Place Trade is a discount broker that also offers great financial guidance, making it a full-service broker. A major advantage of Place Trade is the number of offered market centres: traders can trade on more than 100 US-based and international markets and on thousands of instruments – all from a single trading account. Commissions and fees are very competitive as well.
In this review, we’ll cover all you need to know about Place Trade’s fee structure, markets, regulation, trading platforms, additional offers and more!
- Full-service broker (100+ market centres)
- Accepts foreign investors and traders
- Workstation offers advanced trading tools
- Member of FINRA, SIPC and MSRB
- 1. ETF Trading Offer: 100+ Market Centres and Trustworthy Financial Guidance
- 2. Exchanges and Trading Centres: Thousands of securities & Hundreds of Markets Covering 19 Countries
- 3. Trading Conditions: Low Commissions and Inactivity Fees
- 4. Trading Platform – Web-Based, Desktop-Based and Mobile Trading Apps
- 5. Usability of the Website – Out-dated design but plenty of useful information
- 6. Customer Support – Live Chat Only for Existing Clients
- 7. Methods of Payment – Funding and Withdrawing from Your Place Trade Account
- 8. Additional Offers – Award-Winning Educational Resources and Demo-Testing of Trading Platforms
- 9. Regulation & Deposit Protection – Member of FINRA, SIPC and MSRB
- 10. Awards – #3 Overall Best Online Broker, Best for Frequent Traders & Lowest Monthly Cost by Barron’s Magazine
- 11. Conclusion: Place Trade a Well Rounded Discount Broker
Trader Rating Total
North Carolina, USA (SIPC)
1.) ETF Trading Offer: 100+ Market Centres and Trustworthy Financial Guidance
Place Trade is a US-based full-service discount broker, which means the firm offers both advisory services and low-cost trade execution. Place Trade covers more than 100 markets, including 59 US markets and 57 international markets in Central America, Europe and Asia. There are thousands of mutual funds and ETFs, stocks, FX, fixed-income securities and options on offer that can be traded with 17 different currencies – all from a single trading account. This coverage of international markets and the broker’s financial guidance is what sets Place Trade apart from other discount brokerage houses, which are mostly focused on a single country or don’t offer advisory services.
As our broker comparison shows, Place Trade offers a number of different trading accounts, including Reg T Margin accounts, IRA accounts and Portfolio Margin accounts. Customers can also choose between individual trading accounts, joint accounts and trust accounts. Accounts can be opened with two application types: The FastTrack Application and the ProTrack Application. The FastTrack Application allows traders to open a trading account in record time, but only covers one market (e.g. stocks) in a single country, chosen by the customer. Once a FastTrack Application is processed, traders can simply add additional markets and countries through the ProTrack Application.
- Full-service discount broker
- Hundreds of market centres and thousands of securities
- FastTrack Application for fast account opening
2.) Exchanges and Trading Centres: Thousands of securities & Hundreds of Markets Covering 19 Countries
Place Trade covers a variety of US and international markets in more than 19 countries, tradeable in 17 different currencies. The broker also covers all major asset classes, including stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, FX, bonds and options.
Notable market centres in the United States include the Allianz and American Century Funds for mutual funds, the American Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, CBOE Stock Exchange for stocks, ETFs and indices, and the Boston Options Exchange for options trading, to name a few.
In Europe, Place Trade offers the German Frankfurt Stock Exchange, EUREX, XETRA, the Italian Borsa Italiana, the UK London Stock Exchange, the French Euronext France, among others. Notable Asia-Pacific markets include Australian, Indian, Japanese, South Korean and Hong Kong markets.
All market centres can be accessed directly from a single account, with fees starting at $0.01 per share and $0.75 per options contract. The availability of international markets is a welcoming feature of Place Trade and a major selling point, as investors can choose to diversify their funds across borders and asset classes. Combined with the broker’s advisory services, Place Trade has already a huge advantage compared to its major competitors.
- Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, FX, bonds and options on offer
- Place Trade covers 19 countries and 100+ market centres
- Specialized mutual fund and option exchanges included
3.) Trading Conditions: Low Commissions and Inactivity Fees
According to our ETF broker comparison, Place Trade has very competitive trading fees and commissions, starting at just $0.01 per share and $0.75 per options contract. The minimum a trader has to pay is $1.50 per order for stock trading, and $1.50 per order for options trading. This is still below industry standards, especially when taking into account the number of markets that Place Trade supports.
For larger orders, Place Trade charges either $0.01 per share or 1% of the total trade value, whatever is lower. For example, if a trader buys 100 shares per $10, which equals to a trade value of $1,000, the total trading cost would be $1.50 (minimum to charge). Buying 200 shares per $20 would equal to $4,000, one percent of which represents $40. Since $0.01 per share totals to $2, which is still less than $40, the trader would have to pay $2 for that order.
Nevertheless, Place Trade has a $10 minimum of trading commissions that a trader has to generate during a month. By the end of the month, Place Trade will charge the difference between the actual trading costs and the $10 monthly minimum. If a trader paid $8 in trading costs during a month, the broker will charge an additional $2 from the trader’s account.
