Generic trade is a specialty brokerage that only deals with futures and futures options. The brokerage has its head offices in Highland Park, Illinois from whence they have operated for close to two decades. The futures broker is nonetheless open to international trade and processes memberships from clients drawn from all over the world.
Generic trade has been around for close to two decades, during which time the brokerage positioned itself as a market leader in the deep discount futures and options trade. Generic Trade takes great pride in its low-cost services and markets itself as one of the most affordable and most progressive futures and options traders. To back this up, it relies heavily on its highly competitive trading fee that’s uniform for all types of clients and accounts, the integration of sophisticated trading tools within its futures trading platforms, and minimal bureaucratic trade procedures.
In this Generic Trade review, we will be examining the truths behind these bold claims. We start by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the brokerage and its latest trading platforms launch, alongside its effectiveness in futures trading before rating the nature of services availed here.
The Generic Trade US review should come in handy in helping answer your question of reliability and professionalism of the broker but also help you decide if they are the best futures broker to register with.
What can you trade?
Generic trade futures and futures options review
This Generic trade US review appreciates how this futures and options broker has leveraged advanced trading technologies to offer the best in class services. Commonly referred to as a specialty discount broker, Generic trade may be said to have been designed to help attend to futures and options traders looking for affordable platforms. It serves both local and international clients well, continuing to develop their trading platforms as can be seen by recent releases.
Throughout this Generic trade review, you will notice the emphasis the futures broker has given to some aspects of their operations over others. Some of the key features pronounced throughout this broker’s website revolve around affordability and more freedom with regards to account operation. Undoubtedly, Generic trade brokers maintain some of the lowest trading fees around. But even more significant is the fact that it doesn’t call for specific minimum deposits, minimum trading balances or impose maintenance/inactivity fees.
In exchange for the low cost and non-restrictive futures trading system, the generic trade system is deprived of key elements of successful trading. The lack of educational materials or easy-to-interact with trading features further means beginner traders will have to widen their knowledge base elsewhere should they trade here.
What did our traders think after reviewing the key criteria?
Generic trade fees
Generic trade specializes in futures and futures options implying that trading costs on the platform are commission-based. As earlier mentioned in this generic trade US review, the broker markets itself as one of the most affordable specialty platform for futures options for both US-based and international clients.
There are four different types of trading fees on the generic trade futures program. These include the uniform $0.59 commission per contract per side and the fees charged by the different exchanges as well as the National Futures Association (NFA) that ranges from $0.17 to $2.10 per contract per side. Generic trade clients that wish to access their suite of professional trading platforms – referred to as FireTip – will incur an additional $59 fixed monthly fee.
The suite gives these clients access to trading features and analysis tools not available on the basic version of Generic trade platform. If you need assistance in placing a trade, you can call one of the Generic trade customer support team members that will help you complete the transaction for a fixed $10 per transaction.
If the diversity of accounts hosted on the generic trade brokerage are anything to go by, the futures trader can be said to target all types of futures traders. And like we mentioned earlier in this review, the account opening process on the platform is relatively easy and straightforward. And none of these accounts carry a minimum account opening balance or operating minimums. These accounts include:
This by far is the most popular account operated by Generic trade brokers. It is your typical standard account and its owner or manager has the option of operating it on the basic generic trader platform or the professional trader platform.
The joint account is as good as the conventional standard broker account. On the generic trader platform, the only difference between an individual and a joint account is the fact that the latter can be owned and managed by two or more traders/investors.
Partnership and corporate account:
Virtually anyone can open the individual or joint accounts on generic trade brokerage. The partnership/corporate account is however specially designed for US-based businesses and entities that want to take advantage of tax deductions derived from their investments in Generic trade brokerage.
Trust and IRA account:
These accounts are also specially designed for US-based account IRA and Trust account holders. Trust and IRA are retirement accounts whose funds can be directed to alternative investments like the trade of futures and futures options via Generic trade. Traders with IRA and Trust accounts on Generic trade platform also stand to benefit from tax deductions and conservative investment strategies aimed at the protection of the invested capital.
In our review of Generic trade brokers, we find just that – generic. The company has a limited reach when it comes to trading platforms. While the rest of the industry players are constantly embracing as many trading platforms as possible to excite the different customer interests like the MetaTrader, NinjaTrader, automated trader algorithms and API keys, Generic Trade turns a blind on these technologies. With costs to trade being held at the same level for 13 years, are Generic Trade right to take this approach?
