TradeKing is one of the largest online discount brokers in the world. Founded in December of 2005, TradeKing quickly took the investing and trading world by storm. Today, TradeKing has more than 250,000 active accounts and more than $3 billion in assets under management. Today, we’ll take a look into TradeKing to see how well they stack up against other RIAs in the industry. So, let’s get right to it…
The TradeKing Platform
Before I even attempt a trade when performing a review of an online broker, I take a very close look at the platform offered. The reality is that while many online brokers try to provide more tools and information than the last, this often leads to confusion as the result of a convoluted platform. When it comes to TradeKing, that wasn’t the case at all. As a matter of fact, that was the exact opposite. The company obviously spent several hours and even more dollars on ensuring that their user interface was not only effective, but very user friendly. While the platform is incredibly easy to use, it doesn’t lack any of the key features or data points that you would expect to see from on online broker. So, when it comes to the platform, I’m incredibly impressed!
Minimum Balance And Trade Fees
The next thing I like to look at is the minimum balance and cost. There are several platforms out there that require minimum balances of $250 to $500 just to get started with investing. Unfortunately, this hinders many people from getting started in the world of trading and investing because they don’t want to risk so much up front. That’s why I’m very happy with TradeKing’s minimum balance; there is none! Anyone can get started with any amount of money!
Another thing we have to look into is the cost associated with trading and investing through TradeKing. After all, we all know it costs money to make money, but it’s important to keep costs low. That’s another thing that I love about TradeKing. Their pricing structure is easy to understand and incredibly competitive. Unlike most discount brokers, they don’t try and nickel and dime their traders with IRA fees and inactivity fees. When it comes to inactivity, you actually have to be inactive for at least 12 months before you’re charged a fee. With that said, they do charge standard stock and option trade fees, but like I said above, those are competitive. Here’s what the fee structure looks like…
- Stocks – When it comes to stock trades, the cost is the same whether they are broker assisted or not. That cost is $4.95; well below the industry average.
- Options – With options, you’re only charged $4.95 as a base trade fee and $0.65 per contract; also well below the industry average.
Trading Tools Offered
No matter what job you’re doing, tools will help to make you more effective at the task; and TradeKing knows it. They offer several trading tools designed to help you be more successful in the market. Some of my favorite tools include…
- Technical Analysis – TradeKing doesn’t just provide the charts, they analyze them for you. In the technical analysis area, traders can find information like price projections, chart pattern recognition, and more; all with educational materials to help beginner traders understand what they’re seeing.
- Interactive Charts – Any experienced trader uses interactive charts. The charts point out trends that traders can capitalize on. Don’t worry, TradeKing offers all of the different types of charts you’d expect from an online broker.
- MarketGrader Research Reports – These reports grades stocks based on analysis and analysts performance predictions.
There are several more tools available too; and they’re all free once you sign up for TradeKing!
Any time you think about working with a new financial service provider, whether it be a broker, bank, credit card lender, or any other provider, it’s incredibly important to think about customer service. After all, when it comes to questions or concerns about your money, it’s important that someone is on the other side willing to solve the problem. With that said, I called in to TradeKing and tested the waters myself. I asked a range of questions, some meant to be so little it was annoying, some meant to really challenge the knowledge of those behind the help desk scenes. After the test, I can say that not only does TradeKing provide good customer service, they’re great! I was incredibly impressed with the patience and knowledge displayed by the representative I spoke with.
- Solid user platform takes away the confusion and makes it easier and more fun to trade!
- Fees are ridiculously low.
- Tools and educational materials for beginner and experienced traders alike.
- Very polite and knowledgeable customer service.
- No additional fee for broker assisted trades.
- No minimum balance.
When I do reviews, I look long and hard for something, even if it’s small, that can be viewed in a negative light. After all, I want to be fair to you and tell you the good and the bad. However, I couldn’t find anything that I didn’t like about TradeKing, even after digging through the platform and making trades of my own…I think I just might stick with them.
Overall, TradeKing is an incredible option for anyone looking to get involved in the world of investing and trading or for those looking to change brokers. With no minimum balance and low fees, there’s really no harm in giving them a shot. I suggest you try it out!