TradeStation Review 2021: Fees, Services, and More
Investors who use TradeStation benefit from a comprehensive trading platform designed for active and high volume users. It’s not for newcomers or long-term investors who buy and hold. But if you are an experienced investor who executes frequent or complex trades, you should give this product a try. A financial advisor can help you decide what type of platform is best suited for your financial strategy and tactics, as well as for setting realistic financial goals.
Services and Features: What does TradeStation offer?
TradeStation is a comprehensive trading platform that allows investors to trade almost any traditional financial product, and even some uncommon products. In addition to the standard range of stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, and mutual funds, investors can also trade bonds, futures, cryptocurrencies, and IPOs in exchange (although the latter two products may come with certain legal restrictions). The only major asset class not offered by TradeStation is foreign exchange.
TradeStation offers a somewhat dizzying array of platforms on which to trade these various assets. Although the main brand of the platform is available in desktop, browser, and mobile versions, it has labeled its desktop client separately as TradeStation Desktop 10. You can trade all the same products on the versions of TradeStation desktop, mobile and web. However, many of the platform’s best search options and other tools are reserved for Desktop 10. This is the core product of TradeStation.
Additionally, while TradeStation’s main brand supports options trading, it also has an independent platform for options and futures called FuturesPlus. Cryptocurrency traders will use the TSCrypto platform, while much of the platform’s education and research has moved to its YouCanTrade website, where you can choose from several pricing plans. different depending on your level of activity as a trader.
All of this speaks to the basic experience of using TradeStation. This is a product designed for experienced investors who know exactly what they want. It is aimed at technical traders and particularly favors active high volume investors who trade on the basis of data indicators. TradeStation offers extensive search options for all of its asset classes, with investors able to find just about any technical indicator they want, spanning the life of a given asset. This is a significant advantage over many comparable services which often offer basic data such as prices and transaction volumes, but fail to fit into more complex metrics.
However, as befits its target audience, TradeStation offers virtually no fundamental analysis within its trading platform. You won’t find the important news feeds, bespoke analytics, or advice that many other platforms offer. This makes it much less useful both for inexperienced investors – who may need this type of advice – and for less active investors – who often trade based on the companies that are behind an asset rather than the position in the asset. the securities market themselves.
For investors keen to learn, however, TradeStation offers a variety of powerful utilities. Its desktop and web platforms support a high degree of customization, allowing you to view data in ways that are useful to your own trading strategies. Traders can set up sophisticated order types and trade based on custom algorithms. FuturesPlus allows you to conduct in-depth research on options and futures, while the Portfolio Maestro utility allows you to analyze how various strategies would affect your portfolio today and in the future. Again, these tools and many more are great assets for technical and active traders looking for new ways to examine data before making their trades.
Fees: How much does TradeStation cost?
There are generally four types of fees to consider when choosing a trading platform. You should look for them when evaluating any investment or trading service:
Trading fees – All the fixed costs attached to each transaction you make. This can take the form of a flat rate or what is called the “spread”. This is when your broker charges you based on the difference, if any, between the buy price and the sell price of an asset.
Trading commissions – This is when a broker will charge you a percentage based on the volume or value of each trade.
Inactivity Fee – Any fees that the broker charges you for not trading, for example for keeping money in a brokerage account.
Non-commercial costs / other costs – Any form of fees for trading on this platform not covered above. For example, a brokerage firm may charge you to make deposits to your brokerage account, to withdraw money from it, or to sign up for additional services.
Ultimately, TradeStation offers about as many pricing plans as there are choices. The exact cost of this service will depend almost entirely on how you choose to use it. However, it has two basic account types: TradeStation Go and TradeStation Select.
TradeStation Go is priced for its online users. This service charges $ 0 to trade stocks and ETFs. While this implies that all other trades are free, options and futures cost between $ 0.50 and $ 1.50 per contract. This plan does not require a minimum balance.
TradeStation Go users also pay a series of additional fees each time they trade on TradeStation desktop software. For example, each stock trade comes with an additional fee of $ 10, while futures add $ 1.40 per contract. Since most of TradeStation’s more sophisticated features are found on its desktop version, this is a significant difference.
TradeStation Select does not include any additional fees for using the desktop trading platform. Stocks and ETFs also don’t cost anything to trade. Option contracts cost between $ 0.60 and $ 1.50, while futures contracts cost $ 1.50. (This contrasts with TradeStation Go, in which futures contracts cost $ 0.85 per contract.) This plan requires a minimum balance of $ 2,000.
TradesStation does not offer free mutual funds. He charges a commission of $ 15 for his funds. Margin trading is available. While interest rates can technically go as low as 3.5% for very high balance clients, most investors should expect rates closer to 9%.
Efficiency: How does TradeStation work?
TradeStation is sprawling and complicated, and a bit more expensive than many other full-service trading platforms on the market today. However, it is perfect for a certain type of trader. Inexperienced investors will almost certainly find the sheer mass of TradeStation options confusing. This platform allows for a depth of customization that requires a steep learning curve to use and a steep one to enjoy. It presents the information in a sophisticated way, with expansive data tables and a default option of relying on standard candlestick charts for price history. All of this makes TradeStation a very informative trading environment, but one that will likely confuse most investors.
Meanwhile, investors who have the experience but do relatively few trades may not necessarily find TradeStation confusing – but they simply may not find it necessary. The depth of options that TradeStation presents just isn’t particularly useful for long-term investors. Plus, they won’t find the fundamental analysis that many long-term investors rely on.
The bottom line
TradeStation is designed for highly technical and very active investors. It’s a fast and responsive system that doesn’t take a little effort to learn how to use it well. It presents a large amount of data that can help someone make trading decisions every moment of the day, a wall of numbers that is as invaluable to experienced investors as it is confusing to newcomers. For investors who trade technical indicators and those who are very active, TradeStation is an exceptional platform and worth a visit.
Tips for investing
What does it mean for a platform to focus on technical analysis rather than fundamental? What does a trader look for when trading technical data, and what do fundamental traders expect? These questions are at the heart of your choice between systems like TradeStation and the rest of the market, and you can read more about the difference here.
Consider working with a financial advisor to build a financial plan and determine if an online brokerage like TradeStation is right for you. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be difficult. SmartAsset’s matching tool can help you find a financial professional in your area who can help you understand the ins and outs of the investing world, whether you are just looking to set up a retirement account or become a real trading magician. If you are ready, start now.
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