TradeKing Review: Pros vs Cons (March 2015)
TradeKing is a privately held discount brokerage firm based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was founded in 2005 and recently merged with Zecco to create a fairly large online discount brokerage.
In this review, I will cover all the basics about TradeKing and Why I recommend using them as your main online discount broker.
TradeKing Commission & Fees
TradeKing’s strongest selling point is their low cost fees. They pride themselves on offering an up front base price for all trades, regardless if they are broker assisted or not. Contrast this with other brokers who offer 2 separate rates depending on the transaction, and you can see why TradeKing attracts such a large group of savvy investors.
- Stocks - $4.95 per Trade
- Bonds – $4.95 per Bond
- Mutual Funds – $14.95 per transaction
- CD’s – $24.95 per transaction
- Options Trading – $4.95 per trade + $0.65 per contract
The nice thing about TradeKing is most of the fees are flat rate. You avoid any unexpected costs because they are straight forward with their product offerings. You can also purchase CD’s, Bonds, and mutual funds to diversify your investments rather than 100% stock investments.
The best way to find stocks to buy is to read the Wall Street Journal. Take a look at my Wall Street Journal review to learn why you need to subscribe today.
TradeKing Account Minimums
- Account Minimums: $0
- Minimum Balance: $0
Don’t have much money to invest? You can open a TradeKing account with as little as $1. TradeKing, along with other discount brokers, have lowered the bar for entry into Wall Street by providing reliable brokerage services to the mass population.
Remember years ago when you needed a broker to initiate a stock transaction? The internet boom has given ANY INVESTOR regardless of income or creed the opportunity to invest in their future.
TradeKing Customer Service
TradeKing’s customer service is also highly regarded. They have a phone line that’s open on weekdays during regular work hours (ET), but also have a Live Chat (open on the same hours as phone), Email, and Fax contact information feature prominently displayed on their site.
Here’s a short story to demonstrate how reliable Tradeking’s customer support staff is when you have a problem. When I first joined Tradeking, I wanted to buy AZMN leaps but had trouble understanding which strike price would be the most profitable.
I called up Tradeking and waited about 15 seconds to reach a customer service representative. I explained my problem, and the Tradeking customer service rep spent 10 minutes explaining to me how Leaps worked and referred me to the free Tradeking options blog.
It takes about 1-2 minutes to reach a TradeKing representative. They are well staffed and have plenty of people working there to assist you with your needs. You can forward all your TradeKing issues, Tradeking complaints, and TradeKing problems to their customer service department to receive a prompt answer.
List of TradeKing Awards/Ratings
They wear their reputation on their sleeve. Recently, TradeKing received top ranking awards as judged by three major financial publications.
- Kiplinger’s rated Tradeking as the top-rated customer service broker in 2008.
- Barron’s gave TradeKing 4 stars for outstanding tools, customer service, social media, usability and cost in 2007 and 2008, and Best For Options Traders in 2008 and 2009.
- Smart Money rated TradeKing the#1 Discount Broker in 2007 and #1 Customer Service with 5 stars in 2008.
It’s great that TradeKing received awards across a wide range of categories. This show they are more than just a cheap trades firm.
TradeKing built a REAL business that comforts its client. What others say about your is always more important than what you say about yourself. TradeKing wins HUGE on this one.
Tradeking Sign Up Process Walkthrough
You arrive at a page that ask you to enter your basic information and your account settings. When you enter your password, an encrypted popup appears on your screen. This ensures your password is safe and secure.
Tradeking will ask you which type of account you would like to open. The following account types are:
- Individual Tradeking Account – account ownership by a single individual
- Tradeking Joint Account - account ownership by two or more people equally. Each owner can trade and transact on the account.
- Custodial Tradeking Account – account that is managed by an adult custodian for the benefit of a minor, with assets legally owned by the minor
- Traditional Tradeking IRA – an investment account used for retirement
- Tradeking Roth IRA – a retirement account where qualified withdrawals are tax exempt for those who meet the IRA limits
- Tradeking Rollover IRA – a retirement account that holds 401k funds or qualified retirement plan
You enter your personal information such as name, address, phone number, occupation, etc. Your information is 100% secure backed by a 256 bit SSL encryption certificate.
