TradeStation Broker Review 2018
TradeStation is a premier online brokerage service that started back in 1982 and has focused on providing industry-leading trading technology accompanied with exceptional customer service and commission structures.
They have created a product and service that caters to the most demanding active trader with tools and features that range from direct market access, hotkey abilities, robust charting software and scanning tools to name a few.
TradeStation offers all asset classes from stocks and options to futures, mutual funds and fixed income products. Whether you’re a new or experienced trader this is a broker that you need to seriously consider and I’ll explain why below.
Commissions & Fees
TradeStation has very competitive commissions rates compared to most full service broker but what I really like about their pricing is you have the option to choose a commission fee structure based on your trading style.
Looking at equities first you can choose between a per-trade rate or the per-share rate based on how much you’re trading. For their base rate you are looking at $5.00 per trade no matter how much size you are trading.
If you decide to do their per share rate then you are looking at $0.01 per share with a $1 minimum and if you trade more than 500 shares then it is reduced to $0.006 per share. So if you trade 1,000 shares under this commission schedule you will be charged $6 in commissions.
With options you are looking at a $5.00 base rate plus $0.50 per contract. They also have a per-trade or per-contract commission rate. For the per-trade commission you are looking at a commission rate based on how many option contracts you trade in a month. The more contracts you trade the better commission rate you get. If you choose to do the per-contract commission rate then you are looking at just $1.00 per contract with no base rate.
If you trade a lot of size for options then it may be best to use the base rate option as you will save money in the long run.
This commission schedule favors traders who trade more and with their best commission rate of $4.99 plus $0.20 per contract you will have one of the better rates in the industry.
One important note is TradeStation did away with their platform fee, which is really awesome because it is an excellent platform that will meet or exceed any active traders demands. The only monthly fee you will have is for market data which will vary on what subscriptions you pick.
TradeStation Commission Comparison
Trading Platform & Tools
This is where TradeStation excels past any of their competitors. Their trading technology is far superior and far more powerful than anything I’ve seen so far. They have a platform that is rich with graphics and fully customizable with robust charting capabilities, powerful scanners and research center, one-click trading and much more.
They have one of the most extensive data banks with over 40 years of historical pricing data so you can back-test strategies thoroughly and gain a deeper insight into market analysis. Their platform is easy to test trading strategies that you can customize on any time frame.
After you run a test, you can generate a report that details the results which includes a plethora of statistics and profitablility measures. You won’t find a better place to back test strategies for retail traders.
Their proprietary coding language, EasyLanguage, allows traders to build powerful trading strategies, back-test them, and then activate them to trade their accounts based on their risk tolerance or they can customize trading indicators and sell them along with trading strategies on the TradingApp store where apps can run for free or they can cost up to hundreds of dollars per month.
There are literally thousands of apps to choose from depending on your trading style and risk tolerance that can be added right on your platform. TradeStation is one of the only brokers that I’ve seen that has this for retail traders and is a very useful feature that can really add an edge to a traders strategy.
With TradeStation the possibilities are nearly endless. They have superb customer service, industry-leading technology and competitive commission rates. Their services will fulfill the needs of the most demanding full time trader to the casual investors, however, they probably aren’t the best for new traders just looking to learn the ropes as the fees can add up if you’re not trading enough.
I highly recommend TradeStation as long as you can meet their monthly minimum trading activity so you don’t get hit with the fee but if you’re serious about your trading and are looking for a new broker, then you really should check these guys out. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
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