October 21, 2018 10:00 AM PT

ZacksTrade Review: Is It Good?

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Stock traders that hear the name Zacks likely think of research. That's because Zacks has been a top provider of investment research for many years. The company has since broadened their services to offer an online brokerage firm.

Overall Score

4.4

Stock Trading

5.0

Options Trading

5.0

Mobile App

3.0

Commissions and Fees

5.0

Ease of Use

3.5

Research

5.0

Trading Platform

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

Pros and Cons

  • Fees starting at $3 per trade
  • Outstanding research tools
  • No additional fees for broker assisted trades
  • Not beginner friendly
  • $2,500 minimum to start

Bottom Line

Good discount broker with low fees and excellent research tools

ZacksTrade markets their "low cost" trades as their primary benefit. As probably suspected, they also offer robust research opportunities. ZacksTrade is targeted at the self-directed investor, or the investor who makes his own trading decisions without the input of a broker.

ZacksTrade may suit the infrequent trader, as they don't charge inactivity fees. But it may not be best suited for the active day trader, as the commissions can get high with frequent trades.

Keep reading to learn if ZacksTrade is right for you.

Looking at the Platforms

ZacksTrade offers three platforms: an online, desktop, and mobile platform.

The online platform, called ZacksTrader, has limited functions, and is best suited for the new or occasional trader. You don't have to download any software, which means you can work from any computer or laptop.

ZacksTrader offers the following features:

  • Trade stocks, bonds, and options, both simple and complex trades
  • View market data on a continuous stream
  • View option chains
  • Stay up-to-date on market conditions in the US and around the world
  • Get the latest market news and research
  • Customize the dashboard to suit your trading needs

The desktop platform is ZacksTrade Pro. This is for the more advanced trader who prefers to customize their trading experience, dashboard, and functionality.

ZacksTrade Pro offers:

  • Fully customizable layout
  • Create custom watch lists with real-time alerts so you don't miss a trading opportunity
  • Make, view, and cancel orders quickly
  • Strategy builder to help you create successful options chains
  • A rebalance portfolio tool that helps you rebalance your portfolio based on your goals and ability to take risks
  • Volatility tools to help you understand a specific stock's historical patterns

The ZacksTrade mobile platform is a pared-down version of ZacksTrader, but it does allow plenty of flexibility while on the go, including:

  • See real-time streaming quotes and market news
  • Trade many different securities, including stocks, bonds, and options
  • Get price alerts via email
  • Utilize ZacksTrade's SmartRouting to execute trades at the best price and at the best time

What Is the Pricing Structure?

Since ZacksTrade boasts about their "lower commissions," we felt it was important to touch on this topic. The prices are subject to change.

Stocks and ETFs that trade for more than $1 per share cost $0.01 per share with a $3 minimum. Stocks and ETFs that trade for less than $1 per share cost 1% of the trade value with a $3 minimum.

Options trade at $3 for the first contract and $0.75 for each additional contract.

ZacksTrade Phone Number and Customer Support

You can reach ZacksTrade in one of the following ways:

  • Local telephone #: 312-265-9406
  • Toll-free telephone #: 888-979-2257
  • Email: support@zackstrade.com

Reasons We Like ZacksTrade

© CreditDonkey

  • They have a strong support system. ZacksTrade offers multiple ways to contact them should you need help. Customer service representatives are available over the phone Monday-Friday, 9 AM to 6 PM ET. You can also use their online chat service or email them with your questions.

  • ZacksTrade will reimburse your account transfer fees on full account transfers. As long as your account is worth at least $5,000, ZacksTrade will reimburse you up to $150 if your current broker charges you to close/transfer your account.

  • Traders can trade in 19 different countries. In total, you can trade from 91 different stock exchanges throughout the world, all from one account.

  • You can use the ZacksTrade mobile app to process orders, check the status of your portfolio, check your account balances, and track orders. This means you can trade stocks or more complex securities from your phone or tablet anywhere you are connected to the internet.

  • ZacksTrade doesn't charge miscellaneous fees. Many brokers charge inactivity fees, account setup fees, order cancellation fees, and IRA custodial fees. ZacksTrade doesn't charge any of these fees.

  • The Options Strategy Builder will automate and execute multi-legged options for you. This can help make options trading a little less complex for the novice options trader.

  • The Portfolio Builder tool can help you manage your investment strategy. It alerts you when your portfolio needs to be rebalanced and even measures your strategy against any chosen industry benchmarks.