The company currently maintains three trader platforms. Granted, they are easy to use and include:
Generic trader online:
The generic trader online platform is freely available to all generic trade clients as a web trader. Our generic trade US review finds this online trader platform rather unique as it presents the trader with a simplistic one-stop shop for all their futures investment. Some of its key features include a real-time chart for available contracts, the account detail that gives a view of your account activities, and the order placement and order status pages where you can modify or cancel ongoing orders. It, however, lacks such important features as market analysis and risk management tools.
Generic trader professional:
Generic trader professional is a desktop app trader platform that compensates for the inefficiencies of the free generic trade online platform. In addition to all the trade features highlighted on the online trader platform, the generic trade professional has a highly advanced and customized live charting page that’s fitted with Bollinger, stochastics, and custom trend lines and pointers. It also features an order book, a live streaming news option, and an advanced trader tool that gives them an in-depth view of different markets. It, however, is only available as a subscription service that costs $59 per month.
Generic Mobile trader:
In addition to the online and desktop app trader platforms is a generic mobile trader that’s available on both Android and iOS versions. Simply put, it is an extension of the generic trader professional as it features virtually all the important trading tools highlighted on this desktop app. These include the advanced trader tool, the order screen (mobile version of order book), and live customized charts that feature a variety of market analysis tools like the Bollinger bands, MACD and different varieties of stochastics. And like the desktop app, the mobile trader app is available on a subscription basis and you will have to part with $59 per month to gain access.
Since we had last reviewed Generic Trade, there have been some developments on the trading platform side that warrant a fresh look. Notably, there are new trading platform versions that have been created from the ground up for mobile and desktop (incorporating Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, and Windows). You will find the trading suite working effectively as 2-in-1, with the option to select either the streamlined, or advanced version. The advanced version supports various levels of customisation options that you will not get on the simplified version, and this approach allows Generic Trade to appeal to traders with wider needs.
Features of Note
Brand New Charting Engine : Apart from the standard features you would expect from most platforms in the industry, you will also find support for Options & Spread charting. Generic Trader’s charting also allows you to both create and monitor custom formulas and indicators in real time across multiple markets.
Enhanced Customisation : If you would like to create formulas that ignore the past and only focus on current market conditions, or try to fit any number of charts as you like into one charting window, Generic Trade now gives you these options. It seems that what was once generic in nature, is now customisable with signals, indicators, and order strategies all able to be configured and even held on the brokers’ servers.
CME Group Event Contracts : one of few platforms to offer this.
Generic Trade website is hugely straightforward and easy to use. Unlike most of its competitors sites, that are riddled with numerous pages and sophisticated tabs, generic trade is simplistic and only features the most important aspects of their organization. On their website, you will only find five pages: “Home”, “Why Generic”, “Fees/Margins”, “FAQ” and “Contact Us” designed for individuals looking for deeper insights about the broker and the “login” and “Open Account” tabs for existing and new clients. Most reviewers have also reported satisfaction with the website’s load speeds and the direct-to-the-point approach of the website content.
Our generic trade US review also reveals the huge emphasis the trader has given to customer support. Some of its unique features in relation to customer support include a highly responsive and knowledgeable customer support team available 24/7. We tested each of the customer support options listed on the Generic trade website and none of our queries went unanswered.
Generic trade clients can access support via the live chat option available on the website or by following the futures broker on its Facebook and Twitter handles. They can also email their queries, raise a support ticket on the websites ‘Contact Us’ page, call or send a fax message. Interestingly, Generic trade is also open for walk-ins at their Highland Park offices.
Generic Trade is quite limited in their choice of payment method processing. It will only process one deposit method and two cash withdrawal methods.
Automated Clearing House (ACH):
You can fund your generic trade account with ACH deposits. The upside to this is that deposits are free and there are no minimum deposit amounts. On the flip side, however, you can only deposit a maximum of $10,000 within 60 days with a payment processing wait time of 5-7 days. Plus Generic Trade doesn’t process ACH withdrawals.
Bank wire transfer:
Bank wire deposits into Generic Trade are free of charge with no minimum or maximum deposit limits. The cash will reflect within one business day. There are no withdrawal limits but you will be charged a $40 withdrawal fee with cash reflecting on your bank account within 1-3 business days.
