Tradovate Review

Richard Montana | August 2, 2022

Tradovate is a technology focused brokerage offering commission-free trading for a flat price. They provide cloud-based solutions to active traders via a modern futures trading platform for all of your devices. I was impressed to see that they have no per-trade commissions, platform licensing fees, order routing fees, or mobile app fees. Exchange, clearing, and NFA fees still apply. You can trade equity futures with $50 day trading margins and no minimum funding requirement. Perhaps they aren’t the cheapest broker considering overall costs, but you do get access to a ton of tools and data which I think makes it worthwhile as these can be vital for making informed decisions. If you want to give the broker a try, there is a 14-day trial with live streaming data. The platform execution is quick and it has a stable performance with an excellent range of indicators that are easy to customise according to your trading style. There are plenty of tutorials on the brokers website to bring you up to speed with the powerful platform. You can reach out at any time to the dedicated customer support team who are fast to respond and very helpful. They even listen to any feedback on specific features you would like them to add.

Pros & Cons
  • Trade futures, options on futures, as-well-as get stock data from leading exchanges
  • Trade anywhere and from any device with the cloud-trading platform
  • 40+ advanced trading tools to enhance your market analysis
  • Expand your trading possibilities with 3rd party integration tools
  • Create your own indicators and import tools from a large community of traders
  • Build custom trading solutions with powerful API tools
  • Transparent pricing with no hidden fees
  • Good choice of membership plans to choose from
  • Simulated trading accounts to trial the platform
  • Education to help you every step of the way
  • No forex or crypto trading
  • Minimum $250 deposit
  • Limited account funding options
  • Limited accepted countries
  • May be too complex for some users

Summary

Launched in 2015 and operating out of Ohio in the USA, Tradovate can serve the needs of active futures traders. The broker was founded on decades of experience, research, and brokerage leadership in the futures industry. They have an innovative web-based, mobile app-based, and computer program-based trading platforms with seamless integration between all of your devices. I think it is great how there are many indicators and multiple account options which can cater for different trading strategies.

Tradovate was formed out of the realisation that futures traders were long overdue for a new and advanced futures trading experience. The mission was simple, to deliver a seamless futures trading platform that implements new technology with superior pricing that is designed to reduce a trader’s total cost of ownership. I certainly think that they have gone above and beyond to ensure they deliver what traders need.

They have built their futures platform from the ground up. It is quick and capable of multi-device trading using technology designed for active futures traders. You can trade Futures & Options on Futures all in the same platform. I like how you can trade anywhere and switch seamlessly between your devices. Whether you trade index, interest rate, metals, energies or grains – full size, mini, micro or new nano size contracts – Tradovate can be a good futures broker for you.

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Regulation

In my opinion, Tradovate is a trustworthy option because of the strict regulations that they have. These ensure that they must operate in a transparent manner and follow rules that are put into place to protect investors. I personally wouldn’t have any concern using them for trading futures and options.

The brokerage services are provided by Tradovate LLC, which is a member of the National Futures Association (NFA) and registered with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). NinjaTrader Group, LLC, a leading trading software and brokerage provider, purchased Tradovate Holdings, LLC in January 2022. NinjaTrader is a well-known firm working since 2004, and this acquisition strengthens Tradovate’s credibility.

Countries

The broker does not offer its services to citizens/residents of certain jurisdictions where the use of such services would be contrary to local laws and regulations of that jurisdiction. If they do not accept you because of your locality, you can easily find an alternative broker from our broker comparison tool.

Platforms

Tradovate Platforms

Tradovate Platforms

Tradovate Platform

The broker provides you with the highly advanced Tradovate cloud-based trading platform. The platform was built from the ground up for speed and integrated multi-device trading using technology designed for active futures traders. It includes everything you need to trade how and where you choose, with no extra cost. It is an excellent platform with tons of indicators, depth of market and volume tools, and much more.

Tradovate offers comprehensive trade management, allowing you to handle orders and establish specific exit strategies automatically. The data feed is low latency and fills are very fast, with support for one click buying and selling so you are in and out of the market super quick. Charts show up and down arrows where you got in and out, thus showing slippage, or your delay in getting in or out. I did notice a Flatten button is missing, but there is a similar Cancel all and exit option.

