TradeStation at a glance
*plus high-volume pricing
Features you'll love
OptionsStation Pro: This well-regarded tool allows you to evaluate your options positions or potential strategies. OptionsStation Pro provides a graphic visualization of a strategy’s profit and loss, and you’ll be able to set up options trades quickly and efficiently, even multi-leg options. The tool is incorporated into Tradestation’s desktop trading platform for ease of use.
Portfolio Maestro: This tool provides portfolio-level reporting on your performance, analyzing the risk of your holdings and can optimize the portfolio for almost any combination of holdings. Portfolio Maestro helps you reduce your downside and avoid overexposure to risks across the portfolio. It’s also integrated into the broker’s high-powered desktop trading platform.
Where TradeStation rocks
TradeStation offers three pricing plans, allowing customers to select the plan that fits them best:
Per-trade plan: The broker charges a flat $5 per trade, putting it in competition with other major rivals such as Fidelity and Charles Schwab, though it doesn’t offer all their benefits (see more below).
Per-share plan: This plan starts pricing at a penny per share ($0.01) and drops to $0.006 after the first 500 shares in a single order. There’s a $1 minimum per order.
Unbundled plan: This plan caters to high-volume traders, with per-share pricing starting at $0.01 for fewer than 100,000 shares traded in a month and dropping to $0.002 for more than five million shares traded in a month.
The commission plan you choose applies to stocks, ETFs and options.
TradeStation offers a pair of platforms — one desktop and the other web-based — that bring the power of the broker to the forefront.
The desktop platform is the flagship and offers a fully customizable experience that should appeal to professional traders. Traders can use the broker’s own built-in charting indicators or create their own. The platform features more than 10 charting types with dozens and dozens of technical indicators, and you can create your own too. Plus, decades of historical data allow you to backtest any strategy you develop. The capabilities go on and on.
The web-based platform offers the core functionality of the desktop platform but will be easier for less-experienced investors to navigate. This platform also provides streaming real-time quotes and offers one-click trade execution, both offered in the flagship app.
In addition, the broker offers a mobile trading app that allows you to analyze charts with technical indicators, including many from their desktop platform. You can also monitor a watchlist of up to 30 securities with streaming quotes as well as place trades, among other functions.
TradeStation delivers the range of securities that you’d expect from a broker geared toward advanced traders. In addition to the usual offerings of stock, bonds, ETFs and mutual funds, investors can swap futures contracts. And TradeStation is planning to roll out cryptocurrency trading in 2019 through a subsidiary called TradeStation Crypto. The only major category missing is forex, a rarely offered asset class.
There is a $500 minimum to open an equities account, while futures accounts have a $5,000 minimum.
TradeStation makes an excellent choice for the right kind of investor, but may not be a good fit for many:
- Volume-based commissions and trading platform appeal more to active and professional traders.
- Also appealing to traders are the highly capable trading platform and technical tools.
- However, no commission-free ETFs or no-transaction-fee mutual funds may have newer or individual investors feeling left out.
Investors who are looking for similar per-trade pricing and more research should look into Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab. Investors who need a wide range of commission-free ETFs or fee-free mutual funds should also consider those two as well TD Ameritrade and E*Trade.
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