Lightspeed is an online trading brokerage that offers traders the ability to trade options and futures on a wide array of financial assets. The brokerage caters specifically to professional active traders with a high trading volume and an average of over 1000 trades per year. Lightspeed was founded in 1994 and is owned and operated by Lime Brokerage LLC. The brokerage is US based with their headquarters located in New York at 1001 Avenue of the Americas, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10018.
- Licensed and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
- A trading broker for professional active traders with a higher than average trade volume.
- Lightning fast execution speeds, favourable trading conditions, and low commissions and fees.
- Exceptional trading technology and highly reliable security.
- 1. 1) Futures Broker Trading Offer: A Broker for Professional Traders
- 2. 2) Futures Trading Cost: Incredibly Low Commissions for Active Traders
- 3. 3) Accounts: An Account Type for All Traders
- 4. 4) Trading Platform
- 5. 5) Usability of the Website: Extremely Well Designed
- 6. 6) Customer Support: Excellent Support but Limited Options
- 7. 7) Methods of Payment: Limited Payment Methods
- 8. 8) Additional Offers: Extensive Educational Resources
- 9. 9) Regulation & Deposit Protection: Very Safe & Secure
- 10. 10) Awards: Award Winning Trading Broker
- 11. Conclusion: An Excellent Futures Broker for Active Traders
Trader Rating Total
$0,60 per contract
$0,60 per contract
Yes, Intuitive, advanced trading tools, educational resources
1) Futures Broker Trading Offer: A Broker for Professional Traders
The Lightspeed online trading brokerage offers active day traders institutional grade trading services with their lightning fast execution speeds, ultra-low latency, high liquidity, and customizable trading technology. Traders at Lightspeed receive premium brokerage services including adverse risk management tools, low commission rates, superior customer service, and sophisticated trading tools and technology. The brokerage offers the trading of options and futures on a wide array of financial assets across the global markets. Traders from around the world can trade with Lightspeed and they support the English, Spanish, and Chinese languages.
Lightspeed offers their clients a variety of account types for active traders. The primary accounts offered include; Regulation T Market Account, Portfolio Margin Account, Separately Managed Account (SMA), DVP/RVP Account, and a CMTA Agreements Account. Other trading accounts include; Individual/Joint, Partnerships, Corporate, LLC, Registered Hedge Fund, Trust, and IRAs—Traditional, Roth, and SEPs accounts.
In comparison with other best futures brokers, LightSpeed is far more catered towards professional active traders and accommodates their needs specifically. You can compare their trading offer with other brokers on our futures broker comparison page.
- Wide selection of account types to accommodate the needs of different active traders.
- Trade options and futures on a wide array of tradeable products across the global financial markets.
- Institutional grade trading services with high liquidity and lightning fast execution speeds.
2) Futures Trading Cost: Incredibly Low Commissions for Active Traders
During our review of Lightspeed, it became evident that traders benefit from very low commissions and fees compared with the industry standards. Professional active traders receive even further discounted commissions for a higher monthly trading volume. Traders who do not meet the trading volume threshold of over 5000 futures contracts per month, pay a commission of $0.60 per futures contract. Traders who do trade over 500 futures contracts per month benefit from incredibly low commission rates. For instance, see the active trader commission rates for different monthly trading volumes below.
Over 100,000 contracts per month: $0.25 per contract
Over 50,000 contracts per month: $0.30 per contract
Over 10,000 contracts per month: $0.35 per contract
Over 2000 contracts per month: $0.45 per contract
Over 500 contracts per month: $0.50 per contract
Under 500 contracts per month: $0.60 per contract
While the above commissions are incredibly low for futures trading, traders may be subject to additional fees as well. For instance, traders with an account balance under $15,000 will be charged a monthly minimum $25 commission fee. Also, all routing/rebates and regulatory fees are charged separately.
- Incredibly low commissions for active traders when trading futures.
- Dynamic fee structure that rewards high volume traders.
- Overall commissions and fees are very competitive with the industry standards.
3) Accounts: An Account Type for All Traders
Traders at Lightspeed can choose from more than just one Lightspeed brokerage account. In fact, traders have 14 different account types to choose from. Though Lightspeed primarily caters to professional active traders, they do feature account types for novice traders as well. See below, an overview of the 5 primary account types available to traders.
Regulation T Margin Account
This type of account allows traders to borrow up to 50% of the purchase price of securities that can be purchased on margin, which is known as the initial margin.
