Updated July 8, 2016

TradeKing Review: Pros and Cons

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TradeKing offers one of the lowest trade fees, but is it good? Learn the pros and cons and see comparisons with other online brokers in this in-depth review.

TradeKing Coupons
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Overall Score

4.4

Stock Trading

5.0

Options Trading

5.0

Mobile App

3.5

Commissions and Fees

5.0

Ease of Use

4.0

Online Community

5.0

Research

3.5

Trading Platform

4.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Low commission for stock trades
  • No account minimums
  • Online trader network
  • Website a little cluttered
  • No futures trading
  • $50 inactivity charge

Bottom Line

Good low-price discount stock broker for savvy investors

CreditDonkey has done a comparison of the top online brokerages, and now we're taking a more in-depth look at TradeKing for investors who want to switch their brokerage or are looking to get started. With TradeKing, you can trade and keep a few more bucks in your pocket than with bigger name brokers .

Is TradeKing Cheap and Good?

If you're looking to open a basic online brokerage account, TradeKing might be the perfect fit.

Though not as well known as competitors E-Trade and Scottrade, TradeKing's user interface can certainly hold their own against the more popular brokerages, and it consistently ranks near the top of the customer satisfaction ratings.

And best of all, the fees charged by TradeKing are among the lowest of any online brokerage around.

But can this budget broker stand up against its more expensive counterparts?

This must-read review will give you the cold hard facts about TradeKing in plain English. The choice is yours.

Who It's Best For

TradeKing is a great platform for investors looking for a simple online brokerage account to execute their own straightforward investment strategies. If you're someone with a basic understanding of markets and security types and you have a general idea of the securities you're interested in purchasing, this platform is a great low-cost alternative to some of the more popular and widely advertised brokerages like E-Trade and Scottrade.

TradeKing may not be right for you if you are: A beginner investor looking for more hand-holding and guidance in making your investment decisions OR a more seasoned investor wanting to get involved advanced trades like those involving futures contracts. In these cases, you are probably better off with a different brokerage account provider.

We'll explain below. But first, let's highlight the current TradeKing promotions.

TradeKing Promotional Codes

    Get $1,000 in Free Trade Commissions When You Open a TradeKing Account

    To qualify, you must fund your account with $5,000 or more within 30 days of account opening. $5,000 minimum funds must remain in the account (minus any trading losses) for a minimum of 6 months.

    Commission credits are good for 60 days from award date. Commission credits cover equity, ETF and option orders (including the per contract commission). Exercise and assignment fees still apply. You will not receive cash compensation for any unused commission credits.

    For new customers only.

    Switch to TradeKing and get up to $150 in transfer fees reimbursed.

    To qualify, complete a minimum account transfer for $2,500 or more.

    Here's how it works: Open a new account, complete an account transfer form, fax the signed transfer form to TradeKing (along with a copy of your most recent statement from your previous broker) and then request your account transfer reimbursement by faxing your transfer reimbursement form (along with the proof of transfer charge) to 866-699-0563.

    Get up to $25 wire transfer fee reimbursed when you fund your account

    Use a wire transfer to make an initial deposit of $5,000 or more and you'll be eligible to have the wiring fee reimbursed (up to $25). Promotion does not apply to retirement accounts.

FEES AND OPENING AN ACCOUNT

© CreditDonkey

TradeKing has straightforward pricing and boasts one of the lowest on the market - its trade fees are about half the price of E-Trade, one of the industry leaders.

  • Stock and ETFs: $4.95 per trade
  • Options: $4.95 plus $0.65 per contract
  • Mutual funds: $0 to buy or sell load mutual funds and $9.95 to buy or sell no load mutual funds.

Opening an account is easy and takes approximately 10 minutes (you must have a U.S. address). There are no account minimums, other than for a margin account (which is governed by federal regulation). Regardless of the brokerage you choose, you must maintain a minimum of $2,000 for a margin account.

You can fund your account in a variety of ways, including wire transfers, an electronic transfer from your bank, or the good, old-fashioned way - via check. Within just a few days, you'll be up and running and ready to dive into the market.

