• Excellent educational resources
• Uncomplicated fees and commissions structure
• Wide range of free tools
• Efficient customer service
• No 24-hour live chat
• No banking services
TradeKing gets serious with its huge collection of free educational resources and the tools included with the trading packages are equally compelling. With mobile apps, competitive fee structures and a super-clear interface, this online trading platform has much to recommend it.
A trading site that’s been in existence for a little over seven years, TradeKing set up in order to give online traders a good alternative to the big players. In 2012 TradeKing merged with Zecco to offer online trading for independent investors. Does TradeKing offer an interesting and valuable proposition for traders? We looked at the features, tools and commission structure at TradeKing to see if this trading platform should be your next broker.
Trading tools are one of the big draws of signing up to an online trading site. Beginners are keen to get as confident and trade-savvy as possible in a short time, and experienced traders are always on the lookout for a tool that gives them an extra edge. It is important that the trading tools included with a stock trading site are actually useful and not mere filler. And TradeKing does give some good ones.
Highlights include the Options Pricing Calculator and the Probability Calculator – as a package they provide technological help to forecast theoretical values and implied volatility. You can predict whether you will hit your targets even while you are still thinking about making a trade. The Profit and Loss Calculator is another useful tool, as is the Options Scanner. This tool screens options contracts to find those that meet your exact criteria, and even places the trade for you as soon as it finds matches if you set up this feature. In addition to the screening tools and scanners there is a tax management function tool that helps you understand the tax implications of potential trades – useful for the serious investor and something that is not always included in online platforms.
Commissions & fees
TradeKing aims to offer a low cost service where the fees and charges are easy to understand. Does it achieve this? The fee structure is indeed simple – a flat-fee $4.95 for stock and ETF trades as well as $4.95 plus 65 cents per contract for trading options. The fees are on a par with other online broker houses with the difference being they are plainly stated on the TradeKing site and you don’t get fooled by hidden add-on commission and complicated tiered structures. There previously were no account minimums to maintain with TradeKing and no minimum number of trades. However, there is a new charge for “highly inactive accounts” which takes $50 from you if you haven’t made one trade in the past year and have a small balance.
TradeKing offers a good selection of products including options, stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and fixed income trading. Extra hours trading is available with pre-market orders starting at 8am and post-market orders running until 5pm. Trading takes place using the TradeKing Live platform, which is fully browser-based and offering live streams and access to all the trading tools. If you don’t feel like doing the work yourself, TradeKing has an AutoTrade feature which, when activated, automatically places the trades for you in accordance with your account’s pre-set conditions.
Trade without a computer using the TradeKing mobile applications – trade on-the-go, check your balances and portfolio, and access the tools and resources of the site from an iPhone or Android, or another mobile device through m.tradeking.com
Your account is safe and covered by SIPC protection, with third-party insurance built in. And you can choose to give secure access to family members.
Ease of Use
TradeKing offers easy account management through the browser-based platform and you can monitor everything from one site. The platform is intuitive with everything laid out in an organized and attractive way. There’s a video tour that takes you through the features to help you get to grips with the system. Signing up for the TradeKing service is also easy. The process takes a few minutes and help is always available from the support team.
The range of educational tools and resources is impressive and TradeKing has really gone to town in providing a good quality learning experience for rookie traders and all-stars alike. The education and research centre is one of the most appealing to navigate out of all the stock trading sites and there’s a wealth of articles to browse organized by level of investment experience, market outlook and hot topics to name a few. Educational tools include calculators, a glossary of useful terms, a book list, charts to draw and save, and a selection of comprehensive investor and trader guides to help you get to the bottom of perplexing trading issues. For traders who prefer a more personal learning experience TradeKing offers live events and a series of on-demand video training packages within the education centre.
In addition, TradeKing showcases an active community of traders and you can interact with fellow investors, ask questions, share ideas and strategies, and pick up tips.
For technical questions and quick queries you are likely to find a lot of what you are looking for in the FAQs section. But there are times when you really need to consult a real live person, and for this TradeKing offers live chat between 8am and 6pm ET, Monday to Friday. A telephone line is open during the same hours. Alternatively, email provides quick responses – the target is within two hours during the week and 24 hours at the weekend, and we found this to be broadly met - and for forms and letters and all other correspondence there is always the mail.
Good customer service, excellent educational resources, a trader network, flat-fee commissions and an easy to use platform are all pluses in TradeKing’s favor. TradeKing is a professional, trustworthy and easy to use service for online trading and well worth a look.
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