Tradestation Review 2020
TradeStation is a platform that provides online electronic brokerage services in the U.S. and all across the world. The brokerage firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Monex Group, Inc, a leading Japanese online financial services provider. TradeStation offers its services through its award-winning desktop platform, website, and the trading app. The platform holds an experience of more than 30 years and it provides access to the required data with an investing strategy.
- The company was founded by Cuban-born brothers William “Bill” and Rafael “Ralph” Cruz.
- Till 2001, the firm was a trading software company while since 2004-05, it has transformed into a self-clearing equities and options firm and eventually it became a self-clearing futures firm.
- As part of its transformation, it was renamed to TradeStation. At present, the platform enables the traders to cope up with today’s ever-changing global financial scenario.
What is TradeStation?
- TradeStation is based in Florida; it is an online brokerage service and began its operations in 1982. TradeStation is popularly known for its electronic trading platform and analysis software. Since its Inception, TradeStation has grown as one of the most leading and well established platforms that are available in the market. Since 2011, TradeStation has been owned by the Monex group of Japan.
- TradeStation offers its services mainly to active traders and institutional trader markets. Further, it offers a supportive investment trading platform, which offers real-time trading, the ability to automate, optimize the trades, monitor, and the trader has the opportunity to create customized features.
- TradeStation platform offers the traders the advantages of having both individual retirement accounts(IRAs) and traditional broker accounts, which allows trading of mutual funds, stocks, ETFs, foreign securities, bonds, futures & options, and forex trades.
- As per our TradeStation review 2020, TradeStation offers around 14 different types of accounts in order to facilitate a vast range of investors. The platform also comes up with highly trained, fully licensed brokerage professionals who can provide personalized support. Moreover, low-cost commission pricing plans which are more simplified are also a part of their services.
- TradeStation users can hold easy access to a majority of the leading U.S. based exchanges and market centers. A user can find fully customizable market monitoring, charting and analysis tools in order to identify the market trend on the platform.
- Its desktop platform, website, and the trading app can be used with iOS or Android devices which are synchronized to their online accounts in real-time. Notably, Technical analysis and statistical modeling of trading strategies stand as a major plus point of the platform.
- By using the TradeStation platform, the trader can trade options on equities and futures.
- Additionally, TradeStation holds many options regarding trading products which are explained below –
TradeStation happens to be something that is more than just a flashy software. You need to have a genuine sense of trend in the market to get into the exciting ride of stock trading. The brokerage platform also gives an opportunity to trade in the stock market in real-time with ease.
- Stock trading at TradeStation goes quite easy as the platform holds an easy interface.
- The service is Lightning-fast with real-time market data packages.
- In a single window, it tracks custom alerts for so many symbols.
- Gives quick access to major U.S. exchanges and market centers.
- Vast research based on hundreds of historical and real-time technical and fundamental data.
On the other hand, the ETFs trading service of TradeStation allows the investors to dive into trading of indices, sectors, commodities, and currencies. With this, one can get exposure to more than 2,000 exchange-traded funds.
- Exposure to different industry sectors.
- Diverse opportunities with low fees.
While cryptocurrencies are ‘in thing’ these days, finding a suitable platform for crypto trading is not an easy job. Here, TradeStation comes to the rescue as it enables trading of coins such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and XRP.
- Comes across as a trusted platform when it’s about crypto.
- More liquidity, more accessibility.
- Connects to venues like exchanges, OTC desks, and other sources into a consolidated pool.
TradeStation covers an extra mile here, as it provides well-known fund managers to benefit from their Mutual fund experience.TradeStation Mutual fund offers more than 2000 options for mutual funds to choose from.
- One can manage risk using this platform.
- Gets you a diversified portfolio.
Apart from these trading options, TradeStation intends to empower traders by educating them to trade efficiently. It holds an educational electronic media publication portal named ‘YouCanTrade.’
The portal manifests live trading demonstrations based on various types of markets and trading approaches. These demonstrations are made with the help of experienced coaches.
