TradeKing: Broker Review
TradeKing is a relatively new broker that emerged in 2006 after it acquired Zecco Trading which catered predominantly to the penny stock investor. Since the acquisition, TradeKing has focused specifically on individuals who seek a low cost, self-directed brokerage account with special attention to personalized client support.
TradeKing is most well-known for its flat fee structure when it comes to commissions. There is no need to spend your time with the arduous task of reviewing the fine print to locate what additional fees will be assessed. TradeKing’s ability to offer significantly discounted commission rates is driven by the firms limited number of services and lack of brick and mortar locations as compared with the other online broker stalwarts E*trade, TD Ameritrade, and Scottrade to name a few.
The other aspect where TradeKing really shines is their options trading platform and products. Unknown to most, TradeKing has a robust suite of options tools and educational resources available to assist new to seasoned traders and anyone in between to gain a very solid understanding with everything related to options.
Highly competitive flat fee structure commission rate
No minimum initial deposit
Substantial resource offerings for options research and education
Live, readily accessible client support
Web based platform
Cumbersome order entry
Laggy interface, executions
No demo account
High broker assisted trade cost of $20
Very limited platform customization
No hot keys, advanced order configuration
No level 2
$50 inactivity fee assessed after account less than $2,500 sits dormant past one year
TradeKing offers a flat fee commission structure that is $4.95/trade for all stocks above $2. For stocks trading below $2, an additional $.01/share is applied. Options trades are also $4.95/trade in addition to $.65/contract.
The Final Look
TradeKing’s prioritization of low fees and no minimum deposit make it an attractive option for the new investor as the out of pocket impact is relatively low to get started. However, this comes at the sacrifice of a software based platform where you will be much more susceptible to the slow, somewhat cumbersome interface in placing trades which makes it nearly impossible for the active trader to thrive, and whom are encouraged to look elsewhere for a more applicable broker.
However, if you are looking for an online brokerage firm who offers exceptional client support, a full suite of options products, and constant innovation in new offerings all at a substantial discount to the vast majority of other well-known online brokerage firms, TradeKing will satisfy your needs. We would also suggest you review Lightspeed Financial and Speedtrader as other low priced and high quality brokers.