Review of Online Stock Trading Broker TradeKing

The number of choices for online stock traders continues to rise, each with its own unique selling points – including low commissions – that seek to draw new customers in. Online stock trading brokerage firm TradeKing is quickly becoming another tough competitor on that race. Here’s a look at what its clients are enjoying along with deeply-discounted trading costs.

Overview of TradeKing

More and more we’re seeing brokerage firms move away from stand-alone stock trading platforms, and move back to web (browser) based and java-based software; TradeKing is no exception. What traders get, however, is pretty robust. In no particular order…

  • MarketGrader Research Reports – Get the lowdown on over 5000 stocks and their underlying numbers, for free. Though not as verbose as, say a Standard & Poor’s report, MarketGrader can share more than enough data…. earnings, opinions, etc.
  • Charting/Technical Analysis – It’s almost a standard expectation at this point, but TradeKing offers users a complete lineup of technical and comparative charting tools.
  • Stock Screener – Rather than a top-down process facilitated by MarketGrader research, why not use TradeKing’s online stock screener to find worthy investment candidates. Plug in whatever criteria you want.
  • Watchlists – Most stocks spend time on a watchlist first before actually showing up in your portfolio. TradeKing makes it easy to get from pint A to point B by supplying you with your own watchlist tool.
  • Probability Calculator – Want to know your odds off success before it’s too late? Using implied volatility, TradeKing’s tool can let you know if the risk/reward ratio is worth it or not.

Option Trading at TradeKing

While TradeKing’s commission structure may be attractive to stock traders, option traders will find much to cheer about as well

  • Profit & Loss Calculator – As any seasoned (or even semi-seasoned) option trader can verify, the underlying factors that affect an options price are always changing. The P&P calculator can help you pinpoint what your upside and downside arte under a variety if scenarios and timeframes.
  • Option Pricing Calculator – Half the battle in option trading is paying a fair price from the trader’s onset. The option price calculator will let you know what that option should really cost.
  • Option Strategy Scanner – Like the higher level spreads and advanced option strategies? The strategy scanner can help you find trading ideas based on your trading presences, whether its collars, covered calls, or even just a plain-old in-the-money call.

Commissions at TradeKing

Even by discount broker standards, stock trading and option trading at TradeKing costs very little.

  • Stock Trades – A flat $4.95 per trade. For stocks priced under $1.00, add $0.01 per share to the cost, though the commission is always capped at 5% of the trade’s value.
  • Option Trades – Again, a flat $4.95 per trade, plus $0.65 per contract.
  • Mutual Funds – For load funds, the commission is simply the fund’s standard purchase (load) fee; there is generally no exit fee, unless early redemption fees apply. For no-load funds, a flat $14.95 per transaction applies.
  • Bonds/CDs – Bonds incur a commission of $4.95 per bond, with a $14.95 minimum. Treasures and CDs incur $24.95 per transaction.

Bottom Line

Though still somewhat lost in the shuffle created by the like of Schwab and TD Ameritrade, TradeKing’s lower commissions, web-based tools, and highly active trading community merit a closer look from traders mulling a move. Frequent ‘how to’ webinars sweeten the pot.

Photo via JMRosenfeld