TradeStation Review 2017 – Navigate the markets
On this website we want to give you helpful overviews for you will be able to compare the biggest, well-known brokers in the market.
Since TradeStation belongs to those and since you probably ask yourself if this could be the one offering exactly what you are searching for, I just started looking for the basic information you need to decide if this platform deserves a closer look.
But unfortunately, I have to start this review with some bad news. This is the very first website I ever opened that contains no information at all about the company, the background and the people behind it.
Most competitors tell you more about their history and company fundamentals.
Believe it or not, there is absolutely nothing. I have to tell you honestly that this didn't make a positive impression on me at all, especially since I think, it is always interesting to see how long a company is in the business so far and how much experience it gained.
But of course, we are fair and we give everybody a chance.
TradeStation presents itself as your destination for day trading stocks, options, ETFs and futures. Fine, but why shall it be the perfect place for you?
Trade Station promises that while using their service, you will never leave any promising trade behind and you will never miss any trading opportunity with high potential.
They want you to reach this with the help of their user friendly tools that enable you to find the best trading ideas of all and to make well informed decisions.
You may adjust these tools for they will fit with your preferences and TradeStation seems to be sure that these tools that they don't mention in detail will give you the power to become your own boss.
At least, here I found one positive point. TradeStation's historic data base enables you to test your trade ideas before you start executing them. Will that work for real? And what does TradeStation offer in detail?
In the following I will try to figure this out for you. So, please, continue reading.
How does the website of TradeStation look like and is it easy to handle?
TradeStation presents the desktop as an outstanding award-winning trading experience.
They only refer to a review of the Barron's magazine that was published in 2017 and that gave TradeStation high scores for their products and services.
But is the score in a review truly an award?
However, TradeStation's description of the desktop is cute.
They compare it with a perfectly tuned race car that will give the users all the power, flexibility and speed they need for successful trading, like e.g. all necessary tools to scan the market, the means for an extremely fast trade execution, charts that you can customize well organized order management and automated trading strategies.
Regarding the data and the execution, TradeStation promises an impressing infrastructure, advanced market data and an innovative execution technology for speed, agility and reliability.
They mention a big amount of historical data that will enable you to research and to back-test your trading ideas without any risk before you will start for real and with much more confidence and information.
All this seems to show you the way to more success, but what is TradeStation offering and providing in detail? Let's go further as I hope, I will be able to explain this in the flollowing.
One important thing you have to know is that back in 2000 TradeStation was the No. 1 trading software for trade automation. Back then TradeStation charged $99 per month for the trading platform alone.
But today, things have changed. There are so many trading tools out there, that the former unique selling proposition does not longer exist.
In the next section you will learn more about the pricing scheme and realize that the platform is free of charge now.
This is a good decision by TradeStation because the new pricing is competitive and the TradeStation trading software still powerful.
TradeStation – Products, costs and tools
On the platform you will see that TradeStation wants you to think big and to trade smart.
They offer their user friendly tools to assist you in turning your trade ideas into reality and in achieving your goals.
You know, at this point I always enjoy it to be able to tell you some good news.
Here the good news are the free training opportunities being offered by the TradeStation University that provides beginners, advanced traders and all traders with free information about trading technology and about the execution of trades.
In this section you can choose the topics you are interested in to sign in to them and you will find a short introduction of the 12 professors who invite you to join a pre-market briefing in every morning.
This will keep you informed with all of the latest news and predictions.
Beside this, you also have the opportunity to read older parts of the lessons that you may have missed.
In addition, you may register for upcoming live teaching events of your choice. All that you have to give for this is your personal data.
I have to tell you that I really like this part as it makes a lot of sense to me when TradeStation calls your brain your best investment and when it is stated that expanded market knowledge and improved trading skills will be the key to more success.
