For our 2017 Stock Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked sixteen different online brokers over a period of six months. In total, we conducted 349 customer service tests, collected 5,277 data points, and produced over 40,000 words of research. Learn more.
On the surface, it is easy to understand what Just2Trade is trying to accomplish: being the ultimate value broker. The homepage hits on all the right catchphrases and keywords investors like to see.
Unfortunately, looks are deceiving. While Just2Trade does offer cheap trades, everything else about the client experience suffers, and in the end, clients are better off investing elsewhere.
Commissions & Fees
Starting off with the one bright spot of Just2Trade's value proposition: its commission structure is straightforward, easy to understand, and contains few catches. All stock trades of $1 per share or higher are $2.50, and option trades run just $2.50 plus $.50 per contract.
For the casual investor, this is attractive — after all, TD Ameritrade, ETRADE, Scottrade and other big-name brokers charge at least $7 per trade, not to mention much higher costs for options trades. This works for investors who desire nothing more than the bare-bone basics for placing orders. Beyond this, TradeKing, Firstrade, and OptionsHouse both offer commissions for less than $5, too, and are more compelling.
|Stock Trade Fee (flat)||$2.50||$4.95||N/A||$4.95||$7.00|
|Options Base Fee||$2.50||$4.95||$0.00||$4.95||$7.00|
|Options Per Contract Fee||$0.50||$0.50||$0.70||$0.65||$0.70|
|Mutual Fund Trade Fee||$12.50||$20.00||$14.95||$9.95||$17.00|
|Broker Assisted Trades Fee||$22.50||$25.00||$30.00||$20.00||$32.00|
|Commissions & Fees|
Commission rates aside, clients should be fully aware of the fact that they will only receive free real time streaming quotes for the first 15 minutes of each day. After that, no more streaming real time data unless you pay for the Advanced package, which runs at $7.99 per month.
Platforms & Tools
Just2Trade offers several platforms. The primary platform is web-based Just2Trade+, which is available to all clients at no charge. This is the platform I used for my testing.
The platform doesn’t come close to competing with the leaders in the industry, but it works and fits the mold of what one would expect with $2.50 trades.
Just2Trade+ has the basics needed to trade: watch lists, charting, options chains, and an order ticket window make up the bulk of the experience. The platform doesn’t come close to competing with the leaders in the industry, but it works and fits the mold of what one would expect with $2.50 trades.
I found Just2Trade+ ran smoothly in my Chrome browser without any hiccups, which was certainly appreciated. I was also surprised to find that the charting, while extremely simplistic in functionality, had crisp, clean bars and included 92 optional indicators, which is just below the industry average. Eleven drawing tools are available for technical analysis, also just below the industry standard.
Options traders can view a basic option chain that includes all five Greeks (delta, gamma, theta, vega, rho), 22 optional columns, and quick analysis for pulling up profit & loss charts on the fly. Pros aside, columns cannot be custom ordered, the profit & loss charts can’t be enlarged, advanced probability analysis can’t be conducted, and only basic chains are available, so there is no viewing by strategy type.
Looking beyond charts and options chains, the platform’s limitations really start to stand out. No stock alerts can be set, hot keys are not supported (sorry active traders), there are no trade idea generation tools available, and level II quotes are a “paid upgrade” only feature. Oh, and you can forget about using advanced order types, because those aren’t available, either. The list of desired functionality goes on and on.
Overall, for a platform supported by $2.50 trades, Just2Trade+ has its highlights and lowlights. I appreciate the clean charting, watch lists, options chains, and stable experience in Google Chrome. Beyond this, I was left wanting much more.
Just2Trade attempts to include research for its clients; however, the offering is weak, to say the least. The broker relies on the most bare bones basic package from industry-preferred provider Morningstar.
Upon digging deeper, however, the drawbacks immediately become apparent.
To conduct research, customers login to the Just2Trade website, then head over to the Cabinet, which is where personal account information, settings, and more are managed. Once in, they click on the awkwardly named “Trading Assistance” link in the left sidebar to load the Morningstar research module.
The default ticker loaded is IBM, and upon initial inspection, users are greeted with an abundance of fundamental data, graphs, breakdowns, analysis, and more split up into a variety of sections. From this Morningstar module, basic fundamental research can be conducted including: viewing recent news, examining full balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements, as well as conducting earnings analysis.
Upon digging deeper, however, the drawbacks immediately become apparent. First off, only stocks trading on major exchanges can be pulled up; pink sheets, ETFs, and mutual funds are all excluded. When conducting research on stocks, examples of missing features include metric comparisons, downloadable research reports, and SEC filings. The nail in the coffin? No screening tool is present to conduct even basic stock screening. Yuck.
The underlying experience for conducting research follows the experience found with the Just2Trade+ platform; clients are giving up a lot to have $2.50 trades.
When it comes to mobile tools, the bare bones basics are once again in focus. Native apps for both iOS iPhone and Android smartphone are available, which is good, but they can be used only for pulling quotes, viewing a basic watch list, options chains, and placing simple orders. The mobile apps are so simplistic you can’t even rotate the screen to view a stock chart in landscape mode. It’s pretty bad.
Just2Trade began offering webinars during the back half of 2016, and these are archived and available for later viewing. On average, two are conducted each month. Beyond this, education is non-existent. Not even a basic investor dictionary can be found.