As a client, you get full access to all versions of the platform: the desktop application for Windows or Mac, the web browser-accessible WebTrader, and the mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. I really like the interface and user-friendly features of all the Tradovate platforms. I can appreciate how the trading apps help you to quickly and easily monitor or change trades from anywhere at any time. The WebTrader is great if you just want to access your account on any device without any installations required. It is always up to date and has most of the features that you will find in the desktop platform. If I am really concentrating on my trading and want access to as many features as possible, I would opt more towards the desktop version of the platform.

Charts

Using a variety of styles, periods, and technical indicators, you can simply build charts that can be accessed from any device and tailored to your liking. Your custom trading dashboards and charts seamlessly integrate across devices. It enables you to use your favourite indicators and industry leading charting tools for conducting professional market analysis. I was impressed with the advanced charting tools, including volume profile with user-defined custom profiling and volume labels and bid-ask chart types for viewing inside each candle to see how much volume traded at the bid price and ask price for each price level. There are so many excellent tools that you can build strategy templates that are a simplistic or complex as you need them to be. This makes sure that you can get a clear idea of what is happening in the markets and make informed decisions. That being said, if you just want to follow price and manage your positions, the platform can do that without any hassle.

Tradovate Charts

Tradovate Charts

Depth of Market

Tradovate’s depth of market (DOM) module, designed for speed and ease of use, enables you to swiftly assess price information in the exchange’s limit order book, place orders fast, and manage positions effortlessly. The DOM provides you with a critical view of the market and the ability to trade their strategies with accuracy. You can place orders in just one click and set configurable hotkeys to make sure you are getting the market prices that you want.

Tradovate Depth of Market

Tradovate Depth of Market

Quotes

Tradovate’s modern-design quotes allows you to see clearly what is happening in the market, rapidly analyse the data, and act swiftly. You can create customized quote lists that sync across all of your devices. It supports easy symbol search using contract symbol, name, and exchange. There are customized data views to see the relevant market information just the way you want. The detailed quote info lets you quickly see margins, trading hours, contract specifications, and more. I think it’s great how you can easily trade, set alerts, and more directly from the quote board. Another standout feature is that you can launch a Tick Stream module which allows you to see every print and associated volume with that print by product. The stream can also be filtered by volume.

Tradovate Quotes

Tradovate Quotes

Order Management

The brokers cloud-based software securely stores all orders at the exchange or server-side, never on your device. This means that you can trade with confidence, knowing that a computer breakdown or internet outage will not result in the failure of your exit orders or strategy. The platform supports one-cancels-other (OCO) bracket orders to simultaneously place profit target and protective stop orders. One-sends-other (OSO) orders or available to automatically send a single order or OCO order when the first order is filled. You can set multiple brackets with up to 10 target and stop levels. Good-til-date (GTD) order flags let you specify the exact time to release or cancel an order. There are also the trailing stop and trailing stop-limit orders to automatically tighten when the market moves in your favour.

Tradovate Order Management

Tradovate Order Management

Risk-Free Simulated Trading

You can get a two-week free trial to test Tradovate’s tools, new trading ideas, and trading in new markets so you are comfortable before putting actual money at risk. The broker has a simulation account which lets you trade with real-time market data in a simulated environment risk-free. You can increase or decrease the account balance to tailor the amount specifically to your requirements. You can easily switch between live, simulation and market replay accounts. Of course, take into consideration that simulated trading can never 100% replicate a live trading environment. You should be aware that when certain human emotions such as fear, anger and greed are not involved, your performance can differ significantly.

Tradovate Simulated Trading

Tradovate Simulated Trading

Market Replay

The brokers proprietary cloud-based Market Replay tool enables strategy replay for previous time periods including Federal Reserve releases without having to download files. I think this is a great way to practice your strategies over historical data. You can adjust the speed for quickly reviewing past sessions and looking for ways in which you can improve your trading skills. It is one of the only platforms I have found where you can get full depth of market in replay for volume analysis.

