PROS / SpeedTrader's trading fee is lower than many discount brokers, especially if you keep a higher balance in your account.
CONS / Mobile trading is only available on the iPhone and iPad.
VERDICT / The lower trading fees are beat by the best discount brokers, and the trading platform does not offer anything that makes it stand out.
SpeedTrader offers trades at competitive rates within the industry and even lower than some of the bigger names in the industry. Using the web-based DAS Trader platform, you can create watch lists and option chains, perform research, and order trades. Mobile trading is limited to only iOS mobile devices, and while the platform allows for basic trading, it lacks some the research tools and analytic reports many other online stock trading services offer.
The online platform – owned and operated by DAS Inc. – allows a number of useful functions for online trading. While not customizable, you can still specify information you wish to view for watch lists, option chains and strategies, and analytic reports. The stock screeners allow you to monitor call and put prices for options and their expiration dates. Some useful tools that the platform lacks are calculators for probability and certain reports for stock information, such as volatility.
This online brokerage offers trades in stocks and options but not in other vehicles, such as ETFs – which are a common choice – or futures, forex or international markets. However, it does offer other investment options, including IRAs, mutual funds and bonds. Speed Trader does not offer any advanced options strategies, so you can only perform basic options trades.
As mentioned above, mobile trading is only available on iOS devices: the iPhone and iPad. Further, because you do not log into the website and the program is provided by DAS rather than SpeedTrader itself, you cannot log into the website from any mobile browser to trade. From your iPhone or iPad, you are able to trade stocks and options, track watch lists, and monitor your orders and positions.
With trade fees at a fixed $6.95 and option contracts at $0.50, SpeedTrader has some of the lowest costs to buy stocks online. If your account balance is over $25,000, the trade fee drops to $4.49, making it an even better value. While trade fees are lower than many other services, other fees are higher than the best online brokers. The fee for an option exercise or assignment is $30, which, when compared to the top services we reviewed, is nearly six times the price. The broker-assisted fee is also higher than average at $30, but some services still charge more than that.
SpeedTrader offers good support and educational resources on its website. You can view video tutorials, read the FAQs page and even link a free stock market widget to your personal or professional website.
SpeedTrader offers competitive trade fees, but some of its other fees are less desirable than with other online stock brokers. The DAS platform is solid in basic function but lacks some additional tools that make its competitors stand out. Mobile trading is limited to only Apple products, but with those, you can trade and keep track of your positions. While there are some good basic features to this service, it doesn't offer anything to make it stand out among its competition.