TradeKing was founded in 2005 with the simple goal of providing low cost commissions and quality customer support. The aim was to build a community where investors could share ideas, discuss the markets, and trade. In late 2012, they merged with Zecco, who brought mobile trading and premium research to the table. They are now a serious contender to become one of the best online stock brokers.
TradeKing sell stocks, bonds, ETFs and Futures, and offer flat-fee trades. Regular stock trades are charged at $4.95, and options cost the same, plus $65 per contract. This is pretty much in-line with its competition, although it still has one of lowest commissions around. There are no inactivity fees, and no annual IRA fee unlike some of its competitors. There is also no minimum account balance, so it’s ideal for the first time investor.
Every account has protection with the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), and there is additional insurance to supplement this. To keep assets safe, there are the usual firewalls and SSL technology, and also the option to generate two passwords – one to access account information, and one to execute transactions. You can also register specific devices.
TradeKing offers a courteous and knowledgeable service, defining what quality customer service is meant to be like. Phone calls are answered quickly by specialised brokers – and the live online chat feature is a similarly pleasant experience. The response time to emails is good and a broker gets back to you within a few hours with a well-crafted response.
Where Tradeking excels, is in its research area. It has its own navigation menu which is displayed as soon as a stock quote is pulled up. There is a clean flexible layout which allows investors to navigate seamlessly from quotes, to news and analysis.
They offer a number of useful tools, and in this area they are pretty unbeatable. TradeKing LIVE delivers news as it happens, and streams live quotes as prices change. It’s a sleek and easy to use platform. Research reports allow investors to identify strengths and weaknesses, rank stock performance, and highlight those companies that are outperforming expectation.
There are free technical analysis tools, which offer price forecasting and full educational support. Interactive charts with customised views allow users to identify trends, and there are built in calculators to find out the probability of profit, chart profit and loss potential, and forecast option values.
TradeKing has received the maximum five star rating for customer service in the SmartMoney broker survey for seven years in a row, and for the last eight years, they have been awarded 4 out of 5 stars by Barron’s, recognised in the “Best for Option Traders”, “Long Term Investing”, and “Usability” categories.
With the mobile app you can trade stocks wherever you are, just swipe a position in your portfolio or watchlist to populate the ticket, and shake your phone to refresh. It’s simple and intuitive with real time updates, but also packed with features such as custom alerts, and the ability to place complex option trades.
One of the drawbacks of the primary site is navigation, which can be tricky. The triple navigation menu can be confusing, and pulling up quotes can require multiple clicks. There are also issues with the log-in process, which asks for security answers despite clicking the remember me option.
TradeKing is adept at bringing visual appeal to data, and the overall effect is to provide the user with greater insight. There are many options for the client, although because most of the tools are provided by a third- part service, the experience of researching, then trading – is not as seamless as it could be. However, the drawbacks of the site do not take away from the positives. TradeKing provide a good, low cost service, there are no hidden fees, and their accounts are safe, and secure.
With a more responsive website, TradeKing have the potential to be the best online stock broker on the market. They are already ahead of the game as far as research and mobile offerings are concerned, and they have impressive educational resources, great customer service, and a simple and easy to use trading platform in TradeKing LIVE.
For stock trading online, there are number of discount brokers to use. Although TradeKing does have its drawbacks and needs to improve to compete with the bigger brokers, in comparison to other discount brokers like eTrade, Trade Station and First Trade, they stand out for their quality of service.
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