The four most dangerous words in investing are “This time it's different.”
TradeKing is an online investment platform with discount broker level pricing. They provide everything that you will need to trade, and to do so across the widest possible variety of investment vehicles. Don’t be swayed into thinking that low cost equal low quality – not with this platform. TradeKing has it all, and it’s definitely worth a try if you’re looking for a new investment platform to work with. Here is our detailed TradeKing review to help you decide if you want to open an account with them.
Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, TradeKing is a nationally licensed online brokerage firm that specializes in working with self-directed investors. They do this by offering low, flat rate fees for trades on both stocks and options, and impose no account minimums. And unlike many other brokerage firms, TradeKing does not have price tiers – the same low trading fees apply regardless of account size.
In addition to stocks and options, you can also trade mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs), as well as fixed income investments such as bonds.
TradeKing was rated #2 in customer service by Smart Money Magazine in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Meanwhile, Barrons has given them four stars out of five for nine consecutive years, from 2007 through 2015.
How TradeKing Works
The site is highly user-friendly, and provides your account summary, as well as detailed presentations of current holdings, current activity and order status on any pending trades. The platform also provides gain/loss reporting, which includes both realized and unrealized gains.
Maxit Tax Manager. This tool provides you with real time analysis and simplified tax reporting. That includes cost basis of all transactions, wash sales, and tax liability of your trades. But it does something more, through identification of “tax smart” investment opportunities. This feature provides pre-trade analysis for capital gains opportunities. You can pull up tax reports at any time, including your year-end IRS Form 1099.
The TradeKing platform also provides the following tools to help you with your trading activity:
- Market and Company Snapshots – Here you can find market stats, news and various metrics into both the market and the companies you’re interested in.
- Watch Lists – Keep a running list of companies that you’d like to follow.
- Quotes – Get news, charts, historical quotes, peer performance comparisons, dividend dates and everything you need to get information on a company.
- Research – S&P Stock Reports and recommendations on more than 1,500 companies.
- Interactive Charts – Customizable charts that let you see the performance of a security, as well as volatility and option trading volumes.
- Option Chains – Simplify options trading with option chains that even cover complex multi-leg spreads.
- Technical Analysis – You can get chart pattern recognition, price forecasting, and full educational support.
Trader Network. Like just about everything else in life, investing is an activity that is best undertaken in good company. TradeKing has created an online trading network where you can connect with other investors and share ideas, experiences, and strategies, and see what others are doing in their own portfolios. There’s plenty of investment news out there all the time, but Trader Network provides you with an opportunity to digest that information along with other investors.
In order to fund your account, you can do so by check, wire, account transfer from another broker, or via ACH transfer. To withdraw funds from your TradeKing account, you can do so by check, ACH transfer or by wire transfer.
Customer support is available Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 6 pm Eastern Time for both phone support (877-495-5464) and online chat. They can also be reached via email.
The very low fees offered by TradeKing are the biggest single reason to use their services. But they offer other advantages that should make you want to check them out and see what they have to offer.
Online tools. TradeKing offers a wealth of trading tools. The Options Pricing Calculator will help you forecast theoretical values and compare them to the current bid/ask prices. You can even change market variables. There’s a Probability Calculator that uses implied volatility to help you determine the likelihood of hitting your price targets. The Profit and Loss Calculator will help you to understand both the potential profit and loss of your trades. They also provide Options and Strategy Scanners and Stock, ETF & Mutual Fund Screeners. Then there’s TradeKing LIVE, which is the streaming active trader platform. It can be used from an iPad, tablet or mobile device.
Investor education. Whatever your skill level is as an investor or trader, TradeKing has a wide range of educational tools that will help you to up your game.
Account security. All accounts are covered by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) for up to $500,000 for cash, securities and property, including up to $250,000 for cash balances. TradeKing also provides third-party insurance coverage through London Underwriters that applies when SIPC thresholds have been exceeded, covering securities and cash up to $150 million, including up to $900,000 for cash balances. (Both coverages are for broker failure, not for loss of investment market value.)
AutoTrade. TradeKing offers this service to enable you to make trades automatically based on newsletter recommendations. They accept trading instructions directly from the newletters you specify, then execute the trades according to your trading parameters, which you preset when you start the AutoTrade feature.
Forex Trading. You can use your TradeKing account to trade more than 50 currency pairs, as well as gold and silver, and handle all trading in real time. The site also has extensive Forex education and research that can help you to be a better trader, at what ever skill level you may be at.
Mobile apps. The TradeKing platform is available for use on iPhone, iPhone Touch and Android.
TradeKing Offers Managed Accounts – But Only If You Want Them
Yes, TradeKing specializes in providing a platform for the self-directed investor. But if that doesn’t describe you, or if you’d like to have at least some of your assets professionally managed, TradeKing can do that also. This is a new program they started in 2014 called TradeKing Advisors. They are offering no advisor fees for one year for new customers.
TradeKing offers two managed portfolios:
Core. This is a long-term manage portfolio, that is established and then adjusted whenever needed. There is a minimum investment of $5,000, and a yearly advisory fee of $0.25% after the first year.
Momentum. This account response to market ups and downs, and it is reviewed monthly for new investments. It requires a minimum investment of $25,000, and comes with a yearly advisory fee of 0.50% after the first year.
Both account types come with no trading fees, and both wave the advisory fee for the first year. Your investments are spread across a wide range of assets, and are based on the use of low-cost ETFs. You complete a questionnaire, then TradeKing will recommend a portfolio that will fit your needs and investments risk tolerance.
The investment categories within the managed accounts include conservative, moderate, moderate growth, growth, and aggressive growth. Your account will include a mix of these categories, depending upon your risk tolerance as indicated by your responses on the questionnaire.
TradeKing has one of the lowest fee structures in the industry. Their fee for trades for both stocks and ETFs is a flat rate of $4.95 per trade. Mutual funds are $9.95 per trade. For options trading, they charge a base rate of $4.95 per spread, plus $0.65 per contract. The only other brokerage which offers a competitive rate is OptionsHouse, which charge $4.75 for stock trades.
The fee for trading multiple contracts looks like this:
- 10 contracts, $11.45 ($0.65 per contract, times 10 contracts, plus $4.95)
- 50 contracts, $37.45 ($0.65 per contract, times 50 contracts, plus $4.95)
- 100 contracts, $69.95 ($0.65 per contract, times 100 contracts, plus $4.95)
Here’s how TradeKing stacks up to other discount brokers:
TradeKing does charge an annual fee of $50, but only if your account balance is below $2,500 – which is the total of all accounts you have open with them, or if you don’t make a trade within a 12 month period. This might throw you off from using them, but with their low prices, you should invest beyond the $2,500 threshold.
Is TradeKing Worth Investing With?
The combination of low pricing and the wide variety of features and tools offered by this platform make it one of the best in the industry. If you’ve been searching for a new investment platform to use – or you want to do some experimenting – TradeKing is one that you should try out.
To help you make that decision, TradeKing is currently offering to cover transfer fees up to $150 if you transfer funds from a competing platform. This can be the ideal investment platform, particularly if you are an active trader.
If you’re thinking about opening a TradeKing account, make sure to be aware of these two promotions they have going on. The TradeKing promo code: FREE1000 gives you $1,000 in free trade commissions for those who open an account with $5,000 or more.
They are also providing $150 for transfer fee refunds if you move your investing account to them. There is no promo code for this, but you just have to open a new TradeKing account. Once you do that you need to submit an account transfer form, and then submit a transfer reimbursement form with proof of the transfer charge from your other brokerage.