Just2Trade was originally founded in 2007. The company got itself into some hot water in early 2013 and was issued a cease and desist letter from FINRA in April, 2013. The company was eventually cleaned up and later sold to WhoTrades, Inc in April 2015, and that company continues to operate Just2Trade today.
Just2Trade’s homepage suggest the site has everything a self-directed investor could want, but in reality, it falls well short of its goal.
The main challenge for a broker like Just2Trade is delivering a well-rounded client experience with so little capital to work with from charging $2.50 per trade. Because of heavily discounted rates, Just2Trade cannot provide the features most investors want and need to invest efficiently, let alone successfully.
If you can stomach having just enough to place trades and manage a basic portfolio, Just2Trade could be a viable option. For me, the savings per trade isn’t worth it. Not even close.
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 seven 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.
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Commissions & Fees
Stock Trades - $2.50 per trade. There is an additional charge of $.003 per share for extended hours trading. For stocks priced less than $1.00, add $0.003 per share for the entire order (maximum commission per order not to exceed $5.50).
Options Trades - $2.50 + $.50 per contract. There is a $20 fee for each exercise or assignment.
Mutual Funds - $12.50 per trade.
Trade Commissions Breakdown
|Stock Trade Fee (flat)||$2.50|
|Stock Trade Fee (per share)||$0.00|
|Options Base Fee||$2.50|
|Options Per Contract Fee||$0.50|
|Options Exercise Fee||$20.00|
|Options Assignment Fee||$20.00|
|Mutual Fund Trade Fee||$12.50|
|Broker Assisted Trades Fee||$22.50|
|Margin Rate Under $24,999.99||7.00%|
|Margin Rate $25,000.00 to $49,999.99||6.50%|
|Margin Rate $50,000.00 to $99,999.99||6.25%|
|Margin Rate $100,000.00 to $249,999.99||5.50%|
|Margin Rate $250,000.00 to $499,999.99||5.50%|
|Margin Rate $500,000.00 to $999,999.99||5.00%|
|Margin Rate Above $1,000,000.00||4.75%|
|Bond Trade Fee||N/A|
|Treasury Trade Fee||N/A|
|IRA Annual Fee||$50.00|
|IRA Closure Fee||$75.00|
|Returned ACH Fee||$50.00|
|Returned Wire Fee||$25.00|
|Stock Certificate Processing Fee||N/A|
|Stock Certificate Delivery Fee||$20.00|
|Paper Statement Fee||$5.00|
|Paper Confirmation Fee||$3.00|
|Domestic Wire Fee||$30.00|
|International Wire Fee||$60.00|
Offering of Investments
|Advisor Services help||No|
|Bonds (Corporate) help||No|
|Bonds (Municipal) help||No|
|Bonds (US Treasury) help||No|
|Clearing Firm help||COR Clearing LLC & Vision Financial Markets|
|Commission Free ETFs help||0|
|Direct Market Routing - Stocks help||Yes|
|Direct Market Routing - Options help||No|
|# of Easy to Borrow Stocks help||3400|
|Forex Trading help||No|
|Futures Trading help||Yes|
|Member FINRA help||Yes|
|Member SIPC help||Yes|
|Mutual Funds help||Yes|
|Mutual Funds (No Load) help||3000|
|Mutual Funds (Load) help||100|
|Mutual Funds (NTF) help||2900|
|Mutual Funds (Total) help||3000|
|Mutual Funds Phone Trades help||Yes|
|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||Yes|
|Options Trading help||Yes|
|Complex Options Max Legs help||1|
|Options Trading (Mini) help||No|
|Options Trading (Weekly) help||Yes|
|OTCBB / Pink Sheets help||Yes|
|Stock Trading help||Yes|
|Phone Support help||Yes|
|Email Support help||Yes|
|Live Chat (Current Clients) help||Yes|
|Live Chat (Prospect Clients) help||Yes|
|24/7 Support help||No|
Platforms & Tools
|Desktop Platform (Windows) help||No|
|Desktop Platform (Mac) help||No|
|Web Platform help||Yes|
|Active Trading Platform help||Just2Trade+|
|Charting - Display Corporate Events help||No|
|Charting - View Historical Trades help||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies help||92|
|Charting - Drawing Tools help||11|
|Charting - Trade Off Chart help||No|
|Charting - Notes help||Yes|
|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||22|
|Option Chains - Quick Analysis help||Yes|
|Option Analysis - P&L Charts help||Yes|
|Option Analysis - Probability Analysis Basic help||Yes|
|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||18|
|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||Yes|
|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||0|
|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||Yes|
|Client Webinars (Archived) help||Yes|
|Live Seminars help||No|
|Retirement Calculator help||No|
|Progress Tracking help||No|
|Interactive Learning - Quizzes help||No|
|iPhone App help||Yes|
|iPad App help||No|
|Apple Watch App help||No|
|Android App help||Yes|
|Android Tablet App help||No|
|Mobile Site help||Yes|
|Touch ID help||No|
|Account Transfers help||No|
|Quotes (Real-time) help||Yes|
|Quotes (Streaming Real-time) help||No|
|Watch List (Real-time) help||Yes|
|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||0|
|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||Yes|
|Trading - After-Hours help||No|
|Trading - Conditional Orders help||No|
|Trading - Mutual Funds help||No|
|Trading - Simple Options help||Yes|
|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|