- Minimum commission $1.50 per order or 1% trade value, whatever is lower
- Fee per options contract is $0.75
- Mutual Funds trades are charged at $19.95
4.) Trading Platform – Web-Based, Desktop-Based and Mobile Trading Apps
Place Trade offers a range of very powerful trading platforms, catering to both casual and advanced traders. The platforms come in the form of a downloadable software (TWS platform), a web-based platform (Place Trade WebTrade), and in the form of mobile apps for Android, iOS and BlackBerry smartphones and tablets.
The broker offers demo-access to all trading platforms, so traders can take a look at the various features of the platforms in a risk-free environment.
While the WebTrader platform has a limited functionality compared to the TWS platform, it still supports all tools which might be necessary for the casual trader. Account information is updated in real-time, traders can create their own watchlists, a market scanner is provided and options can be grouped by simple option chains. The Market Pulse tab provides basic information on the performance of fixed-income, equity and FX markets in supported countries.
The Place Trader WorkStation (TWS) is a downloadable version of the trading platform which features advanced trading tools for professional traders. The platform provides direct market access with real-time and fully customizable charts, market news and alerts, real-time account data and dozens of technical indicators.
- Place Trade offers web-based, desktop-based a mobile trading apps for Android, iOS and BlackBerry platforms
- Place Trader WorkStation (TWS) is the most-advanced platform of the broker, featuring advanced charting and trade management tools
- Web-based WebTrader platform caters to casual traders
5.) Usability of the Website – Out-dated design but plenty of useful information
Place Trade’s website is perhaps the weakest point of the broker, mainly because of its out-dated design and large amount of sales pitches. Put that aside, and a customer should have no problems navigating through the website as the main elements are well-arranged.
There are 5 main tabs at the top of the website: Why Place Trade, Pricing, Trading Technology, Products and Services & Education. The Pricing tab has 10 sub-links, with some of them even going deeper with sub-sub-links. While this can create initial confusion, fees are well-documented and highlighted on the top of the page.
The Trading Technology tab hosts everything about trading platforms, order types and third-party integration guides. All trading platforms can be easily demo-tested in a risk-free environment with last week’s trading data.
The Products & Services tab groups all asset classes and market centres that Place Trade offers, and the Education tab includes everything from Frequently Asked Questions, account management tips, to reporting guides and more.
Legal information and terms of business can be easily found at the bottom of the webpage and on the Why Place Trade tab (About Place Trade sub-link).
- A bit out-dated webpage design
- Detailed information grouped into 5 main tabs
- Comprehensive educational resources
6.) Customer Support – Live Chat Only for Existing Clients
Our broker comparison showed that Place Trade can be contacted by new and existing users in a variety of ways. The broker offers a toll-free telephone line, e-mail support, and live chat support. Unfortunately, the live chat option can only be used by existing clients of Place Trade and not by site visitors, which is something I would like to see improved as live chat is one of the most convenient and fastest contact options.
The broker’s Customer Service Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM ET. Place Trade has also an emergency line for urgent issues occurring after hours, which is a welcoming feature not seen by many discount brokers.
Catering to international investors, Place Trade has also regional support centres located throughout America, Europe and Asia. A complete list of telephone numbers for the following countries can be found on Place Trade’s website: US, Canada, Europe, Russia, Hong Kong, Australia, India, China and Japan.
The Customer Service page of Place Trade’s website is quite cluttered with useful – and less useful – information. The page states multiple times to call a particular phone number only if you’re an existing client of Place Trade. I’ve seen more elegant solutions on other brokers’ websites.
- Toll-free telephone line and e-mail support
- Live chat only for existing clients
- No on-site contact form
7.) Methods of Payment – Funding and Withdrawing from Your Place Trade Account
Place Trade supports a number of ways to fund your trading account, including wire transfers, ACH electronic transfers (initiated at Place Trade or at your bank), checks, online bill payments, direct rollovers and Trustee-to-Trustee transfers.
Wire transfers can take up to four business days, depending on the bank you’re using. Non-US banks are usually at the longer end of the range. Once your wire transfer is processed and credited to your account, there is a three business days Withdrawal Hold Period during which you’re unable to withdraw funds. While Place Trade doesn’t charge for incoming wire transfers, your financial institutions may impose fees for the transfer.
ACH electronic transfers received by 14:00 ET will be credited to the trading account after 4 business days. The limit for ACH deposits is $100,000 over a period of seven business days. In case a client doesn’t have a security device from Place Trade, ACH deposits are limited to $20,000 or less.
Clients can also use checks to fund their account. In that cast, Place Trade will usually credit your trading account after a credit hold of seven business days, while Bank Checks are credited immediately.
Withdrawals can be made the same way used for deposits, with the fees depending on your base currency.
