TradeStation is an online US brokerage targeted towards active and institutional traders worldwide. TradeStation is a subsidiary of Monex Group, Inc., who are listed on the Tokyo stock exchange and one of the largest online financial services providers in Japan. They are headquartered in Plantation, Florida, and have global offices in New York; Chicago; Richardson, Texas; London; Sydney; and Costa Rica.
TradeStation are well known for their innovative trading platform that contains a vast array of built in tools for conducting detailed chart analysis and market research. The platform has a user-friendly interface and short learning curve that helps ensure it is a suitable solution for new traders whilst having enough advanced functionality to satisfy the more experienced traders.
They offer TradeStation Go (TSgo) which is a $0 commission free trading plan for investors although it is limited to online stocks, ETFs, and options trades, US clients only and trading on the web and mobile platforms.
This brokerage puts emphasis on delivering top class market data and trading technologies that deliver a stable trading environment during various market conditions with reliable execution speeds. They are also committed to offering good customer service whatever your experience or level of investment.
TradeStation was founded in 1982 by Cuban-born brothers William “Bill” and Rafael “Ralph” Cruz. The brothers initially started out trading themselves and come up with the idea for TradeStation when they realised that manually back testing a trading strategy over historical data was very time consuming and thus wanted a way to fully automate the process – this planted the seed from which the TradeStation that we know today was born.
Pros / Cons
- Strict regulation
- Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)
- Powerful trading platforms
- Free premium trading tools
- Educational resources
- Commission free trading to US clients only
- Commission free trading on web & mobile only
- Restricted leverage
- No forex or CFD trading
- No MetaTrader platform
- Limited funding options
TradeStation is regulated in the United States by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In addition to this strict regulation, eligible US clients are protected under the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) scheme. The SIPC is an investor protection scheme established in order to protect clients against the loss of cash and securities in case the broker cannot fulfil their financial obligations. The SIPC protection is limited to $500,000 with a $250,000 limit for cash.
SIPC coverage is available only for equities and equities options accounts. It is important to carefully read through all of the brokers terms and conditions so that you have a clear understanding of the protection offered before you open an account with any online brokerage.
TradeStation is primarily a US brokerage but they do offer their services to clients across the globe in certain countries via their international offering.
TradeStation Trading Platforms
TradeStation have a flexible choice of trading platforms that are available for web, desktop and mobile.
TradeStation Mobile Platform
The TradeStation Mobile Platform is compatible with iOS and Android devices. It is useful for those who need to access their account and manage their investment portfolio whilst on the go from anywhere in the world at any time, provided there is an internet connection.
The mobile app has an abundance of features for studying different instrument price feeds, analysing charts, placing or managing orders, setting alert notifications and more.
TradeStation Web Platform
Provided you have an internet connection, you can connect on any device to the TradeStation web trading platform. It is accessible from most modern web browsers such as Firefox, Edge, Safari and Chrome. The web platform includes features such as streaming real-time data, one click trading, news feeds and maintains most of the other capabilities that the desktop platform has.
TradeStation Desktop Platform
The TradeStation Desktop Platform has won multiple awards for delivering a superior and professional trading experience. The desktop platform gives a powerful, efficient and flexible trading experience for all styles of trader. You can monitor the markets and utilise an expansive selection of charting and analysis tools.
It incorporates dynamic market-scanning tools, fully customisable charting, reliable trade execution speeds, advanced order management, fully automated strategy trading, back testing and more. Users can conduct thorough technical analysis and statistical modelling of various trading strategies.
TradeStation Trading Tools & Education
There is a range of easy-to-use professional trading and analysis tools that can be used to help you trade with confidence, find potential opportunities and to achieve your individual trading goals.
The RadarScreen® scanner can help scan the markets for trading opportunities, whilst the Matrix market depth window can assist with entry and exit signals. You can also discover options trading via the OptionStation Pro platform.
TradeStation FuturesPlus is a package they offer that provides traders with innovative market analysis and tools (custom alerts, watchlists, etc) for assisting with trading futures options. It also has simplified pricing, educational materials and 24/7 customer service. TradeStation FuturesPlus prices for futures options start at just $1.50 per contract. FuturesPlus can be used across all of your devices including web browser and mobile application.
