TradeStation is an award-winning online trading brokerage that provides traders from around the world with top of the line trading services with their proprietary suite of trading platforms. TradeStation has over 35 years of experience as they were founded in 1982 by Monex Group, Inc, and now operates under the trading name of TradeStation Group Inc. While TradeStation is entirely web-based, they are based out of the United States with their headquarters located at TradeStation, 8050 SW 10th Street, Plantation, FL 33324.
- Licensed and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
- Exceptional array of advanced trading tools and features via their proprietary trading platform.
- Wide array of tradeable products across the global financial markets.
- Very reasonable and competitive fees and commissions on all tradeable assets.
- 1. Futures Broker Trading Offer: An Exceptional Trading Experience
- 2. Futures Trading Cost: Competitive Fees & Commissions
- 3. Accounts: Variety of Accounts
- 4. Trading Platform: Sophisticated Trading Tools and Features
- 5. Usability of the Website: Simple and Complete
- 6. Customer Support: Quality Support You Can Count On
- 7. Methods of Payment: Limited Payment Methods
- 8. Additional Offers: TradeStation University & Market Insights
- 9. Regulation & Deposit Protection: Highly Regulated & Very Reliable
- 10. Awards: Highly Awarded Trading Brokerage
- 11. Conclusion: A Competent and Reliable Futures Trading Broker
Trader Rating Total
$1,50 per contract
$1,50 per contract
1) Futures Broker Trading Offer: An Exceptional Trading Experience
In our TradeStation brokerage review you will discover all this lucrative trading brokerage has to offer, and they have a lot. TradeStation services traders from around the world and primarily adheres to the needs of professional and advanced traders rather than beginners. They offer traders the opportunity to trade a wide array of investable products including Equities, ETFs, CFDs, Futures, Options, Forex, Mutual Funds, Bonds, and Commodities. TradeStation clients can competently trade these financial assets on one of TradeStation’s award winning proprietary trading platforms.
Also, not only does TradeStation feature sophisticated trading platforms to trade these assets, but favourable trading conditions with tight spreads and low commissions. The brokerage also features an array of account types to suite different trader’s needs. For instance, traders can choose from an Individual or Custodial Account or multiple different Joint, IRA, and Entity Accounts. All account types are for serious traders only as TradeStation primarily adheres to the needs of professional or advanced traders.
- A wide array of tradeable products available to trade across the global financial markets.
- Traders have a wide selection of sophisticated trading accounts to meet their investment needs.
- Favourable trading conditions for professional or advanced traders and investors.
2) Futures Trading Cost: Competitive Fees & Commissions
During our review of TradeStation, it became evident that they offer some of the lowest fees and commissions for the trading of Futures in the entire Futures trading industry. For instance, traders only pay $1.50 per contract, per side for futures options and futures contracts. Also, they have free access to premium tools, real-time data and have no software fees. Additional fees include the NFA regulatory fee for each exchange the futures are offered on. This fee is generally $0.02 per contract for non-members of the exchange and are even lower for members. Also, traders may be subject to paying standard exchange and overnight fees on futures options and contracts as well. See below a tiered plan offered by TradeStation Futures trading:
Per Contract, Per Side: $0.25 $0.45 $0.65 $1.00 $1.20
Monthly Contracts: > 20,000 10,001-20,000 1,001-10,000 301-1,000 < 300
With the tiered Futures trading plans mentioned above, they are subject to an additional $99.95 per month if the account does not meet the minimum trade activity. Also, these accounts are subject to a $50 per year account inactivity fee.
- Low and competitive futures trading fees and commissions.
- Traders only pay $1.50 per contract if they are not on a tiered futures trading plan.
- Tiered futures trading plans reward active traders with lower commissions.
3) Accounts: Variety of Accounts
While TradeStation is primarily geared towards serving more advanced or professional traders, they still do offer a wide array of accounts to choose from. For instance, traders can choose from an Individual, Custodial, Joint, IRA, or Entity account type. See below, an overview of these account types and accounts offered.
This is the standard account type offered by TradeStation and is meant for the average retail trader. The account is individually owned and managed by the account holder.
This account is the same as an Individual account, only it is meant for traders under the age of 18 – 21, depending on where the trader is from.
This account type has two different accounts to choose from within it; a Joint with Right of Survivorship account and a Joint Tenants-in-Common account. These two accounts are owned by two or more individuals.
This account type has four different accounts to choose from; Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, and a Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (“SIMPLE”) IRA. Overall, these accounts are retirement accounts with tax benefits and conservative investment strategies.
