Are you interested in trading the futures market with low commissions and innovative trading tools? The Tradovate review reveals that they offer an exciting mix of tools and commission levels enriched by competitive intraday margin requirements. Can Tradovate make it to the list of the best futures brokers?
Important Update: On January 12, 2022, the acquisition of Tradovate by NinjaTrader was announced. As a result, the innovative all-inclusive pricing model got removed, and commission structures are now similar to the NinjaTrader offering. Unfortunately, transparency about the acquisition lacks, since it is not noted on the Tradovate homepage, but only if you do manual research in the Tradovate press release section. In addition, the latest reviews on Trustpilot are not that positive anymore, so it might be worth considering another futures broker.
What Is Tradovate?
Tradovate is a modern futures platform and futures brokerage. Thanks to its advanced trading tools and innovative features, Tradovate made a name for itself in a competitive niche. Among its key selling points are the innovative commission plans, and the margin for day trading futures starting at $50 for the Micro E-Mini.
Specialized In Futures Trading
Instead of being an all-in-one solution like many of its competitors, Tradovate is concentrated on satisfying the needs of seasoned traders. It provides them with advanced tools and features to help optimize the efficiency of their strategies. This niche-specific targeting turned Tradeovate into a go-to solution for the upper echelon of the futures trading world.
Where Is Tradovate’s Headquater?
Tradovate is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. It was founded in 2015 by Rick Tomsic, former founder of Open E Cry LLC, a direct access futures brokerage company offering online trading for electronic and pit markets. Prior Rick Tomsic had gained substantial industry experience at executive roles in some of the leading companies, including OptionXpress and GAIN Capital.
Tradovate Commissions and Fees
We will start our Tradovate review with the futures trading fees. There are three types of monthly membership plans:
- Free Plan: You won’t have to pay a monthly fee to use this plan. There is a $1.29/side commission that you are charged for each trade of standard contracts. For micro E-mini contracts, the commission is fixed at $0.35/side, and nano + event contracts are tradeable for $0.20/side. The plan is suitable for traders who prefer the freedom to pay per trade without any commitments.
- Monthly Plan:This plan costs $99 per month with a $0.99 commission per trade with standard contracts, $0.25 for micros and $0.15 for nano and event contracts.
- Lifetime Plan: If you plan on trading in excessive volumes, then this plan is your most reasonable choice. It costs $1,499 one time or four incremental payments of $499 each. With this plan, its possible to lock in lifetime commissions of $0.59 per standard futures contract, $0.09 for micros, and $0.05 per nano and event contract (per side).
For traders seeking more functionalities, Tradovate offers direct integrations with third-party market data solutions. Some of them include TradingView, Sierra Chart, Investor RT, MotiveWave, CQG, and more. That way, traders can build a custom futures trading station with advanced charting, analysis, and execution tools.
Tradovate Platform: Tools, Features, and Usability
What makes Tradovate stand out is the platform’s flexibility and advanced functionalities. Users can trade via the desktop version, as well as on-the-go from their mobile devices. Tradovate’s team has developed a fully-functional app available for both Android and iOS devices. The app supports all features present on the desktop version.
1. Tradovate Review: Charting Features
A decisive factor for traders when choosing which trading platform to use usually is the supported charting features. Tradovate offers a wide variety of charts. This includes all the basic ones (candlesticks, line, and bar charts), as well as advanced indicators like Bid-Ask Volume, Renko, OFA, and more. The platform’s users can take advantage of direct trade execution right from the chart. This allows them to act quickly once they spot an opportunity and avoid missing potentially profitable trades.
2. OFA and AlgoX: Tradovate’s Unique Features
Tradovate offers platform-specific features that traders will struggle to find anywhere else. For example, when you combine the Order Flow Analysis tool and the AlgoX functionality, you get a powerful futures Algo trading weapon. It indicates the trading volume at the different bid/ask spreads and automates the trading process. The user can tailor the trading algorithm according to his needs. This includes designing trend line triggers or using Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP) and other benchmarks.