The broker has a wide range of educational resources that are designed to help clients of all experience levels to improve their trading skills. There is a market knowledge centre that contains lots of educational materials including videos, articles, news, events, classes, trading glossary, etc. A range of relevant topics are covered including types of markets, trading strategies, trading platforms, trading instruments and more.
In addition to the vast array of educational resources, TradeStation also provide frequently updated global market insights with detailed technical and fundamental analysis across a variety of different asset classes.
TradeStation Trading Instruments
TradeStation offer online stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, futures trading. They currently do not offer forex or CFD trading. With TSgo, US clients who use the web or mobile TradeStation platforms get commission free trading on online stocks, ETFs, and options trades.
- Stocks – $0 commission for online equity trades (exchange-listed U.S. stocks) with TSgo. Otherwise $5 per trade.
- ETFs – $0 commission for online exchange-traded funds (ETFs) trades (U.S.) with TSgo. Otherwise $5 per trade.
- Options – $0 commission for online options trades (+$0.50 per contract) with TSgo. Otherwise $0.5 per contract + $5 per trade.
- Futures – $1.50 per contract, per side.
As fees can change and there may be additional fees not listed here, make sure you check on the official broker website and are clear about all of the fees charged before opening a trading account with TradeStation.
TradeStation Trading Accounts & Fees
The brokerage has a variety of 14 different account types to choose from that are designed to meet trader’s different investment requirements. They have an easy to understand, transparent and competitive commission pricing structure that can even be tailored to adjust to any individual trading style and budget. There are no fees for the software, market data and premium tools.
- Individual – This is a personal account in the name of the individual who owns the account.
- Joint – This is an account owned by two or more individuals.
- Entity – This is an account for business entities.
- IRA – Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or Sep IRA accounts for retirement planning
- Custodial – This is an individual account that is managed by an adult for the benefit of a minor (for equity accounts only).
TradeStation Customer Service
TradeStation give clients a personalised customer service experience with highly skilled, trained and fully licensed brokerage professionals. Customer support is available to answer all your general, technical or account questions via online chat, telephone and email. They usually respond in a prompt and efficient manner.
TradeStation Deposit & Withdrawal
This brokerage has a few different ways in which you can fund your account. There is a minimum $200 initial deposit required for funding stock and options accounts ($2,000 for margin). The minimum for funding a futures or futures options account is $500. It would be more convenient for some users if they supported online payment processor funding such as PayPal, Skrill or Neteller.
- Smart Transfer – Transfer cash assets to or from your domestic linked bank account or another TradeStation account. 3 days, free, $50,000 max.
- Wire Transfer – Transfer money electronically from one of your existing bank or brokerage accounts to your TradeStation Securities Equities account. Next Day (if done before 4 p.m. ET), free.
- Check Deposit – Send a check via U.S. Mail, overnight, or certified mail, along with your signed documents. 3 days, free.
- Electronic Transfer (ACAT) – Transfer cash and most securities electronically from an account at another financial institution to a TradeStation Securities account (including IRA accounts). 7-10 business days, free.
TradeStation Account Opening
You can apply to open a TradeStation account via the “open account” link located throughout the official TradeStation website. Whilst the application is done online, it can take a few days for your account to be approved.
During the account opening process you will need to enter your personal information, employment information, financials and experience. You must also read and agree to the terms, including giving them the consent to use your personal data for processing.
Once your account has been approved, you will need to verify it with forms of identification (passport, drivers license, etc) and proof of address (e.g. utility bill). After it has been verified by a member of the TradeStation support team, you can fund your account and commence trading.
TradeStation offer competitively priced online trading through powerful trading platforms with a collection of free premium analysis tools. They also have a dedicated educational section which beginners will find useful. Unfortunately, they do not offer the popular MetaTrader platform, funding options are limited and there is no forex or CFD trading.
Trading complex instruments can come with a high risk. You should consider whether you understand how investments and trading work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing all of your money.