TradeStation is an online broker that has been the preferred choice of active and seasoned day traders. Founded in 1982, the brokerage company has provided advanced tools and a robust platform for professional investors who trade at high volume. But while this may sound great for the experienced investor, it can be overwhelming for a new investor.
To date, the Florida-based company has won a handful of industry awards for its platform technology. It also offers a simulated trading environment, so you can test your ideas by investing real capital.
In 2001, TradeStation transformed into an online stockbroker and now charges no commission on trades, stocks, futures, and stock options.
New investors can participate in a stimulated trading environment and become more empowered and informed investors through its free educational resources, where market basics can be learned. TradeStation’s YouCanTrade educational platform offers live coaching, an active online community of fellow traders, and courses. Registration is free, but many courses are chargeable.
There are a few caveats to keep in mind. To unlock stocks and ETFs commission-free, you will need to meet a minimum account requirement of $2,000. And the prices as presented on the TradeStation website can be a bit confusing, so be sure to do your homework so you’re not caught off guard by a slew of fees. For example, if you have a TS GO account, the company’s mobile or web trading platform, you might face different fees if you use the desktop version versus the web and mobile version, so keep that in mind.
Read on to learn more about TradeStation.
Advantages and disadvantages of TradeStation
Suite of robust, best-in-class tools and technologies for active traders
No commission on shares and AND F on TS Select
Sophisticated stimulated business environment
Need to open with a minimum account of $2,000 for TS Select, which offers free trades and unlocks a full suite of tools
Advanced tools and interface can be overwhelming and intimidating for new investors
$50 annual account inactivity fee
Pricing levels are a bit confusing
TradeStation at a Glance
- Self-directed online brokerage accounts, IRAs and equity accounts available
- Investments include over 2,000 mutual funds and over 2,000 ETFs available
- Robust technology and tools — RadarScreen monitors and classifies up to 1,000 symbols in real time; TradeStation allows investors to test, optimize and automate before trading; The TradeStation platform offers over a dozen trading applications; stimulated business environment available
- Minimum $2,000 account required for TS Select, which offers commission-free fees on stocks and ETFs (up to 10,000 shares per trade), fees on other types of investments apply
- $50 annual inactivity fee if account minimum not met or activity thresholds not maintained
Investments available on TradeStation
TradeStation offers a variety of different securities to invest in, including over 2,000 ETFs:
Those interested in learning more about TradeStation’s fees can visit their website to learn more about trading fees, service fees, and trade execution and clearing fees.
|Trading and commission fees||TS Select: $0 on stocks and ETFs; stock options: $0.60 per contract; futures contracts: $1.50 per contract, per side; micro futures: $0.50 per contract, per side; futures options: $1.50 per contract, per side
TS GO: $10 fee for stock and options trades when done on the TS desktop platform; Surcharge of $1.40 per contract for futures transactions
|Minimum account for brokerage and trading services||TS Select: minimum account $2,000; TS Go: $0|
|Account maintenance fees for brokerage and trading services||Free if the minimum account is reached; otherwise TradeStation: $5 per transaction for non-professionals; other account types for non-professionals are a monthly account fee of $99.95, plus other fees|
Who is TradeStationBest for?
TradeStation can be a solid choice for newbie investors, as long as they can maintain the account minimum. And just like driving a luxury car with sleek features and all the bells and whistles can take a bit of a learning curve, new investors should be prepared to spend time getting to grips with all the advanced technology and tools. robust that TradeStation has to offer. .
For those who don’t have a lot of investments and would like a more simplified approach, it might be best to use another online brokerage.
How to open an account with TradeStation
1. Focus on what you are looking for in a website brokerage account. Start by accessing your investment needs, goals and timelines. From there, you can narrow down the tools, technology, level of advice, and resources you want to access. This can help you identify your top competitors and assess whether TradeStation is right for you.
2. Do your homework. Spend time researching fees and costs, pricing tiers, types of accounts and investments, tools and resources available. How accessible is their customer support and is there a steep learning curve for using the tools offered? If there is an investment app, how sophisticated and easy to use is it? It is also important to know what types of investments are available and the costs involved in trading.
3. Open a TradeStation account. To open a TS account, the easiest way would be to open it online. You will need to be a US resident with a valid social security number or tax ID. Other basic information will have to be provided, such as your address, your date of birth. Questions about your current financial situation, including income, net worth, and years of investment experience will also be asked on the application.
TradeStation vs others
|TradeStation||TD Ameritrade||Charles Schwab|
|Types of investment accounts||Brokerage and Trading, IRAs, Entity Accounts||Brokerage and trading, IRA and other retirement accounts, managed accounts||Brokerage and Trading, IRAs and Other Retirement Accounts, Managed Accounts, College and Education Savings Plans|
|Costs||$0 trading commission fee on online transactions for stocks and ETFs; other fees vary (with a minimum account of $2,000, up to 10,000 shares per trade); otherwise $5 per transaction||$0 trading commission fee on online transactions for stocks, ETFs and options transactions; other fees vary||$0 trading commission fee for online stock and ETF trades; other fees vary|
|Account maintenance fees||$50 annual inactivity fee, free if you meet minimum activity requirements||No annual fee||No annual fees, inactivity, maintenance|
|Index funds||Over 2,000 ETFs||Over 2,300 ETFs||Third largest index fund provider, over 2,000|
|Mobile app||Investment app available||Investment app available||Investment app available|
|Customer service||Account support available 8am-5pm ET Monday-Friday via phone and live chat||Account support available 24/7 by phone||24/7 via phone and chat, physical locations|