Ally has acquired TradeKing!
Ally acquired TradeKing in April 2016 and has merged the TradeKing website into Ally Invest.
If you’ve been looking into brokerages lately, you may have heard about TradeKing through the financial grapevine. You may have even been on the hunt for TradeKing reviews to see what all the fuss is about.
TradeKing is what is considered a discount brokerage, meaning they have much lower fees than a traditional brokerage firm. Don’t let the word “discount” fool you though, TradeKing offers some impressive tools that make it stand out from the crowd.
In this TradeKing review, I’m going to walk you through everything the platform has to offer from initial setup to pros and potential cons.
Trade Commission (Stock)$4.95 per trade
Trade Commission (Option, per trade)$4.95
Trade Commission (Option, per contract)$0.65
TradeKing Fee Structure
|Trade Commission (Stock)||$4.95|
|Trade Option (Option, per trade)||$4.95|
|Trade Commission (Option, per contract)||$0.65|
|Broker Assisted Trade||$20.00|
|Mutual Fund Trade Fee||$9.95|
|IRA Annual Fee||$9.00|
|IRA Account Closing Fee||$50.00|
TradeKing Tradeable Instruments
|ATM Fee Reimbursement|
|Commission Free ETFs||0|
|Clearing Company||Apex Clearing|
Trade on your terms. Whether you prefer the power of a native desktop client, the convenience of a web platform, or the mobility of an iOS or Android app, make sure that the brokerage you select works the way you like to work.
Before getting into the actual TradeKing review, I must first address the promotions TradeKing has available when you open an account.
Because I went through a TradeKing affiliate, I was able to get any of the following promotions when opening an account:
- $100 in free trade commission with a minimum deposit of $1.
- $500 in free trade commission with a minimum deposit of $500.
- $1000 in free trade commission with a minimum deposit of $1000.
I also noticed how the affiliate page advertised the $150 transfer fee refund as well as $25 wire fee refund if you deposit $5000. Since I was simply experimenting with using the platform, I went with the $100 free trade commission deal.
Granted, maybe these deals are offered directly on the TradeKing site, I just couldn’t find them.
And so the first thing I should point out in this TradeKing review is to always go through an affiliate in case they can get you a better deal.
Seeing as how I was starting from scratch, I had to go through the initial application process and fund my account.
The application process was pretty standard (name, address, income, bank account info, etc,) and I was approved for an account almost immediately. From that point all I had to do was make a funds transfer request in which the funds were in my account 24 hours later.
One thing that helps TradeKing stand out among brokerages is how transparent they are about their fees. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to anything lower than TradeKing fees. Theiry’re stock and ETF trade commissions are $4.95 and if you get the $100 deal like I did, that’s about 20 free trades.
Trading options is a little more expensive, but not by much. It’s the same $4.95 with an additional 65 cents per contract.
Don’t get too excited though because there is a downside. There is a TradeKing Inactivity Fee of $50. In order to avoid this fee, you must make at least one commission-charged trade per year and maintain an account balance of at least $2500.
Fifity bucks isn’t a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, especially when they’ve made it so easy for people to learn how to invest (more on that in a bit) and the requirements aren’t difficult, but it is something to consider.
You may have already noticed from the Promotions section of this post that TradeKing minimums are insanely low. That’s because there is no TradeKing minimum. I could have opened an account with a single dollar and still have gotten $100 in free trade commissions!
The TradeKing minimum is good news for people who either want to start slow or perhaps don’t have thousands of dollars sitting around to invest. In my past investing experience, the latter had been a barrier of entry whenever I tried to invest.
Trading Platform and User Friendliness
I am a stickler for user-friendliness and functionality, which is why I’m going to talk about it in this TradeKing review. The way I see it, a platform is only as good as it’s functionality.
The first thing I noticed was that their interface wasn’t much different than other brokerages I’d used. Same standard menu and most things were in the same places. What I also noticed was how easy it is to do simple things like withdraw or deposit money – you can do it right from the main page! Other brokerages I’ve used required me to do a little more work.