This account type has six different accounts to choose from; Corporate, General Partnership, Limited Partnership, Trust, Limited Liability Company, and Sole Proprietorship. Overall, these types of accounts apply to US business entities.
- Traders have an extensive array of account types to choose from.
- High minimum initial deposit of $5000 for TradeStation futures trading.
- Futures trading accounts can be opened quickly and easily.
4) Trading Platform: Sophisticated Trading Tools and Features
Is TradeStation good when it comes to the trading platform, tools and features offered by them? The answer is yes, they are phenomenal. TradeStation is not only an online trading brokerage, but a technology and software development company with a wide array of sophisticated trading platforms and trading tools developed by them.
Traders have access to a proprietary desktop trading platform as well as web based and mobile trading platforms. All platforms deliver the power, speed, and flexibility that professional traders need to succeed. For instance, the TradeStation platform features dynamic market scanning tools, customizable charting, fast and reliable trade execution, fully automated trading, and advanced order management software.
As well, TradeStation features premium trading tools in which professional and experienced traders will enjoy. Such features include the RadarScreen® scanner that finds trading opportunities in real-time. The Matrix market depth window that indicates when to get into or out of trades. As well, the OptionStation Pro platform with visually informative options chains that highlight your strategy’s breakevens and the expiration’s expected moves.
- Wide range of sophisticated trading platforms and tools for professional traders.
- Desktop, web based, and mobile trading platforms.
- Automated trading functionality, fully customizable charts, advanced technical indicators and scanners.
5) Usability of the Website: Simple and Complete
During our review of TradeStation, we analysed all aspects and features of their website and can confidently say that it is very well designed and easy to use. While the TradeStation brokerage is very advanced, the website keeps things simple. The website features a main header menu containing 6 options to choose from. At the bottom of the site, traders will find a footer with links to additional information about TradeStation and their services. It’s very easy to find what you are looking for as TradeStation only presents the most necessary information on their site and is very well organized.
The website utilizes only two primary colours, blue and orange with a white background and black text for generic content. The website is easy on the eyes and intuitively designed with the most important information and content catching your eye and gaining your attention. Traders will find detailed information on all of the investment products offered, trading platforms and tools, fees and commissions, account types, education, and additional resources.
- Intuitively designed and very well organized.
- Excellent colour scheme that’s easy on the eyes.
- All of the most essential information is easy to find and read.
6) Customer Support: Quality Support You Can Count On
The level of customer care and support provided by TradeStation is very good. Traders can contact TradeStation Futures trading support representatives 24 hours a day, from Sunday 5:00 p.m. to Friday 6:00 p.m. ET. Support reps can be reached via telephone, email, live chat, and through various social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and Instagram. Support representatives are generally very quick to respond to any inquiries they receive, and they have been reported to provide friendly and professional responses.
Additional methods of support include an extensive FAQ page found on TradeStation’s website. Here, traders will find in-depth answers to a variety of questions regarding accounts, software, tradeable products, futures, and more. Also, the website in general has loads of helpful information to get you started in the right direction.
Overall, TradeStation’s level of customer care and support is relative to other online trading brokerages. See our best futures brokers comparison page for our futures broker customer support comparison.
- Support reps can be reached via telephone, email, live chat, and through various social media channels.
- Support reps are quick to respond and very friendly and professional with responses.
- Extensive support resources such as an FAQ page and general website content.
7) Methods of Payment: Limited Payment Methods
As with most Futures trading brokerages, TradeStation provides traders with a limited number of payment methods for depositing and withdrawing funds to and from their TradeStation brokerage account. The methods available include Smart Transfer, Wire Transfer, and Check. See these payment methods overviewed below.
This payment method facilitates a funds transfer through the traders domestic linked bank account. Funds are transferred and made available within 3 business days. There is no fee for transferring funds via this method. The maximum deposit or withdraw limit is $100,000 per transaction.
This payment methods facilitates a funds transfer electronically to or from your existing bank or brokerage account. Funds will be within the next business day if the transfer is received before 4 p.m. ET. Deposits via Wire Transfers are free of charge and withdrawals cost $25 for domestic and $35 for international transfers. No maximum transfer limit is stated on the TradeStation website.
Check deposits and withdrawals are sent via U.S. Mail, overnight, or certified mail. Funds deposited or withdrawn via this method will be available within 3 business days and are free of charge. No transfer limits are stated for this payment method.
