MB Trading ReviewOpen an Account
Multiple platforms for both web and desktop serve all investor types; no base fees for options traders; supports stocks, options, futures and forex.
MBT World a poor effort at community functionality; $10 per month fee charged for options accounts if 10 options contracts are not traded.
Intermediate to advanced investors who desire access to competitive rates and all equity types.
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platform & Tools|
|Ease of Use|
2013 Review Star Ratings
N/A - Not Applicable
|7th||Commissions & Fees|
|4th||Platforms & Tools|
N/R - Not Ranked in Top 10
N/A - Not Applicable
MB Trading Review
MB Trading is built with active and seasoned investors in mind, while also catering to intermediate investors. The broker offers the full spectrum of trading: equities, options, futures and forex. While most prominently known for forex trading (we ranked them No. 1 for forex in our 2011 Forex Review), the broker's other offerings are also strong.
This review will only focus on MB Trading's equity and options offering.
Commissions & Fees
For regular stock trades, two commission plans are offered: flat fee $4.95 per trade and the other is $0.0075 per share with a $4.95 minimum per trade. Options trades are $.95 per contract with no minimum.
One important note for options trading is that MB Trading charges a $10 data fee for options, which is waived if 10 options contracts are traded each month. The same goes for a $6 data feed for equities, which is waived if $25 in commissions is spent during the month.
Lastly, mutual funds are not supported by MB Trading.
When it comes to commissions and fees, active traders will find MB Trading's rates competitive, however, not as low as some deep discount competitors such as Lightspeed, Interactive Brokers and Cobra Trading.
|MB Trading||TradeStation||Interactive Brokers||optionsXpress||OptionsHouse|
Platforms & Tools, Mobile
MB Trading offers a variety of platforms, with the two primary ones for equities trading being MBT Desktop Pro (desktop-based) and MBT Web (web-based). The broker also offers mobile apps for the iPhone, Android and iPad.
MBT Desktop Pro is not built for newer investors, and instead has active traders at heart. From trade hotkeys to market depth ladder trading, level II quotes, advanced charting, one-click trading buttons, completely customizable watch lists, direct market access and all data real-time streaming, there is a lot to like.
The weaknesses with the platform include a lack of snap windows for easy setup, lack of depth for available studies for charting (we counted just more than 50 available) and limited option trade analysis (P&L reporting is minimal, and probability and risk analysis could be more intuitive for less experienced traders.)
As far as speed and smoothness goes, MBT Desktop Pro is the flagship platform, a pleasant experience and bug-free. However, the same cannot be said for MBT Web and Mobile. We found opening and closing MBT Web in Chrome to be a headache, and the iPhone app was clearly not updated to support the iPhone or iOS 6, as bugs were so bad we had to use an iPod instead.
On the positive side, the iPad app has a lot of potential. It is apparent that MB Trading's mobile strategy is to create a seamless user experience whether on mobile or the web, and given proper tech resources alongside time, they may very well accomplish their mission.
Back to MBT Desktop Pro, one big positive for active traders is the order entry capabilities. Customizing and placing orders, despite the type, is a smooth experience. The number of order types available is also staggering, with 28 total available as of this review.
Like most active trader-focused brokers (in this case TradeStation, Lightspeed, Interactive Brokers and Cobra Trading) MB Trading does not offer any research, and education is extremely weak. This is expected.
One disappointment came through our customer service testing. MB Trading's support, whether it be phone, email or live chat, was very inconsistent. Some reps were nice, while others made us feel rushed and unappreciated. In some phone calls, we had a connection in less than a minute, while others took up to five minutes. One email came back in less than an hour, while another took more than two days. Overall, when it comes to customer service, MB Trading has room for improvement.
On the positive side, MB Trading's website has made significant improvements in the past year. We find the main site to be fresh, well organized and very easy to navigate. For a broker with such a diverse offering, this is no easy task, and while MB Trading has done multiple iterations of its website, we feel this one is the best yet.
MB Trading is a broker built for active traders and investors who not only have an interest in stocks, but also options, futures and forex. The flagship platform, MBT Desktop Pro, is fast, bug-free and an order entry magician. Coupled with its competitive commissions rates, this makes MB Trading a legitimate competitor for any investor's portfolio.
