TradeKing Review: Get $1,000 in Free Commissions!
TradeKing is a solid, low-cost online broker that provides value to their clients. This TradeKing review will provide a high level view of what they have to offer and how they might be able to help you achieve your investing goals.
I dealt extensively with during my days as a stock broker and was always impressed by their platform as well as the service they offer clients. This TradeKing review is born out of that experience and believe there is a lot of value in the $4.95 commission price they offer clients – which is the lowest commission price in the industry. It’s important to keep in mind we all have different needs as investors and thus need to do our due diligence before selecting an online broker to manage their investment portfolios. With that in mind, feel free to check out some of my other online brokerage reviews:
A little background on TradeKing, they have been in business since 2005 and merged with Zecco in 2012 to broaden their brokerage offerings. They’re well known for their social media presence and low priced stock trades. With that in mind, let’s get on to the review of TradeKing.
Trading Platform: The first thing I look at when I consider a brokerage is the trading platform and if it’s user friendly. From what I have experienced with the TradeKing platform, it is intuitive and relatively simple to master. Added to that, they offer a $4.95 commission on stock trades and $.65 per contract on options (in addition to the stock commission) so they are very hard to beat. This makes TradeKing the lowest priced online brokerage out there, tied with Optionshouse. The only difference is Optionshouse charges $.50 for options whereas TradeKing charges $.65.
Free Streaming Quotes: I’ve mentioned the nice feature of streaming quotes in previous reviews, and TradeKing does not disappoint here. After placing one trade, you simply contact them and they enable free streaming quotes on your account. This is nice to have if you like to watch the market and execute trades at a specific price.
Forex Trading: Just as with Etrade and OptionsXpress, TradeKing offers Forex trading thanks to their merger with Zecco. What is even better is they offer a $50,000 virtual account to allow you to get your feet wet before trying it out on your own.
TradeKing Advisors Program: This is a new feature TradeKing launched in late 2014. What I really like about this feature is that it’s a major step towards being able to handle all of your investment needs in one location. The idea behind TradeKing Advisors is somewhat similar to a robo-advisor in they manage your investments for you. With TradeKing Advisors you can start with portfolios as low as $5,000 in low-cost ETFs. These portfolios are suggested and modeled by Ibottson (a subsidiary of Morningstar) and are based on your specific circumstances. To kickoff the TradeKing Advisors program, TradeKing is offering the service free of charge for your first year.
Advantages of TradeKing
Low Pricing: Obviously, one of the big draws of is their lower commissions. If you like to invest in stocks then you’re hard pressed to beat their $4.95 per stock trade. They also have a solid mutual fund price of $9.95 per trade.
Healthy Mutual Fund Offering: If you like to invest in mutual funds, then you’ll likely be satisfied with TradeKing as they offer over 8,000 mutual funds from a wide variety of fund families. This places them as better than average in regards to the rest of the industry. Scottrade and TD Ameritrade are the only other online brokers in the space that bests them in terms of mutual fund offerings.
Great Customer Service: I’ve said it before, but I will pay more for good customer service. If I am going to trust someone with my money then it’s a no brainer for me. Every time I’ve dealt with TradeKing I’ve been satisfied with my experience. They’ve also been consistently honored by Smart Money for being one of the top brokers in the industry for customer service.
Free Online Support: One of the things that sets TradeKing apart is their use of social media and forums on their site. They take to heart offering real-time support to their clients and have thought outside the box to do so. They also provide free classes and webinars to offer help which is nice to see and they have it broken down by experience level which is incredibly helpful.
No Minimum to Open: As I mentioned in my Etrade review, TradeKing does not have a minimum to open an account with them. Many brokerages do not offer this, which can hold some back. This allows clients to open with the amount they can and go from there. This is a huge bonus in my book if you have little money to invest in the stock market.
Disadvantages of TradeKing
Fees: Generally speaking, TradeKing is very light when it comes to fees which is awesome. However, they make up for it with an inactivity fee of $50 per year. I hate inactivity fees with a passion, but there are ways around it.
They hit you with it if you’ve not had a commissionable stock trade in the last 12 months and/or your account value is under $2,500. If you’re over this, then there is absolutely nothing to be worried about and can go on with your normal investing, but if not you need to be aware of it.
TradeKing review – my take
I think for the right person TradeKing is an excellent fit. I’m not a fan of fees, but if it doesn’t apply to you then it’s of no significance as you won’t be charged. TradeKing offers stellar service and their price can’t be beat. With their solid lineup of offerings, valuable tools and resources to help you as an investor and their accolades I would consider TradeKing a worthy online brokerage to consider for your investing needs.
With the addition of the TradeKing Advisors platform I believe they’ve taken a major step towards becoming a brokerage that can help nearly any investor – whether you’re a DIY investor or are someone looking for some help managing your investments. If you do open an account with TradeKing, make sure to check out my Tradeking promo code post to see what promotions you can qualify for by bringing your business to them – their standard promotion offers $1,000 in free commissions with new accounts of $5,000 or more.
That being said, TradeKing is running their popular year end promotion which runs through December 31, 2015. The promotion offers $200 cash back on new, non-retirement accounts, of at least $3,000 that execute three trades within the first 90 days.