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Overall

MB Trading offers active investors the platforms and tools they need to succeed, including access to forex and futures trading; however, customer service lacks quality and the broker's research offering is nearly non-existent.

Commissions & Fees
Offering of Investments
Platforms & Tools
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By Blain Reinkensmeyer on February 21st, 2017 | Last updated: November 21st, 2016

Dislikes
  • Additional charges for trading after hours under the MBTR plan
  • Very poor customer service
  • MBT World a weak effort at community functionality


MB Trading Review

IMPORTANT NOTICE 11/19/15: MB Trading has been acquired by TradeKing. Please read our TradeKing 2016 Review for a full breakdown of the combined brokerage.

The content portion of this Review was completed on February 17th, 2015 in conjunction with the 2015 Broker Review.

MB Trading targets primarily active and seasoned investors, but also caters for intermediate investors. While the company is best 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 focus only on MB Trading's equity and options offering.

Commissions & Fees

For regular stock trades, two commission plans are offered: a flat fee of $4.95 per trade (MBTR plan) and $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 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. This fee is archaic in today’s world and should be put to rest. Also, clients are charged a $7.50 data fee each month if at least $25 in commissions are not spent per month.

Lastly, mutual funds are supported only via phone orders, and cannot be placed online.

When it comes to commissions and fees overall, active traders will find MB Trading's rates competitive; however, they are not as low as the deep discount leaders, Interactive Brokers, Lightspeed, and OptionsHouse. This is especially true for trading on margin. Having said that, if you are trading large orders of 3,000+ shares or 101+ contracts, MB Trading is a very competitive alternative.

MB TradingTradeStationInteractive BrokersOptionsHouseLightspeed Trading
Stock Trade Fee (flat)$4.95$9.99N/A$4.95$4.50
Options Base Fee$0.00$0.00$0.00$4.95$0.00
Options Per Contract Fee$0.95$1.00$0.70$0.50$0.60
Broker Assisted Trades Fee$4.95$20.00$30.00$25.00$25.00
Commissions & Fees 0/5 3.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 4/5

Platforms & Tools

MB Trading offers a variety of platforms, the two primary ones being MBT Desktop Pro (desktop-based) and MBT Web (web-based) for equities trading. The broker also offers mobile apps for iPhone, Android, and iPad.

MBT Desktop Pro is not built for newer investors, but is aimed rather at active traders. From trade hotkeys to market depth ladder trading, level II quotes, advanced charting, one-click trading buttons, completely customizable watch lists, numerous order types, direct market access, and all data real-time streaming, there is a lot to like.

MB Trading Desktop Pro chart

The weaknesses with the platform include a lack of snap windows for easy setup, limited options trade analysis (no custom spreads grouping or advanced analysis for current positions; weak analysis for potential positions), and the UI overall, which requires some time to get used to.

As far as speed and smoothness go, MBT Desktop Pro, as the flagship platform, is a pleasant experience and bug free. MB Trading Web is also pretty smooth, although not as responsive as MBT Desktop Pro. Furthermore, the login process for MB Trading Web has a longer load time.

MB Trading Web loading screen

Other Notes

Like most active trader-focused brokers (in this case TradeStation, Lightspeed, Interactive Brokers, etc.), MB Trading does not offer any research, and education is extremely weak. This is expected.

On the mobile front, MB Trading has its bright spots and weak points. On the plus side, the app uses real-time streaming data throughout. Also, charts support a total of 45 technical indicators. On the cons side, there is absolutely no alerts functionality, the UI is not space efficient in certain areas (horizontal chart viewing mode, for example), and the apps cannot be used to place after-hours trades or complex options.

Customer service was disappointing. MB Trading's support, via phone, email, or live chat, was very weak. Connection times for phone calls were quick; however, the reps were clearly undertrained, were hard to understand in several cases, and on many occasions simply did not have the answers to our questions. Never once did a service rep ask for our name, ask if we had any more questions, or offer further assistance at the end of the call. Email and live chat offered some slightly better experiences, but, generally, they were also poor.

On the positive side, MB Trading's website is well organized, mobile friendly, 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.

Closing Thoughts

MB Trading is a broker built for active traders and investors who not only are interested in stocks, but also trade 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 mobile apps lack depth, and customer service is extremely weak, with inconsistency and a lack of attention to detail, making for a poor client experience.


Blain Reinkensmeyer

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.