Like all brokers, there is also room for improvement. The MBT Web platform and mobile apps look very promising, but still have too many bugs to make them top contenders. Customer service is also weak, with inconsistency and a lack of attention to detail making for a poor client experience.
MB Trading is heading in the right direction. The focus on innovative technology and dramatic improvements to its website in 2012 signal that MB Trading has the potential to be among the best of the best for equities and options trading.
Compare MB Trading to Key Competitors
Trade Commissions Breakdown
|$4.95||Flat-Fee Trade Plan*|
|$0.0075||Per-Share Trade Plan|
|$0.00||Options Base Trade Fee*|
|$0.00||Options Exercise Fee|
|$0.00||Options Assignment Fee|
|$12.95||Mutual Fund Trade Fee|
|$4.95||Broker Assisted Trade Fee|
|7.45%||$25,000.00 to $49,999.99|
|7.45%||$50,000.00 to $99,999.99|
|7.45%||$100,000.00 to $249,999.99|
|7.45%||$250,000.00 to $499,999.99|
|7.45%||$500,000.00 to $999,999.99|
|$12.95||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|
|$30.00||IRA Annual Fee|
|$20.00||IRA Closure Fee|
|$0.00||Forced-Margin Sellout Fee|
|$30.00||Returned ACH Fee|
|$30.00||Returned Wire Transfer Fee|
|$75.00||Stock Certificate Processing Fee|
|$235.00||Stock Certificate Delivery Fee|
|$5.00||Paper Statement Fee|
|$2.00||Paper Confirmation Fee|
|$15.00||Outgoing Domestic Wire Transfer Fee|
|$50.00||Outgoing International Wire Transfer Fee|
Commission NotesMinimum Deposits - MB Trading minimum deposits to open an account vary by account type. For a cash account (stocks, options) the minimum is $1,000, margin accounts (stocks, options, futures) need a $2,000 minimum deposit, and for an IRA account (stocks, options) the minimum is only $500.
Stocks - MB Trading offers two different commissions structures for stocks: a flat rate setup and a tiered offering. Here at StockBrokers.com we utilize the flat-rate commissions structure for listing rates throughout the site. Both offerings and all subsequent fees are broken down below.
Flat-fee trading stock commissions - The MBTR plan offers both market and limit orders at any share price with an unlimited amount of shares for $4.95. Thus, a 100 share purchase of a $50 stock would cost $4.95, and a 8,000 share purchase of a $100 stock would cost $4.95. There are additional fees however for trading during pre (before 9:30 AM EST) and post (after 4:00 PM EST) market hours, or if placing any of the following specialty order types: Reserve, Discretionary, or Pegged. This additional fee is $.005 per share ontop of the base commission rate of $4.95.
Tiered stock commissions - The MBTX plan is designed for more active traders seeking better (professional) executions for their trades. Stock trades placed under this plan are $0.0075 per share with a $4.95 minimum per trade. It should also be noted that the same additional fee of $.005 per share is charged if trading during pre (before 9:30 AM EST) and post (after 4:00 PM EST) market hours, if trading more than 10,000 shares, or if placing any of the following specialty order types: Reserve, Discretionary, or Pegged.
Data feeds & fees - It is important to note that MB Trading does charge a $6 per month data fee waived if a minimum of $25 in commissions are spent in a given month. Also note for clients who opt to have Level II quotes, there is a $10 monthly fee which can be waived if 10 trades are placed each month. A variety of additional advanced data feeds are also available.
Tiered Options commissions - All options orders are charged based on the number of contracts: $0.95 per contract (1-10 contracts); $0.60 per contract (11-100 contracts); $0.35 per contract (101-250 contracts); $0.15 per contract (over 251 contracts). The broker does not allow any naked put or call options orders to be sold. There is a $.001 per share fee to exercise options contracts.
Mutual Funds - Mutual funds cost $12.95 per trade and must be phoned in. Mutual Funds currently cannot be traded through any MB Trading platforms.
Other Investments - MB Trading offers both forex and futures trading.
International Trading - MB Trading offers international trading support. For a full list of countries supported please visit the site.
Misc. Account Information
|0||No. of Commission-Free ETFs|
|0||No. of Retail Locations|
|0||No. of Mutual Funds (w/ Load)|
|0||No. of Mutual Funds (No Load)|
|1||No. of 3rd Party Research Report Providers|
|34||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|