SERVICES AND FEATURES

TradeKing offers a wide assortment of investment possibilities, including:

  • Stocks

  • Mutual Funds

  • ETFs

  • Fixed Income Securities

  • Options Contract

  • Penny Stocks: The one cent surcharge that TradeKing charges per share of any stock under $2 is somewhat of a testament at just how volatile the penny stock market (also known as pink sheets or over-the-counter bulletin board) is. TradeKing requires a minimum investment of $100 per order in penny stocks and doesn't accept opening trades below 1 cent per share. Don't let the seemingly harmless name of penny stocks fool you. It's a high-risk market where you can lose your shirt and a lot more if you don't know what you're doing.

  • Forex (Foreign Exchange):If you're not familiar with forex, TradeKing has an extremely helpful "Forex for Dummies"-type explanation of the basics on its website. In fact, it invites you into this trading world right on the homepage. You're then brought to a specific forex platform that spells out exactly how forex trading works.

    In a nutshell, forex is traded in pairs: you're buying one currency while selling another. It's the most popular trading market in the world, but there's a fair amount of risk involved.

    You can't swim without getting in water. And likewise, you can't master trading forex without experience. Luckily, TradeKing offers a $50,000 virtual practice account if you want to try your hand at forex before diving in with your real money. There's no fee to trade in the virtual account, and you'll have over 50 pairs of currency from which to choose.

  • IRA/ROTH IRA: TradeKing offers six different IRA investments, including the Traditional and Roth IRA. If you're unsure of which one is best for you, there's a comparison chart on the FAQ page to help you decide. There's no annual fee for maintaining the account, but there are some drawbacks.

    To keep its trading costs low, TradeKing has what it calls an "inactivity charge." If you have less than $2,500 in your IRA (or a combination of multiple accounts) and there have been no trades for 12 months, you will be hit with a $50 fee. There's also a $50 fee for terminating or transferring all your funds out of your TradeKing IRA. You'll be charged both the $50 for closing the account early plus $50 for removing the funds, so that's $100 worth of charges.

    Bottom line: if you open an IRA with TradeKing, make sure you plan on keeping it there.

    TradeKing

    Get $1,000 in Free Trade Commissions When You Open a TradeKing Account

    To qualify, you must fund your account with $5,000 or more within 30 days of account opening. $5,000 minimum funds must remain in the account (minus any trading losses) for a minimum of 6 months.

    Commission credits are good for 60 days from award date. Commission credits cover equity, ETF and option orders (including the per contract commission). Exercise and assignment fees still apply. You will not receive cash compensation for any unused commission credits.

    For new customers only.

PLATFORM AND TOOLS

TRADEKING LIVE

Unlike E-Trade Pro, which is only offered to investors who make at least 30 trades a quarter, TradeKing Live is a free platform for anyone who opens an account.

Though not as extensive, it offers many of the same tools:

Real-time streaming and quotes, customizable dashboards where you can see just the stocks you're interested in, condensed full-page views of options chains and charts, multiple products all on one page or a single page view of a security with more detailed information about it.

TradeKing is obviously looking to bat with the big boys on this live platform. It's constantly listening to feedback and making improvements based on customer needs. So, in the future, it will have even more tools to help you invest wisely and hopefully earn your fortune.

MOBILE APPS

TradeKing offers trading on the go with its iPhone and Android apps. At your kid's soccer match, you can trade stocks and options from your phone - as well as get live streaming quotes, chart positions, current news, and custom stock alerts - and still have time to watch your child score a goal. You have the option of remaining logged on if you know you're going to make another trade soon and want the convenience of not having to sign in again.

Here's something interesting to note:

TradeKing's iPhone app has poor customer reviews on the iTunes site. However, after its merger with Zecco, another online brokerage, the iPhone app has improved significantly. The Android app was introduced a bit later and has always had positive customer reviews.

Trader Network

Besides low priced trades, TradeKing also gets high marks from our editors for its award-winning Trader Network.

Forum: It's a social media network for investors to trade tips, their highs and lows, and their speculations about where to put their money. Here are 10 reasons why the TradeKing community is the Gold Standard:

  1. You don't need to open a TradeKing account to use it
    The Trader Network was developed for TradeKing users, but you don't have to have a brokerage account here to access all of its features. That's great news for beginners who aren't sure if they want to commit. Even better is the fact that newbies are welcome in the community as active users like to show off their knowledge and give tips.