3. Tradovate’s Trading Indicators
Another key advantage of the platform is the powerful arsenal of trading indicators. Tradeovate has more than 40 built-in indicators – channels, moving averages, oscillators Fibonacci retracement, volume analysis, and more. They help traders develop, tailor, and execute their strategies. But this is not all – users can take advantage of a variety of community indicators as well. They can be easily installed with a few clicks. Tradovate supports several time frames – from tick and minute to daily and monthly intervals. The platform is everything a technical analyst can ask for.
4. HotKey Customization and One-Click Order Entries
The platform offers everything that a trader needs to make an instant jump into a trade. There are volume histograms that can inform you about the current supply and demand. Combined with the one-click order entry feature and the hotkeys customization, they can prove a real ace in the hands of traders. Tradovate supports a variety of order types, including limit, stop, and market ones.
5. Advanced Order Types
Aside from the basic order types, Tradovate brings its users a horizon of opportunities with the advanced order types supported, such as trailing stops, Good-till-Cancelled (GTC), one-cancels-others (OCO) conditional bracket orders, and many more. Traders have the freedom to place up to 10 bracket orders and arrange them by currency, price, and ticks.
6. Alerts Center and Real-Time Newsfeeds
Similar to other trading platforms, Tradeovate also has a watchlist feature. It can be customized to send alerts when the price of the instrument changes. There are also real-time newsfeeds that can help traders stay on the edge of the leading market-moving events.
7. Account Restrictions, Margins, and Minimums
The account minimum for the Tradeovate account holders is set at $2000. There are also $500-per-day trading margins for the most popular indices (S&P 500 E-minis, Nasdaq 100, Dow, and E-mini Russell 2000). Don’t forget to keep an eye on the margin requirements, as well.
8. Mobile Apps
The Android and iOS apps come in two forms – the standard Tradovate app and the Tradovate Pulse app. The latter is designed as a lighter version of the platform and its main functionalities. However, it is worth noting that TD Ameritrade is still the market leader for mobile app based trading.
9. Customer Service
When it comes to customer care, it is worth noting that the Tradovate’s team has done a remarkable job. The platform’s representatives are very responsive. You can contact them via several channels, including live chat, email, phone, and forum.
What Makes Tradovate Stand Out?
It is fair to say that Tradovate is far from being a market leader. But it is also important to note that this isn’t the platform’s primary goal. It is focused on providing flawless experience and reliable trading infrastructure to its specific niche of users – experienced traders.
Although it is hard to make a name for yourself and rise above the rest in such a crowded industry, Tradovate has made the right steps in this regard. The platform-specific features like the OFA charts and the trade management tools make it a solution worth trying.
The variety of membership plans is also designed with the individual in mind and tries to appeals to the trading needs of different users.
Who Should Use Tradovate?
Those who make a significant number of futures trades per month (300 or more) consider Tradovate with lifetime plan.
The OFA and AlgoX features and their easy customization also make Tradovate an excellent solution for algorithmic traders who don’t have the necessary coding skills to design algorithms by themselves.
If you are a novice trader, long-term investor, or someone looking to trade stocks or ETFs, though, then look elsewhere. Go for the leading solutions with their commission-free trading plans and superior platforms.
Tradovate Review: The Pros and Cons
To summarize our Tradovate review, let’s take a look at its main advantages and disadvantages. That way, we will further help you decide whether it is worth giving a shot:
- Easily-accessible and highly-functional cloud-based trading platform
- Customizable OFA and AlgoX features to help you gain an edge
- Volume analysis tools
- Resonable commission rates that prove a economically-sound solution for active futures traders
- Instant platform review possible
- Aquired by NinjaTrader without clear statement on the homepage of Tradovate
- A costly solution if you aren’t an active trader
- High upfront payment required to unlock low commission rates
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