Active day traders often find the offerings of the biggest online brokers lacking. Instead of a jack-of-all-trades solution, they are on the hunt for a service provider with an offering tailored to their specific needs. These include a low-cost active trading service, powerful trading platforms, quick execution, many order routing options, flexibility and more.
By blending powerful trading platforms with speed and cost-efficiency, SpeedTrader offers the complete package experienced traders want.
We wrote the SpeedTrader review to answer whether professional traders seeking the best direct market access brokers should consider SpeedTrader as one of the first choices.
SpeedTrader Trading Platforms and Tools
Brought to you by Mint Global Markets, SpeedTrader is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation with a history of over 20 years of providing professional trading services for active traders.
SpeedTrader is renowned for providing a perfect day trading experience based on a powerful desktop platform and a convenient mobile platform that doesn’t compromise on features and functionalities.
As its name suggests, this is the service provider’s most powerful day trading platform. Designed as a Level 2 desktop trading software, it is packed with lots of features and functionalities, including:
- Fast trade execution and direct access order routing
- Advanced Level 2 data
- Real-time stock charting
- Multiple chart types and lots of indicators
- Advanced order types
- Hot-key and multiple screen support
- One-click trading
Thanks to all this, SpeedTrader Pro gives you virtually all tools needed to boost your trading performance – from trading directly with a market maker or traders on the floor of the exchange to streaming real-time Level 2, time and sales data with the option to place orders directly from the Level 2 screen.
Thanks to the direct market access order routing, SpeedTrader account holders can take advantage of over 25 routing options, maintaining complete control over their order flow.
Furthermore, it allows for advanced customization with over 100 hot-key options to help you cut the lag to the minimum. You can also build customized watch lists and stock scanners.
The platform interface looks like a day-trading platform should look. It is intuitive and focuses on the most important aspects, such as speed and reliability.
The platform allows you to customize the layout to make your trading experience convenient. There is also the option to manage multiple accounts directly within the platform. Through the support for multiple monitors, SpeedTrader Pro gives the active trader everything they need to turn their setup into a professional one.
The charting features are also sufficient, featuring many chart types and technical indicators.
All-in-all, SpeedTrader Pro gives day traders everything they need to ensure a professional trading experience.
The platform’s web version is an excellent choice for those who don’t need advanced trading options and features such as Level 2 data. Some of the supported features include:
- Real-time Level 1 data
- Live streaming news and Twitter feeds
- Real-time charting
- Option chains
- Risk-management tools
- Watch lists
The easy-access platform runs in all browsers and allows for a seamless trading experience thanks to multi-screen layout support.
Risk management features are sufficient for most SpeedTrader brokerage account holders. The same goes for charting and research tools. However, it is worth noting that professionals and serious traders who want to maximize their trading experience will find the platform lacking all the features they are usually used to. Therefore, it would be better to go for SpeedTrader Pro.
In a nutshell, if you don’t need Level 2 data and are only looking for a hassle-free direct-access trading platform, ActiveWeb will do the job for you.
Mobile Trading App
SpeedTrader’s mobile trading platform is surprisingly powerful, offering sufficient advanced trading tools and functionalities, including:
- Real-time Level 2 market data
- Advanced order management and multiple routing options
- Watch lists
- Option chains
- Advanced charting with multiple chart types and technical analysis indicators
- News streaming
All-in-all, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that the mobile app is a lite version of the desktop solution.
The app does not as modern as the new ones from Interactive Brokers and TD Ameritrade, but the app does what it is supposed to. Of course, no serious trader would be trading 100% of the time on mobile, but it is good to know that, if needed, one can handle the most important aspects of trading on the go. Also, the mobile app is available only for iOS.
Tradable Markets at SpeedTrader
The offering of the brokerage firm is a bit narrow compared to other service providers.
However, it still covers day traders’ most preferred asset classes, including:
- U.S. stocks (from penny to large-cap)
- Mutual funds
Online, you may trade only U.S. stocks, ETFs and options.
Those of you, who specialize in trading CFDs, forex, futures or cryptocurrencies, will be disappointed since those assets aren’t supported. But, again, we should highlight that the idea of SpeedTrader is to bring you a selection of the most popular tradable assets (mainly from the U.S. stock markets) and put you in charge of the entire process – from planning to execution.
It is worth noting that you can short stocks easily. If you have some shorting trade ideas, you can even check whether you can fulfill them on SpeedTrader through the free short locate tool.
SpeedTrader Commissions and Fees
Since day traders thrive on making small profits on a substantial number of trades, commissions and fees play a significant part in the decision-making process when choosing a trading platform.
