Cobra Trading Review

Richard Montana | August 2, 2022

Cobra Trading is a US broker providing premium online trading platforms for professional day traders. They have been serving active equity and option traders since way back in 2004. I like how the broker is focused on a personalised service that is complimented by speed and savings. The minimum amount to open an account with Cobra Trading is quite high at $30,000. This is much greater than many other USA brokers that I have previously reviewed. They also only offer Stocks and options trading with no Forex, CFDs or Cryptos. In saying that, I think they can be a great choice of broker for anyone who want to day trade in a regulated environment with powerful platforms and professional tools for comprehensive market analysis.

Pros & Cons
  • Premium trading platforms for professional traders
  • Excellent range of powerful trading tools
  • Competitive fees and bespoke pricing
  • Quality execution at the best available prices
  • Many options to route orders directly to market
  • Exceptional and personalised customer service
  • Minimum $30,000 deposit is not the lowest
  • No forex, CFD or crypto trading
  • Limited account funding options
  • Platform fees and some other charges

Summary

Founded in 2013, Cobra Trading is a direct market access broker that offers day traders a good variety of flexible and powerful platforms and tools for online trading. They provide professional traders with competitively priced stock and options trading fees with a small $1 trade minimum and a personalised service. The broker has an abundance of routing options to execute your trades through which helps to ensure that your positions can get executed as quickly as possible at the best possible prices at all times. CEO Chadd Hessing states that “Our mission is to provide active traders the highest level of service, systems and trade support at a very competitive price.” I think that they go above and beyond to make sure that they achieve this as is evident by the positive feedback that the broker has recevied over the years.

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Regulation

When it comes to choosing a broker, regulation is one of the first things that I look for. This is because a regulated broker can give you protection that an unregulated brokerage firm cannot. I would always prefer to trade with a regulated broker for peace of mind that they must follow strict rules and procedures that have been implemented to protect investors. I am pleased to see that Cobra Trading is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), National Futures Association (NFA) and Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) scheme in the United States. I consider this top tier regulation and would therefore have no problem trusting them for my day trading activities.

FINRA lets investors and firms participate in the financial markets with confidence by helping to safeguard its integrity. It is a non-governmental organisation that regulates member brokerage firms and exchange markets. The NFA is the self-regulatory organisation for the U.S. derivatives industry, including on-exchange traded futures, retail off-exchange foreign currency and OTC derivatives. The SIPC is an investor protection scheme that was established to help protect clients against the loss of cash and securities in case an online broker cannot fulfil their financial obligations. The SIPC protection is limited to $500,000 with a $250,000 limit for cash.

Most Cobra Trading accounts are opened through Wedbush Securities. In addition to the $500,000 protection provided by SIPC, clients clearing at Wedbush Securities have additional coverage purchased from Lloyd’s of London for up to $25,000,000 in cash and securities for each client, subject to an aggregate loss limit of $100,000,000. This bond covers cash credit balances to a maximum of $900,000 for a total of $1,150,000 in cash balances. Neither the SIPC or any additional coverage will protect against market loss.

Countries

Although Cobra Trading is a US brokerage firm that primarily serves US traders, they can accept clients from a limited number of other countries. You can contact them to see if they are currently providing services in your region. If you find that they cannot for whatever reason, please feel free to browse our broker reviews for an alternative option.

Platforms

Cobra Trading have a selection of powerful and advanced trading platforms that are flexible, customisable and contain a vast array of built-in tools for advanced analytics. The platforms offer level-2 pricing and real-time charting, with direct market access and support for one-click trading. They do charge market data, software and routing fees. These can add up and make them an expensive option compared to some other online brokers. There are trials if you wish to test drive the platforms to see which you prefer.

Cobra TraderPro

Cobra TraderPro is the most inexpensive option for those who do not want to pay a premium for the trading platform yet still have the required tools and functions needed for efficient trading. This platform is based on the Sterling Trader framework and has an abundance of useful features for active traders and investors. The Cobra TraderPro platform contains real-time Level 2 market data, direct market access, advanced charting, hot keys, and a short locate monitor.

