Lightspeed Trading Review
Lightspeed Trading offers a good variety of trading platforms and competitive commission rates. Read our Lightspeed Trading review to see how do they compare to the best day trading brokers like Cobra Trading, Interactive Brokers, Speed Trader and Centerpoint Securities.
Best in class day trading Broker: Cobra Trading – Please consider reading our Cobra Trading review to learn why it is the best broker for active traders.
Lightspeed Trading Platforms
Lightspeed Trading offers various trading software solutions and platforms.
Lightspeed trader is based on the DAS Trader Pro framework and can be used for trading equities and options. The platform supports multiple order routing options and Level II features. The platforms also support conditional orders, hotkey trading, basket order entry, over 40 different layouts, customizable charts with technical indicators, various market scanners and advanced window linking.
The Lightspeed Trader platform costs $130 per month. The monthly price gets reduced by the commission amount you pay. So if you pay $100 commissions in one month, the Lightspeed Trader platform only costs $30. On top of that price, a monthly market data subscription is needed. All U.S. Equities markets, for example, cost $19.50 per month, Level II data $23.75 per month etc. Users pay only for the market data they subscribe to.
Lightspeed Web/Mobile Trader
The Lightspeed Web/Mobile trader is web-based and comparable to Lightspeed Trader. Lightspeed Web & Mobile does only support Level 1 order book pricing. The web version does not support features like conditional orders and hotkey trading. There is no monthly software fee for the web-platform, and the Level 1 price data is also freely available.
Sterling Trader Pro
Sterling Trader Pro is a full-featured Level II trading platform. It provides an advanced charting package and improved order entry options. Sterling Trader Pro is the main competitor to DAS Trader Pro in the direct market access trading platform segment, and both have similar features. However, Sterling Trader Pro does not support conditional orders. Like with Lightspeed Trader, the market data needs to be paid every month based on the market data subscriptions. The monthly platform fee for Sterlin Trader Pro ranges from $230 to $260.
Eze EMS (formerly RealTick Pro)
The next platform is RealTick Pro. This platform was created by Townsend Analytics, which is used by professional traders, active traders, as well as hedge funds. Advanced order entry is available. And it’s extraordinarily customizable, making it an excellent platform.
The main benefit of EZE EMS is that it supports trading equities, options and futures, along with Level 1 and Level 2 data, conditional orders, hotkey trading, watchlists, various order routes, custom charts and layouts, market scanners and advanced window linking. The main benefit of EZE EMS is the support of futures contracts since neither Lightspeed Trader nor Sterling Trader Pro supports futures contracts. The monthly software fee is relatively high, at $350, and market data comes on top.
Futures Trading Platform efutures Powered by CQG
EZE EMS supports futures trading along with trading stocks and options. efutures powered by CQG is a platform specialized in futures trading with global data coverage and futures-style quote boards.
Lightspeed Trading offers online stock trading, options, and futures trading in the United States.
Lighspeed Trading Account Types
Lightspeed Trading offers a variety of different accounts so suit individual requirements. For active traders, these are the following accounts types:
- Individual and Joint Accounts
- Corporate Accounts
- Joint Accounts
- LLC Accounts
- Trust Accounts
- Registered Hedge Funds Accounts
- IRA Accounts (Traditional, Roth, and SEPs – only for U.S. taxpayers)
Commissions and Fees
Lightspeed Trading offers some of the best day trading commissions you will find in the US across all direct market access brokers.
Lighspeed Trading Commissions
The regular fee for stocks is $0.0045 per stock traded with a $1 minimum per trade. Those who trade over 1 million shares pay $0.0025 per share traded, and those who trade more than 15 million shares pay $0.0010 per share.
On top of that, you have to pay routing fees of up to $0.003 per stock traded. So, for example, if you trade low volume and execute orders via the Nasdaq route, you pay $0.0045 + $0.003 = $0.0075 per share traded. With 100 shares, the cost is $0.75, but since the minimum commission is $1 per order, you pay $1 commissions + $0.003*100 = $0.3 order routing fees = $1.30 for the order.
Alternatively, you can pay a fixed $4.50 commission per trade rate, but that only makes sense if you trade high volume per trade.
The standard fee for options is $0.60 per contract, but if you trade more than 500 contracts per month, you can get lower rates. Those who trade more than 100,000 contracts per month will pay $0.20 per contract. But who does trade 100,000 contracts per month?
Futures trading is also possible with Lightspeed Trading, but you can only use their platforms Eze EMS aka RealTick or CQG. If you are a futures trader, then you are better served with a brokerage company specialized in futures trading.
There are some other commission options too. One thing you should be aware of is that data feed does cost extra, as it does with many professional brokers.
It can be anywhere from $10 up to $120 depending on your selection. And the type of data feeds that you are looking for.
When it comes to total costs, then you have to add the costs for:
- Platform Fee
- Routing Fees
- Inactivity Fees
- In-/Outbound Transfer Fees
Education and Research
Since retail traders are not the target group, the education section is small. Currently, there are no new live webinars planned, and only four recordings are listed on their site.
Lighspeed Trading also has a YouTube channel.
The Customer service at Lightspeed Trading can be reached via the phone number, email, webinars, tutorials, and service FAQs.
They are taking care of their clients at both the New York and Chicago offices.
But based on their website, the support is available during regular market hours and extended market hours.
Day Trading with Lightspeed Trading
Lightspeed Trading customers are mainly day traders who need fast trade executions. Fast trade executions can make a whole difference regarding your trade performance. Since Lightspeed says that they provide “ultra-low latency,” it seems that you are at the right place.
Where Lightspeed Trading shines is the customization part. Later in this Lightspeed Trading review, I will talk about their trading platforms. One thing can be said in advance.
You have tons of customization options when trading with Lightspeed trading platforms. Custom order routing, configurable buttons, and hotkeys can be configured.
$25,000 Account Minimum
As I mentioned earlier, Lightspeed Trading is not for retail traders or investors. If you consider opening an account with them, then you need at least $25,000 to open an account.
Actually, the Lightspeed Trading minimum deposit is only $10,000, but then the pattern day trader rule invented by the SEC limits you to exececute only 3 day trades in a 5-day range.
There are some pattern day trader rule workarounds too, but Lightspeed Trading isn’t one of those workarounds. So, if you don’t have that kind of trading capital, Lightspeed isn’t going to be for you.
Lightspeed Trading Review Summary
Lightspeed Trading is, without a doubt, a reliable brokerage. Robust technology exceptionally crafted for the high-volume and high-speed trading of today’s markets makes Lightspeed one of the better day trading brokerages out there.
You can think of Lightspeed Trading like a Ferrari. It’s a great car, it’s an exotic car, and it’s an extraordinarily fast car, but it should only be in the hands of the right person. It’s not like a minivan that you take the kids to school in.
Lightspeed Trading is an excellent trading tool and broker for an active trader looking for a direct market access broker with numerous order routing options and fast executions. Trading volume is important since the more a trader trades, the lower the commissions. Therefore retail investors are better served with a retail online broker and platform like thinkorswim.
Lightspeed does allow trading futures, but they are not specialized in futures trading.
- Multiple direct access trading platforms
- Competitive commission rates
- Futures trading
- Minimum commission of $1 per trade
- $25,000 account minimum for day trading margin account
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