- Place Trade accepts wires, ACH transfers, checks, online bill payments, direct rollovers and Trustee-to-Trustee transfers
- No fees for account funding
- One withdrawal per month is free of charge
8.) Additional Offers – Award-Winning Educational Resources and Demo-Testing of Trading Platforms
Place Trade offers a well-round Education site that covers everything from FAQs and account funding to risk management tips and webinars. The FAQ section is well-organized and hosts answers to the most common questions.
The broker’s award-winning education centre provides webinars (live and pre-recorded), investor education courses, interactive tours, apps, trading tools and widgets and more, but only to existing clients. The broker’s flash-based courses and interactive tours explain how to use trading products, platforms and tools. There are also various educational articles, covering Options, ETFs, stocks and fixed-income securities.
The Education site also hosts How to Videos on how to use the broker’s trading platforms, order types, option chains and more. There is also a section on Tax Information and Reporting, explaining different tax topics and describing the worksheets and reports that Place Trade provides, including the Annual Statement and Dividend Report.
Under the Trading Technology tab, prospective clients can demo-test all trading platforms and get familiar with their trading tools before opening a real account. The demo-environment uses price-data from last week’s trading and the demo-orders are not being executed. As our broker comparison showed, you don’t have to sign-up with your e-mail address in order to demo-test the trading platforms.
- Comprehensive educational resources
- How-To videos, webinars and tax information guides
- Demo-testing of trading platforms available
9.) Regulation & Deposit Protection – Member of FINRA, SIPC and MSRB
Place Trade is a member of FINRA – the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority – and SIPC – the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. Being regulated by FINRA, Place Trade has to abide by a set of industry requirements, including reporting standards, capital requirements and management experience. Place Trade is also registered with the MSRB – the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.
Client funds are protected by the SIPC up to $500,000, with a cash sub-limit of $250,000. In addition to SIPC, Place Trade has also an agreement with Lloyds to protect up to $30 million per each client account, with a cash sub-limit of $900,000. This ensures that your funds are safe even in the case Place Trade ceases business. However, the protection doesn’t protect against the decline of the market value of securites.
The broker’s website uses the standard http:// protocol which doesn’t encrypt information sent through the website. However, the broker offers free of charge a physical security card (or a Smartphone Application that generates a code) as part of a secure login system. The card generates a code that is used to login to your trading account, along with your username and password, adding an additional layer of security to your account.
- Place Trade is a member of FINRA, SIPC and MSRB
- Additional Lloyds policy protects up to $30 million per client, with a cash sub-limit of $900,000
- Physical security card (or Smartphone App) adds additional layer of security to your account
10.) Awards – #3 Overall Best Online Broker, Best for Frequent Traders & Lowest Monthly Cost by Barron’s Magazine
Place Trade has received numerous awards for its trading conditions, market research, educational resources and customer service, making it one of the best ETF brokers around. Barron’s awarded Place Trade 4.5 stars in its 2014 Best Online Brokers review, ranking it as #3 Overall Best Online Broker and Best for Frequent Traders. In the review, Barron’s named Place Trade as Best Online Broker for Trading and Technology (4.8 stars), Usability (4.6 stars), Mobile (4.7 stars), Portfolio Analysis & Reports (5.0 stars), Research Amenities (4.8 stars) and Customer Service and Education (4.8 stars). Barron’s noted that Place Trade’s “friendly, attentive service complements IB platform.”
In 2013 Best Online Brokers review, Barron’s also gave Place Trade 4.5 stars and in the category Best for Frequent Traders and Lowest Monthly Cost.
In addition to the awards, Place Trade’s CEO, Sarah M. Place, was also awarded CFO of the Year by Business Leader Magazine in 2010.
Better Business Bureau gave Place Trade an A+ rating.
The received awards showcase the areas in which Place Trade offers the most value to its clients, ranging from lowest monthly cost to advanced trading platforms and top-notch market research.
- #3 Overall Best Online Broker by Barron’s
- Best for Frequent Traders & Lowest Monthly Cost by Barron’s
- A+ rating by Better Business Bureau
Conclusion: Place Trade a Well Rounded Discount Broker
Place Trade is a well-rounded discount broker, offering exceptional portfolio analysis, market reports and financial guidance for its clients. Traders are able to trade on over 100 market centres from all over the world – all from a single trading account! The broker has regional customer service centres located in America, Europe and Asia.
There are not many full-service brokers with trading fees starting at $0.01 per share while providing access to thousands of US and international market securities. In addition, the broker’s trading platform – TWS – is an extremely powerful platform that caters to professional traders, featuring advanced trading tools, trade management tools and real-time price-data.
The broker has been awarded numerous awards, including #3 Overall Best Online Broker, Best for Frequent Traders and Lowest Monthly Cost by Barron’s Magazine, and holds an A+ rating by Better Business Bureau. If you’re looking for a full-service broker, which beside low-cost trade execution also provides top-notch portfolio advices, Place Trade might be a great broker for you.
- Low-cost trade execution
- Full-service broker
- Wide choice of international markets
- Powerful trading platforms
- Website a bit out-dated
- No live chat support