A few more educational offerings by YouCanTrade are:
- Text service: lets you know up-to-date trading strategies
- Free webinars: YouCanTrade’s webinars cover lessons on placing trades, options trading, available asset classes, and technical analysis. Moreover, its five-day “Master Class” events are also available on YouTube. Such education videos of TradeStation also include topics like using margin, trading ETFs and IPOs (initial public offerings), and cryptocurrencies.
- Most importantly, you get to experience exposure to a diverse community of investors and traders and coaching channels. These aspects are likely to contribute to a trader’s skills and knowledge.
- TradeStation offers a section named ‘Market Insight’ in its ‘learn’ menu, where it gives an overall idea of the market. Here, a trader can get an insight regarding trade strategies. With that, this option also gets you a few important updates regarding the financial world.
Types of Accounts
As per our TradeStation reviews, TradeStation leverages three main types of accounts as the platform claims that one size never fits all. It gives various options including, Individual, Joint, IRA, Entity, Institutional, and Custodial accounts. Also, regarding equities accounts, the website instructs that a minimum of $500 for cash and a minimum of $2,000 for margin is required as initial funding.
As usual, the individual account gets you a personal brokerage account, now, let’s have a look at the options available in joint accounts.
- Joint with Right of Survivorship: Two people can own this kind of account and in this case, If one account owner passes away, the second account owner can have the rights of the entire account.
- Joint Tenants in Common: Not more than 3 individuals can own this type of account. Here, each one gets a particular percentage of the account. With any of their demise, their beneficiaries receive that person’s portion of the account. Notably, joint accounts are not available for crypto accounts at TradeStation.
- Institutional: Institutional accounts of TradeStation seems to be a fit for businesses as they provide tailored solutions. Competitive pricing here is a major plus here. Apart from that, the platform enables you to operate with almost no limitations and fetches on-demand service.
- Retirement: In its retirement account, one can look for flexibility as it covers the Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP IRA. Such an account is designed to meet one’s retirement goals. Moreover, the entity accounts seem suitable for corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, trusts, and sole proprietorships.
- As per our TradeStation review, when it comes to the fee structure, active traders are on the profitable end. For equity, it charges $0.60 per contract while for futures, it costs $1.50 per contract, per side. It is important to note that traders need to maintain a balance of $100,000 to avoid large platform fees. However, these minimums vary according to your accounts and securities. ETFs and other equities require $500 or $2000 to trade on margin. Also, funding of at least $2000 is a must to trade in options and futures.
- Also, a few more fees will be applicable, such as, if you hold an IRA at TradeStation, a $35 annual fee will be applied. Plus, the market monitoring tool, RadarScreen, costs an additional fee of $59.95 per month if one doesn’t meet the trading threshold.
- Here, mutual funds and bonds need to be held at a different brokerage. TradeStation’s brokerage fees are not so costly as compared to other discount brokerage firms.
TradeStation trading fees
The trading fees offered by the TradeStation are very low; the trader can choose any one of the three plans that are given below –
- Per trade plan – the cost of all the trades is fixed at $5 per trade. This package is recommended for investors or traders who trade high volumes.
- Per-share plan – this plan consists of the commission $0.01 per share, yet the minimum is $1. This plan is highly recommended for traders who trade in small volumes.
- Unbundled pricing – In this, the trades are priced as a “per share” option. If the trader trades more than 100,000 shares in a month, gradually the fees are decreased. This package is highly recommended for very high volume investors.
- TradeStation offers commission-free trading on ETFs, and equities that are available for residents of the US, if they apply for a TSgo plan.
Below given are the zero commissions applied for stocks, options, and futures.
- For trading Stocks, $0 per trade
- For trading Options can trade 0 dollars, As low as $0.50 per contract
- For trading Futures can trade 0 dollars, as low as $0.85 per contract, per side
Recent Launch (TSgo):
TSgo stands for TradeStation Go and it came to light in October this year as the trading platform came up with a service that is commission-free. However, the web platform and mobile app are only options available to TSgo customers, as they are not allowed to use the powerful downloadable TradeStation platform with all its modeling bells and whistles.
