TradeMonster Review: An Online Brokerage Worth Considering

TradeMonster

Welcome back to another online brokerage review at Frugal Rules! Today we’ll be reviewing TradeMonster. TradeMonster is a newer player in the online brokerage space but don’t let that stop you from considering it as an option for your investing needs. I think it could be a brokerage worth considering as long as it meets your needs.

To be completely honest, I’ve never had an account with TradeMonster though I did deal with them quite a bit in my days in the online brokerage industry and was always impressed in my dealings with them. That allowed me to see a bit into how TradeMonster operates and what they have to offer to investors. Before I get on with the TradeMonster review, you can check out my past reviews below:

A little background on TradeMonster, they started at the height of the downturn in the stock market in 2008 and are well known for their award-winning options trading platform.

TradeMonster Features

Futures Trading: If you’re looking to trade futures, then TradeMonster is a solid option to consider. Their pricing comes in at $1.50 per contract which is half of the price you’d find at Etrade and about three quarters of the price you’d find at TD Ameritrade. I don’t personally trade futures, but that price is hard to beat.

Virtual Trading: I’ve written in past reviews about how virtual trading can be helpful as you get started investing in the stock market and TradeMonster does not disappoint with their offering here. They offer a free paper trading account with $100,000 in virtual money to start with.

Extensive Education: Most online brokerages offer some sort of training or education. Some are free, some are not and the education at TradeMonster is free to clients. The thing I like about their education is that they pair it with training on their platforms for free. With the focus they have, you’ll see why the latter is so important.

Free Streaming Quotes: I’ve spoken before about how this is incredibly important to have, especially if you’re a somewhat active trader. Not every brokerage offers free streaming quotes, but TradeMonster does, which is important given their bent towards options trading.

Advantages of TradeMonster

Good Pricing: One of the bigger benefits to investing with TradeMonster is their pricing structure. They offer a solid $7.50 per stock trade (though they do add $.0005 per share of stocks under $1 – which is fairly common and $.015 for extended hour trades) which is very competitive. They also charge a max of $.50 per option trade which is also very competitive.

Great for Options Trading: Generally speaking, the usual investor at TradeMonster is going to be an options investor. They’re geared towards that and they take it seriously. So much so, they’ve been voted as the best for options trading by Barron’s as having the best options trading platform for the past four years. That said, their platform is a solid one to use.

No Hidden Fees: I HATE paying fees, especially hidden ones and TradeMonster does not have any hidden fees. Where TradeKing has a potential annual maintenance fee, they does not which is not easy to say in the online brokerage space.

Free Online Support: TradeMonster has thought along the lines of TradeKing and has created a solid online support presence. They’re active on social media and have several blogs devoted to helping investors with any questions they may have.

Disadvantages of TradeMonster

Platform Can Be a Little Difficult to Master: The main beef that most investors tend to have with TradeMonster is that their platform can be a little on the tough side to acclimate to. I believe a good bit of that goes back to their strong focus on options trading, as it tends to be more advanced in nature. I’d also imagine that’s a big part of the reason why they offer training/educational courses on how to use their platform. That said, it’s important to know that going into deciding on a brokerage. If that’s not your cup of tea then another brokerage may be a better option for you.

Limited Hours: The other thing to be aware of when considering TradeMonster is they’re not open 24 hours a day. They’re open from 8:30-6:00 EST Monday through Friday. For many this will not be a detractor, but for some it could be.

My Take on TradeMonster

For the right investor, TradeMonster could be a great option to look at to do your investing. If you’re more along the lines of a buy and hold investor, you may find the platform to be a bit cumbersome even though the price is competitive. If you’re a more active trader that likes to focus on futures and option trading then it very well could be a great fit for your investing needs.

Assuming that you’re looking for a better options trading platform then I believe they could be a definite possibility for you to look at for your investing needs. Keep in mind that they do offer promotions to win your business, so if you’re considering TradeMonster I’d recommend you check some of those out – right now they’re offering up to $250 to transfer your account to them.

 

Do you have anything fun planned this weekend? How much do you pay for your stock trades?

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About the author:

I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. You can connect via Twitter / Facebook.

12 comments on “TradeMonster Review: An Online Brokerage Worth Considering

  1. I don’t really do much individual investing so I pay nothing for stock trades – for now. I need to start checking out some of these brokerages. In college I used Scottrade and now my work retirement and ESPP is set up through Fidelity. At the very least testing out each brokerage will make for some good content for the site.

    I’m just hanging out with friends, doing some blog work, and watching some Olympic events this weekend. Hope you have a good one!
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..The Weekly Quick Hits RoundupMy Profile

    • That it does DC. Getting that first hand experience helps out a ton, especially in doing reviews and such for the site.

      Sounds like a good weekend. We’re going to be returning back to “normal” with our family leaving this afternoon. Being away for two weeks with vacation and family has put me a bit behind. :)

    • You definitely can’t go wrong with Scottrade Laurie. We have a number of accounts with them and are my favorite brokerage. Sounds like a good weekend – we finally return to some normalcy after vacation/family visiting. :)

    • I seem to remember you mentioning something about opening an account with Scottrade. TradeKing is $4.95, though they do have a maintenance fee – if your account balance is over $2,500 then it’s waived and not an issue.

    • Yes, Etrade is a bit on the higher end of what I’d consider competitive. If you do look to switch, Scottrade would be a good option and $3/trade cheaper. After that you could also consider OptionsXpress (which would get you access to Schwab’s commission free ETFs) or TradeKing – both of which would allow you to save several dollars per trade.

  2. I’d be interested in hearing a review done for Interactive Brokers. I have my account there due to their low margin rates. I don’t think their platforms is very user friendly, but you can’t beat their costs.

    • Great suggestion Sheena! I’ll definitely look in to doing a review of them. I agree, they have great rates but have heard their platform isn’t the most user friendly. I dealt with them quite a bit in my brokerage days so I’ll see what I can do about that. Thanks for stopping by! :)

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