Tradovate Market Replay

Tradovate Market Replay

Options Chain

The option chain allows you to quickly view both puts and calls for all strike prices and expirations for an underlying futures contract. You can set a specific expiration or view all expirations with color coded chains denoting in or out of the money strikes. I think this can be a great way to trade options quickly and efficiently.

Tradovate Options Chain

Tradovate Options Chain

Spread Matrix

The spread matrix is designed so that you can view and trade futures spreads efficiently. I like how you can customize the spread matrix to meet your specific needs. It has a comprehensive view of spread including bid and offer.

Tradovate Spread Matrix

Tradovate Spread Matrix

Group Trade

Group Trade allows traders who trade multiple accounts to define unlimited groups, add accounts to those groups, and assign quantities to the accounts in the group. Traders can then select one of their configured groups and place a trade for all the accounts in the group easily through Tradovate. Orders, Positions and Accounts for the group are displayed right inside Tradovate and can be managed independently.

Tradovate Group Trade

Tradovate Group Trade

Thid Party Tools

Direct API integrations enable seamless trading across all your screens with premium partners, including TradingView, Jigsaw, and Collective2. I personally enjoy using TradingView in combination with Tradovate. There are more indicators than most traders would ever need. If there is a specific charting tool that you like, there is a high chance that it already integrates with Tradovate. They are always adding new tools, so if you notice one that is missing which you would like access to, they will be happy to listen to your request.

Tradovate Third Party Tools

Tradovate Third Party Tools

Performance Center

You can easily monitor your account performance based on real-time account information. Customize the charts and tables to fit your personal trading preferences on any device. The Tradovate Performance Center lets you know where you stand and helps identify areas in which you can improve. You can filter by account or symbol and see your winning or losing trades.

Tradovate Performance Center

Tradovate Performance Center

TPO Profile Charts

TPO charts allow you to analyse the amount of trading activity, based on time for each level the market traded at, for any given period of time. This allows you to easily see the areas where the market is trading most of the time, so you can get a complete picture of market activity.

Tradovate TPO Profile Charts

Tradovate TPO Profile Charts

Tools

The broker has a nice selection of over 40+ advanced futures trading tools. Designed specifically for futures traders, this suite of tools was built for the modern markets. That give you plenty of ways to identify and execute your next trades. The Tradovate platform is absolutely jam packed with all of the tools needed to ensure that you are trading in an industry leading environment. You can even create your own customised indicators with Tradovate’s Powerful Customer Indicators & API Tools.

As mentioned earlier in the review, you can integrate the platform with some of the best third-party solutions. Premium partners include a full Tradovate integration enabling accounts and orders to be synchronized across all tools and screens. It only takes a few minutes to setup the integration which will give you access to your favourite indicators and charting tools alongside the already exceptional Tradovate platform. Partner tools can be used with any Tradovate pricing plan and they are available for both live and simulated trading which is great.

TradingView

TradingView has a vast community of traders who connect and share trading ideas using the TradingView charts. TradingView has been fully integrated into Tradovate providing a seamless trading experience enabling traders to share trade ideas with peers and execute orders across both the platforms. You can use TradingView tool at no cost, although there is a $9.99 per month TradingView integration fee that does apply.

Tradovate with TradingView

Tradovate with TradingView

Bookmap

Bookmap is a cutting-edge order flow trading platform. It allows you to visualize both current and historic market liquidity using a pioneering heatmap overlay. Spot support & resistance levels, spoof orders, price absorption, exhaustion, and areas of intent. You can connect to multiple markets at the same time and Bookmap will help you analyze your trading decisions.

Tradovate with Bookmap

Tradovate with Bookmap

Collective2™

Access tens of thousands of trading strategies from other traders across the world by following these traders and choose the strategies or trading systems that fit you. If you like the style and strategy of a trader that has shared a trading strategy, you can follow and trade along with them via Collective2.

Tradovate with Collective2

Tradovate with Collective2

daytradr

Designed specifically for day traders of futures and exchange traded spreads, the daytradr tool is a robust stand-alone trading integration that connects to Tradovate. daytradr contains all the features from the popular plug-in from Jigsaw and much more. Measure your trading performance against other traders with the daytradr Leaderboard. Build your trading strategy and developing a disciplined approach to trading while learning from other traders.