Portfolio Margin Account
This account type follows the SEC portfolio margining rules, which allows margin requirements to reflect the actual risk of the trader’s portfolio more accurately. Clients who hold this account type may increase their leverage beyond the 4 to 1 intraday or the 2 to 1 overnight margin.
Separately Managed Account (SMA)
This account type is for clients who want a customized trading solution to meet their specific investment needs.
Delivery versus Payment, or Receipt versus Payment. The Lightspeed brokerage offers a range of DVP services.
CMTA Agreements Account
This account type provides the client with an agreement in which they can enter derivative trades with a limited number of different brokerages and later join these trades with one brokerage house for clearing.
- Wide array of account types to choose from.
- High minimum initial deposit of $25,000.
- Accounts can be opened entirely online.
4) Trading Platform
Our review of Lightspeed shines light on their proprietary web-based trading platform, the RealTick platform. The RealTick trading platform was built and designed specifically for active futures traders, registered investment advisors, and hedge funds. The platform offers sophisticated trading tools, charting and analytics, real-time data, unrivalled access to liquidity, and more. The platform provides a seamless trading experience with lightning fast order execution speeds and intuitive navigation and usage tools. Also, to accommodate different types of traders, Lightspeed features two versions of the RealTick trading platform, the RealTick Pro and the RealTick Express.
This trading platforms requires a $325 monthly software fee and is designed for professional and institutional traders. The platform comes complete with sophisticated charting with fundamental research, advanced order entry with real-time global data, multi-account access for IRAs, and countless other features.
This version of the RealTick trading platform requires a $125 monthly software fee and is a value-oriented alternative to the full featured pro version. The platform supports many of the same features as the pro version, only slightly less advanced and in-depth. Traders have access to alarms and alerts, integrated add-ons, advanced charting and scanning tools, and more.
- Two sophisticated proprietary RealTick trading platforms.
- Platforms designed for professional active traders.
- High monthly software fees for both versions of the platform.
5) Usability of the Website: Extremely Well Designed
From our in-depth review of Lightspeed, we spent extensive time navigating the brokers website and can confidently say that it’s intuitively designed, very easy to use, and packed with helpful information. The website utilizes two colours in their overall design, blue and yellow. The website features a header menu at the top of each page complete with a drop-down menu for each tab. Through this header menu and drop-down menus, viewers of the website can easily find what they are looking for as there are multiple pages to choose from. Each page on the website is designed to provide the viewer with the most important information regarding the subject the page is about. Also, each page has additional links for viewers who want to go more into depth on the subject. All in all, the website is extremely well designed and provides an exceptional viewer experience.
Compared with many other online futures trading websites, Lightspeed comes out on top. See our future brokers comparison page of the best futures brokers to see for yourself.
- Packed with important and useful information.
- Intuitively designed and very easy to use.
- Two primary colours are blue and yellow which are very easy on the eyes.
6) Customer Support: Excellent Support but Limited Options
Is Light speed good when it comes to their level of customer care and support? The answer is yes, in fact they are exceptional. Support representatives can only be reached via telephone and email as they do not offer live chat or in-person support. However, these contact methods or more than sufficient as support representatives are very quick to respond and provide professional and helpful responses. Customer support is available Monday – Friday from 7am to 8pm EST. While these hours are limited compared to some brokers, if contacted between these hours, customers are sure to find what they are looking for from the support reps.
Additional methods of support include contact and interaction with support representatives via the brokers various social media channels including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. Unfortunately, Lightspeed does not offer traders any other methods of customer support. Traders don’t even have access to an FAQ page which was quite surprising. However, the Lightspeed website provides traders with a wide array of information that should answer most questions a trader might have.
- Support representatives can be reached via email and telephone.
- Clients can interact with Lightspeed via their social media channels.
- Very few additional methods of support.
7) Methods of Payment: Limited Payment Methods
During our Lightspeed brokerage review we discovered that the brokerage only supports three payment methods for deposits and withdrawals. While this may seem like a limited number of payment methods, it’s important to note that most professional futures trading brokers offer a limited amount of methods. Therefore, the offering of three payment methods is nothing out of the ordinary. See below, the available deposit and withdrawal payment methods.
Electronic Funds Transfer (ACH)
This payment method is free for both deposits and withdrawals and is generally completed within 2 business days.