Using TSgo, one can trade stocks which also includes OTCBB/penny stocks. Plus, the newly launched service offers ETF trading with no fee while charging $0.50 per contract for options transactions.
Works perfectly for active traders: As per our review, TradeStation is specially tailored for active users as on this platform, customers must carry out at least 50 options trades per month or trade at least 5,000 shares per month to avoid heavy fees. TradeStation offers state-of-the-art software that helps to deal with active and rapid trading.
Easy language: On this, traders need to have a bit of knowledge about coding. The technical expertise helps to go smoothly on the platform and TradeStation comes with a simpler coding language named EasyLanguage. It is a kind of a mix of HTML and SQL. Basically, the language helps to understand the price charts to figure out the strategy.
RadarScreen – a rapid tool for updates: RadarScreen is a tool to fetch data and it is pretty quick at this. Using it, one can access real-time data on 1000 symbols.
Technical Analysis: The platform is quite impressive when it comes to data as it holds more than 40 years of historical data along with 90 years for equities. This is likely to help investors to gain an understanding of the market easily.
Learning platform: TradeStation desktop platform provides a thorough insight regarding trading, which helps the users to enhance their skills along with enriching their portfolio. The majority of their webinars are free of cost and cover a vast range of topics. However, a few learning software are as costly as $149.
Some of the benefits of using a TradeStation are described below –
- By introducing TSgo and TS Select plans, the investors can avail commission-free trades on options, exchange-traded funds, stocks, TradeStation’s mobile, and web-based platforms. This is one of the most advantageous features offered by this software. Any trades executed cost $10 per trade.
- TS Select traders have full access to commission-free trade and tools, and they can avail a reduced cost for options and futures contracts. To avail of this feature, TS Select needs $2000 as minimum balance and it charges a little bit higher price for options & futures contracts.
- One should note that TSgo and TS Select free trades are restricted to 10,000 shares per trade. Traders who are trading on higher volumes can select other pricing plans that are given below.
Below given is the complete details of TradeStation pricing –
- By using TSgo, the investors are offered free trades when they are using TradeStation web or mobile trading platforms. Further, options trades are offered at $0.50 per contract.
- By choosing TS Select, it offers full access and free trades by using TradeStation desktop platform and it requires a $2000 minimum amount as an account balance. TS Select accounts offer option trades at $0.60 per contract.
- Unbundled pricing and Per share are for traders who are trading high-volume. They can choose per contract or share commissions or unbundled pricing.
Tools and Platforms
- TradeStation provides two trading platforms such as TradeStation desktop, which is the company’s debut product, and Web Trading, which is used as a browser-based platform. It is designed for users who are looking for simplicity.
- TradeStation desktop charting offers more than 40 years of historical data that can be viewed for stock charts. There are 274 indicators and studies that are offered and it can also be adjusted or reworked according to the user’s specification by using EasyLanguage.
- TradeStation web trading is very easy to use and offers its investors a way to manage their active positions, watch lists, open orders, place trades, and conduct stock chart analysis, with ease. Moreover, the chart trading functionality offered by this TradeStation is highly superior when compared to other platforms.
- Options trading can be easily dealt with by using OptionStation Pro, which is a built-in tool within the TradeStation desktop platform. It is designed for robust analysis and streamlined trading. Options tool features include streaming real-time stocks, custom grouping for existing positions, and advanced position analysis among others.
- Concerning futures trading, just like options trading, the traders will be at ease when trading with TradeStation desktop. Some of the advanced tools used for equity trading also apply to futures trading which offers a seamless trading experience.
Account Opening Process
Opening an account with TradeStation is easy, fast, and fully digital. On the contrary, the minimum deposit is $500 and multiple base currencies are available only for future accounts.
