TradeKing Review: An Online Brokerage Worth Considering
TradeKing is a good online broker to consider if you’re looking for low prices and ease of use. With that in mind, I thought it would be good to do a TradeKing review to see how they might be able to help you if you’re looking for somewhere to manage your investing needs.
To be completely transparent, I do not have an account with TradeKing nor have I ever. However, I have dealt with them extensively over the years with my experience in the online brokerage industry as well as dealing with the TradeKing platform quite a bit. This has allowed me to learn quite a bit in terms of how they operate and what you’d want to look out for if you’re considering using for your investing needs. If you’d like to read some of my other online brokerage reviews, you can do so below:
A little background on TradeKing, they have been in business since 2005 and merged with Zecco in 2012 in order 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 TradeKing review.
Trading Platform: One of the first things I look at when I am considering 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 easy to grasp for most. 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 it makes them very hard to beat. The only other major brokerage out there, that I know of, that can beat that price is Optionshouse with their flat $4.75 stock trades.
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’re watching the market and want a particular stock or ETF 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 that 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 off your specific circumstances. To kickoff TradeKing Advisors, TradeKing is offering the service free of charge for your first year.
Advantages of TradeKing
Low Pricing: Obviously, one of the bigger draws ofis 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. You’ll notice though I did not mention flat pricing, which I’ll touch on later.
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.
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 honored by Smart Money for several years for being at the top of the industry in terms of 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 have the requisite 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 OptionsXpress 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, 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 no concern, but if not you need to be aware of it.
TradeKing review – my take
I think for the right person TradeKing would be a great fit. I’m not a fan of fees, but if it wouldn’t apply to you then it’s really of no significance as you wouldn’t be charged. TradeKing offers stellar service and their price is extremely difficult to 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. They also have a special promo running through the month of January which gets you $100 for opening an account with at least $3,000 by the end of the month. In order to qualify, make sure to use the code “2015” when opening the account!
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