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TradeKing Review

Est. $5 per trade
Reviewed
July 2013
by ConsumerSearch
TradeKing

Best discount broker

Pros
  • Low-cost trades
  • Great customer service
  • Active online trader community
Cons
  • No in-person help
  • Limited mobile apps
Where to Buy
 

Bottom line

TradeKing consistently garners praise for its low-cost commissions (Est. $5 a trade with no minimums) but the broker also wins awards for outstanding customer service. TradeKing also offers a strong online community for investors, which is still a rarity among brokers.

Ease of use

Improved, clean interface. TradeKing, which merged with the online brokerage Zecco, is one of the most popular discount brokers because of its low-cost trades. The company doesn't have the most sophisticated interface, but recently redesigned its account summary page and condensed the most crucial information -- a quote box, account balances, investment holdings, order status and more are included on a single page.

Pricing and services

Cheap trades and an online community. TradeKing has a low fee (Est. $5 per trade), plus a 65-cent option contract. With no minimum to open an account, this online broker is ideal for those who are starting to build a portfolio. In addition to stocks, options, ETFs and mutual funds (Est. $10 per trade) 50 types of currencies are among the investments available to trade. If you want a broker with banking services and a greater range of investment products, reviewers suggest Scottrade (Est. $7 per trade) or E*Trade (Est. $10 per trade), but commissions are higher.

TradeKing regularly offers promotions (like covering transfer fees) to entice clients to switch over to their services; you also can get a cash bonus for referring a new customer. Check the company's website for current deals.

Customer service

High marks for customer service. Customer service is one of TradeKing's strong suits; SmartMoney magazine has named the broker best in customer service four times, including from 2011 to 2013. The company's social-media assistance is top-notch and responsive, according to SmartMoney. TradeKing also says it offers phone, live online chat and email support with "highly trained, specialized brokers." You can swap ideas and advice online via the popular TradeKing community, which includes TradeKing's CEO as well as trading professionals. The company doesn't have offices, however, and charges a fee (plus the original commission) for broker-assisted trades -- a lower rate than many brokers but a charge that can still add up if you frequently need professional assistance.

Where To Buy
 

Our Sources

1. SmartMoney.com

This thorough review names the best online brokers in six categories, which makes it ideal for those who want to evaluate their choices based on specific criteria. TradeKing wins for customer service because of its quick response time on social media and praise from clients. SmartMoney magazine has rated TradeKing first in customer service four times since 2008.

Review: Best and Worst Brokers of 2012, J. Alex Tarquinio, May 16, 2012

2. TopTenReviews.com

TopTenReviews.com ranks TradeKing third out of 18 brokers, awarding it a 2013 Bronze and Excellence award. TopTenReviews.com praises TradeKing for providing low-cost trading and excellent customer service.

Review: TradeKing, Editors of TopTenReviews.com, Not Dated

3. Investors.com

Investor's Business Daily's website, Investors.com, identifies the best online brokers based on a survey of 10,250 Investor.com readers. TradeKing is one of the recommended brokerages for its low commissions and fees.

Review: Top 5 Online Brokers Ranked for Every Investor Type, Victor Reklaitis, Feb. 5, 2013

4. MarketConsensus.com

Editors of MarketConsensus.com recommend five online stockbrokers, including TradeKing, which is ranked first. Fees and commissions on trades weigh heavily in the review; TradeKing is also praised for customer service and "an innovative trader network that allows you to follow and interact with other investors and traders." The write-ups are short, and it's unclear whether there was any testing.

Review: TradeKing -- Ranked No. 1 Best Online Broker (2013 Review), Editors of MarketConsensus.com, May 27, 2013

5. NerdWallet.com

TradeKing and E*Trade are chosen as the two best brokers for overall value. They aren't given detailed reviews, however -- just a few short lines on the pros of each; TradeKing is called "the most affordable no-minimum-deposit account."

Review: The Best Online Brokers for Stock Trading, Susan Lyon, Not Dated

6. MoneyUnder30.com

MoneyUnder30.com gives short but informative write-ups of five online brokers, giving a star rating for each along with a "best for" tag. TradeKing gets 3.5 out of 5 stars overall and is named best for low-cost trades. The write-up is very short, the website is transparent about taking commissions, and it's unclear what criteria are used or if the products are tested.

Review: Compare the Best Brokerage Firms for Investing Online, Editors of MoneyUnder30.com, Not Dated

7. CashMoneyLife.com

This ad-driven website recommends four leading online brokers for IRAs, but mostly summarizes their fees and features without making critical comments. TradeKing is recommended for its low trade prices, free trading tools, free tax manager and "a community where investors can share tips and information."

Review: Where to Open a Roth IRA Account, Ryan Guina, Not Dated

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Lightspeed

2 picks by top review sites.

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