PROS / The fees for trading options are some of lowest in the industry.
CONS / There are no local branches for personal interactions or live events.
VERDICT / TradeKing is a great choice for investors new to options trading with its well-designed and easy-to-use platform along with low trading fees.
When so many features and functions of trading platforms are the same, what makes certain ones stand out is the platform layout and the value of the service. The TradeKing platform is entirely online and follows a website format, making it intuitive and easy to navigate. Its prices are some of the lowest for online brokers that we reviewed. Further, on the website, you have ample tools at your disposal for managing your portfolio, researching stocks and increasing your investment knowledge. TradeKing's comprehensive website and intuitive platform along with its impressively low trading fees earn it our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award for online options trading.
Fees & Commissions
If you are interested in investing in and trading options, you are already conscious of your wallet and the bottom line, and TradeKing's low fees help you increase your profit by spending less on trading and more on your investments. As with most services, there is a base fee for trades, which at $4.95 is less than nearly every service we reviewed. This fee applies to all equity and options trades. The additional cost for options is $0.65 per contract, which is also less than most services we looked at. TradeKing does not require a minimum amount on trades, so if you choose to trade fewer than 15 contracts at one time, TradeKing is just about the best value in the industry. As the number of contracts per trade increases, the fees are still significantly lower than with many other services, especially some of the better-known brokers.
If your contract agreements are fulfilled and the time comes to exercise or assign the contract, you pay $9.95 or $4.95 respectively. Most services charge the same amount for an exercise and assignment, but both these fees with TradeKing are lower than with most services on our lineup, though you can find cheaper prices for exercises. The broker-assisted fee of $20.00 is lower than average. For margin accounts, you must maintain a balance of $2,000. TradeKing's rates are typical, ranging from 8.75 percent to 4 percent, though these are subject to change.
Platform & Tools
The TradeKing Classic web-based platform is integrated into the website, so you have access to all research tools, strategy options and educational material within the browser. The online options trade tools include preprogrammed strategies and can support 19 different options chains, 14 of which are strategy based. Using the options research tools, you can easily find bid, ask, midpoint, quotes, implied volatility and delta for individual options and strategies. It can also populate order tickets for you, which saves time and increases accuracy.
This discount broker provides all the familiar trade-research tools, such as quotes, market overviews, watchlists, charts, options chains, technical analysis, scanners and calculators. The calculators include probability, profit vs. loss and options pricing. The stock and options scanner lets you scan over 150,000 option contracts based on up to 25 filters. To speed up the order process, you can place an order straight from the scanner. It also has tools for monitoring your entire portfolio, including risk and tax obligation.
If you're away from your computer and need to place an order, you can do so on your iPhone, iPad or Android cell phone. There are apps for these devices, and the website itself is optimized for browsers on most mobile devices. With mobile access, you can access your account, research stocks, view quotes, create options chains and set alerts. In terms of trading, you can choose from equities and options both simple and complex.
Education & Resources
The education center available on the website is a solid resource for learning about investments, trading and the market itself. You can learn about investments, options and equities. If you want to learn based on your experience level, you can choose from rookie, veteran or all-star level so information is presented in terms you understand. If you have questions about the market, you can learn more about bullish, bearish and volatile outlooks. Although there are no physical locations to attend live events, there are live webinars held every week.
There are also typical resources, including a FAQs page and video tutorials. For standard support, you can contact customer service through email as well as telephone and chat Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.
When it comes to online discount brokers, TradeKing stands out among the competition. Its all-online platform is intuitive and simple, which makes it a great choice if you are a trader new to options or an experienced trader who wants an uncomplicated way to trade. With fees lower than nearly every other broker, this is one of the best options brokers for online options trading.