TradeStation review

By   |   Verified by Andrew Boyd   |   Updated 5th August 2021

Tradestation investing platform review
  • TradeStation is a trading platform with advanced features for experienced traders.
  • Offering commission-free stock and ETF trading, users can also trade options, futures, and crypto.
  • Offering a customizable desktop platform, web trading, or mobile app, TradeStation offers a portfolio of tools for traders of all experience levels.

TradeStation is a brokerage providing a wide choice of investable assets, an extensive collection of analytical tools, and real-time pricing. Its app is just as good, with the same features as the platform.

TradeStation is based in the United States and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Investor protection of up to $500,000 per account (including cash up to $250,000) is available to clients.

This is a sophisticated trading platform with a wide range of tradable markets and instruments. But is it an appropriate broker for you? Review what TradeStation offers and decide for yourself.

Who TradeStation is designed for

TradeStation is a broker that caters to active and advanced traders who may benefit from the broker's competitive pricing, concentration on futures trading, valuable technical tools, and robust trading platform. In addition to web trading and a mobile app, TradeStation offers margin trading as well as an award-winning, subscription-based desktop platform with advanced trading tools for professional traders.

TradeStation offers TS Select and TS Go plans, with differentiated commissions and account fees.

Tradable assets

  • Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds and ETFs. TradeStation provides complete access to the US stock, bond, and fund markets at extremely low costs. You may buy and sell any stock listed on a U.S. exchange, and you can also trade over 2,000 commission-free ETFs.
  • Options. Because new traders may find options trading complicated, TradeStation has developed a comprehensive collection of instructional resources to assist them in learning how to utilize options efficiently. It offers commission-free options transactions starting at $0.50 per contract.
  • Futures. TradeStation has over 150 futures products and gives futures traders leverage. You can use leverage to purchase or sell with more money than you have in your account. The amount of leverage you may use is determined by your account type, income, and trading style.
  • Cryptocurrency. TradeStation allows traders to purchase and sell Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and other cryptocurrencies directly. Commissions for cryptocurrency trades start at 0.3 percent of the deal amount and drop to as low as 0.05 percent for individuals with more than $1 million in assets with the broker.

Commissions and fees

TradeStation abolished fees on stocks and ETFs. However, they do charge for the following assets:

  • Options transactions cost $.50 per contract
  • Futures transactions cost $1.50 per contract
  • Cryptocurrency trades cost 0.30% for trades up to $100,000 and less for larger trades

They also make money on the following fees:

TradeStation, however, isn't the best option for less active traders. Customers must conduct at least 50 option transactions per month, trade at least 5,000 shares per month, or have a balance of $100,000 to avoid paying high platform costs.

  • The monthly fee for the basic TradeStation Platform is $99.99.
  • If you don't have a brokerage account and fail to meet the minimum trading requirements, you'll have to pay an extra $59.95 per month for RadarScreen, their market monitoring tool.
  • You'll also have to pay a variety of additional fees, such as a $35 yearly charge if you maintain your IRA with TradeStation.
  • To trade ETFs and other securities on margin, a minimum balance of $500 or more is required.
  • Options and futures require a minimum of $2000 in financing (depending on the amount purchased).

Useful trading tools and features

  • Real-time market data. On TradeStation's app, you can see real-time equity prices, read the news, and place trades exactly as on the broker's desktop platform.
  • Demo account for simulated trading. A simulated trading account allows you to test your strategies in real time without putting your money at risk.
  • Desktop and mobile apps. Both Windows, iOS and Android smartphones can be used in the TradeStation app.
  • Watchlist. If you want to monitor stocks or mutual funds for potential trading, simply type in your ticker and press the bell icon. You may create as many watchlists as you like to suit your needs.
  • Featured alerts. Enter your ticker, click the bell button, and select the time you want to be notified. When the specification you provided is met, TradeStation mobile will send you a push message.

Signing up

Following these steps will make registering for a TradeStation account much easier:

  • Start by selecting the account type you want, providing your personal information, answering a few questions about your degree of experience, and accepting the company's terms of service. Your application will be reviewed and your account will be opened by a TradeStation representative.
  • You can fund your account via bank transfer, wire transfer, or check, and initiate transactions as soon as the account is cleared to trade.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Comprehensive platform. TradeStation 10 platform for TS Go and TS Select clients provides all of the tools that ambitious traders require to trade efficiently. Its unique platform offers direct access to the market, automatic trade execution, and demo tools for customers to design, test, monitor and activate custom trading strategies for stocks, options and futures.
  • User-friendliness. Its customer reviews show that new traders quickly learn how to trade on the platform.
  • Data extraction. TradeStation enables access to enormous volumes of downloadable historical data, despite the fact that many securities brokers fall short in terms of market data.
  • Great customer service. Customer service representatives are able to fix the majority of problems when something stops working. You may also contact the company by phone, live chat, or email.

