Cobra Trading Review
Small firm creates personalized relationships; quick and consistent customer service.
Multiple platforms make for confusing customer experience; numerous additional fees make platforms expensive; all platforms are third-party.
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platform & Tools|
|Ease of Use|
2013 Review Star Ratings
N/A - Not Applicable
|8th||Commissions & Fees|
|N/R||Platforms & Tools|
N/R - Not Ranked in Top 10
N/A - Not Applicable
Cobra Trading 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?
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Don't let Cobra Trading's outdated and confusing website frustrate you — our Cobra Trading Review has all the details on commissions and fees.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 $5 + $.95, which some active traders may find puzzling. Not very competitive here, as options trades run more expensive than nearly all of its deep discount competitors, not only if trading a few contracts but also, say, 100.
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.
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.
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.
Compare Cobra Trading to Key Competitors
Trade Commissions Breakdown
|$5.00||Flat-Fee Trade Plan*|
|$0.0100||Per-Share Trade Plan|
|$5.00||Options Base Trade Fee*|
|$0.95||Options Exercise Fee|
|$0.95||Options Assignment Fee|
|$25.00||Mutual Fund Trade Fee|
|$5.00||Broker Assisted Trade Fee|
|$0.00||Bond Trade Fee|
|$0.00||Treasury Trade Fee|
|$0.00||Certificate of Deposit (CD) Trade Fee|
|$0.00||Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Phone Trade Fee|
|$35.00||IRA Annual Fee|
|$0.00||IRA Closure Fee|
|$0.00||Forced-Margin Sellout Fee|
|$25.00||Returned ACH Fee|
|$25.00||Returned Wire Transfer Fee|
|$0.00||Stock Certificate Processing Fee|
|$0.00||Stock Certificate Delivery Fee|
|$2.00||Paper Statement Fee|
|$3.00||Paper Confirmation Fee|
|$20.00||Outgoing Domestic Wire Transfer Fee|
|$50.00||Outgoing International Wire Transfer Fee|
Cobra Trading commissions structure details below. With Cobra Trading it is very important to look at there extra fees for trading which drastically brings up the cost of placing average trades. This includes software fees and access to data. However, if trading only with the standard Venom platform, there are no platform or data fees assessed.
There are four total platforms offered by Cobra Trading: RealTick, CobraIQ, Venom Trader, and Sterling Trader Pro.
Stock Trades - $5.00 flat offered when using the free basic Venom Platform. If going per share there are numerous fees added to the base cost of $.0005 per share ($1 minimum). $.003 per share for NYSE orders, $.005 per share for AMEX, additional fees for ECNs. $100 per month for Dow Jones news, amongst many other platform and quotes fees related to direct access and ECNs.
Options Trades - $5 + $.95 per contract.
Mutual Funds - Mutual funds are offerred but you must call in for the order to be fulfilled. Trades are $25 each.
International Trading - International Trading not currently offered.
Other Investments - Cobra Trading supports futures and forex.
2013 Review Results - Cobra Trading was rated 4 stars for customer service. Read the 2013 Broker Review.
Misc. Account Information
|Wedbush Securities, Interactive Brokers and Vision Financial||Clearing Firm|
|0||No. of Commission-Free ETFs|
|0||No. of Retail Locations|
|106||No. of Mutual Funds (w/ Load)|
|34||No. of Mutual Funds (No Load)|
|1||No. of 3rd Party Research Report Providers|
|6||Max. No. of Legs (Complex Options)|
|No Minimum Deposit|
|No Maintenance Fees|
|Online Trader Community|
|Live Chat Support|
|24/7 Customer Support|
|Long Term Trading|
|Credit Card Accounts|
|Debit Card Accounts|
Trading Platform Features
|Web Browser Platform|
|Windows Desktop Platform|
|Mac Desktop Platform|
Active Trading Features
|Direct routing offered to clients|
|Broker receives payments for order flow|
|Broker internalizes trades|
|Clients receive rebates for adding liquidity|