  • ZacksTrade doesn't charge a fee for broker-assisted trades. Many other online brokers charge a significant fee for this service, since the idea behind the discount trading is to do self-directed trading without the service of a broker.

  • Your investments are covered by the SIPC. This protects your account up to $500,000 if ZacksTrade were to go out of business. It doesn't protect your money should you make a bad investment and lose it all. But it protects your money if Zacks were to close.

  • You get free access to Zacks Research. This gives you free access to an otherwise paid subscription that offers the opportunity for research on industries, individual investments, earnings, historical patterns, and more.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • You need at least $2,500 in your account to trade. This can be a high minimum account balance requirement if you are just starting out. The low commissions are great for beginning traders, but not all beginners have $2,500 they can consistently keep in their brokerage account.

  • Only tech-savvy investors will get anything out of the ZacksTrade Pro platform. It's intuitive and offers robust tools, but unless you are able to customize the platform and tweak it to your liking, it can look rather overwhelming.

  • The programs doesn't walk beginners through the process. Beginning traders often need help with terms, processes, and getting started. ZacksTrade doesn't offer much in the way of education. They make up for this with their robust research, but it may be best suited for experienced traders who already know the ropes.

How It Compares

Interactive Brokers: ZacksTrade and Interactive Brokers work off the same platform. That's about their only similarity, though. IB charges many fees, including inactivity and trading data fees. They also have some complaints about their customer service and they require a minimum $10,000 deposit to open an account.

 

ZacksTrade

Interactive Brokers

 

Benefits and Features

Stock TradingGreater than $1 per share: $0.01 per share, $3 minimum; Less than $1 per share: 1% of Trade Value, $3 minimumFixed pricing: $0.005 per share (min $1 per order, max 1.0% of trade value). Tiered pricing: Starts at $0.0035 per share for less than 300,000 shares (min $0.35 per order, max 1% of trade value)
Options Trading$3 for First Contract + $0.75 per additional$.70 per contract ($1 minimum per order)
Minimum Deposit
$2,500
$10,000 for individual accounts; $5,000 for IRAs; $3,000 for clients 25 and under
Mutual Fund Trading$27.50 (Greater than $1 per share)$0 for no-transaction-fee funds. For transaction-fee funds, 3% trade value OR $14.95, per transaction, whichever is less, for transaction-fee funds
Commission Free ETFs 
45
Penny StocksLess than $1 per share: 1% of the principle, $3 minimum. 
Broker Assisted Trades
No extra charge
$30
Customer Service9am - 6pm ET - Call (312) 265-9406 (local) or (888) 979-2257 (toll free)United States: Monday-Friday 8am - 10pm ET; Sunday 1pm - 7pm ET (24/7 Weekday service available in other countries)
Inactivity Fee
$0
$10/month for accounts under $100,000; $20/month for accounts under $2,000; $3/month for clients 25 and younger
Maintenance Fee
$0
Waived if account value is at least $100,000 OR if monthly commission requirements are met. If not met, the activity fee is the difference. For accounts less than $100,000: the commission requirement is $10/month. For accounts less than $2,000: the commission requirement is $20/month. For clients 25 and younger: the commission requirement is $3/month.
Banking
No
No
Mobile App
Yes, iOS & Android
Yes
Desktop App
ZacksTrader & ZacksTradePro
Yes
Forex Trading
No
Available for qualified customers
Futures Trading
No
Yes
Locations
No physical locations
No
Online Community 
Yes
Seminars 
Yes
Virtual TradingCan request demo account pre-loaded with $1 Million in paper trading funds. Access for 90 days.
Yes
Stock Trading
Options Trading
Mobile App
Commissions and Fees
Ease of Use
Research
Trading Platform
Mutual Fund Trading
Online 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.

ZacksTrade: Pricing information from published website as of 10/21/2018

Interactive Brokers: Pricing information from published websites as of 4/16/2018

E-Trade: E-Trade is a household name when it comes to online discount brokers. They offer an easy-to-use platform, great customer service, and a user-friendly mobile app. Where E-Trade and ZacksTrade differ are in the fees. E-Trade tends to favor frequent investors with lower commissions. Infrequent traders aren't as lucky, though.