Us brokers cannot open an account instantly, because of the regulatory reasons; yet the account opening process with TradeStation is the fastest among US brokers. For the account to be approved, it takes 1 to 2 business days.
For opening an account with TradeStation, the trader needs to go through the following steps –
- The first step is to select the account type, where the trader chooses the account type and they can also choose a personal account manager.
- The second step would be adding personal information such as name, address, date of birth, phone number, etc.
- The third step would be to add employment information. The trader needs to offer details about their employer and their employment status.
- The next step would be to answer short questions regarding the trader’s trading experience. The trader needs to offer their net worth and annual income.
- The final step would be the verification process, and the trader needs to verify their address and identity. For identification, the trader can offer a passport/driving license/national ID, which are accepted. For proof of address, the trader can upload a bank statement or utility bill.
The minimum deposit differs by account types. Some of them are explained below –
- Equities account has a $500 minimum deposit
- Cash account has a $500 minimum deposit
- Margin account has a $2000 minimum deposit
- Day trading account has a $25,000 minimum deposit
- Futures account has a $5,000 minimum deposit
TradeStation offers a two-step login process for safety of setting it up. We recommend the traders to use it for additional security.
TradeStation Inactivity fees
TradeStation’s Inactivity fee per year is $50 if the trader uses the per trade fee structure –
- The trader’s balance goes down to $2000
- Executes less than 5 trades per year
TradeStation’s inactivity fee is $100 per month if the trader uses the per-share fee structure –
- The trader holds 10 round-turn futures and/or futures options contracts
- The trader’s balance goes down to $100,000
- The trader executes less than 5,000 stocks or 50 options trades per month
- The above fees are highly advantageous to high volume investors or traders.
TradeStation offers its customer service through email and telephone support which can be contacted only on weekdays. The user can contact TradeStations customer service through live chat, email, telephone. The customer service is available only in English. The telephone support offered by TradeStation is great and they provide relevant and fast answers. Besides, the live chat function is not available for customers in Europe.
TradeStation is a trading platform that has been consistent at winning awards at least for the last 4 years. As per our TradeStation review, this year, it has managed to get ranked in One of America’s “Top 5” Online Brokers Overall in Investopedia’s 2019 Best Online Brokers Awards. Also, it was amongst “Top 5” in “Best for Day Trading” Category. Apart from that, TradeStation was ranked America’s top online broker for Equity Trading Tools in the 2019 IBD Best Online Brokers Report, an annual survey of active investors carried out by Investor’s Business Daily.
Costly Learning Software: As per our TradeStation Reviews, TradeStation provides most of the educational services for free of cost, yet, a few of the courses are a bit expensive. To onboard the software, it charges $149.
Not good for less active people: TradeStation can be a costly affair for less active traders. The trading platform seems to be specially carved for traders who can maintain the frequency of their activities.
Requires Programming: As per our Trading station review, the platform requires knowledge of the coding language, it becomes less feasible for many traders. One may need time to learn and understand the platform. As everyone cannot be a coding language pro, the platform remains limited to a few.
In a nutshell, TradeStation is a kind of trading platform that works better for the active traders and who can also possess technical prowess. If it fits your needs, it has one of the best software to offer you low fees. The educational webinars and learning resources are also a major plus here. The TradeStation platform works best for the traders who really want to have notable trading experience, though the coding language may come across as a hurdle.
1. How much does TradeStation cost per month?
Non-professional traders need to pay $99 per month and professional traders need to pay $199 per month to access the Platform.
2. Is TradeStation a good broker?
TradeStation offers good technical research and provides traders with quality trade execution, which makes it the best choice for experienced traders. Those having small accounts or less active traders need to pay additional fees, but when compared to other trading platforms, traders find the fees competitive and the trading tools offered by the platform are good.
3. How much does it cost to open a TradeStation account?
TradeStation account opening process is easy, quick and it is fully digital. On the contrary, the trader needs to add minimum funds of $500 to start trading with this broker.
4. Is TradeStation safe?
TradeStation is considered safe because it is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission.