TradeStation has made its way onto the list of the best online stock trading (opens in new tab) companies off the back of over 30 years' trading. While founded by Cuban-born brothers William “Bill” and Rafael “Ralph” Cruz when looking to find a way to gain a strategic edge in their trading approach, TradeStation is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Monex Group, Inc., one of Japan’s largest online financial services providers, and shares the “Global Vision” strategy of its parent company.
TradeStation review: The basics
Account minimum amount: $2,000 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
The TradeStation website is simple, sleek and to the point. The absence of pictures of people running in the sun or smiling happily at the thought of the investment returns they might be about to make suggests TradeStation is a platform 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, learning materials and necessary links are all handily listed at the top of any page you care to land on, so you can find the information you’re looking for quickly and efficiently. There's an entire section devoted to pricing too, where it's suggested the best value can be derived from the TS Select account, which asks for a $2,000 minimum deposit.
TradeStation review: Tools and services
- Advanced trading platforms
- Well-designed tools
TradeStation seems to have spent most of its 30+ years building digital tools designed to help you make the most from your investments and the available market data. The TradeStation Tools can be used 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. The platforms developed specifically for trading in cryptocurrencies and futures options also help TradeStation to stand apart from most of its competitors. The Simulated Trading tool is excellent too, providing the option to test your trading strategies in a simulated, real time environment without risk.
TradeStation: Trading options and forex
- 0% commission
- TS Go or TS Select?
TradeStation offers a solid list of investment products and trading solutions that should appeal to expert and beginner alike, although forex trading isn't an option. 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.
Account options range from individual and joint accounts through to retirement and entity. The other main choice is between TS Select and TS Go - TS Select is the more expensive of the two, charging $0.60 per contract for stock options versus TS Go’s $0.50, and you'll need at least a $2,000 deposit to open the account. The benefit of TS Select, however, is that trading surcharges do not apply.
TradeStation review: Service and support
- Market-leading research
- Mixed customer reviews
TradeStation seems to have spent a lot of time and effort on its Learn center, which is to the benefit of the investors who make use of the resources on show. There's live trading sessions that you can watch to learn how it's done and the different approaches you can take, and YouCanTrade videos too. In the other corners of a rather impressive teaching and learning area, you'll find market insights, a knowledge center with basic and advanced tools for trading, support forums, and a TradingApp Store.
When it comes to customer reviews, Trusted Reviews has TradeStation at a solid three stars out five; the company doesn’t feature on Consumer Affairs. Many users praise the service, although it tends to be traders with the most experience that like the platform the most, and beginners who find it a little more challenging.
Should you use TradeStation?
TradeStation is one of the best established 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 may be slightly more complex to navigate than some of its more accessible competitors like TD Ameritrade (opens in new tab), but its knowledge hub and platforms are among the best around. Essentially, it's good for the expert, and maybe closer to average for the beginner.