  2. You can spy on others' trades and then try to figure out their reasoning
    One of the most useful features of the TradeKing community is the +Add Network button. With one simple click you can add traders to your network and see what they're buying and selling each day. If you've got a question about a particular trade, you can send a Trade Note request or a private message to get the scoop.

  3. You can get tips straight from industry experts
    The Trader Network isn't just for everyday investors. You'll also find industry experts like Michael Kahn and Rob Smith chiming in on the TradeKing All-Stars blog on a regular basis. The Options Guy blog, authored by veteran investment guru Brian Overby, is a must-read for the latest insights on options trading.

  4. Or establish yourself as an authority
    If you've got years of trading experience under your belt, the TradeKing community provides a way for you to show off. Once you become a registered member, you can set up your own blog and post your views on the latest market trends or what you think the next big stock is going to be.

    Did you know: There are over 400 individual member blogs on TradeKing and some of the most popular ones, like the one authored by somebody calling himself DividendYield, feature hundreds of insightful posts.

  5. Trades are transparent
    Investing is all about making calculated decisions. Understanding the "why" behind a particular trade can shape your own investment choices. The Trade Notes feature allows you to look at other users' trade diaries to see which securities may be potential gold mines and which you should avoid. You can also record your own stock, options, or ETF trades for other members to view, along with an explanation as to why you decided to buy or sell.

  6. Get real-time info and track the hottest securities
    The market can change on a minute-by-minute basis and unless you're a full-time broker, you probably don't have time to analyze its every movement. One of the best things about the TradeKing community is that you can track the 50 most active stocks and options as they're being traded so you never miss an opportunity.

  7. You can get feedback on your trading strategy
    Making mistakes is par for the course when you're a new investor. They even happen to seasoned traders from time to time. If you don't have the time or money to consult an investment advisor, you can head over to TradeKing to share ideas and get advice. For example, the recent market downturn has sparked some heated debate about what the next step is for options traders and what the Fed's inaction on interest rates means for investors.

  8. You can connect with like-minded investors
    The TradeKing community encourages open discussion. It currently has more than 160 online discussion groups, and you can read the archives or start your own group if there's a topic you want to build a conversation around.

    Tip: The Beginning Investors group is the largest, with more than 1,200 members, and the Options for Beginners group also has several hundred members.

  9. You get access to free investing tools
    TradeKing offers lots of free resources to help you make smart investing decisions. From calculators to videos to in-depth reports, you've got a wealth of information to tap into when you need it.

  10. It's user-friendly
    The Trader Network centers around helping investors come together to share their knowledge, bounce ideas off one another, and fine-tune their trading strategy. Years of investing experience aren't required here and the community itself is easy to navigate. When users have trouble getting around, the company actively considers making changes. For instance, when the site has had performance issues during transitional times - after a merger or right before an upgrade - it's been responsive to users' requests and complaints.

The TradeKing community is a welcoming spot for both beginning and seasoned investors. The fact that there's so much great information and it's user-friendly makes it a prime destination for getting insights on your trades so you can continue to build wealth.

Pros and Cons of TradeKing

© Pictures of Money (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Pros: Why We Like TradeKing

  • Pricing: TradeKing's low trade fees are hard to beat at only $4.95 each for basic stock and ETF trades, regardless of the value of the trade. Options only cost an additional $0.65 per contract on top of the $4.95 base fee. Buying or selling load mutual funds costs $0, while no load mutual funds cost $9.95.

  • Product Variety: You'll have access to almost any investment vehicle you want through the TradeKing platform: stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, IRAs, options contracts, forex, etc.

    The majority of investors looking for an online brokerage account for personal investment will only scratch the surface of the investment possibilities TradeKing has to offer.

  • Investor Support: In addition to standard research tools found with most online brokerages that provide you with all the vital information about specific investments, TradeKing also has a vibrant trader community that can be a great source of support and information for novice investors.

    There are also plenty of FAQ and "beginner guide" type pages for investors to use to familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of investing in different types of securities like forex, ETFs, and options contracts if they want to go beyond stocks and mutual funds. Think Facebook without the photos: it's where you can share thoughts, ask questions, rant, and join forums with like-minded investors who feel your pain or joy. This is a real plus, especially when you're just starting out, so you can gain information or just chat about your investment strategies.

