menu
Overall

Designed for professional, active investors only, and unless you desire Cobra's niche personalized offering, its competitors come out on top.

Commissions & Fees
Offering of Investments
Platforms & Tools
View More
arrow_drop_down arrow_drop_up

By Blain Reinkensmeyer on February 16th, 2016 | Last updated: October 13th, 2016

Dislikes
  • Multiple platforms make for confusing customer experience
  • Numerous additional fees make platforms expensive
  • All platforms are third-party


Cobra Trading Review

The content portion of this Review was completed in February, 2013 in conjunction with the 2013 Broker Review.

As a small broker with less than a dozen staff members, Cobra Trading shines in its ability to personalize the broker-trader relationship. With price, execution and service mattering the most to hyperactive traders, Cobra Trading is competitive in the first two and specializes in the third. 

Being small, however, does have its drawbacks. None of the platforms Cobra Trading offers are built, nor managed in-house, and even the back-end client management software is outsourced. 

Any broker specializing in professional investing will negotiate over price, so the question becomes: Is Cobra outsourced?

Customer Service

Every team member at Cobra is capable of handling a support call, or any call for that matter. This is what differentiates Cobra from its competitors in our 2013 Broker Review: Lightspeed, Interactive Brokers, TradeStation and MB Trading.

With a small staff comes personalized service, remembering names and the like. Each support rep is well trained and passionate about what they do. They take their time with explanations and understand that every client matters.

CobraTrading placed second overall in Customer Service in our 2013 Review this year. Whether it is phone, email or live chat, Cobra has its clients covered.

Commissions & Fees

Don't let Cobra Trading's outdated and confusing website frustrate you our Cobra Trading Review has all the details on commissions and fees. 

First point to note: Cobra passes market rebates back on to the client, and with direct market access, this means complete control over costs for the savvy investor, adding liquidity with each trade.

As far as regular commission rates, equity trades run $.005 per share for those trading less than 250,000 shares per month, and $.004 per share for more than 250,000. Minimum ticket chart is $1.

Options are $.75 per contract with no volume discounts offered. Competitive, but still more expensive than Lightspeed and Interactive Brokers.

Platforms & Tools

As mentioned previously, Cobra Trading utilizes third-parties for all of its available platforms. While this does keep things simple for the Cobra staff (no headaches with coding), it is more costly for the client, as the platforms do not come free unless certain trading thresholds are met.

Of the four provided, three are desktop-based and one is web-based. The web-based is designed for newer investors with little experience, and considering Cobra Trading is a broker designed for professionals, we do not recommend it.

During our customer support testing, we asked which platform was most widely used, and CobraIQ (InstaQuote) was the answer. InstaQuote is robust and has all the niche functionality pros require, but beyond advanced charting, endless hotkeying and the like, InstaQuote is limited. In the war of desktop platforms, only two names reign supreme: TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim and TradeStation

Other Notes

Cobra Trading does not offer mobile trading, and research is virtually non-existent. Despite its drawbacks, however, Cobra Trading has managed to keep its doors open over the years, even with competitors being snatched up by bigger players, and DARTs (daily average revenue trades), being down substantially from their mid-2000s levels.

Closing Thoughts

Cobra Trading is an online broker that specializes in hyperactive trading and quality customer service. The broker uses its small size to deliver a consistent experience for its clients.

Size also has its disadvantages, and Cobra Trading outsources everything from back-end client management to the platforms traders trade on. Commissions are competitive for equities, but are easily beat by the competition for options. 

With larger, more experienced online brokers available, such as Lightspeed, MB Trading, TradeStation and Interactive Brokers, Cobra Trading is a small fish in a pond of sharks.


Blain Reinkensmeyer

Reviewed by Blain Reinkensmeyer Blain heads research at StockBrokers.com and has been involved in the markets since placing his first stock trade back in 2001. He developed StockBrokers.com's annual review format six years ago which is respected by broker executives as the most thorough in the industry. Currently maintaining funded accounts with more than a dozen different US regulated online brokers, he's executed thousands of trades through his career and enjoys sharing his experiences through his personal blog, StockTrader.com.


Ratings Overall

*Cobra Trading did not participate in the 2016 Online Broker Review, as a result the following data may not be up to date.

Best in Class

2016

Overall
This broker did not finish Best in Class.

Commissions & Fees

*Cobra Trading did not participate in the 2016 Online Broker Review, as a result the following data may not be up to date.

Commission Notes

Cobra Trading commissions structure details below. With Cobra Trading it is very important to look at there extra fees for trading which brings up the cost of placing average trades. This includes software fees and access to data.

There are four total platforms offered by Cobra Trading: RediPlus ($250 monthly fee waived if you trade 250,000 shares per month), RealTick ($250 monthly fee waived if you trade 250,000 shares per month), RealTick Express ($150 monthly fee waived if you trade 150,000 shares per month), and Sterling Trader Pro ($200 monthly fee waived if you trade 200,000 shares per month).

Stock Trades - All pricing is per-share with discounts available for trading higher volume each month:

Per Share rate (Monthly Volume): $0.004 (Under 250,000 shares), $0.0035 (250,000 - 1,000,000 shares), $0.003 (1M - 2M), $0.003 (2M - 10M). $1 minimum charge. All trades plus/minus applicable market center fees.

Options Trades - $.50 per contract (0 - 2,000 contracts per month), $.40 per contract (2,001 - 10,000 contracts per month), and $.30 per contract (10,000+ contracts per month).

Mutual Funds - Mutual funds are not currently offered.