- Free deposits and withdrawals.
- All payment methods make funds available within 3 business days.
- Smart transfer, Wire transfer, and Check payment methods are supported.
8) Additional Offers: TradeStation University & Market Insights
During our review of TradeStation, we discovered a variety of unique additional features provided to TradeStation clients. For instance, traders have access to TradeStation University which contains a collection of live events that traders can register for. These events are packed with educational content designed to make you a better trader. There are events for all experience levels and TradeStation clients receive discounted access to the events. The TradeStation University also includes a wide array of educational videos, TradeStation Master Classes, a Market Knowledge Centre, and more. Overall, the additional content available to traders is quite extensive and of high quality. However, some of this content is paid and TradeStation clients only receive a discount. Another additional offer is the ability to follow and join industry leading investment professionals every morning for a pre-market briefing with the latest news and predictions to help you stay informed.
While TradeStation offers their clients a lot of additional offers, one thing clients do not gain access to is a demo practice account. This is unfortunate as many new traders would like to see how the TradeStation platform operates before signing up and creating an account.
- Wide array of educational material and content from TradeStation University.
- Pre-market insights with investment professionals every morning.
- An extensive market knowledge centre packed with insights and information regarding the financial markets.
9) Regulation & Deposit Protection: Highly Regulated & Very Reliable
Upon conducting our review of TradeStation, we discovered that the broker is licensed and regulated by not one but two highly reputable regulatory authorities from the United States. TradeStation is licensed and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Both of these regulatory authorities impose very strict rules and guidelines for TradeStation to follow and ensure the safety of a client’s personal information and funds. To adhere to these rules and guidelines, TradeStation employs specialists in charge of anti-fraud and ant-money laundering to monitor the operations at TradeStation and prevent fraudulent practices from happening. Also, TradeStation utilizes advanced firewalls and protects customer data with 256-bit data encryption.
As well, TradeStation does everything they can to empower their clients with the knowledge and tools to further protect their accounts. For instance, clients are presented with advanced login security measures such as customer login verification, session timeouts, login attempt limitations, and extended secure website verification. TradeStation also provides customers with a portal for reporting suspected fraud and security breaches so that it can be dealt with promptly.
- Licensed and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
- Anti-fraud and anti-money laundering specialists are employed.
- Customer accounts and personal information are highly protected with various security measures.
10) Awards: Highly Awarded Trading Brokerage
TradeStation has over 35 years of experience and is known as a highly reliable and reputable online trading brokerage in the online trading industry. The brokerage has won numerous awards for their advanced proprietary trading platforms and trading services. One of their most notable awards includes the 15-year streak on the Best Professional Platform list created by the Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities magazine. Another large streak of awards comes from the Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities magazine which awarded TradeStation with awards for the “Best Trading System – Stocks” and “Best Trading System – Futures” for fourteen consecutive years. Other awards by this publication include; “Best Real-Time/Delayed Data” and “Best Trading Centres/Schools/Training”
Another accomplishment is the award for the “Best for Frequent Traders” by Barron’s, which they have won for eight consecutive years and the “Best for Options Traders” award in 2018. Other notable awards include over 6 different awards fromStockBrokers.com spanning all areas of TradeStation’s services including trading platform, customer service, technology, and more. Also, Investor’s Business Daily has awarded TradeStation 14 different awards in 2018 alone.
- Numerous awards from notable publications.
- Awards across all areas of service including trading platforms, customer service, technology, tradeable products, education, etc.
- Highly reputable trading brokerage for over 35 years.
Conclusion: A Competent and Reliable Futures Trading Broker
Our TradeStation brokerage review has provided an immense amount of information regarding the brokers services, tradeable products, platforms, tools, and more. We have discovered everything this lucrative trading brokerage has to offer and laid it all out on the line. Now, we can confidently say TradeStation is a highly reliable futures trading brokerage as they feature all of the advanced and sophisticated trading platforms and tools needed to succeed.
TradeStation also provides clients with favourable trading conditions and low commissions and fees for the trading of futures. The brokers customer support is very reliable as support reps are quick to respond and knowledgeable. As well, traders have access to numerous additional resources such as educational content and market insights to help them trade better. While the broker is more suited to professional and experienced traders, intermediate traders should have no problem as well because the website, platforms, and tools are intuitively designed and easy to use. All in all, TradeStation is a great online trading brokerage offering a wide selection of tradeable products including the trading of futures.
- low commissions and fees
- reliable customer support
- more suited to professional and experienced traders