  • Research and Tools: Though not as extensive as E-Trade and other online brokerages, TradeKing's tools and resources are nothing to sneeze at. In addition to real-time market streaming, quotes, data, and account balances, TradeKing also provides a thorough FAQ page that clearly and concisely explains investment terminology that might otherwise scare the novice away. Another convenience is AutoTrade, which will automatically place your trade based on your parameters if you don't have the time to sit in front of your computer or mobile device all the time.

  • Highly Rated: Anyone who's looking to do their own hands-on investing is probably a bit of a research junkie, so it's beneficial to know that trusted financial resources have ranked TradeKing highly in several areas. Barron's customer survey of online brokers has given TradeKing a four-star rating for the past eight years - no easy feat. And for five of those years, Barron's has crowned TradeKing the "Best for Options Traders." In addition, from 2010-2012, SmartMoney has ranked TradeKing #1 in Customer Service, as noted on their website

Cons: Why You Might Look Elsewhere

  • Inactivity Fee: If you have less than $2,500 in your TradeKing account (or combined TradeKing accounts if you have more than one) and don't make any trades within 12 month period, you'll be charged a $50 fee. That's a sizeable charge if you're only planning to keep a small amount of money in your account.

  • IRA fees: Having the option to invest in an IRA right from your brokerage account is a nice feature, but be aware that both closing an IRA early and transferring the money in an IRA to another account each carry a $50 fee. That means moving your money could end up costing you $100 - a hefty price tag for a relatively benign transaction.

  • No Futures Trading: The TradeKing platform does not allow for futures trading, but we hear that will soon change. Though likely not an issue for most beginner investors, those with more experience in financial markets may find this to be a significant limitation.

How it Compares

© CreditDonkey

TradeKing vs OptionsHouse

If you want a low price discount broker: While researching TradeKing, you probably came across another popular $4.95 per trade online broker, OptionsHouse. OptionsHouse has no inactivity fee and no maintenance fee. In comparison, TradeKing has a $50 charge if you have not made any trades within the last 12 months. This inactivity fee is waived if your combined household value of your accounts is more than $2,500.

So how else do they compare? Let's see:

 

TradeKing

OptionsHouse

 

Benefits and Features

Stock Trading
$4.95 per trade
$4.95 per trade
Options Trading$4.95 base + $0.65 per contract (only one base charge per spread)$4.95 + $0.50 per contract (only one base charge per spread, straddle, or combo)
Mutual Fund Trading$0 to buy/sell load mutual funds
$9.95 to buy/sell no load mutual funds
$20
Commission Free ETFs 
5 from O'Shares
Penny Stocks$0.01 per share on the entire order for stocks priced less than $2.00. Maximum commission per order not to exceed 5% of the trade value, with minimum commission of $4.95. Minimum investment of $100 per order in OTCBB and Pink Sheet stocks.Additional fee of $0.005 per share of stock traded for stocks priced $2.00 or less that are not options eligible.
Broker Assisted Trades
$20 + Regular Commission
$25 + Regular Commissions
Inactivity Fee$50 annual charge if you have not made any trades in the last 12 months and the combined household value of your accounts is less than $2,500
$0
Maintenance Fee 
$0
Minimum Deposit
$0
$0 minimum funding level to open a new account.
$2,000 minimum funding for a margin account
$2,000 account minimum to establish checking writing privileges and $10,000 account minimum to establish debit card privileges
Mobile App
Forex Trading
 
Futures Trading 
Customer Service(877) 495-5464 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm Eastern)
(877) 598-3190
Online CommunityTrader Network to connect with other investors 
Seminars 
Trading webinars
Virtual Trading 
Stock Trading
Options Trading
Mobile App
Commissions and Fees
Ease of Use
Online Community
Research
Trading Platform

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

TradeKing: Pricing information from published website as of 01/19/2015

OptionsHouse: Pricing information from published website as of 01/26/2015

TRADEKING VS. SCOTTRADE

If you don't want to pay an inactivity fee: Another online brokerage worth comparing with TradeKing is Scottrade, which will charge you $7 per stock and ETF trade. Options are traded at $7 plus $0.70 per contract. Scottrade has a more complicated fee structure in general, but it's well laid-out on the website. You'll also need a minimum of $2,500 to open an account with Scottrade, whereas you can essentially be penniless and open an account with TradeKing. But Scottrade doesn't charge for inactivity while TradeKing will hit you with a $50 fee if you don't do any trading in a 12-month period. Scottrade is a more well-established company and has excellent resources and tools, but TradeKing can definitely give it a run for its (and your) money.