This payment method transfers funds directly between your bank account and brokerage account and are completed within the same business day if done before 2:30pm EST. Deposits via wire transfer are free of charge and withdrawals cost $20 for domestic wire transfers and $50 for international wire transfers.
Traders can deposit or withdrawal funds by mailing a certified check. Checks generally take between 3 – 5 business days to be deposited or withdrawn and have no payment fees.
- Free deposits and withdrawals with the ACH and Check payment methods.
- ACH, Wire Transfers, and Check payment methods supported.
- Same day deposits and withdrawals supported with Wire Transfers.
8) Additional Offers: Extensive Educational Resources
With our review of Lightspeed we discovered an extensive array of educational resources to help their clients trade better. Traders have access to numerous exclusive trading strategies, product tutorials, a trading glossary, various online classes, live webinars, and more. The educational material is very well thought out and provides comprehensive information of real value.
More additional offers by the lightspeed futures trading broker include an “Active Trading Blog” with numerous up to date articles and blog posts about what’s going on in the online trading industry and the global financial markets. Also, trader have access to a news section with market moving news and developments and offerings at the Lightspeed futures trading broker. One more additional offer we should mention is the offering of a live demo trading account. With the demo account traders can use virtual money to practice trading futures and test out the Lightspeed trading platforms.
- An extensive education centre with comprehensive lessons, tutorials, trading strategies, webinars, a glossary, and more.
- An “Active Trading Blog” and market moving news section that’s updated daily.
- Access to a live demo account so that traders can practice trading futures and using the Lightspeed trading platforms.
9) Regulation & Deposit Protection: Very Safe & Secure
The Lightspeed futures trading brokerage is very safe and secure as the brokerage is licensed and regulated by two of the most prominent regulatory authorities in the entre financial industry. Lightspeed is licensed and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). These regulations ensure Lightspeed employs the latest and greatest security measures and best business practices to provide a fair, transparent and secure trading environment.
In addition to the licensing and regulation, the Lightspeed broker is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). This corporation provides each trader’s account with coverage up to $25,500,000 at no charge. As well, Lightspeed’s founding company has purchased from Lloyd’s of London an excess SIPC bond that provides additional coverage for up to $25,000,000 in cash and securities for each client account. Therefore, traders can rest assured that they are very well covered in the unlikely event of broker insolvency or loss of funds due to fraudulent practices.
- Licensed and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
- A member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).
- Very safe and secure by implementing the latest and greatest security measures.
10) Awards: Award Winning Trading Broker
The Lightspeed futures trading broker is most definitely a premium online trading broker that is highly recognized by professional active traders from around the world. As well, it’s not only recognized as a premium broker by traders, but by notable financial trading publications as well. Lightspeed has won numerous awards throughout their many years of experience and continue to win awards today. For instance, Lightspeeds most recent and notable awards include; the fintech breakthrough award in the category of “Best Online Broker” by SBWire, the “Best Broker for Frequent Trading” award by Barron’s, the “No. 1 in Active Trading” award by StockBrokers.com, and countless others from recognized publications.
Overall, the Lightspeed broker consistently receives accolades and awards from industry leading financial publications. As well, professional traders and investors praise the Lightspeed trading broker when ever they can. When searching for user reviews of Lightspeed on reputable broker review sites, nearly every review is very positive with nothing but good things to say.
- Consistently wins accolades and awards by multiple financial publications year after year.
- Rated highly among professional traders on user review websites
- Excellent reputation in the online trading industry for over 20 years.
Conclusion: An Excellent Futures Broker for Active Traders
As our Lightspeed brokerage review comes to an end, it’s evident that this futures broker is highly competent and very well suited for professional active traders. Lightspeed features unparalleled futures trading technology, tools, and platforms for their traders to use. Traders have access to a wide array of additional offers that are curated to help them trade better and be more successful. The brokerage features some of the lowest trading fees in the entire futures trading industry and rewards high volume traders with even further discounted commissions. Lightspeed clients benefit from professional customer support that provide premium support services and additional resources. Also, traders need not to worry about the security of their funds as Lightspeed is highly regulated and insured up to millions of dollars. The overall quality of Lightspeed is premium, making the brokerage an excellent choice for professional active traders.
- Customizable trading platform.
- Special day trader prices.
- Competitive standard commissions.
- Wide range of educational resources.
- Monthly fee to access advanced Lightspeed trader platform.
- $10,000 minimum deposit