Tradovate with daytradr

Tradovate with daytradr

Investor/RT

Investor/RT is a complete charting package, market analysis and trade execution solution used world-wide by sophisticated traders and active investors, featuring connectivity to market data and execution services via CQG. You can also use any of the CQG products with your Tradovate Account: QCG Connection Fee does apply. Integrate CQG QTrader, CQG Desktop and CQG Trader.

InvestorRT

InvestorRT

MotiveWave

MotiveWave is an easy-to-use full-featured charting, analysis and trading software built for the individual trader. MotiveWave has very advanced charting and drawing tools that are highly customizable and yet still easy-to-use, and also specializes in advanced analysis tools like Elliott Wave, Fibonacci, Gartley, Gann and Ratio Analysis.

MotiveWave

MotiveWave

Sierra Chart

Choose between using Tradovate for trading and Sierra Chart for charting or Sierra Chart for both trading and charting.

Sierra Chart

Sierra Chart

Custom Indicators

If you have an idea for an indicator, you can create customised tools to use on the Tradovate platform. It doesn’t matter if you are an individual or institutional trader, using the brokers technology you can develop you very own trading solutions. I think this is a great feature for those of you who have unique strategies using your own combination of indicators and other forms of market analysis. I have programmed hundreds of my own tools in the MetaTrader platform and find that I use them more than some of the default tools that are already included within the platform. You can always share tools with other like-minded traders and try different indicators to see what works best for you. If you don’t have the time or skills to programme a particular idea that you have, you can reach out to someone to do it for you.

Tradovate Programming

Tradovate Programming

Indicators can run on charts and the values can be shown on the DOM. Tradovate’s built-in library of indicator code can be modified or leveraged to create indicators from scratch using JavaScript coding. You can explore the potential of indicators by running them on the Tradovate Simulation and Market Replay environments. This can help give you a rough idea of how they will perform.

Tradovate’s Custom Indicators Include:

  • Leverage Tradovate existing indicator code base
  • Publish indicators to both charts and DOMS
  • No proprietary code base necessary -code in JavaScript
  • Share indicators with other Traders in the Tradovate Community
  • Quick integration process
  • Run indicators in the cloud across all supported devices

Tradovate API

The robust Tradovate Technologies API enables brands to quickly connect their own trading front-end, systems, or trading business. You can leverage all of the innovative and powerful Tradovate Technologies’; functionality via the API to improve your trading offering. The API is exposed as a REST API with OpenAPI definitions, formerly known as Swagger. Connect via websockets for streaming data. You can generate code in nearly any coding language.

Education

The Tradovate website has educational resource designed to help you every step of the way. There is a trading blog that contains a wide range of educative articles to keep you informed on the latest happenings in the financial markets. There are informative press releases where you can find out more about the latest products and an FAQ section offer instant answers to your most common questions.

You can view a good selection of over 50 videos to help you get started. I do like the integrated CME Resource Center where you can enhance your futures trading knowledge. There are also many videos on YouTube that allow you to setup the environment the way you like. I personally feel the demo account option is the best way to familiarise yourself with the brokers platforms and services.

Markets

The broker has a great selection of exclusive futures and options for trading with low day trade and initial margin rates. You can gain exposure, manage risk and expand your trading opportunities with over 100 products from leading exchanges. From Indexes, Currencies, Interest Rates, Metals, Energies, Agriculture, Meats & Softs, there are always new markets to learn about and trade.

Tradovate are also offering real-time equity data for the components that make up three of the most highly traded futures contracts. Real-Time and historical tick, minute and 20 years of daily data are available for equity symbols that make up the S&P 500, Nasdaq-100 and the Dow. You still have the same benefits, charting, tools and features of Tradovate to help you analyse stock data.

Futures commissions are based on the Mini’s or Micro’s. You can also trade full contracts if you have sufficient margin. I found the commissions are very reasonable and priced for day trading, far less than some of the other so-called big players. They offer $500 day trading margins for E-mini S&P 500 (ES), Nasdaq 100 (NQ), Dow (YM), and Mini-Russell 2000 (TF). There are $50 day trading margins for the Micro E-mini. You can view a full breakdown of contract margins directly on the brokers website and directly in your Tradovate platform.

