining programming tips, and fixing bugs.
Through its affiliate, YouCanTrade, TradeStation also provides a vast assortment of trader education presentations and courses. Through YouCanTrade, you can ask questions and interact with coaches, receive trade alerts, join free webinars, take courses, and observe live trading in its trading rooms. These offerings can be invaluable to novice and intermediate traders attempting to enhance their trading abilities.
TradeStation’s trading simulator, which includes real-time streaming data and all the functionality of TradeStation 10 without the real money and real positions of a live account, is an extremely valuable tool for traders of all levels. Utilizing the simulated environment will assist you in determining your preferred order entry method.
Pros and Cons
✔ Professional trading platform with prompt and dependable order execution
✔ Competitive pricing
✔ User-friendly trading interfaces and sophisticated order types
✔ Dynamic sorting and scanning tools for symbols
✔ Robust trading simulation environment
✔ Development of robust strategies and automation
✘ An arduous learning curve
✘ A complex interface can be intimidating.
✘ Zero no-transaction-fee mutual funds
✘ Possible lengthy wait times for tech support
- TradeStation is a professional-grade trading platform with quick and dependable order execution, exceptional charting, technical analysis, order entry, strategy development, and trade automation technology.
- In addition to advanced order routing technology, regular and rigorous reviews of speed, execution quality, and price improvement, quality trade execution is achieved through a combination of these factors.
- TradeStation offers commission-free trades on stocks and ETFs, as well as competitive pricing on options, futures, futures options, and cryptocurrencies. Previously, TradeStation offered TS SELECT and TS GO, with TS SELECT accounts requiring a $2000 minimum and TS GO accounts requiring no minimum, but the TS SELECT minimum has been eliminated and TS GO has been discontinued.
- TradeStation’s trading interfaces and order types are both intuitive. Multiple, user-friendly interfaces, such as Chart Trading, Matrix, Quick Trade, Trade Bar, and keyboard trading, allow for one-click and drag-and-drop trading. Place trailing stops, conditional orders, and profit targets across all platforms.
- TradeStation provides dynamic sorting and scanning tools for symbols. RadarScreen sorts a list of up to one thousand predefined symbols in real time according to user-defined criteria. The app scans thousands of symbols (e.g., all stocks) using 180+ technical and fundamental indicators, in addition to custom studies.
- TradeStation has a robust trading simulation environment. Using real-time streaming market data, you can test trading ideas and strategies, hone your trading skills, and execute demo trades without risking capital.
- TradeStation facilitates the development and automation of robust strategies. Using pre-built strategy components or TradeStation’s proprietary programming language, EasyLanguage, you can build, test, optimize, monitor, and fully automate trading strategies.
- TradeStation’s learning curve is fairly steep. Learning how to use all the platform’s features and maximize its potential requires time and effort.
- The TradeStation platform is sophisticated, which can make it appear daunting at first, especially to novice traders. Nonetheless, navigation and learning are easier than you might expect.
- TradeStation, unlike many other brokers, does not offer no-transaction-fee mutual funds. This is typically not a problem, however, because the broker caters to active traders and not buy-and-hold investors.
- TradeStation’s tech support has potentially lengthy wait times. When calling tech support, hold times can be lengthy, which can be frustrating if you have a problem during business hours.
Is TradeStation A Worth Broker to Get?
TradeStation is most likely to appeal to active traders or those who want to improve their skills in this area, but it shouldn’t be a total turnoff for new investors:
- Trading platforms, a large number of tools, and even crypto trading are all set up for active traders who want to master the markets.
- High account fees, a small number of mutual funds (with no no-transaction-fee funds), and the lack of fractional shares may turn off new investors or people who are saving for retirement.
- Research and education are not TradeStation’s strong points, so new investors may not get the kind of help they need, but experienced investors probably won’t care.
TradeStation began in 1982. The longer a broker’s record, the more proof we have that it has survived financial crises. TradeStation is owned by Japanese broker Monex Group. It’s one of Japan’s largest online brokers and listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. This is a good sign, as listed companies are more transparent and scrutinized than private firms. Annual financial statements and SEC and FINRA regulation are safe signs for TradeStation.
Because of its powerful trading platform, cheap pricing, and numerous research tools, TradeStation is a great online broker for stock trading. It is suitable for both rookie and expert traders.
Yes, TradeStation provides options trading with competitive pricing and a variety of advanced options trading features such as configurable options chains, real-time options analytics, and options trading techniques.
Yes, TradeStation provides mobile trading via its mobile app, which is accessible for iOS and Android smartphones. The software has complete trading capability, such as real-time quotations and sophisticated order kinds.
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Source: Investopedia, Bankrate