PennTrade Broker Review
PennTrade is an online broker that has been servicing retail traders since 1999 and pride themselves on offering the ability to trade Canadian stocks and on their customer service. Their website is simple and to the point with easy navigation to all the important information like commissions, contact information and services offered. What’s great about PennTrade is they offer you the ability to trade Canadian stocks as well as US equities and give you interest on your cash balances in your account.
Their trading platform was decent but nothing special. It has your basic order entry tab along with open positions, balances and open order pages. I found it to be too simple for active traders who need a more powerful platform where I can use hotkeys to get in and out of positions and have direct market access. I would recommend this platform to casual traders and maybe swing traders but it is not suitable for day traders.
Commission & Fees
This is where I was a little surprised. They have one of the most expensive commission schedules I’ve seen and since they don’t really offer anything special like an advanced trading platform it doesn’t make much sense. For stocks you are looking at paying a minimum of $19.95 per trade! That’s more than double what most other brokers offer. For Canadian stocks you’ll pay $34.95 per trade and keep in mind that’s just one side of the trade. So for a round turn on a US equity you are looking at coughing up almost $40 and nearly $70 for Canadian stocks. At these price points there is no way an active trader could survive here, especially if you are just learning the ropes.
PennTrade also has an account minimum of $1,500 which isn’t terrible but still something to keep in mind and they also have a $50.00 inactivity fee. So if you don’t place a trade for a year, you’re account will be charged $50. One fee that really caught my attention is their research fee. They charge clients $20 per hour for researching stocks that their clients might buy for $34.95 a clip. I thought they have a lot of fees at PennTrade which made it feel like they were nickel and diming you for everything.
Overall, this broker really doesn’t offer much that other brokers already offer, so it doesn’t make sense to me that they charge so much for commissions. I can’t recommend this broker for active traders or even casual traders as those commission costs will cut a huge hole in your profit. There are plenty of other brokers out their to choose from and I would suggest looking elsewhere. The only thing that I did like and would like to mention is their customer service. They were very professional and courteous with quick responses and knowledgeable staff.
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Reviews by Warrior Trading