TradeMonster Review: An Online Brokerage Worth Considering
TradeMonster is another brokerage that comes in line with many other quality online brokerages that offer solid value at a great price. If you’ve not heard of TradeMonster, they’re 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. With that in mind, along with some recent changes they’ve made I wanted to do a TradeMonster review to allow you to see if they’re a broker you should consider for your investing 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 my review of TradeMonster, you can check out my past reviews below:
- Scottrade Review
- Etrade Review
- OptionsHouse Review
- OptionsXpress Review
- TradeKing Review
- Betterment Review
- Motif Investing Review
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.
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 recently lowered their commission from $7.50 per equity trade to $4.95 per equity trade, which put them at the same playing field as other brokerages like OptionsHouse and TradeKing (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. This lower commission structure definitely makes them a more serious consideration among the other online brokerages out there, especially if pricing is a big selling point for you.
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, though with the new commission price some might find it worth it to take on the challenge. 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, especially considering the price.
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 make sure to check out my TradeMONSTER promotion code post to see what current promotions they’re offering.
How much do you pay for your stock trades? What do you look for in choosing an online brokerage?
*Updated from original posting of February 7, 2014
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