International Trading - International Trading are not currently offered.

For Cobra Trading's latest pricing, see their website.



Trade Commissions Breakdown

Stock Trade Fee (flat)* $5.00
Stock Trade Fee (per share)* $0.0100
Options Base Fee* $5.00
Options Per Contract Fee* $0.95
Options Exercise Fee $0.95
Options Assignment Fee $0.95
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $25.00
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $5.00
Minimum Deposit $500.00

Margin Rates

Under $24,999.99 -1.00%
$25,000.00 to 49,999.99 -1.00%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 -1.00%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 -1.00%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 -1.00%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 -1.00%
Above $1,000,000.00 -1.00%

Miscellaneous Fees

Bond Trade Fee $0.00
Treasury Trade Fee $0.00
IRA Annual Fee $35.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00
Returned ACH Fee $25.00
Returned Wire Fee $25.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $0.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee $0.00
Paper Statement Fee $2.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $3.00
Domestic Wire Fee $20.00
International Wire Fee $50.00


Account Features

*Cobra Trading did not participate in the 2016 Online Broker Review, as a result the following data may not be up to date.

Offering of Investments

Advisor Services help
No
Bonds (Corporate) help
No
Bonds (Municipal) help
No
Bonds (US Treasury) help
No
CDs help
No
Clearing Firm help
Wedbush Securities, Interactive Brokers and Vision Financial
Commission Free ETFs help
0
Direct Market Routing - Stocks help
Yes
Direct Market Routing - Options help
No
DRIPs help
No
# of Easy to Borrow Stocks help
Forex Trading help
No
Futures Trading help
No
Member FINRA help
Yes
Member SIPC help
Yes
Mutual Funds help
No
Mutual Funds (Load) help
0
Mutual Funds (No Load) help
0
Mutual Funds (NTF) help
0
Mutual Funds (Total) help
0
Mutual Funds Phone Trades help
No
Mutual Funds Web Trades help
No
No Fee IRAs help
No
No Inactivity Fees help
Yes
No Minimum Deposit help
No
Options Exercising (Phone) help
No
Options Exercising (Web) help
No
Options Trading help
Yes
Options Trading (Mini) help
No
Options Trading (Weekly) help
No
OTCBB / Pink Sheets help
No
Stock Trading help
Yes

Customer Service

Phone Support help
Yes
Email Support help
Yes
Live Chat (Current Clients) help
No
24/7 Support help
No

Platforms & Tools

Desktop Platform (Windows) help
Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac) help
No
Web Platform help
Yes
Active Trading Platform help
Auto Investing help
No
Charting - Display Corporate Events help
No
Charting - Drawing Tools help
Charting - Notes help
No
Heat Mapping help
No
Ladder Trading help
No
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks help
No
Level 2 Quotes - Options help
No
Option Chains - Streaming Real-time help
No
Option Analysis - P&L Charts help
No
Stock Alerts Delivery - Email help
No
Stock Alerts Delivery - Sound help
No
Stock Alerts Delivery - Text SMS help
No
Streaming Time & Sales help
No
Streaming TV help
No
Trade Hot Keys help
No
Virtual Trading help
Yes
Watch Lists - Streaming Real-time Quotes help
No

Research

Research - ETFs help
No
Research - Mutual Funds help
No
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB help
No
Research - Fixed Income help
No
Equity Research - Research Reports help
1
ETF Research - Top 10 Holdings help
No
ETF Research - Morningstar Style Box help
No
ETF Research - Research Reports help
No
Mutual Fund Research - Research Reports help
No
Mutual Fund Research - Fees Breakdown help
No
Mutual Fund Research - Performance Analysis help
No
Mutual Fund Research - Top 10 Holdings help
No
Screener - Stocks help
No
Screener - ETFs help
No
Screener - Mutual Funds help
No
Screener - Options help
No
Screener - Bonds help
No

Education

Has Education - Stocks help
No
Has Education - ETFs help
No
Has Education - Options help
No
Has Education - Mutual Funds help
No
Has Education - Fixed Income help
No
Has Education - Retirement help
No
Investor Dictionary help
No
Client Webinars help
No
Live Seminars help
No
Videos help
No
Retirement Calculator help
No
Community Forums help
No

Mobile Trading

iPhone App help
No
iPad App help
No
Apple Watch App help
No
Android App help
No
Android Tablet App help
No
Mobile Site help
No
Quotes (Real-time) help
No
Quotes (Streaming Real-time) help
No
Watch List Syncing help
No
Market Movers (Top Gainers) help
No
Stock Alerts Delivery - Push Notifications help
No
Customizable Homescreen help
No
Stream Live TV help
No
Trading - Stocks help
No
Trading - Stocks (After-Hours) help
No
Trading - Simple Options help
No
Trading - Complex Options help
No

Banking

Member FDIC help
No
Checking Accounts help
No
Savings Accounts help
No
Debit Cards help
No
Credit Cards help
No
Mortgage Loans help
No
Mobile Check Deposit help
No
ATM Fee Reimbursement help
No
No Fee Banking help
No
Retail Locations help
0

Active Trading

Receives Payment for Order Flow (Equities) help
No
Client Liquidity Rebates help
Yes
Financial Information Forum (FIF) Participant help
No

Compare Cobra Trading

Select one or more of these brokers to compare against Cobra Trading.

All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 2/16/2016 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The StockBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest pricing data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page. For stock trade rates, advertised pricing is for a standard order size of 500 shares of stock priced at $30 per share. For options orders, an options regulatory fee per contract may apply.




arrow_drop_upBack to top