PROS / TradeKing offers a low, flat-rate trade fee.
CONS / The online trading platform is not customizable.
VERDICT / With low trading costs and an easy-to-use platform, TradeKing provides good value for experienced traders but lacks a trading simulator or investment training.
TradeKing is an online brokerage that offers a variety of trading options and platforms to help you build your portfolio. TradeKing Classic is the platform we reviewed, and it offers a great selection of investment tools, charts, graphs and calculators to help you manage your account and buy stocks online. The education center has free resources to teach you about different types of investments and trading styles. It also has an active trading network to connect you with other traders to exchange ideas and get advice for stock trading online.
TradeKing is a good choice for both beginning and experienced traders. It receives our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award because its low prices and range of investment opportunities make it a strong choice in online stock trading.
Platform & Tools
The online platform, TradeKing Classic, is web-based and intuitive to use. While the platform is easy to use, you also have less control over the layout. You can shift around sections but can't add new watchlists, option chains or other gadgets that other services offer.
You have access to resources on the same site as your investment platform. A wide variety of investment and trading tools are available to help you make the most of your investments. These tools help you track movements in the market and view your account information in detail.
Market snapshots and stats provide both real-time and long-term views into the market. Snapshots show you quick pictures of what is happening in the market, while stats chart the 200-day averages of stocks. Other tools allow you to get in-depth looks at possible investments by showing company profiles and financial reports. With these tools, you can see company equity, profit margins, returns on assets and business descriptions – information that is vital when you are considering putting your money into a company. The watchlist allows you to monitor investments you are interested in, in real time. You can also get streaming quotes.
TradeKing offers technical analysis and research reports to help you gauge future movements in the market, and the company provides complex information in chart form to make it easy to understand. You can customize several interactive charts so that you easily see the data you want to view.
TradeKing offers more investment options than most online trading services. In addition to offering basic choices, like stock trading, ETFs, bonds and options, TradeKing offers trading on the international stock exchange and forex trading.
A mobile app is available for both iPhone and Android. You have access to your accounts and portfolio, and you can create charts, watchlists, option chains and alerts. In terms of trading, you can complete standard stock trade and single or multi-leg options. One drawback of TradeKing's mobile app is that it doesn't allow you to transfer funds into your account. You must fund accounts through the desktop platform.
Fees & Commissions
TradeKing offers a low, flat-rate fee of $4.95 for stock, ETF and option trading. Its trade fee is not tiered, meaning you get the same price no matter how much or how little you trade. Options come with a standard per-contract fee, which is $0.65 and lower than what many other services charge. The cost of an option exercise is $9.95 and assignment is $4.95.
Broker-assisted trades are $20.00, and there is a non-activity fee of $50.00 if you make no commissioned trades in a 12 month period and if your household account is less than $2,500. Margin interest rates are average, starting at 8.75 percent for balances under $5,000 and dropping to as low 4.00 percent for accounts with balances greater than $500,000.
Education & Resources
The education center is full of useful information about investments, investing styles and investing terms. You can choose the information you want to learn about based on your level of trading experience or by topic.
You can learn basics about investing by reading short, comprehensive guides and blogs written by other traders. A key feature in the beginners section is the Featured Rookie Strategy, which gives you thorough breakdowns and explanations of investment strategies. These guides can even be useful to seasoned investors curious about using a new strategy. If you need additional assistance with your trading, you can access customer service agents during normal business hours over the phone, via email and through live chat.
TradeKing doesn't offer simulated trading as one of its training tools. This would be helpful for testing strategies and getting familiar with the trading platform.
TradeKing's non-tiered rates and uncomplicated pricing make it a good value among online brokers. You also get useful research information and analytical tools, and you have access to educational resources and customer service if you need it. With TradeKing's strong trading and investment tools, you can analyze your options carefully and then execute with precision, making this one of the best online stock trading choices.