Transfer to another brokerage:
You are also free to transfer your invested capital with Generic Trade to another discounted broker. Generic trade charges a $100 facilitation fee for this.
Our Generic trade US review didn’t reveal any current or previous bonus or promotional offers availed by the futures broker. The only free product on the broker’s platform was the demo account. This gives traders access to all the three trading platforms availed by the broker, access to real-time quotes and charts as well as $50,000 in virtual currencies valid for two weeks.
Regulation and deposit protection
Generic Trade is licensed and regulated by the National Futures Association (NFA) as well as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Other customer data and deposit protection measures we observed in our review of the futures broker include the adoption of the SSL encryption technology and two-factor authentication for account logins. Customer deposits are maintained in separate bank accounts held with different Tier 1 banks across the country.
Generic Trade hasn’t received any major awards or recognitions for its contributions to the futures and futures options market.
We Asked Generic Trade
In our latest review update, we had requested some answers from Generic Trade on their position on a few topics. The following answers were provided Generic Trade President, Marc Nathan
In short, what are the core business values of Generic Trade?
“The founding concept for Generic Trade was pretty simple – develop a futures firm where everyday retail clients would have access to the same infrastructure, fees and technology as the institutional trader. The execution of the project was quite a bit more difficult however. You see, the reason that institutional firms can offer such incredible technology and low fees is because of the volume that their clientele trade and individuals are generally not comparable. We realized however that many of the ‘legacy’ firms, had tremendous expenses of old technologies, inefficient systems, poor organization, expensive brick & mortar operations and a cavalcade of brokers and salespeople to compensate. Also, they were attempting to be all things to all people. We arduously figured out ways to cut through all of those expenses. We found the best infrastructure available, along with integrated platform technology and made that the center of the equation. From there we decided to cater exclusively to traders of futures and options on futures, but more specifically those that were either proficient in trading or that were working with those that were (like mentors, trading schools, etc.). With that specific clientele we were able to eliminate all support that was not specifically designed to make the trading experience as efficient as possible. Also, most importantly from a cost perspective, we were able to avoid employing any brokers or salespeople. As far as we know, we are unique in this. Furthermore, we offer only our unique integrated trading, which includes platform, infrastructure, data, etc and avoid the dozens of platform and data setups for opening accounts. In many cases, people are able to apply for an account and begin trading the same day. If I were to answer, “what are the core business values of Generic Trade” in one word, I would say, ‘value’. Our goal is to offer the lowest costs for the best trading experience possible.”
How has Generic Trade continued to evolve, whilst keeping commission fixed over 13 years?
“When we started, we had the benefit of being able to leverage all of the new technology available, which was infinitely less expensive than technology from just a few years earlier. For example, when I was the director of a division for a legacy international firm, I was involved in the purchase of a then new ‘state of the art’ contact relationship management software system (CRM) and it cost over $1,000,000. Less than five years later, a system with similar capabilities was only a few dollars a user with much greater functionality. Some of the legacy companies are still paying for those systems! We learned from the mistakes made by our ‘forefathers’ in this industry and are continuously searching for the latest and greatest tech to run Generic Trade. Ironically, often times the newer the tech is better and much less expensive. We are constantly leveraging new technologies; much of which is not apparent to the client, but critically important nonetheless. Also, being incredibly popular helps to keep prices low.”
How does Generic Trade review which new features or functionalities to offer?
“This is the easiest question. We offer what our clients want. We are constantly asking how we can make their trading experience better. I even send out an email to every client asking this question when they first open the account. The greater the response to a particular feature or technology, the more effort is placed on that. Unfortunately we have a lot of requests to offer regular stock trading, since they would like their stock broker to function like us, but we feel by doing so it would have a significantly detrimental effect on our efficiency. Therefore removing the aspects that make us so appealing in the first place.”
Are there any plans to expand services in to new regions or territories?
“We have had several opportunities over the years to operate in Asia and Europe, but we have never been entirely comfortable that we would be able to retain our value proposition. With that said however, we do operate globally and have a tremendous clientele from Asia, Europe and pretty much anywhere that has an Internet connection. We specialize in US markets since we are able to have the best co-location for our servers. EUREX for example has restrictions for US companies that prevent these optimal opportunities. Asia is similar as well. So, there is a possibility that having a presence in Europe or Asia to specifically to trade those exchanges with the efficiency we do here, might one day be a possibility.”