Additionally, their TradeKing Live page is something worth marveling at. On this page, you can find real time streaming of what’s going on in the market, fund your account, and make trades all from one page. They’ve also made it so that you can access this from multiple devices through the TradeKing app.
Although I’d probably go the “buy and hold” route if I decided to trade in individual securities, I could see how the TradeKing Live page and the TradeKing app could be especially beneficial for traders who are more active or individuals who trade from multiple devices.
Education and Resources
In addition to everything mentioned in the previous section, TradeKing offers a variety of educational resources to help people start trading.
I admit I’m a bit rusty when it comes to trading individual securities, so this is actually where I’ve been spending a lot of my time as I explore the platform. They have endless articles, tutorials and even webinars that teach people not only how to use the website, but also how to invest their money wisely.
The organizational freak in me also loved how I could choose to learn based on different categories including, type of security, experience level, and projected market outlook. Not only that, but they have a TradeKing IRA center where they teach you everything you need to know about saving and investing for retirement.
Out of all the brokerage platforms I’ve seen and used, this one definitely wins the financial education category.
Types of Securities You Can Trade
You can trade several different types of securities on the TradeKing platform including stocks, options, bonds, and mutual funds. However, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind:
- No fee free ETFs.
- No transaction-fee-free mutual funds.
What does this mean, exactly? It means this can be expensive for people like me who like to use dollar cost averaging to invest into ETFs and invest a little bit of money over time. For that, I’ll just stay where I am.
I admit this was a real downer for me, but it’s only because of how I’ve personally preferred to invest my money up until this point.
Is TradeKing safe?
I know what you’re thinking at this point. You’re wondering if TradeKing is safe. Considering TradeKing has only been around since 2005 and the fees seem too good to be true, it’s a fair question.
TradeKing is a member of the SPIC which provides protection for accounts up to $500,000. They’ve also purchased supplemental insurance which provides protection on cash and securities up to $150 million.
Additionally, they take their security very seriously. They even require extra security steps you may not see with other brokerages in an effort to outsmart criminals who are becoming more sophisticated hacking into financial systems. To this date, there have been no known security breaches.
While TradeKing may not make sense for me personally because I tend prefer ETFs and it’s more cost-effective for me to stay where I am, it is a good platform for more active investors who like to trade individual securities.
Additionally, their educational resources are some of the best I’ve seen from an online brokerage and the website functionality is top notch. Who knows? Maybe their educational resources will convince me to learn more about trading individual securities in the future.
TradeKing sets itself apart from other online brokers by putting the customer first and providing a lot of free tools and services that other brokerages don’t.
Package that's easy to use for a low price Overall, I think TradeKing offers great value and capability in a low cost, easy to use package. Based on my personal experiences and its award winning ways, I don’t hesitate to recommend TradeKing if you are searching for a new brokerage firm.
An option trader's all-in-one package Overall, if you’re looking for a broker with great service, excellent commission and fees with a plethora of trading tools, especially for the option trader, then you may want to give this broker a chance.
New traders will love it, but has to deal with the software platform 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.
Price and service are its top offers TradeKing offers excellent service and their price can’t be beat. With their solid lineup of offerings, valuable tools and resources to help you as an investor and their accolades I would consider TradeKing a worthy online brokerage to consider for your investing needs.
Competitive trading with some cons TradeKing offers competitively low trading prices with a robust trading platform, but it falls short on mutual funds, ETFs, and it charges an inactivity fee.
Free tools and low cost for better trading TradeKing may be a deep-discount broker — indeed, it’s one of our top low-cost options — but its robust trading platform and lineup of free research, charting, data and analytical tools puts it in line with some of its more well-known (and higher-priced) active trading competition.
Competitors can't beat their offers TradeKing has great pricing, customer service, and online education. For a discount stock broker, TradeKing is hard to beat.
Platform seems promising TradeKing offers clients a well-rounded package at a competitive price, and has a positive foundation for the future with its TradeKing LIVE responsive platform.