SpeedTrader brands itself as a low-cost trading service provider, and rightly so since its trading commissions and fees are among the lowest in the industry. The case isn’t the same regarding software fees, however, although, for most traders, they are reasonable and adequate for the quality of the offering.
Trading Fees and Requirements
SpeedTrader fees on the top-tier level for ultra-active traders are on the lower end compared to the offerings of most of the other brokerage companies.
- Per-trade stocks and ETF trade pricing starts at $2.49/trade.
- Per-share commission starts at $0.0009/share.
- Options pricing starts at $0.25/contract.
It is worth noting that they are available only for active clients that generate substantial trading volume.
For the less active traders, who will place between 1 and 200 stock or ETF trades per month, the per-trade fee goes up to $4.49.
Traders with less than 250,000 shares traded (ETF or stock) per month are charged $0.0029 per share.
If you trade less than 500 options contracts per month, the fee goes up to $0.40 per contract.
U.S. and foreign clients must comply with a minimum deposit requirement of $30,000.
Trading Software Fees
The software costs depend on how active a trader is. With monthly commissions of over $499, the SpeedTrader Pro platform comes for free. However, for the most inactive traders who will generate less than $199 in monthly commissions, the platform costs $99 per month. Anything in between, and you will be charged a platform fee of $49 per month.
- >$499 monthly commissions: $0 platform cost
- >$199 monthly commissions: $49 monthly platform costs
- <$199 monthly commissions: $99 monthly platform costs
Also, there is a $10,000 minimum funding requirement for the SpeedTrader Pro and $2,500 for the ActiveWeb platforms.
There is a quarterly inactivity fee of $30.00 for traders that don’t make 15 trades per calendar quarter. It is worth noting that, compared to other brokerages, SpeedTrader charges various account fees.
SpeedTrader offers clearing via AXOS and ApexPro. The account fees vary depending on the chosen clearing firm.
The routing fees for the supported markets are very reasonable and similar across direct access brokers who have to collect the fees for the stock exchanges.
You can find the rest of the fees and requirements on their website, and also, requirements and policies related to margin accounts are available online.
Education and Research
If there is one category that the SpeedTrader broker falls short of, it is the education part.
The platform’s site is not that well organized, and you can hardly get your hands on where the educational content you might need is. The blog section mainly contains articles that don’t go beyond the basics. Furthermore, at the time of writing, the last published article is from 2019.
It seems that, in the past, the trading broker has been active in webinar production, but the last one came out in October 2018.
There is a page with video tutorials that can help you learn how to navigate the platform and its features.
All-in-all, the dire state of the education section of SpeedTrader is understandable, considering that it targets advanced traders. However, if you want to ensure a good day trading learning experience, SpeedTrader isn’t the place for you.
In terms of research, things are a bit better, although the platform still falls way behind the leading brokerage accounts providers. It maintains the basic research tools and data points that most day traders require. However, it lacks third-party research reports and screeners. In that sense, the platform is more suitable for the average market viewer than experienced traders who specialize in fundamental analysis.
Day traders find customer service of critical importance, and it is safe to say that it doesn’t disappoint.
You can get in touch with a SpeedTrader representative in several ways, including:
- By phone and fax
- By email
- Through a website contact form
- Through live chat
- Through social media
The hours are from 8 am to 5 pm from Monday – Thursday and 8 am to 4:30 pm on Friday (EST).
SpeedTrader offers good support options. The representatives can address your questions – from how to open an account to how to fund your margin account or trade with an assistant.
Speed Trader Review Summary
SpeedTrader does what it promises – to provide active traders with a high-quality day trading brokerage at reasonable terms. Its platforms are based on the DAS Trader framework, well equipped with tools and functionalities and work equally well on desktop and mobile.
The Level 2 data support and direct access order routing put traders in charge of the trading process and ensure sufficient flexibility.
Active traders specializing in stock, ETF and options trading would find an alternative online broker. Still, Speed Trader is a viable option to take advantage of short selling.
However, SpeedTrader isn’t ideal. For example, if you aren’t generating the needed trading volume, you might find the offering pretty expensive. The platform costs and inactivity feed can add up quickly.
Furthermore, beginner day traders or those looking for advanced research tools and rich education resources should consider other alternatives. Also, if you are looking for a wide range of tradable assets, you better look elsewhere since SpeedTrader’s offering is quite limited.
- Reliable trading platform based on the DAS Trader framework
- Multiple direct-access order routing options
- Competitive pricing and commissions for the most active traders
- Convenient short-selling opportunities
- A limited number of supported asset classes
- Educational resources kind of outdated
- High minimum account deposit
Lightspeed Trading is a direct access broker alternative to SpeedTrader.