 

TradeKing

Scottrade

 

Benefits and Features

Stock Trading
$4.95 per trade
$7 per trade
Options Trading$4.95 base + $0.65 per contract (only one base charge per spread)
$7 + $0.70 per contract
Mutual Fund Trading$0 to buy/sell load mutual funds
$9.95 to buy/sell no load mutual funds
No Fee to Buy/Sell/Exchange No-Load, No-Transaction Fee Funds
$17 to Buy/Sell/Exchange No-Load Funds
$0 to Buy Load Funds and $17 to Sell/Exchange Load Funds
Penny Stocks$0.01 per share on the entire order for stocks priced less than $2.00. Maximum commission per order not to exceed 5% of the trade value, with minimum commission of $4.95. Minimum investment of $100 per order in OTCBB and Pink Sheet stocks.$7 per trade + 0.5% principal for any stock trading under $1
Broker Assisted Trades
$20 + Regular Commission
$32
Inactivity Fee$50 annual charge if you have not made any trades in the last 12 months and the combined household value of your accounts is less than $2,500
$0
Maintenance Fee 
$0
Minimum Deposit
$0
$2,500 for brokerage accounts
No account minimum for retirement accounts
Banking Scottrade Bank has no monthly maintenance fees, ATM reimbursement program, online bill pay, and mobile banking.
Mobile App
Desktop App ScottradeELITE (requires you execute 9 or more stock or option trades during the past 3 months, have $25,000 in your primary account, or have $15,000 in your primary account and combined linked assets of $25,000 or more)
Forex Trading
 
Customer Service(877) 495-5464 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm Eastern)(800) 619-7283 (Monday to Friday 6am to 1am Eastern; Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm Eastern)
Locations 
More than 500 branch locations
Online CommunityTrader Network to connect with other investors 
Seminars In-person branch seminars, online events and live webinars
Virtual Trading ScottradeELITE offers virtual trading
Stock Trading
Options Trading
Mobile App
Commissions and Fees
Ease of Use
Online Community
Research
Trading Platform
Banking
Customer Service

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

TradeKing: Pricing information from published website as of 01/19/2015

Scottrade: Pricing information from published website as of 12/11/2016

Against ETrade and Ameritrade

No review of TradeKing is complete without a look at how TradeKing compares with E-Trade and TD Ameritrade. Here are the side-by-side comparisons to see how the brokers stack up.

While ETrade has higher commission fees, ETrade does offer investors the opportunity to invest in a select list of commission free ETFs from WisdomTree, Global X Funds, and db-X. Plus ETrade offers checking account benefits and 30 physical locations across the country.

 

TradeKing

E*TRADE

 

Benefits and Features

Stock Trading
$4.95 per trade
$9.99 per trade
$7.99 per trade if you make 150-1499 trades a quarter
$6.99 per trade if you make 1500+ trades a quarter
Options Trading$4.95 base + $0.65 per contract (only one base charge per spread)
$9.99 + $0.75 per contract
Mutual Fund Trading$0 to buy/sell load mutual funds
$9.95 to buy/sell no load mutual funds
$0 for no-load, no-transaction-fee funds
$19.99 for transaction-fee funds
Commission Free ETFs 118 including ETFs from WisdomTree, Global X Funds, and db-X Deutsche Bank
Penny Stocks$0.01 per share on the entire order for stocks priced less than $2.00. Maximum commission per order not to exceed 5% of the trade value, with minimum commission of $4.95. Minimum investment of $100 per order in OTCBB and Pink Sheet stocks.
Broker Assisted Trades
$20 + Regular Commission
$25 + Regular Commission
Inactivity Fee$50 annual charge if you have not made any trades in the last 12 months and the combined household value of your accounts is less than $2,500
$0
Maintenance Fee 
$0
Minimum Deposit
$0
$500 for brokerage accounts
No account minimum for retirement accounts
Banking Checking account offers no minimum balance requirements, free online bill pay, and unlimited debit card and check transactions.
Mobile App
Desktop App E*TRADE Pro (requires you execute at least 30 trades during a calendar quarter or maintain brokerage account balance of at least $250,000)
Forex Trading
Futures Trading 
Customer Service(877) 495-5464 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm Eastern)
(650) 599-0125
Locations 
30
Online CommunityTrader Network to connect with other investorsETrade Community lets you exchange trading and investing ideas with other ETrade customers.
Seminars Live events and educational seminars at local branches.
Stock Trading
Options Trading
Mobile App
Commissions and Fees
Ease of Use
Online Community
Research
Trading Platform
Banking

