TradeKing is One of the Top Discount Brokers for Good Reason
When it comes to choosing a broker, you have plenty of choices. With those choices come a variety of pricing structures, fees, trading platforms, and features. Choices are good, and the competition drives innovation and pricing, so as investors we are rewarded. I think that’s why TradeKing has done so well over the past few years. They have provided some of the lowest stock commissions on the market while continuing to add even more features to their already robust platform.
I don’t need to tell you that watching fees is important, but it really is. Those commissions, whether trading stocks, options, or mutual funds, eat into your real returns. An extra dollar or two here and there might not seem like much, but it adds up. It adds up even more quickly if you’re a new trader working with a smaller bankroll. Since Zecco has done away with their free trades, in my opinion the best option out there is TradeKing. Here’s why:
The TradeKing Community
Without a doubt, the TradeKing Community is probably the best feature you’ll find anywhere if you like seeing where people are investing and what people are talking about. The community is stacked with a message board, real time updates on what community members are buying and selling, notes other investors made on their trades, and much more. In fact, there are dozens of community groups you can join if you have a particular area of interest or want to socialize with like-minded traders. You just won’t find this level of community integration with any other discount broker, so if you’re feeling all Web 2.0 and want to learn and trade alongside others, you can’t miss this. Here’s a quick screenshot of the community homepage:
I know why you’r really here. It’s all about the low-cost trading commissions. Obviously, I couldn’t leave these out, but I really think the TradeKing Community is even more valuable than the trading commissions in this case. But here’s the deal: stock trades are a flat $4.95. It doesn’t matter if you have a $1,000 account or a $100,000 account, you get the same price. The other bonus is that you get this low price even if you use a broker-assisted trade. That’s unheard of at most brokerage companies who often charge upwards of $40 to place a trade with a broker. Not that you’ll probably need to do that very often, but hey, it’s good to know that if the issue does arise you won’t be charged an arm and a leg. On top of the low stock trades you also get very low option trades as well. Just an additional 65 cents per contract.
A few other account highlights:
- Account Minimum: Zero
- Opening Account Minimum: Zero
- Account Fees: None
TradeKing Education Center
$4.95 stock trades and an active trading community are great, but TradeKing does something else to stand out from the crowd. They have a wealth of information packed into their education center. They really want to help educate their clients and make you a better investor, which means you’ll make even more money.
This is great because you get to pick and choose what you want to learn more about. Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, it doesn’t matter. As you can see, they even break things down by experience level. Whether you’re a complete novice or a seasoned investor, there’s going to be something for you. I also like the market outlook breakdown since it provides lessons and strategies to use to make money in any economic climate.
The lessons and content in this part of the site is tremendous. We’re talking about very in-depth coverage of everything from the basics to complex options strategies. I’ve read countless investing books over the years, and the stuff contained here could take up a dozen books itself.
Cheap stock trades and a fancy trading platform doesn’t mean much if you get lousy customer service. Nobody wants to wait on the phone for 10 minutes just to place a trade. If there’s trouble with a rollover or distribution you don’t want to jump through a bunch of hoops to get it resolved. Well, TradeKing again goes above and beyond when it comes to discount brokers. Your call will be answered in a matter of seconds, not minutes. And get this–emails will be answered in under two hours during business hours.
But don’t take my word for it. TradeKing is constantly being awarded the number one spot in customer service by Smart Money magazine. And 2010 is no different.
Tools and Research
You want to save money on your trades, but even more important is having the tools at your fingertips that can help you execute the best trades. So, TradeKing provides a powerful platform that has interactive charts, stock screeners, research reports, and all sorts of technical analysis research. If you want it, chances are they’ve got it.
In addition to the traditional trading tools you’ll also be able to get your hands on the TradeKing iPod, iPad, and Android apps. Now you can trade on your mobile device from anywhere you have a signal.
Current TradeKing Bonuses
TradeKing regularly offers plenty of incentives to not only open an account, but it gives existing account members a chance to earn some free money as well. Right now TradeKing is offering to pay up to $150 in transfer fees. This means if your broker charges you a fee to leave, TradeKing will pick up the tab (up to $150). This promotion is only for a limited time, so act quickly if this applies to you.
TradeKing is also offering a $100 bonus for opening a new account, funding it with at least $2500, and making three trades. This offer is good throughout the month of August, 2011, so act quickly.
Hey, don’t just take my word for it. While I’ve had nothing but a great experience with them I simply can’t highlight everything you’ll get by using TradeKing as your discount broker. So, they’ve whipped together this very helpful video tour that will show you some of the highlights I wasn’t able to touch on here.
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.