Cons

  • Confusing fee structure. TradeStation offers different account requirements and charges different fees for TS Go or TS Select and non-brokerage accounts. Expensive learning software.
  • Some of the educational courses are a little pricey, costing $149 to get access to the software.
  • Not for people who aren't very active. TradeStation's table of contents appears to have been designed specifically for an active trader who can maintain a high level of activity.

Alternatives

  • Webull. It provides a unique community experience as well as a user-friendly trading platform that appeals to young investors. However, it lacks the trading tools and capabilities to compete with industry giants that similarly provide commission-free stock and ETF transactions for everyday investment.
  • E*TRADE. Focused on engaged, active investors and high-net-worth individuals with more than $100,000 to invest. Recently, E*TRADE was named one of the top brokers in a number of areas, including options and trading, and a fee reduction has strengthened its standing among more active customers.
  • Robinhood. The mobile app and website for Robinhood are both highly user-friendly. It is a great way to get your money into the market. All customers have quick access to deposits and cash after closing positions, and your purchasing power is boosted as soon as you deposit money into your account.
  • TD Ameritrade. It is one of the most popular online brokers, and it has maintained its lead among novice investors.

Comparisons

Here's how TradeStation compares against individual brokers.

FAQs

Is TradeStation safe?

Yes. It is considered safe because it is regulated by FINRA and SEC.

Is TradeStation FDIC insured?

No. TradeStation is not insured by the FDIC because it is not a bank and does not provide investments such as Certificates of Deposit (CDs).

Is TradeStation a direct access broker?

Yes. Customers may design, test, monitor, and automate their own trading strategies for stocks, options, and futures using direct market access, automatic trade execution, and tools to create, test, monitor, and automate their unique trading strategies.

What is the minimum deposit?

The minimum deposit varies depending on the account type. The following are a few:

  • A $500 minimum deposit is required to open an equity account.
  • A $500 minimum deposit is required to open a cash account.
  • A $2,000 minimum deposit is required to open a margin account.
  • A minimum deposit of $25,000 is required for day traders.
  • The minimum deposit for futures accounts is $5,000.

How do I deposit funds in TradeStation?

TradeStation allows you to fund your account in a variety of ways, including:

  • Wire Transfer. You can transfer money to your TradeStation account online from one of your current bank or brokerage accounts. If funds are received by 4 p.m. E.T., they will be accessible for trading the next working day.
  • Check. You can deposit money into your TradeStation brokerage account by mailing a check from another account. nc. 8050 SW 10th Street, Suite 2000, Plantation, FL 33324.
  • Smart Transfer. You can transfer monetary assets to or from another TradeStation account or your domestic connected bank account. You can access Smart Transfer virtually anywhere from the TradeStation Client Center.

Does TradeStation have short selling?

Yes. To start and keep a position on margin, you'll need at least $2,000, and to open and maintain a short stock position, you'll need at least $2,000 as well.

Does TradeStation do fractional shares?

No, fractional share or forex trading are unavailable.

Can you trade OTC on TradeStation?

Yes. It is offered for free on the company's desktop platform. It may seek common stocks, penny stocks, and over-the-counter securities. It can be found by navigating to the left-hand side of the trading interface and clicking on 'TradingApps.'

Is TradeStation good for day trading?

Yes. It allows a day trader to trade up to 4 times the account's maintenance margin excess as of the previous day's closing of business. The business will issue a day-trading margin call to the account if a day trader exceeds the day-trading buying power limits.

How do I withdraw money from TradeStation?

You can only withdraw funds from accounts that are registered in your name. To withdraw money from TradeStation, you must complete the steps below:

  1. Sign in to your account.
  2. From the appropriate menu, select 'Withdrawal' or 'Withdraw funds.'
  3. Choose a withdrawal method and/or an account to which you want to make a withdrawal (if more than one option is available).
  4. Enter the amount to be withdrawn, as well as a brief explanation or description if requested.
  5. Submit your request.

Verdict

TradeStation is an advanced trading platform best for experienced or active traders. In exchange for a large number of tradable assets including cryptocurrency, commission-free stock and ETF trading, real-time pricing, access to demo trading account, and programmable platform for personalized trading strategies, TradeStation charges considerable commission and account fees based on the account type, making it less attractive to new or less advanced traders.