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

TradeKing: Pricing information from published website as of 01/19/2015

E*TRADE: Pricing information from published website as of 01/19/2015

TradeKing is nearly half the commission of TD Ameritrade for stock trades, but TD Ameritrade investors have access to 100 locations in 34 states and cash management account features that will appeal to buy-and-hold investors who value service over commission and do not plan to frequently trade.

 

TradeKing

TD Ameritrade

 

Benefits and Features

Stock Trading
$4.95 per trade
$9.99 per trade
Options Trading$4.95 base + $0.65 per contract (only one base charge per spread)
$9.99 + $0.75 per contract
Mutual Fund Trading$0 to buy/sell load mutual funds
$9.95 to buy/sell no load mutual funds
$0 for no-transaction-fee mutual funds
$49.99 for no-load mutual funds
$0 for load mutual funds
Commission Free ETFs Over 100 including 34 Equity Funds, 33 Bond Funds, 31 International Funds, and 2 Commodity Funds.
Penny Stocks$0.01 per share on the entire order for stocks priced less than $2.00. Maximum commission per order not to exceed 5% of the trade value, with minimum commission of $4.95. Minimum investment of $100 per order in OTCBB and Pink Sheet stocks.
Broker Assisted Trades
$20 + Regular Commission
$44.99
Inactivity Fee$50 annual charge if you have not made any trades in the last 12 months and the combined household value of your accounts is less than $2,500
$0
Maintenance Fee 
$0
Minimum Deposit
$0
$0
Banking Cash Management account offers free ATM withdrawals, no monthly maintenance fees, free online bill pay, and free check writing.
Mobile App
Desktop App 
thinkorswim
Forex Trading
Futures Trading $2.25 per contract (plus exchange & regulatory fees)
Customer Service(877) 495-5464 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm Eastern)
(800) 669-3900
Locations More than 100 locations in 34 states
Online CommunityTrader Network to connect with other investors 
Seminars 
Online webcast
Virtual Trading Paper Trading to practice/test strategies and ideas.
Stock Trading
Options Trading
Mobile App
Commissions and Fees
Ease of Use
Online Community
Research
Trading Platform
Banking

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

TradeKing: Pricing information from published website as of 01/19/2015

TD Ameritrade: Pricing information from published website as of 01/19/2015

TRADEKING VS. OPTIONSXPRESS

If you trade Options: OptionsXpress is an online brokerage that often goes head to head with TradeKing. Both have pluses and minuses, but OptionsXpress charges $8.95 per stock and ETF trade whereas TradeKing charges just $4.95. However, you can trade futures on OptionsXpress while you can't on TradeKing. Both brokerages have excellent customer service, offer no account minimums, and are rated highly by financial magazines. So if you're looking to save money on each trade, TradeKing is the winner here.