Cobra TraderPro

Cobra TraderPro

DAS Trader

DAS Trader offers a real-time environment that can facilitate multiple advanced order types, basket trading, detailed charting, and multi-account management. The DAS Trader platform has a range of powerful features built-in to one single platform including advanced analytical tools, multi-instrument trading, and portfolio management. Direct Access Software (DAS) is an Industry Leader in direct access trading technologies that offer the brokerage and trading community end-to-end electronic trading solutions.

Cobra Trading DAS Trader

Cobra Trading DAS Trader

Sterling Trader

Sterling Trader is one of the leading direct-access trading platforms for trading equities and options. The platform can be fully customised to suit differing trader needs and offers a smooth and intuitive trading environment. From a functional standpoint, both Sterling and DAS are equally fast and equally reliable. However, I would say that Sterling has better charts. For those that use the charting software included in their platform, Sterling would be a better choice in my opinion.

Cobra Trading Sterling Trader

Cobra Trading Sterling Trader

RealTick

RealTick® EMS is the premier online trading platform that offers direct-access research, real-time market data, news, in-depth analytics, and a vast array of implemented sophisticated trading tools. RealTick is a fully-hosted software-as-a-service solution requiring no additional hardware on the client side apart from a standard Windows-based PC that meets minimum system requirements. The flexible user interface of a platform provides the Market Minder, Oz Scanner, Hottrend and RealTick functions. The program also provides such important functions as an advanced graphic package, algorithms of Vision Smart Router and the built-in web browser.

Cobra Trading RealTick

Cobra Trading RealTick

Software Fees

it should be noted that Cobra Trading will charge you software fees if you do not meet a minimum trade volume each month. Whilst this is not ideal, I think it is fair considering the high quality platforms and tools that you get access to. If you would rather trade online without any platform specific fees, IG are an alternative option with some excellent free trading platforms.

  • Cobra TraderPro – $100 (Waived if you trade 200,000 shares/month)
  • DAS Trader Pro – $125 (Waived if you trade 250,000 shares/month)
  • Sterling Trader Pro – $200/$230 with options (Waived if you trade 300,000 shares/month)
  • RealTick Express – $200 (Waived if you trade 300,000 shares/month)
  • RealTick PRO – $350 (Waived if you trade 500,000 shares/month)

Tools

Cobra Trading offers sophisticated trading tools and support to day traders. The provided platforms come absolutely stacked with all of the trading tools most of you will need to build your trading strategy templates and conduct in-depth market analysis. You can get access to some of the best tools available, including DAS, direct routing options, short share access and much more. I felt like there are more tools than I will ever need to use, but it is great to have the options available. I would go as far to say that some traders may feel overwhelmed, but this is a broker I feel is more catered towards the professional trader.

Education

Unfortunately, this brokerage is lacking in any specific educational materials but there is a trading blog and YouTube channel with some handy trading guides and tutorial videos. You can also stay in the know with industry perspectives and insights that will help you capitalize on investment opportunities. If you are looking for lots more educational content, then tastyworks have plenty for you to get your teeth stuck into.

Markets

Cobra Trading offers traders stocks and options trading. This is perhaps quite limited compared to some other online broker who offer forex, CFD and crypto trading. They do allow after hours trading both pre- and post-market. Trading hours are 6:00 am EST thru 8:00 pm EST. With the brokers low cost tiered pricing, you can pocket the profits. It is good to see that they will even try to tailor their pricing in order to best meet your needs. This is something that I haven’t seen from many other brokers and emphasises the personal approach that Cobra Trading take.

Stocks (per share)

  • $.004 – 0 to 250K shares per month
  • $.0035 – 250K to 1M shares per month
  • $.003 – 1M to 2M shares per month
  • $.0015 – 2M to 10M shares per month

Options (per contract)

  • $.50 – 0 to 2,000 contracts per month
  • $.40 – 2,001 to 10,000 contracts per month
  • $.30 – 10,000 contracts +

Futures Trading

As an NFA member firm, Cobra Trading, Inc. offer futures trading through the Venom by Cobra Trading brand. Venom Trading clears exclusively through Interactive Brokers and allows customers the ability to trade equities, options, forex, and futures from a single account. With Venom Trading, Cobra offers access to the excellent Trader WorkStation (TWS) platform as well as mobile and web-based platforms.