Ratings Overall

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


Commissions & Fees

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

Commission Notes

Minimum 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.

Data feeds & fees - It is important to note that MB Trading does charge a $7.50 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. Also, there is a $.01 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.




Trade Commissions Breakdown

Stock Trade Fee (flat) $4.95
Stock Trade Fee (per share) $0.01
Options Base Fee $0.00
Options Per Contract Fee $0.95
Options Exercise Fee $0.00
Options Assignment Fee $0.00
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $12.95
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $4.95
Minimum Deposit $1,000.00

Margin Rates

Margin Rate Under $24,999.99 7.45%
Margin Rate $25,000.00 to $49,999.99 7.45%
Margin Rate $50,000.00 to $99,999.99 7.45%
Margin Rate $100,000.00 to $249,999.99 7.45%
Margin Rate $250,000.00 to $499,999.99 7.45%
Margin Rate $500,000.00 to $999,999.99 7.45%
Margin Rate Above $1,000,000.00 7.45%

Miscellaneous Fees

Bond Trade Fee $12.95
Treasury Trade Fee Varies
IRA Annual Fee $30.00
IRA Closure Fee $20.00
Returned ACH Fee $30.00
Returned Wire Fee $30.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $75.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee $235.00
Paper Statement Fee $5.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $2.00
Domestic Wire Fee $15.00
International Wire Fee $50.00

Account Features

Offering of Investments

Advisor Services help No
Bonds (Corporate) help Yes
Bonds (Municipal) help No
Bonds (US Treasury) help Yes
CDs help No
Clearing Firm help Apex Clearing
Commission Free ETFs help 0
Direct Market Routing - Stocks help Yes
Direct Market Routing - Options help No
DRIPs help Yes
# of Easy to Borrow Stocks help 5000
Forex Trading help Yes
Futures Trading help Yes
Member FINRA help Yes
Member SIPC help Yes
Mutual Funds help Yes
Mutual Funds (No Load) help 4522
Mutual Funds (Load) help 7553
Mutual Funds (NTF) help 0
Mutual Funds (Total) help 12075
Mutual Funds Phone Trades help Yes
Mutual Funds Web Trades help No
No Fee IRAs help No
No Inactivity Fees help No
No Minimum Deposit help No
Options Exercising (Web) help No
Options Exercising (Phone) help Yes
Options Trading help Yes
Complex Options Max Legs help 4
Options Trading (Mini) help Yes
Options Trading (Weekly) help Yes
OTCBB / Pink Sheets help Yes
Stock Trading help Yes

Customer Service

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 Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac) help No
Web Platform help Yes
Active Trading Platform help MBT Desktop Pro
Charting - Display Corporate Events help No
Charting - View Historical Trades help Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies help 53
Charting - Drawing Tools help 29
Charting - Trade Off Chart help Yes
Charting - Notes help Yes
Heat Mapping help No
Ladder Trading help Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks help Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Options help Yes
Option Chains - Streaming Real-time help Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns help 20
Option Chains - Quick Analysis help Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts help Yes
Option Analysis - Probability Analysis Basic help No
Option Analysis - Probability Analysis Adv help No
Option Positions - Contract Rolling help No
Stock Alerts Delivery - Email help Yes
Stock Alerts Delivery - Sound help No
Stock Alerts Delivery - Text SMS help No
Streaming Time & Sales help Yes
Streaming TV help No
Trade Hot Keys help Yes
Virtual Trading help Yes
Watch Lists - Streaming Real-time Quotes help Yes
Watch Lists - Total Fields help 49

Research

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 Yes
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 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 Yes
Screener - ETFs help No
Screener - Mutual Funds help No
Screener - Options help No
Screener - Bonds help No

Education

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 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 Yes
iPad App help Yes
Apple Watch App help No
Android App help Yes
Android Tablet App help Yes
Mobile Site help Yes
Touch ID help No
Account Transfers help No
Quotes (Real-time) help Yes
Quotes (Streaming Real-time) help Yes
Watch List (Real-time) help Yes
Watch List (Streaming Real-time) help Yes
Watch List Syncing help No
Market Movers (Top Gainers) help Yes
Custom Screening / Scanning help No
Charting - Stock Comparisons help No
Charting - Technical Studies help 45
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 Yes
Trading - Mutual Funds help No
Trading - Simple Options help Yes
Trading - Complex Options help No
Trading - Option Rolling help No

Banking

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

Compare MB Trading

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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 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 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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