 

TradeKing

OptionsXpress

 

Benefits and Features

Stock Trading
$4.95 per trade
$8.95 per trade
Options Trading$4.95 base + $0.65 per contract (only one base charge per spread)$1.25 per contract; $12.95 minimum
Mutual Fund Trading$0 to buy/sell load mutual funds
$9.95 to buy/sell no load mutual funds
$9.95 + load fee
Commission Free ETFs Over 200 including Schwab Market-Cap Index ETFs and Schwab Fundamental Index ETFs.
Penny Stocks$0.01 per share on the entire order for stocks priced less than $2.00. Maximum commission per order not to exceed 5% of the trade value, with minimum commission of $4.95. Minimum investment of $100 per order in OTCBB and Pink Sheet stocks.
Broker Assisted Trades
$20 + Regular Commission
No broker assistance fees (beyond regular commission)
Inactivity Fee$50 annual charge if you have not made any trades in the last 12 months and the combined household value of your accounts is less than $2,500
$0
Maintenance Fee 
$0
Minimum Deposit
$0
$0
Mobile App
Desktop App 
Xtend
Forex Trading
$0 (optionsXpress receives compensation through the bid/ask spread)
Futures Trading 
$3.50 per contract
Customer Service(877) 495-5464 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm Eastern)(888) 280-8020 (Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm Eastern)
Online CommunityTrader Network to connect with other investorsMessage board and options/futures blog
Seminars Free webinars and local workshops at Schwab branch offices
Virtual Trading Free $25,000 virtual trading account allows you to practice trading stocks, options and futures.
Stock Trading
Options Trading
Mobile App
Commissions and Fees
Ease of Use
Online Community
Research
Trading Platform
Education

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

TradeKing: Pricing information from published website as of 01/19/2015

OptionsXpress: Pricing information from published website as of 01/19/2015

BOTTOM LINE: Why Use TradeKing

It's hard to beat TradeKing's low $4.95 price per trade, period. But you still need to do your research and thoroughly investigate the platform to see if it's the most palatable for you. At first glance, the website's lack of bells and whistles might turn off the first-timer, but spending a little more learning about what TradeKing has to offer and how to initiate a trade will help truly determine if it's the place for you. It offers trading in stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, and fixed-income securities, among other investments, but does not offer futures investing.

But TradeKing's low price does not mean a lesser platform. The resources it offers can challenge even the most heralded online broker. The website might not be as colorful and fancy and might not offer as extensive a research database, but it can definitely hold its own and is worth considering as your online brokerage.

    TradeKing

    Get $1,000 in Free Trade Commissions When You Open a TradeKing Account

    To qualify, you must fund your account with $5,000 or more within 30 days of account opening. $5,000 minimum funds must remain in the account (minus any trading losses) for a minimum of 6 months.

    Commission credits are good for 60 days from award date. Commission credits cover equity, ETF and option orders (including the per contract commission). Exercise and assignment fees still apply. You will not receive cash compensation for any unused commission credits.

    For new customers only.

Cynthia Cohen is a retail analyst at CreditDonkey, a stock broker comparison and financial education website. Write to Cynthia Cohen at cynthia@creditdonkey.com. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped families make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy financial decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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TradeKing Coupon Codes

Get $1,000 in Free Trade Commissions When You Open a TradeKing Account

Scottrade

$100 in Transfer Fees Refunded. No Set-Up Fees. No Annual Fees

OptionsHouse Coupon Codes

$100 ACAT Cash Credit


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January
03
2017

Ally Bank Review

Ally Bank is often named the best online savings account. You get 1.00% interest and there’s no account minimum. Read on to see if it’s what you need.
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    Opening a Roth IRA is one of the best money moves you can make. But where should you open an account? Here are our top recommended Roth IRA providers.
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    When you want to invest in the stock market but you have no idea where to begin - or what any of it means - start with this beginner’s guide to stocks.
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    When you're ready to invest, it's not wise to choose a broker just because it has the lowest per-trade fee. Discount brokers have others pros and cons (including other fees) that are worth assessing before making a choice.

    Study: Best Stock Broker for Penny Stocks

    The name "penny stock" can be misleading. To the untrained investment ear, it sounds like an easy trading gig with little at stake. However, nothing can be further from the truth, as it's a very volatile market that should be researched thoroughly before trading, especially by novices. It's more for seasoned traders who understand the pitfalls and the risk involved; it takes some finesse to trade in this arena — and be profitable at it.

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    Which online broker is best for beginners? Read this in-depth comparison to see which stockbroker is best for ease-of-use, fees, and educational materials.

    Study: Best Online Stock Brokers - Cheaper But is it Better?

    Lucky you — you've been working hard, you've got some cash to invest, and you want to see all those dollars multiply. But where to begin?

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