Accounts

Cobra Trading have a variety of accounts to choose from depending on your individual needs. These are the common accounts offered by most US online brokerages.

  • Individual Accounts
  • Joint Accounts
  • Corporate Accounts
  • LLC Accounts
  • Partnership Accounts
  • Trust Accounts
  • Retirement Accounts
  • Margin accounts (1:4 for day trading, 1:2 for overnight)

The minimum account opening deposits for day trading are very high when compared to the industry standard. Keep in mind that some brokers such as Forex.com will let you get started from as little as $100. However, I do appreciate that you can get access to some of the best platforms and tools in the industry with Cobra Trading. The accounts and their respective minimum deposits are as follows:

United States residents:

  • $30,000 to open account
  • $25,000 minimum balance must be maintained in each day-trading account

Non-United States residents:

  • $50,000 to open account
  • $25,000 minimum balance must be maintained in each day-trading account

Margin Trading

If you are trading in an IRA or cash account your buying power is limited to the cash that you have available in the account. If you have a retail margin account then the buying power for intraday trades (limited to 3 intraday trades in a rolling 5-day period) will be 4 times the cash available in your account whilst overnight trades will be 2 times your available cash. Be aware that margin trading is very risky and you should have a clear understanding of the risks involved.

Support

Cobra Trading are committed to offering personalised customer service for all clients regardless of their experience or level of investment. Their goal is to provide clients with direct access to representatives so that they can answer your questions in a prompt and professional manner. The team responds in a matter of seconds with precise and accurate information. I appreciate how they have your best interests in mind when working with you. Support is offered during business hours which are Monday to Friday from 7AM – 4:30PM. The friendly customer service team can be reached via telephone, email or online chat if you have a question you would like an answer to immediately.

Funding

Cobra Trading brokerage accounts can be funded via wire transfer, check, ACH transfer or account transfer from another broker (ACAT) using the account transfer form. ACAT transfers typically take between 3-8 business days to complete depending on which broker currently holds the account. I actually found the funding options to be quite limited. It would be considered useful to many traders if they offered credit/debit card and online payment processors as additional funding options.

Some fees may be charged when using certain payment methods. The withdrawal time can vary depending on the payment provider and method. Bank transfers may take a few business days to clear whilst some methods can be instant. Funds can take a few days to process and there may be additional fees. Accounts are offered in USD, thus if you plan to fund with another currency, conversion fees will apply. I think they could improve by adding support for more currencies although this is understandable considering they mainly serve the US market.

Conclusion

Overall, there is a lot that I like about Cobra Trading. They are a no-nonsense brokerage firm for professional stock and options traders who require premium platforms and are willing to pay for them. They have an excellent suite of sophisticated tools to meet the demands of today’s active trader. The platforms are powerful, fully customisable and contain a vast array of analytical tools to ensure you can spot trading opportunities and make informed decisions.

Despite the many positive aspects, I did find the broker offers a limited selection of trading instruments with no forex, CFD or cryptocurrency trading. Educational materials are lacking whilst there are no online payment processor options. The minimum deposit requirement of $30,000 is also very high compared to most online trading brokers.

That being said, I don’t think any of these things will be a deal breaker for any serious traders looking to trade online in a regulated and professional environment backed by industry leading personalised support.

Cobra Trading Logo

Min $30,000 Deposit

Cobra Trading offers sophisticated trading tools and unparalleled support to competitive day traders who want to capitalize on every opportunity by trading faster and more efficiently.

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

About the Author

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Richard Montana
Richard has many years of experience in broker research, testing, analysis and reviews. He knows what to look for through years of trading himself with different brokers and listening to the feedback of others.

Review Methodology

For all of our broker reviews, we research, validate, analyse and compare what we deem to be the most important factors to consider when choosing a broker. This includes pros, cons and an overall rating based on our findings. We aim to help you find the best broker according to your own needs. You can read more about our review process.