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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.
ChoiceTrade provides investors deeply discounted stock trades but offers a terrible all-around customer experience not worth the lower price to trade.
- Customers can place unlimited free stock trades for $5 per month (restrictions apply, see below “Commissions & Fees”).
- 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
ChoiceTrade offers $0 stock trades and $10 capped options trades with numerous catches that require reading the fine print.
- 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.
- 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.
|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 Fee||N/A||$49.95||$49.99||$0.00||$19.99|
Platforms & Tools
ChoiceTrade’s default web-based platform, ChoiceTrader, is extremely difficult to use, outdated, and is worth avoiding at all costs.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).
- Basic automated technical analysis offered for stock charts (RoboAnalyst tool).
- 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.
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Watch Lists - Total Fields||4||91||514||13||125|
|Charting - Drawing Tools||0||22||22||5||33|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||20||166||411||58||118|
|Option Chains - Total Columns||11||26||33||8||30|
Beyond pulling basic stock quotes and conducting elementary research such as viewing a balance sheet or income statement, Choicetrade has little to offer.
- No ETFs research offered beyond basic quotes.
- No mutual funds research offered.
- No screeners offered.
|Research - Stocks||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Stock Research - Reports||0||12||7||1||4|
|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|
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.
- 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
ChoiceTrade offers a mobile app for its customers that supports only the bare-bones basics for investing on the go.
- Both iOS and Android apps offered.
- Core basic trading for stocks and options only.
- No alerts.
- No real-time streaming data.
Mobile Apps Comparison
|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|
Offering of Investments
Beyond providing a platform on which to trade stocks and options online, ChoiceTrade has little to offer.
- Stock and options trading offered.
- No mutual funds trading offered.
- No bonds trading offered.
- No two-factor authentication login option (secure logins).
|OTCBB / Pink Sheets||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Complex Options Max Legs||4||4||4||2||4|
|Mutual Funds (No Load)||0||4031||5185||5234||6266|
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.
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.