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ChoiceTrade Review

The StockBrokers.com annual review (9 years running) takes six months to complete and produces over 30,000 words of research each year. Here's how we test.

Although founded in 2000, ChoiceTrade is a brand few traders have heard of. After examining the web-based offering, it’s clear why the broker has not become a household name.

I first headed to ChoiceTrade’s “About Us” page and was greeted with bland, broad, templated text describing how the broker focuses on technology and powerful solutions for traders. There was no information about the founder or the company itself. Instead, the content includes a stock photo image of a Wall Street sign.

This was just the start, as the deeper I explored ChoiceTrade’s website, the more questions I had.

Review Summary

Rank: 16th (of 16)

ChoiceTrade provides investors deeply discounted stock trades but offers a terrible all-around customer experience not worth the lower price to trade.

Benefits

  • Customers can place unlimited free stock trades for $5 per month (restrictions apply, see below “Commissions & Fees”).

Considerations

  • Web-based ChoiceTrader is the worst brokerage trading platform I have ever tested.
  • The research offered is barebones compared to competitors such as Fidelity

Commissions & Fees

Rank: 7th (of 16)

ChoiceTrade offers $0 stock trades and $10 capped options trades with numerous catches that require reading the fine print.

Benefits

  • Unlimited free stock trades for $5 per month if the stock is over $1 per share, traded on the NASDAQ or NYSE, a market or limit order is used, and you are not trading after hours.
  • Options trades for $5 + $.15 per contract.

Considerations

  • After-hours trades cost an additional $.005 per share.
  • While ChoiceTrade advertises $10 capped options trades, it is actually a separate pricing plan that effects all options trades made. Orders are not simply $5 + $.15 per contract with a $10 cap.
  • Miscellaneous account fees are far higher than the industry average.

Further Reading

Fees Comparison

FeatureChoiceTradeFidelity TD AmeritradeFirstradeE*TRADE
Minimum Deposit$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$500.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade)$0.00$4.95$6.95$0.00$6.95
Options Base Fee$5.00$4.95$6.95$0.00$6.95
Options Per Contract Fee$0.15$0.65$0.75$0.00$0.75
Mutual Fund Trade FeeN/A$49.95$49.99$0.00$19.99
Commission-Free ETFs0500313all295
View all 23 data points

Platforms & Tools

Rank: 15th (of 16)

ChoiceTrade’s default web-based platform, ChoiceTrader, is extremely difficult to use, outdated, and is worth avoiding at all costs. While our testing focused on ChoiceTrader, if I were to use ChoiceTrade, I would pay the additional monthly fee to use one of three third-party platforms offered (prices start at $14.95/mo).

Benefits

  • Basic automated technical analysis offered for stock charts (RoboAnalyst tool).

Considerations

  • Watch lists only include four viewable fields, and the main watch list is buggy.
  • No drawing tools available for stock charts.
  • ChoiceTrader is a poorly designed platform that is extremely difficult to navigate and use.

Gallery

Further Reading

Tools Comparison

FeatureChoiceTradeFidelity TD AmeritradeFirstradeE*TRADE
Web Platform Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Watch Lists - Total Fields49151413125
Charting - Drawing Tools02222533
Charting - Indicators / Studies2016641158118
Option Chains - Total Columns112633830
Streaming TV No Yes Yes No Yes
Paper Trading Yes No Yes No Yes
View all 59 data points

Research

Rank: 11th (of 16)

Beyond pulling basic stock quotes and conducting elementary research such as viewing a balance sheet or income statement, Choicetrade has little to offer.

Benefits

  • None.

Considerations

  • No ETFs research offered beyond basic quotes.
  • No mutual funds research offered.
  • No screeners offered.

Gallery

Research Comparison

FeatureChoiceTradeFidelity TD AmeritradeFirstradeE*TRADE
Research - Stocks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stock Research - Reports012714
Research - ETFs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Research - Fixed Income Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Research - Futures No Yes Yes No Yes
Research - Forex No No Yes No No
View all 60 data points

Customer Service

Rank: 15th (of 16)

To score Customer Service, StockBrokers.com partners with customer experience research group Confero to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the United States. For our 2019 Broker Review, 300 customer service tests were conducted over ten weeks.

Results

  • Average Connection Time: <1 minute
  • Average Net Promoter Score: 6.5 / 10
  • Average Professionalism Score: 5.6 / 10
  • Overall Score: 6.7 / 10
  • Ranking: 15 th (16 brokers)
  • View Infographic

Mobile Trading

Rank: 15th (of 16)

ChoiceTrade offers a mobile app for its customers that supports only the bare-bones basics for investing on the go.

Benefits

  • Both iOS and Android apps offered.

Considerations

  • Core basic trading for stocks and options only.
  • No alerts.
  • No real-time streaming data.

Gallery

Further Reading:

Mobile Apps Comparison

FeatureChoiceTradeFidelity TD AmeritradeFirstradeE*TRADE
iPhone App Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Android App Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Apple Watch App No Yes Yes No Yes
Watch List Syncing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields No Yes Yes No Yes
Charting - After Hours Yes Yes Yes No Yes
View all 52 data points

Offering of Investments

Rank: 15th (of 16)

Beyond providing a platform on which to trade stocks and options online, ChoiceTrade has little to offer.

Benefits

  • Stock and options trading offered.

Considerations

  • No mutual funds trading offered.
  • No bonds trading offered.
  • No two-factor authentication login option (secure logins).

Further Reading

Offering Comparison

FeatureChoiceTradeFidelity TD AmeritradeFirstradeE*TRADE
Stock Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
OTCBB / Pink Sheets Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs44424
Futures Trading No No Yes No Yes
Forex Trading No No Yes No No
Mutual Funds (No Load)04031518552346266
Advisor Services No Yes Yes No Yes
View all 40 data points

Final Thoughts

Rank: 16th (of 16)

Because ChoiceTrade has been in operation since 2000 and because of its focus on discounted stocks as well as options trades, I was optimistic my testing would uncover a winner.

Unfortunately, what I found were dozens of reasons explaining why the broker has had little success and remains elusive to the online investor world.

Instead of ChoiceTrade, investors seeking $0 stock trades should consider Firstrade, Robinhood, or Merrill Edge.

For our 2019 Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 16 different online brokers over a period of six months. How we test.


Blain Reinkensmeyer

About the author: Blain Reinkensmeyer As Head of Research at StockBrokers.com, Blain Reinkensmeyer has 18 years of trading experience with over 1,000 trades placed during that time. Referenced as a leading expert on the US online brokerage industry, Blain has been quoted in The New York Times, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune, among others.

All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 02/18/2019 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. 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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