Zacks Trade Review
Zacks Trade is a US brokerage that gives you convenient access to trade the markets via powerful yet versatile trading platforms. You can analyse instruments for potential opportunities using an excellent selection of market research and trading tools. I found them to have low fees, including low stock/ETF fees and no inactivity fee. The selection of stock and ETFs are impressive, covering many international markets. I think they are built to cater more towards active traders who are looking for innovative platforms, low margin rates, actionable research and exceptional customer support. The range of products and features is quite outstanding, as I will cover in this review.
Pros & Cons
- Good selection of financial instruments
- Professional trading platforms that are loaded with features
- Superb collection of premium trading tools
- Industry leading market research
- Very competitive commission fees
- Excellent customer support
- Minimum $2,000 deposit not the lowest
- No support for futures, commodities or forex
- Limited funding options
Zacks Trade is an online broker located in the United States and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. They offer online trading services to self-directed traders and investors from all around the globe. Zacks Trade is targeted primarily towards the day trader who is looking to save on costs because they are frequently getting in and out of trades. I like that they have a range of professional platforms to choose from with top quality market insights and tools to help you make informed decisions. I found their fees to be very competitive when compared to other USA brokerages, starting from just $1 (1¢ per share) on stocks and ETF trades.
Founded in 1978 by the brothers Len and Ben Zacks, they treat every client with the same respect, regardless of their trading experience or investment size. All investors have the same access to innovative trading tools, research, and customer support. The Zacks group of companies as a whole manage more than $5 billion in assets. I find this to be really impressive and it gives me confidence that they are a company who know what they are doing.
When I am looking at a broker, regulation is one of the first things that I look for. I would always prefer to use a regulated broker as they may be able to give some protection that an unregulated broker cannot. That being said, I am pleased to see that Zacks Trade brokerage products and services are offered by LBMZ Securities which is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) scheme in the United States. This gives me the peace of mind that they are a broker who can be trusted. I wouldn’t have any problem using them for my daily trading activities. If regulation is also important to you, IG accept clients from the USA and they are regulated around the globe.
The SIPC is an investor protection scheme established in order to protect you against the loss of cash and securities in case the broker cannot fulfill their financial obligations. The SIPC protection is limited to $500,000 with a $250,000 limit for cash. I recommend going through their terms and conditions since they’re pretty specific on who is eligible for this compensation.
They also have an excess SIPC policy with certain underwriters at Lloyd’s of London for up to an additional $30 million (with a cash sublimit of $900,000) subject to an aggregate limit of $150 million. I really like how SIPC coverage provides protection against the failure of a broker-dealer, however it does not cover against the loss of market value of securities. It also does not protect accounts that are compromised or when fraudulent activity occurs. Brokerage products are not Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insured, not guaranteed, and may lose value.
Account protection and security is a top priority for the broker and is taken very seriously. They implement industry leading encryption technologies and extra precautions to help keep your account and assets safe and secure.
- Secure Socket Layer – 128-bit SSL encryption to secure the connection between your computer and Zacks Trade
- Login Limit – Restrict account access to specific IP addresses
- Security Monitoring – Dedicated security team to monitor and detect suspicious activity
- Automatic Logoff – Automatically logged out after a specified period of inactivity
- Failed Login Attempts – Restrict logins after certain amount of failed attempts
Zacks Trade is primarily a US focused brokerage firm but can accept clients from over 200 countries depending on the relevant regulations within each jurisdiction. If your country is not accepted by the broker, you can take a look at our broker ratings for an alternative option.
Zacks Trade have a choice of proprietary platforms to suit different experience levels and styles of trader. I was impressed with the robustness of each platform. Not only are they easy to use, they are also fully loaded with all of the tools and features you need for conducting professional market research. You can seamlessly switch between the platforms and customise the interfaces to be as simplistic or complex as you need them to be.
Zacks Trade Pro
This is Zacks Trade’s proprietary and flagship platform. I like that it has a fully customisable interface and contains a fantastic range of built in trading tools for assisting with conducting comprehensive market analysis, news research, technical analysis and more. I believe it contains most of the functionality every trader will need and more. I also like that it is user-friendly enough for those just starting out whilst having enough advanced capabilities to satisfy the more seasoned investors amongst you. You can fully configure your own layout. Zacks Trade Pro is customizable and you can make your layout as simple or advanced as you like. Create multiple flexible and scalable charts within your layout. Choose from over 120 technical indicators that are also configurable. Zacks Trade Pro also lets you trade right from the chart. You can trade stocks, options, bonds and funds in over 19 countries, all from a single account. The best part is Zacks Trade Pro is free and available to all clients. This platform is best for active, high-volume traders, options, news, and technical research and analysis tools.
