Published by Blain Reinkensmeyer
On Friday, January 23rd, 2015 .
MB Trading offers active investors the platforms and tools they need to succeed, including access to forex and futures trading; however, customer service lacks in quality and the broker's research offering is nearly non-existent.
Multiple platforms for both web and desktop serve all investor types; tiered options pricing offers discounts based on total contracts; supports stocks, options, futures and forex.
MBT World a poor effort at community functionality; additional charges for trading after hours under the MBTR plan.
MB Trading is built with active and seasoned investors in mind, while also catering to intermediate investors. While most prominently known for forex trading (we ranked them No. 1 for forex in our 2011 Forex Review), the broker offers the full spectrum of trading: equities, options, futures and forex
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 (MBTR plan) and the other is $0.0075 per share with a $4.95 minimum per trade (MBTX plan). Options trades are $.95 per contract if trading 0- 10 contracts and can be as low as $.15 per contract when trading 251 contracts or more. For a complete breakdown, please see click the Commissions & Fees tab above and scroll down to the notes section.
One important note is that under the MBTR plan, after hours trades are charged an extra $.005 per share, a fee that is archaic in todays world and should be put to rest. Also, clients are charged a $7.50 data fee each month atleast $25 in commissions are not spent month.
Lastly, mutual funds are not supported by MB Trading.
When it comes to commissions and fees overall, active traders will find MB Trading's rates competitive, however, not as low as the deep discount leaders Lightspeed and Interactive Brokers. This is especially true for trading on margin. With that said, if trading large order sizes of 3,000+ shares or 101+ contracts, MB Trading is the cheaper route.
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 set-up, limited option trade analysis (P&L reporting is minimal, and probability and risk analysis could be more intuitive for less experienced traders), and the UI overall, which requires some time to get used to.
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. We found opening and closing MBT Web in Chrome to be a lost cause, forcing us to use Firefox or Internet Explorer instead.
With mobile trading, 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.
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 is well organized and 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 commission rates, this makes MB Trading a legitimate competitor.
Like all brokers, there is also room for improvement. The MBT Web platform still has its fair share of bugs and customer service is also weak, with inconsistency and a lack of attention to detail making for a poor client experience.
Blain has been involved in the markets for over 12 years, heading StockBrokers.com equity broker research and reviews. His personal blog, StockTradingToGo.com, provides to-the-point daily market recaps to over 17,000 subscribers.
All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 11/01/2014 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 top 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.