Unfortunately, they don’t offer CFD trading but you can always consider IG if you are looking to speculate on forex, cryptos and individual stocks. Webull is another similar platform for zero commission Options trading but they do not offer Futures trading.

Accounts

You can trade with a pricing plan that fits you. There is no commitment, you only pay a commission when you trade or select one of the brokers subscription plans to reduce commissions. All of the Tradovate platforms are included with no licence fees. Another advantage is there no inactivity fees or volume requirements. Just keep in mind that exchange, clearing, and NFA fees still apply. The Live Quote fees are different by trading exchanges depending on the type of trader you are (professional or non-professional).

Tradovate offers the following membership plans:

Membership Free Access

No commitment, pay a commission only when you trade. $0 monthly fees. Commission per side:

  • $0.79 Standard
  • $0.25 Micros
  • $0.20 Smalls
  • $0.00 FairX

Active Trader Plan

You can reduce your commission rate with this subscription although there is a $99 monthly fee. Commission per side:

  • $0.19 Standard
  • $0.19 Micros
  • $0.15 Smalls
  • $0.00 FairX

Commission Free Membership

You can trade commission free with the purchase of this subscription but pay a $199 annual fee. Commission per side is $0 for all.

Simulation Account

Before putting real money at risk, you might want to see what the broker has to offer by taking advantage of the 14-day simulation accounts. It allows you to trade using real-time market data in a risk-free simulated environment and increase or reduce the account balance to customise the amount to your personal needs. Switching between live, simulation, and market replay accounts is simple. All live financed Tradovate accounts receive free ongoing access to real-time simulation.

If you are new to trading, I highly suggest you try simulated trading, it behaves exactly like a funded account. You can make all the mistakes you want and learn from the experience.

Account Signup

To open a trading account with this broker, click on the ’Open Account’ button and fill out the application form and, then, click submit. For individual accounts, an application should take about five minutes to complete. You can start trading within one business day if all goes smoothly.

Support

You can enjoy prompt customer service support via telephone, email, live chat, and social media. The Ohio based client service team is there for you to answer any questions. I have always found the support to be very prompt and polite to respond.

Funding

This is one area of the broker I found to be quite disappointing. They currently only accept the following payment methods:

  • Mailed check
  • Wire transfer
  • ACH bank transfer

This might not be a deal breaker for most of you but these payment methods seem insufficient to me. As I have reviewed hundreds of brokers, many brokers have debit/credit cards, e-wallets, and even cryptocurrencies. If you want to use any of these the missing payment options, Forex.com has a greater variety.

Conclusion

Based in Ohio, Tradovate is a modern-day trading broker that offers futures and options trading via a highly sophisticated trading platform that lets you trade from anywhere and anyway that you like. The platform is very easy to navigate and use with charts and DOM all in one. Add to that first-class trading conditions and I believe that you have a good choice of broker platform for day trading. I probably wouldn’t consider it a buy and hold platform.

You get access to 40+ advanced trading tools that have been designed specifically for futures traders. The pricing is transparent with no hidden fees. There are 3 different plans designed for the way you trade. It is great how there are no per-trade commissions, platform licensing fees, order routing fees, or inactivity fees. You will also find a selection of educational materials and can enjoy help from a dedicated customer support team.

I found the broker to be reliable and professional with more than enough features to execute my strategies. It is capable of handling all of your strategies including heavy and fast trading without the lags or dropped signals that you can experience from some other platforms.

The simulation account is great for learning how to use the platform and practicing your trading strategies with fast execution. You get the opportunity to test trading methods in simulation or market replay mode to help you become a better trader before going into a real cash account. You can get a free 14-day simulated account to try it out and see just how good it is.

Tradovate Logo

Min $250 Deposit

Tradovate is a great broker for trading futures and options with competitive fees on excellent platforms for web, desktop and mobile. You get access to a great range of powerful tools to improve your trading strategies and can integrate with third-party solutions.

Futures and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors.

About the Author

Avatar photo

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.