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

By Blain Reinkensmeyer / February 21st, 2017 / Updated: April 11th, 2017

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

Review Sections:

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Don't let Cobra Trading's outdated and confusing website frustrate you our Cobra Trading Review has all the details on commissions and fees.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 and has been involved in the markets since placing his first stock trade back in 2001. He developed's annual review format seven years ago, a format broker executives consider the most thorough in the industry. Blain currently maintains funded accounts with more than a dozen different US-regulated online brokers and has executed thousands of trades throughout his career. He enjoys sharing his experiences through his personal blog,

Ratings Overall

*Cobra Trading did not participate in the 2017 Online Broker Review, as a result the following data may not be up to date.

Commissions & Fees

*Cobra Trading did not participate in the 2017 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) $0.01
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

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

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 (No Load) help 0
Mutual Funds (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 (Web) help No
Options Exercising (Phone) help No
Options Trading help Yes
Complex Options Max Legs help N/A
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
Live Chat (Prospect 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
Charting - Display Corporate Events help No
Charting - View Historical Trades help No
Charting - Indicators / Studies help
Charting - Drawing Tools help
Charting - Trade Off Chart help No
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 Chains - Total Columns help
Option Chains - Quick Analysis help No
Options Analysis - P&L Charts help No
Options Analysis - Probability Analysis Basic help No
Option Analysis - Probability Analysis Adv help No
Option Positions - Contract Rolling 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
Watch Lists - Total Fields help


Research - ETFs help No
Research - Mutual Funds help No
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB help No
Research - Fixed Income help No
Misc - Global Markets Overview help No
Misc - Portfolio Allocation Breakdown help No
Misc - Portfolio Builder help No
Equity Research - Earnings Analysis help No
Equity Research - Insider Analysis help No
Equity Research - Metric Comparisons help No
Equity Research - SEC Filings help No
Equity Research - Social Sentiment help No
Equity Research - Research Reports help 1
ETF Research - Performance Analysis help No
ETF Research - Top 10 Holdings help No
ETF Research - Morningstar Style Box help No
ETF Research - 3rd Party Ratings help No
ETF Research - Research Reports help No
Mutual Fund Research - Fees Breakdown help No
Mutual Fund Research - Top 10 Holdings help No
Mutual Fund Research - Performance Analysis help No
Mutual Fund Research - Prospectus help No
Mutual Fund Research - 3rd Party Ratings help No
Mutual Fund Research - Research Reports help No
Screener - Stocks help No
Screener - ETFs help No
Screener - Mutual Funds help No
Screener - Options help No
Screener - Bonds help No


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
Client Webinars (Archived) help No
Live Seminars help No
Videos help No
Retirement Calculator help No
Progress Tracking help No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes 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
Touch ID help No
Account Transfers help No
Quotes (Real-time) help No
Quotes (Streaming Real-time) help No
Watch List (Real-time) help No
Watch List (Streaming Real-time) help No
Watch List Syncing help No
Market Movers (Top Gainers) help No
Custom Screening / Scanning help No
Charting - Stock Comparisons help No
Charting - Technical Studies help
Charting - After Hours help No
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields help No
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields help No
Stock Alerts Delivery - Push Notifications help No
Customizable Homescreen help No
Streaming TV help No
Trading - Stocks help No
Trading - After-Hours help No
Trading - Conditional Orders help No
Trading - Mutual Funds help No
Trading - Simple Options help No
Trading - Complex Options help No
Trading - Option Rolling help No


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
Online Bill Pay help No
Mobile Bill Pay help No
ATM Fee Reimbursement help No
No Fee Banking help No
Retail Locations help 0

Order Execution

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

Cobra Trading Competitors

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

All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 2/20/2017 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The 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.

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