Skip to main content

TradeStation stock trading platform review

TradeStation offers lots of power and portfolio depth which makes it a great choice for active and enthusiastic traders.

Our Verdict

TradeStation is a reliable and well-developed platform that offers plenty of platform and portfolio variety wrapped in a slick and professional package that will keep most traders very happy. Advanced tools, lowered prices, accessible research and good support add an extra layer of appeal to the platform, but it is confusing to navigate and can be frustratingly vague on pricing.

For

  • Well-designed platforms and tools
  • Accessible and well-developed research
  • Advanced tools and services

Against

  • Pricing is complex
  • Site can be confusing to navigate

TradeStation: What you need to know

TradeStation isn't quite the best stock trading platform, but the website is simple, sleek and to the point. There are no pictures of people running in the sun and cute babies to entice you into their fold, instead this platform is positioned as the place to go if you’re serious about trading and investments and want the right results. 

The platforms, products, research, types of stock, pricing, learning materials and necessary links are listed on the landing page so you can find the information you’re looking for fairly quickly. That said, pricing is initially a bit difficult to understand and you soon realize that if you want to get the best pricing, you need to open their TS Select account – an account that asks you for a $2000 minimum deposit. The company has been around for more than 30 years which makes it a solid and dependable choice for people who want to invest their money without taking unnecessary risks

TradeStation: Tools and services

  • Advanced trading platforms
  • Well-designed tools

TradeStation has used the past 30 years to build digital tools that help you make the most from your investments and the available market data. You can use the TradeStation Tools to analyze markets, manage your account from multiple locations and devices, and even customize your cryptocurrency and futures options trading. The TradeStation Desktop 10 platform includes advanced tools for testing, designing, optimizing, monitoring and automating your trading strategies along with customizable charting and advanced order management. The platform has also won awards for its usability and design, landing the Best Platform Technology for the seventh year in a row in 2019. 

The web platform works with all types of devices running iOS or Android and provides you with the same features as the desktop platform, but in a more mobile-friendly format. The mobile apps are focused on trading and are not as richly developed as the desktop platform. That said, you can check your stocks and actively trade from your device as well as analyzing spreads and streaming quotes in real time. There are two other unique platforms that make this stock broker platform stand out from competitors such as TD Ameritrade and Merrill Edge – and these have been developed specifically for trading in cryptocurrencies and futures options. While these platforms are relatively new they’re designed to give a certain kind of trader access to the tools they need to play around in these markets. 

A really nice touch is the Simulated Trading tool that lets you test your trading strategies in a simulated, real time environment without risk. It’s only accessible if you have an account but it’s a very nice addition to the package, along with the TradeStation web API that allows you to use third-party trading apps. 

TradeStation: Trading options and Forex

  • Long and varied list of investment products
  • TS Go vs TS Select
TradeStation: Key specifications

Account minimum amount: $2000 on TS Select account, zero on other accounts
Commission fee: None
Account fees: Some fees may apply dependent on account
Investment products: Stocks, ETFs, Options, Futures, Futures Options, Crypto, IPOs, Mutual Funds, Bonds 

TradeStation offers a solid list of investment products and trading solutions that should appeal to expert and beginner alike. While TradeStation has previously been considered more of an expert platform in terms of its approach, pricing and accounts, it has opened itself up to the beginner market by lowering its commissions to 0% and making the platform more accessible. 

You can open different types of account that range from individual and joint accounts through to retirement and entity, plus you can choose between TS Select and TS Go for your account type. TS Select is more expensive than TS Go, charging 0.60 per contract for stock options versus TS Go’s 0.50, and you can only open the account with a minimum of $2000 deposit. The benefit of this platform is that you aren’t charged any trading surcharges when you use the TradeStation desktop while those on TS Go will have to pay. TradeStation doesn’t offer any Forex trading. 

TradeStation: Research, education and customer support

  • Market leading research
  • Mixed customer reviews

TradeStation has put a lot of effort into its Learn center. It has live trading sessions that allow you to sit and watch the process while learning about how it is done and the different approaches to trading, it also hosts videos on YouCanTrade. Market insights, a knowledge center designed to give you basic and advanced tools for trading, support forums, and a TradingApp Store all fill out the corners of a rather impressive teaching and learning area.  

When it comes to customer reviews, Trusted Reviews has TradeStation at a solid three stars while the company doesn’t even feature on Consumer Affairs. Most of the consumers found the service great or excellent with a fair few giving it the lowest rating possible. The common thread seems to be that those new to trading struggled with the platform while those with experience rated it highly. 

TradeStation: Verdict

TradeStation is one of the older platforms on the market and this shows in the stability of the platforms, the balance of investment options and the tools you can use to build your portfolio. It is slightly more complex to navigate than some of its competitors like Merrill Edge and TD Ameritrade, but its knowledge hub and platforms are considered to be among the best on the market. Good for the expert, average for the beginner.