Some of the Key Zacks Trade Pro features include the following:
- Fully configure your own layout so you can make your layout as simple or advanced as you like.
- Create multiple watch lists for any type of security. You can customize your data columns to the exact way you want to see it.
- View account balances, margin, funds available for trading, market value and portfolio data for all of your securities.
- Create real-time alerts based on price, time, margin and volume that notify you of important changes in the market.
- See all of your open and filled orders. Zacks Trade Pro also allows you to modify or cancel your order rapidly from the Orders window.
Zacks Trade makes it easy to trade and manage all key aspects of your account and portfolio through the Client Portal. You can get access to your very own online client portal where you can view your account, place and manage trades, make deposits and withdrawals, adjust settings and subscriptions. The excellent Zacks Trade Portfolio Analyst lets you quickly and efficiently analyze your portfolio’s performance based on a set of measurement criteria, including selected industry benchmarks.
There is the browser-based Zacks Trader platform that is a scaled-down version of the Zacks Trade Pro platform but still maintains most of the important features. It is good for those of you who wish to run the platform directly in your web browser without needing to download any additional software.
Handy Trader provides mobile access to your account with the added ease of use that comes with a screen that’s much larger than your phone. It is a versatile and easy-to-use mobile trading app that can be used on iOS and Android devices and is readily available from the relevant app stores and the brokers website. I find the trading apps to be quite useful for those who need to access their account and trade whilst on the go, provided they have an internet connection. You can place/manage/close trades, monitor portfolios, study charts, set notifications, and follow market news.
You don’t have to be tied to your desk to get outstanding trading functionality. When you’re out and about, Handy Trader keeps you up to date with your Zacks Trade account. I think the app combined with the fully functional desktop platform can deliver an outstanding trading experience.
Some of the key features of the Zacks Trader app include the following:
- Protect your account with a secure login system
- View real-time streaming quotes and charts
- Trade stocks, options, bonds, and mutual funds worldwide
- View delayed market data for non-subscribed tickers
- Route orders using Zacks Trade’s SmartRouting™ technology, which searches for the best price and dynamically routes and re-routes all or part of your order to achieve optimal execution.
- Access company fundamentals data and view the same independent analyst reports that you see in your desktop application
- Quickly access trade reports, portfolio and account information
- Set price alerts with email notification
- Take a call and reconnect to Handy Trader without having to log back in
In terms of tools, there are so many already built-in the provided platforms that should be more than enough for most traders. The robust tools within Zacks Trade Pro are as advanced as you would like to make them. I couldn’t even touch the surface there was so many to choose from it was almost overwhelming. However, it is great to have the options there as experimenting is a great way to improve your trading skills and knowledge.
That being said, it is great to see Zacks Trade has a superb variety of powerful trading tools to suit the needs of different trading styles. I like that these tools can be used for advanced charting capabilities, efficient trading, conducting detailed market analysis, and more. Some more advanced tools that the broker makes easily accessible to you include:
- Algos – Zacks Trade Pro Stock algos including Arrival Price, Percentage of Volume Strategy, TWAP and VWAP
- Probability Lab – Offers options probability without any of the usual complicated mathematics involved. This can be fully adjusted based on your particular forecasts
- Basket Trader – This can be used to import baskets of stock orders and executes them within Zacks Trade Pro
- Rebalance Portfolio – Quickly and easily rebalance your entire portfolio based on your investment goals and risk tolerances
- Market Scanners – Screen stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds and more, based on the specific parameters that you set
- SpreadTrader – Create and manage complex option orders with relative ease. You can easily close or reverse any spread positions
- Options Strategy Lab – Enter price or volatility forecast for the underlying stock and view a list of potential trading strategies
- Volatility Lab – This is a comprehensive toolkit of volatility tools that provide a snapshot of past and future readings
There is also a brilliant collection of research and market analysis which can be used to support your trading decisions. You can have access to over 20 free research subscriptions and 80 premium trials that can help you to find investment opportunities and for you to make the most of your trades. This really is impressive and perhaps more than I have seen from any other broker to be honest. It is great to see Zacks Trade give you access to a plethora of content which can help you become a better trader.
- Dow Jones – Dow Jones news wires deliver premium in-depth business news, commentary and insight in real time
- Morningstar – Access research from Morningstar, one of the leading global providers of independent market analysis to help trader make more informed decisions
- Seeking Alpha – Seeking Alpha provides articles that cover a broad range of stocks and investment strategies from buy side investors and industry experts
- The Motley Fool – The Motley Fool is a popular financial and investing website with podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, mutual funds, and other premium investing services
- Thomson Reuters – Thomson Reuters provides a wide range of business-critical information and software with actionable insights into different markets
- Benzinga – Benzinga Professional is a source for breaking news headlines, including market earnings reports and rating coverage gathered from hundreds of research firms
Zacks Trade provides you with 24-hour access to the global economy with over 90+ international exchanges in 19 countries to trade on with competitive commission rates on stocks and ETFs starting from $1 (1¢ per share). The trading products offered include stocks, options, ETFs, bonds and mutual funds. I’m not too keen on the fact that they do not support futures, commodities, or forex (for purposes besides currency exchange).