When you decide to sign in for real, you have the choice between 5 different account types:
- Individual: a personal account in the name of the person who signs in
- Joint: an account being owned by two or more persons that includes two different options for the case that one of these persons will die
- IRA: with four different options for retirement accounts or a retirement plan
- Entity: an account for U.S. business entities with the following options: Corporate, general partnership, limited partnership, trust, limited liability company and sole proprietorship
- Custodial: an individual account for the benefit of a minor under the age of 18 or 21 (depending on the state of residence and the applicable laws) that is managed by an adult
On the platform you will find more details about the rules for these types of accounts for you will be able to make the right choice.
TradeStation offers you several ways to fund your account, like e.g. wire transfer, check deposit and electronic transfer (ACAT). You will see the matching options after choosing your type of account.
For stock and for options accounts TradeStation requires the initial funding of $ 500 for cash and of $ 2,000 for margin.
For futures and for futures options accounts TradeStation requires the initial funding of $ 5,000.
Now let's see what the service costs. TradeStation promises to make the price simple and transparent.
In general, you will have to pay the following:
- Stocks: $ 5 per trade
- Options: $ 0.50 per contract plus $ 5 per trade
- Futures: $ 1.50 per contract, per side
All this includes the free use of the software, free market data and free premium tools.
In more details, you will find the following prices:
Stocks and ETFs: $ 5 per trade including free software, free premium tools and free real-time data
Options: $ 0.50 per contract plus $ 5 per trade including free software, free premium tools and free real-time data. When you use to trade in small blocks, you may save with $ 1.00 per contract with no base/ticket charge. The minimum for this option is one contract market or limit.
Futures: $ 1.50 per contract, per side including free software, free premium tools and free real-time data
Mutual Funds: $ 14.95 per trade with a choice between hundreds of funds out of 79 fund families.
Bonds: $ 14.95 plus $ 5 per bond to trade government, corporate and municipal bonds.
Further pricing options are available for active traders. Bundle pricing might be best choice for trading beginners.
So, the costs are explained in a quite clear way.
But please, don't forget to check the platform for further details as TradeStation encourages you to do this.
Another important point is the possibility to get access to your account where ever you are and whenever you want.
When you are not at your desktop, you will have full access to your TradeStation web trading with every PC or Mac with an internet connection and you can use all features as if you would be at your own desktop.
In addition to this, TradeStation offers mobile trading with the help of their mobile app.
Every mobile device will work with this to enable you to open your online account to watch quotes, to analyze charts, to check your positions and to place orders – everything in real time, on seven days a week and all around the clock.
You may download all products from TradeStation's TradingApp Store directly to the desktop platform and this will be done within seconds.
If you want to get to know more about the safety of your funds, on the platform you will find links to a personal message from the President of TradeStation explaining this and telling you how important the safety of your funds is to the company.
TradeStation – My personal summary
Let's start with the positive points. I like it that TradeStation's offers you the opportunity to use the historic data base to test your trade ideas before you start trading for real.
Also the free training opportunities in the TradeStation University made a positive impression on me and all prices and fees are explained clearly and in an understandable way.
I also see it as an advantage that TradeStation encourages you to check further details if additional fees may apply.
You can reach the different sections of the customer service during the most important times for trading and it is one more plus that you can use mobile trading where ever you are and whenever you want.
However, the navigation on this platform didn't impress me at all when I searched for basic information instead of signing in to start with trading. Compared to other online brokers the information provided is thin and could be improved.
Beside this, I really miss at least a little bit of information about TradeStation itself, its background, history and experience and the mentioned awards.
If you are curious for those and if you want to find out if TradeStation may keep all the big promises, give it a try and make your own personal experiences with the service.
The advantages I see:
- well explained, transparent prices
- the opportunity to test your trade ideas with historic data
- the free training offers in the TradeStation University
- the opportunity for unlimited mobile trading
- the customer service being available during the most important times
The disadvantages I see:
- no free trial
- no detailed information about the mentioned awards and the safety of your funds
- no testimony to see what the users think about the service
If all this doesn't prevent you from going further into details so find out if this service may be what you are searching for, check this out yourself: https://www.tradestation.com