Zacks Trade review 2023
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Zacks Trade: Best for
- Active traders
- Research availability
- Trading platform
Zacks Trade gives active traders a solid brokerage experience with a number of tools favored by experienced investors. You’ll get access to a wide variety of investment research to inform your decision making, and shouldn’t have any trouble finding the account type you’re looking for. The Zacks Trade Pro trading platform is customizable and includes more than 120 technical indicators that traders can configure to their specific needs. New investors can benefit from the fractional shares that are available, but an account minimum of $2,500 could send them to other brokers. There’s also an inactivity fee of $15 per month for accounts under $25,000, so if you’re not looking to be an active trader, Zacks Trade is likely not the broker for you.
Investors looking for low costs, no account minimums and a more complete brokerage experience might consider Charles Schwab or Fidelity Investments.
Zacks Trade: In the details
Pros: Where Zacks Trade stands out
Zacks Trade gives clients access to an impressive research offering that includes 20 free research subscriptions from various providers. You can also sign up for 80 different premium trials to help you identify different trading and investment opportunities.
Free access to independent research from sources such as Morningstar is included and you’ll also get news and analysis from Dow Jones Newswires and Thomson Reuters.
Investors particularly interested in research should also consider Merrill Edge and Fidelity, both of which give clients access to third-party research.
Zacks Trade also offers many different account types, allowing you to select the type that suits your needs. You’ll get to choose from both individual and joint accounts, and have access to traditional and Roth IRAs as well as SEP IRAs, which aren’t available at all brokers. Trust and custodial accounts are also available.
Zacks Trade also offers accounts for investment funds and institutions, but those likely won’t be necessary for individual investors. Still, the availability of these accounts means that other aspects of their offering are aiming to match the needs of professionals.
Zacks Trade offers fractional shares and new purchases and reinvested dividends, something that is often popular with new investors. Fractional shares allow investors to make sure that they can invest the full amount they wish and that there isn’t leftover cash in their account because they couldn’t afford a full share of a stock or ETF.
It’s worth noting some brokers only offer fractional shares on reinvested dividends.
When it comes to a trading platform, Zacks Trade lets clients choose between two different options. The traditional client portal allows clients looking to perform basic functions a simple view where they can place trades and access key documents and account information.
For more active traders, Zacks Trade Pro offers all the bells and whistles of a professional trading platform. You can customize the screen to whatever matters most to you and can quickly see information on options trading or your watch list of stocks. You can use more than 120 different technical indicators to help you identify your next trade and can trade directly from a chart screen.
Cons: Where Zacks Trade could improve
Zacks Trade customers will need to bring at least $2,500 to the broker in order to start investing. This account minimum is high for the industry, where most brokers allow you to get started with no minimum at all. The high minimum is likely to send new investors with little in the way of savings to look elsewhere for their broker needs.
Investors who are starting out small might consider a robo-advisor. Both Acorns and Stash allow customers to start investing with just $5 and can make regular contributions beyond that, even if they’re small. Robo-advisors allow you to build a diversified portfolio based on your goals and risk tolerance and can be appealing to new investors.
Stock and ETF commissions
At $0.01 per share with a $1 minimum, it’s hard to say Zacks Trade’s commissions on stocks and ETFs are expensive, but with most of the rest of the industry offering commission-free trades, the cost sticks out as a negative.
Customers most likely to tolerate the fees are active traders who are drawn to Zacks Trade’s professional trading platform and enjoy the vast research offering. For most other investors, they’re better off sticking with a broker that has cut their fees to zero.
While Zacks Trade doesn’t charge the standard account transfer fee of $75, it does charge a $15 per month inactivity fee for accounts with balances below $25,000. This is yet another sign that the broker is targeting active traders. It isn’t looking for investors to buy-and-hold and not generate commissions for the broker. The monthly inactivity fee is meant to encourage trading, which often works to the detriment of investors’ portfolios.
Mutual fund fees
Mutual fund trades come with a commission of $27.50, which will eat into the returns investors ultimately earn. Up until recently, mutual fund commissions were fairly common in the brokerage industry, but as with stocks and ETFs, the race is on to offer free mutual fund trades.
Investors looking to purchase mutual funds should consider E-Trade or Interactive Brokers, both of which offer thousands of no-transaction-fee funds.
Firstrade4.0 Bankrate Score
Firstrade is a solid brokerage offering that may particularly appeal to options traders because of its commission-free options trades. You’ll also get access to quality research and its mobile app, but mutual fund investors may be disappointed by the small number of no-transaction fee funds available.
TD Ameritrade4.5 Bankrate Score
TD Ameritrade still offers strong platforms and a range of research for its clients, making it a very solid pick for more advanced traders, even as it is about to merge with Charles Schwab. A wide range of tradable securities and plenty of commission-free mutual funds make this broker interesting for both new and advanced traders, as do the competitive commissions.