- US Stocks & ETFs – from $1 ($0.01 per share, $3 minimum)
- Option Contracts – $1 for 1st contract + $0.75 per additional
- Mutual Funds – $27.50
- Bonds – From 1% * Face Value + $3 per bond
- Broker Assisted Trades – No extra fees
- Margin Rate – 5.4% or less depending on your account balance
There is the standard brokerage account type offered for trading that gives flexible access to all of the platforms and trading products offered.
There is a minimum amount of $2,500 for opening a cash account. For margin accounts, the required minimum to maintain is $2,000. I like how there are no account inactivity or maintenance fees. They also do not have any IRA Custodial fees. I did however find the minimum deposit requirement to be much higher as compared to other top brokers like Forex.com who have a $100 minimum deposit to get started.
Margin rates are competitive starting from around 5.4% (up to $100,000) or potentially lower depending on your account balance. Any balance greater than $3million has a margin rate of 4.2%.
If you want to transfer an account that is at least $5,000 over to Zacks Trade, they will cover the transfer fee for you, up to $150. You just need to fill in the account transfer reimbursement form and provide proof of the charge.
Start Paper Trading
If you want to start paper trading at first to get a feel for what they offer, you simply fill in your information on the brokers website to request a demo account. They will create a demo account pre-loaded with $1 Million in paper trading funds. Demo accounts are emailed within 1-2 business days and you will have access to them for 90 days. This is a great way to test the platforms and practice your trading strategies before making a financial commitment.
Zacks Trade has very knowledgeable customer support representatives available via online chat, telephone, and email. They are available Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM EST excluding during the market holidays. It would’ve been nice to see them offer their support services on the weekend as well. It is worth noting that Zacks Trade representatives are only able to discuss account specific information via telephone after you have successfully completed a security verification process. There is also a frequently asked question (FAQ) section that covers a range of general topics, including how to open an account and use the trading platforms.
Despite the many positive aspect of this broker, and there are plenty, I don’t like how there is a limited choice of methods for depositing and withdrawing funds from your trading account. This includes bank wire, ACH, and cheque. I believe it would be more convenient for some investors if they offered online payment systems such as Neteller, PayPal, and Skrill. Please note that some methods may only be available to specific countries. There may be some fees charged when using certain payment methods. For a better selection of funding methods, I suggest checking out FXChoice as an alternative.
I like how withdrawal requests are processed within the same day or next if outside working hours. Though I must admit that withdrawal times aren’t the fastest and 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. You can get 1 free withdrawal per month with any subsequent withdrawal in the same month being $1 for an ACH, $4 for a check and $10 for a wire transfer.
You may need to verify your account to remove limits on particular methods in some countries. As with most brokers, they strictly do not accept third-party payments. All funds deposited into your trading account must be under the same name as your Zacks Trade account.
Compare Broker Features
|This Broker||AvaTrade||IG||IC Markets|
|Regulated||ADGM FRSA, ASIC, BVIFSC, CBI, FFAJ, FSCA, IIROC, JFSA||ASIC, BaFin, CFTC, DFSA, FCA, FINMA, FMA, FSA, FSCA, JFSA, MAFF, MAS, METI, NFA||ASIC, CySEC, FSA, SCB|
|Commission||From $0||From $0||From $0|
|Instruments||Forex, Commodities, Crypto, Stocks, Indices, Options, Bonds, ETFs||Forex, Commodities, Crypto, Stocks, Indices, Options, Bonds, ETFs||Forex, Commodities, Crypto, Stocks, Indices, Bonds|
|Platforms||MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, AvaSocial, DupliTrade, ZuluTrade||MetaTrader 4, IG Platform, IG Progressive Web App, ProRealTime (PRT), L2 Dealer, FIX API||MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader|
|Funding||Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card, E-Wallets||Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card, E-Wallets||Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card, E-Wallets|
I am very impressed with Zacks Trade for so many reasons, primarily due to the quality of their trading platforms, research tools and market insights. I feel like they give the average retail trader convenient access to the markets in an environment that is built for professional and institutional trading. This is not something you see often. Most brokers usually try to cater for one or the other, whether that be beginners or seasoned pros. I would out them up there with the best USA brokers for anyone who wants to trade and invest in a great range of trading products with competitive fees and excellent support.