 

ZacksTrade

E*TRADE

 

Benefits and Features

Stock TradingGreater than $1 per share: $0.01 per share, $3 minimum; Less than $1 per share: 1% of Trade Value, $3 minimum$6.95 per trade
$4.95 per trade if you make 30+ trades a quarter
Options Trading$3 for First Contract + $0.75 per additional$6.95 + $0.75 per contract
$4.95 + $0.50 per contract if you make 30+ trades a quarter
Minimum Deposit
$2,500
$500 for brokerage accounts
No account minimum for retirement accounts
Mutual Fund Trading$27.50 (Greater than $1 per share)$0 for no-load, no-transaction-fee funds
$19.99 for transaction-fee funds
Commission Free ETFs 200+ including ETFs from WisdomTree, Global X Funds, and db-X Deutsche Bank
Penny StocksLess than $1 per share: 1% of the principle, $3 minimum.
Broker Assisted Trades
No extra charge
$25 + Regular Commission
Customer Service9am - 6pm ET - Call (312) 265-9406 (local) or (888) 979-2257 (toll free)
(650) 599-0125
Inactivity Fee
$0
$0
Maintenance Fee
$0
$0
Banking
No
Checking account offers no minimum balance requirements, free online bill pay, and unlimited debit card and check transactions.
Mobile App
Yes, iOS & Android
Desktop App
ZacksTrader & ZacksTradePro
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
No
 
Futures Trading
No
Locations
No physical locations
30
Online Community ETrade Community lets you exchange trading and investing ideas with other ETrade customers.
Seminars Live events and educational seminars at local branches.
Virtual TradingCan request demo account pre-loaded with $1 Million in paper trading funds. Access for 90 days. 
Stock Trading
Options Trading
Mobile App
Commissions and Fees
Ease of Use
Research
Trading Platform
Banking
Online Community

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

ZacksTrade: Pricing information from published website as of 10/21/2018

E*TRADE: Pricing information from published website as of 03/13/2017

Fidelity: If you are in the market to trade mutual funds, namely no-fee mutual funds, ZacksTrade won't be your best options, but Fidelity might. Fidelity offers thousands of mutual funds at affordable trading prices. They also offer stock and bond trading with robust research options at low commissions.

 

ZacksTrade

Fidelity

 

Benefits and Features

Stock TradingGreater than $1 per share: $0.01 per share, $3 minimum; Less than $1 per share: 1% of Trade Value, $3 minimum
$4.95 per trade
Options Trading$3 for First Contract + $0.75 per additional$4.95 per online trade, plus $0.65 per contract
Minimum Deposit
$2,500
$0
Mutual Fund Trading$27.50 (Greater than $1 per share)$0 transaction fee for Fidelity funds
$0 on purchase for NTF (no transaction fee) non-Fidelity funds. ($49.95 on redemption if held less than 60 days)
$49.95 on purchase for non-Fidelity funds; $0 on redemption. (Certain funds may have a $75 transaction fee).
Commission Free ETFs 265 including 25 Fidelity factor, sector, stock, and bond ETFs and 240 iShares® ETFs
Penny StocksLess than $1 per share: 1% of the principle, $3 minimum. 
Broker Assisted Trades
No extra charge
$32.95 per trade for representative-assisted trades.
Customer Service9am - 6pm ET - Call (312) 265-9406 (local) or (888) 979-2257 (toll free)
(800) 343-3548
Inactivity Fee
$0
$0
Maintenance Fee
$0
$0 account service fee
Banking
No
Fidelity Cash Management Account includes reimbursed ATM fees, no monthly fee, no minimum balance requirement, FDIC insurance, mobile check deposit, free billpay and free checkwriting.
Mobile App
Yes, iOS & Android
Desktop App
ZacksTrader & ZacksTradePro
Active Trader Pro (requires you trade 36 times or more in a rolling 12 month period)
Forex Trading
No
 
Futures Trading
No
 
Locations
No physical locations
More than 180
Virtual TradingCan request demo account pre-loaded with $1 Million in paper trading funds. Access for 90 days.
Stock Trading
Options Trading
Mobile App
Commissions and Fees
Ease of Use
Research
Trading Platform
Mutual Fund Trading
Banking

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

ZacksTrade: Pricing information from published website as of 10/21/2018

Fidelity: Pricing information from published website as of 02/28/2017

Bottom Line

ZacksTrade ideal client is the one who has a solid understanding of the stock, bond, and options market with a desire to customize their own platform. If you need more than the basics provided on the cloud-based platforms offered by the main brokerages, ZacksTrade may be just what you need.

As with any brokerage, make sure you understand the fees and how they will affect your bottom line. Just because they advertise that they have the lowest fees doesn't mean you'll get the absolute lowest fees. Compare your options before choosing the platform that is right for you.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy 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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