WellsTrade2.5 Bankrate Score
WellsTrade handles most of the basics well and could be a good fit for existing Wells Fargo customers looking to consolidate accounts in one place. However, active traders should likely look elsewhere for their brokerage needs due to high options costs and a barebones trading platform.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing3.0 Bankrate Score
J.P Morgan’s Self-Directed Investing platform is a good fit for existing Chase customers who are looking for a low-cost way to trade stocks, ETFs and mutual funds while getting access to the bank’s easy-to-use mobile app. However, only a few account types are offered and If you’re looking to trade forex, futures or crypto, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Interactive Brokers5.0 Bankrate Score
Interactive Brokers keeps adding new features and improving its offerings year after year, and now has new mobile apps to pair with long-time strengths such as its wide number of tradable securities and access to global markets. Low margin rates, high interest rates on cash balances, and a leading number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds serve to make this broker a top pick.
E*Trade4.5 Bankrate Score
E-Trade is likely to be a suitable broker choice for many investors who will appreciate its low trading costs, high-quality research and education, and 24/7 access to customer service. However, if you’re starting small and looking to trade fractional shares, you’ll need to find a different option.
Ally Invest4.0 Bankrate Score
Ally Invest offers a solid brokerage with many of the features that investors have come to love, especially no-commission trades on stocks and ETFs, but it ups the game with low-cost options trades, too. All-hours customer support and an all-encompassing mobile app will make sure you get business done on your terms, though mutual fund investors may be a bit disappointed.
Merrill Edge4.5 Bankrate Score
Merrill Edge brings strong research and education to the investing space, offering a solid trading platform for stocks, bonds, options and funds. You’ll likely find some extra things to love here if you’re already a customer of parent Bank of America, with 24/7 phone support and in-branch service potentially making that relationship even more meaningful to clients.
Fidelity5.0 Bankrate Score
Fidelity Investments is back again with another blowout performance in Bankrate’s reviews. This broker seems to do it all right, from low costs to plenty of research to mutual funds to prompt and courteous customer service. And with so much under the Fidelity roof – banking, credit cards and more – you could capably run your financial life here.
Charles Schwab5.0 Bankrate Score
Charles Schwab is a great all-around broker, whether you’re just getting started investing or are more advanced, and it can bring the heat on almost anything you’re likely to need. Add on strong customer support, a wide investment selection, no-commission mutual funds, and tons of research, and you have the makings of a five-star broker.
Webull4.0 Bankrate Score
Webull offers a lot that investors will like such as commission-free trading, fractional shares and a slick mobile app that allows you to trade on the go or keep tabs on your favorite stocks. But only a few account types are offered and you won’t find the level of research that is available through other brokers.
Robinhood3.5 Bankrate Score
Robinhood has taken its game up a notch or two, pairing its traditional no-cost trading with new IRA accounts (and a special bonus match for clients) as well as improvements in customer service, including 24/7 chat. The mobile app remains an attractive place for options traders but is a no-go for those looking for mutual funds or a wide range of account types.
Vanguard3.0 Bankrate Score
Vanguard’s brokerage offering can handle the basics well and may be a good fit for long-term fund investors. But more active traders will be disappointed by the basic trading platform and high commissions for options trading.
TradeStation3.5 Bankrate Score
TradeStation’s brokerage offering is likely to suit active traders better than it does new investors or those just looking to save for retirement. Customers will get an advanced trading platform with low commissions, but you won’t find fractional shares and the mutual fund offering is limited.
SoFi Active Investing3.0 Bankrate Score
SoFi Active Investing is a low-cost broker that should meet the needs of new investors looking to only trade stocks and ETFs. More experienced investors may be disappointed by the lack of options or mutual fund trading and a limited research offering.
moomoo3.0 Bankrate Score
Moomoo joins a crowded field of discount brokerages with an appeal to individual traders, offering some atypical features, including access to U.S., Hong Kong and Chinese markets. Competitive pricing on stocks, ETFs and options will prove welcome with traders, though others may find the lack of account types, limited available securities and high transfer fees off-putting.
Lightspeed3.0 Bankrate Score
Lightspeed is all about active traders who can deliver volume to the broker, and so everything is optimized around making the experience the best for them. That means discounted prices for high-volume trades and multiple high-power trading platforms, but it also means no concern for eliminating the nickel-and-dime costs that other brokers routinely slash.
tastytrade3.5 Bankrate Score
Tastytrade offers some of the lowest commissions around, whether you’re trading stocks, options or even cryptocurrency – and it actually caps your commissions on the latter two. Traders should find a lot to like here, among the commissions, trading platform and the variety of trading securities on offer, though long-term investors may bemoan the lack of mutual funds.