If you’re employed, Tradeking requires your employment information because FINRA regulations require Tradeking to collect the employment information for your account prior to approving and opening the account.
You need to enter your goals and objectives for your new tradeking account. If you want to trade on margin, you must also apply for this priviledge. Trading on margin allows you to borrow to increase your stock buying power.
Once you read and agree to the terms and conditions, you can begin trading in your new Tradeking account. The complete application takes about 5 minutes, and is really simple to navigate.
Quick Look at the TradeKing Interface
The TradeKing interface is pretty clean and easy to use. There are no distractions like news stories or reports like with most other discount stock brokers.
You can browse your account balances, holdings, gain and losses, or other sections by clicking each tab. Here’s a screenshot of a stock browsing screen:
Complete List of TradeKing Tools
TradeKing offers a valuable list of stock tools for the savvy investor. Here’s a list of them:
- Stock Screener – Search for a group of stocks based on your criteria to save you time
- ETF Screener – search for a group of ETFs based on your criteria to save you time
- Mutual Fund Screener – Search for a group of Mutual Funds based on your criteria to save you time
These screener tools come in handy when you need to identify a possible list of stocks and/or funds to purchase. You can search via 20+ parameters like Book value, Market cap, etc.
Is Tradeking a Scam? Is Tradeking Legit?
Tradeking uses 256-bit SSL security to protect your assets, login information, and account information. Also, Tradeking implemented a new popup security screen every time you login to your account. Spyware, hackers, and internet thieves cannot steal your information with these security filters in place.
This is awesome because it shows TradeKing understands how many scams exist on the internet, and they do everything possible to protect your information, assets, and well being. We also talked more about tradeking scam protection in another article.
Using the Tradeking ACH Transfer
The easiest way to start trading is to transfer funds using ACH Transfer. This links your bank account to your brokerage account.
This is a good way to move funds in and out of your TradeKing account, however ACH setup takes 10 business days before you can begin trading.
You can also transfer funds using:
- Wire Transfer – This is the fastest way to fund your account and begin trading. Once the funds have been deposited into your brokerage account, you can place your first trade. Depending on how quickly your bank initiates the wire, this method can take a few hours to one business day.
- Mail Your Check – This is next in line as far as speed is concerned. If you mail us a cashier’s or bank check you can trade as soon as we receive and verify the check with your bank. Please instruct your bank to make the cashier’s or bank check payable to TradeKing AND name you as the REMITTER on the check. Your name must also appear on the TradeKing account where you intend to make the deposit. If you mail us a personal check please allow 5 business days prior to placing a trade.
- Account Transfer (ACAT) – If you are transferring outside of another broker or mutual fund company, use this form to initiate this process. It generally takes 7-10 business days when we receive the paperwork, assuming everything is in good order. If you have questions on how to complete this form, please call us at 877-495-5464 or contact us via the “live help” link at the top of this page.
- IRA Account – If you are making a contribution you can either send us a check or a wire. However if you are sending us a Rollover to an IRA account distribution you’ve taken, please complete and mail the IRA Rollover Certification form with a check only.
Place Your 1st Tradeking Trade
- Click the Trading tab and Enter a stock or mutual fund symbol
- Enter either buy or sell then the amount of shares
- Select Limit Trade and enter your price limit (i.e the most you will pay for a share)
- Select Day order or Good til Canceled
- Click Preview order to review everything then hit submit
$150 Tradeking Promotion Bonus for Switching to TradeKing
You can receive up to $150 promo code for switching to Tradeking. Here’s how to do it:
- Open a New Account or if you already have an account, log in.
- Complete and print an Account Transfer Form
- Mail or fax the signed Transfer Form to TradeKing along with a copy of your most recent statement. (via your previous broker)
- Request your account transfer reimbursement by faxing a copy of your account statement with proof of the transfer charge to 561.988.0131
5455 N. Federal Hwy, Suite E
Boca Raton, FL 33487-4994
TradeKing Phone Number: