TradeStation Reviewed

Formed under the name Omega Research, Inc in 1982, its flagship stock trading software TradeStation was launched in 1991. In 1996 Dow Jones Telerate made TradeStation part of its premium product for institutional clients. Moving with the times, it became an internet-based brokerage trading platform, acquiring Window on WallStreet and later OnlineTrading.com. In 2006 TradeStation Europe Limited became an approved introducing broker by the FCA (UK).

By 2008 it was ranked one of Fortune’s Fastest-Growing Small Public Companies. Awards flowed in, and by 2009 the company was ranked “Best” in seven categories by readers of Stocks and Commodities magazine.

In 2010, TradeStation reported revenue of $129 million and a net income of $11.4 million, with client assets of over $2.3 billion and over 47,000 brokerage accounts opened. TradeStation 9.0 was launched the same year.

2011 was a busy year for the company. TradeStation Forex was launched, and the TradeStation Group was acquired by Monex Group. TradeStation Group went on to acquire IBFX Holdings, LLC the same year.

The awards have continued to pile up ever since.

Products (stocks, bonds, ETFs, futures)

TradeStation allows trading of all major asset types, including stock trading, bonds, exchange-traded funds, futures and Forex.

Margin Rates

Margin rates start at 8.50% for less than $25,000, and decrease proportionately to just 6.25% for debt balances above $10,000,000.

Financial Security

Tradestation’s parent company TradeStation Group, Inc is owned by Monex Group, Inc, one of Japan’s leading financial services companies, and as such is given strict oversight by the Japanese regulatory authorities. TradeStation is subject to US industry regulations and its stringent reporting requirements.

Customer service

TradeStation is user-friendly, and favourable online stock broker reviews and online stock broker comparisons are testimony to this. Customers have 24 hour access to their agency trading desk and technical support during the working week.

Commission and fees

TradeStation offers per-share/contract and flat-fee commission plans, starting at 0.6 cents per-share or a $4.99 flat-fee. For options, per-contract starts at $1.00 per-contract, or a $4.99 flat-fee. For futures, tiered pricing is offered, from 25 cents.

Commission-free Forex trading is available for customers using tight spreads and fractional pips.

Research and education

TradeStation places a strong emphasis on its education and research resources. TradeStation’s quantitative analysts offer in-depth market analysis, thorough market knowledge and successful trading methods. TradeStation University offers a variety of unique tools and information. There is also a TradeStation wiki for useful tricks and tips.

Platforms and tools

TradeStation offers a web trading service as well as TradeStation software. Useful features include customisable real-time market scanning and watch lists and alerts. Trade executions are quick and reliable.

Awards

Year after TradeStation sweeps the board of award categories. Already in 2014 TradeStation has won the highest rating for Best Frequent Traders and Best for International Traders by Barron’s magazine.

Stockbrokers.com scored TradeStation highest for Best Platform Technology, and awarded it Best in Class for its platform and tools for the third year running, Best for Active Trading for the fourth year in a row, and Best in Class for Options Trading.

TASC named TradeStation Best Trading System for both Stocks and Futures for an incredible tenth time in a row, Best Professional Platform and Best International Platform for the twelfth year running and Best Real-Time Data for the fifth time.

Mobile trading

TradeStation has a mobile trading app which allows customers to manage their accounts and carry out etrade anywhere in the world.

Pros and cons

TradeStation is one of the best online stock brokers out there, with highly evolved software for tech-hungry traders. At the same time, new users really rate EasyLanguage, Trade Station’s own coding language which allows users to test their own trading strategies. Its active online community of brokers makes it stand out amongst others like Trade King and First Trade. It offers one of the lowest commission rates available.

The minimum needed to open an account with TradeStation is fairly high. It is most beneficial for frequent traders, who will meet the minimum trading requirements and avoid the monthly platform fees.

Final thoughts

TradeStation offers a powerful package of tools for online brokers. Its in-depth charting methods allow deep analysis of markets with numerous indicators other online brokers don’t have. While its flagship product is its award-winning desktop platform, it has recently made great headway into web browser and mobile trading. It is easy to get started as a new trader with TradeStation, while it also caters for large institutions such as hedge funds.

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