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TradeStation Review: Pros, Cons

Tradestation Review

TradeStation is one of the top picks for active experienced traders due to its high-powered trading platform, they offer USD0 trade commissions and a wide range of securities, including cryptocurrencies.


It was designed for serious investors who are looking for professional-level trading experience. In fact, in previous versions, TradeStation was aimed only at professional brokers and money managers. Now, regular investors have access to the firm’s professional tools, especially after the company cut trading costs to USD 0 and lowered the minimum investment to USD 0 for its TS GO offering.

It will be less appealing to new investors the broker’s upgraded TS Select plan, which requires a USD2,000 initial investment but at the same time gives access to the broker’s full suite of tools, and free trades from the powerful TradeStation 10 Desktop platform.

TradeStation is best for:

  • Advanced and active traders.
  • Stock, options, and futures traders.
  • Cryptocurrency trading.

Where TradeStation is best:

Commission-free trades: By introducing its TS GO and TS Select plans, TradeStation users have commission-free trades on stocks, options, and exchange-traded funds on TradeStation’s web and mobile-based platforms. There is one catch though, TS GO users may download and use TradeStation’s marquee TradeStation 10 Desktop platform, but then any trades from that platform will cost USD 10 per trade.

TS Select customers have complete access to tools and commission-free trades, and reduced costs for options and futures contracts. TS Select requires a minimum balance of USD 2,000 and charges lower fees for options and futures contracts.

Free trades for TS GO and TS Select are limited to 10,000 shares per trade; if users want a higher volume of trading they can choose from two additional pricing plans. Here’s an overview of TradeStation’s pricing structure:

TS GO: users get free trades while using TradeStation’s mobile or web-based trading platforms. Options trades are USD 0.5 per contract.

TS Select: TradeStation’s standard account, includes full access and free trades through TradeStation’s desktop platform. Requires a USD2,000 minimum deposit. Options trades for TS Select accounts are USD 0.6 per contract.

Per-share and unbundled pricing: High-volume and experienced traders can opt for a per-share/per-contract commissions pricing structure. For small blocks traders, TradeStation offers USD 0.01 per share for the first 500 shares and USD 0.006 for every share after per trade. There is a USD 1 minimum charge per trade.

For higher volume traders, TradeStation offers this pricing structure:

Commission per ShareNumber of shares executed per monthThe minimum commission per trade
USD 0.01Up to 100.000USD 1
USD 0.007100,000 to 1 millionUSD 0.70
USD 0.0051 million to 3 millionUSD 0.50
USD 0.0033 million to 5 millionUSD 0.50
USD 0.002More than 5 millionUSD 0.50

Platform and trading tools: TradeStation is known for its superior and professional desktop platform. It offers direct-market access, automatic trade execution, and tools for customers to design, test, monitor, and automate their custom trading strategies for stocks, options, and futures. Users can customize their desktop, with different colors to highlight users’ most relevant data. Investors can test- new strategies in real-time before using real money in the line with the TradeStation Simulator.

Traders who are not brokerage clients can acquire a subscription to use TradeStation tools: Non-professional pay USD99 per month, while professional traders pay USD199 per month.

Research: TradeStation is one of the most comprehensive platforms around, with more than 270 indicators included inside the TradeStation 10 platform. Investors can back-test strategies using historical market data that includes more than 90 years of daily data and decades of intraday data. Users are allowed to receive notifications alerts for upcoming earnings announcements or important market moves based on their positions.

Education and community: There are plenty of Educational resources at TradeStation, with free video tutorials, articles, and e-books available at TradeStation University. With daily pre-market briefings and trader interviews. TradeStation Today features real-time news, relevant tutorials, and a “workspaces” section showing how experts organize and use the platform’s array of tools. There4 are also discussion forums where customers can mingle with a community of investors and chat about trading strategies and investment ideas.

Cryptocurrency trading: TradeStation Crypto allows users to trade Bitcoin (BTC), Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP). TradeStation charges a very competitive 0.3% per trade for accounts with balances of USD100,000 or less, and even less for higher volume crypto traders.

Where TradeStation falls short

Mutual funds: TradeStation offers a lot of funds (more than 2,000), but none of them are no-transaction-fee funds, and fund research is also thin. However, the USD 14.95 mutual fund commission is in line with other mainstream brokers.

Add-on fees: Access to many of TradeStation’s features require an additional subscription for those who do not meet account trading minimums.

Inactivity fee: TradeStation charges an annual inactivity fee of USD50 for accounts that don’t maintain an average end-of-month equity balance of USD2,000 or execute at least five trades during the 12-months.

Commission confusion: TradeStation offers many pricing plans as noted above, but it can be difficult to follow up the company’s pricing and understand what you’ll pay.

TradeStation has over three decades of serving brokers, hedge funds, and institutional investors, clients looking for professionalism, accuracy, fast trade execution, and the ability to customize charting tools to the nth degree — TradeStation has become the gold standard among hardcore traders. Active traders will appreciate the platform’s recent reboot and the fact that they have the same trading firepower at their fingertips as the pros.

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