Cobra Trading Review
By Blain Reinkensmeyer
February 19th, 2018
Last Updated: February 14th, 2019
The StockBrokers.com Annual Review (9 years running) sets the official industry benchmarks. Our Head of Research, Blain Reinkensmeyer, is respected by executives as the leading analyst covering online brokers. Learn more.
With 16 years of business operation under its belt, Cobra Trading is an online brokerage that focuses solely on professional traders. Cobra Trading offers multiple direct-access trading platforms, is competitive in pricing, and, most importantly, provides personalized service.
Appealing to the niche segment of traders who place hundreds, if not thousands of trades per year is difficult. To stay profitable, Cobra Trading, like its competitors, is an a la carte shop that passes on all the costs of trading to its customers. Tit-for-tat brokers like Cobra Trading struggle to outdo Interactive Brokers in value.
Cobra Trading is one of several direct-access brokers that focus on professional traders. The offerings are all identical and generally fail to match industry powerhouse Interactive Brokers, with the one caveat being personalized service.
- Cobra Trading is platform agnostic – it offers traders access to Das Trader Pro as well as Sterling Trader and RealTick.
- As a small firm, Cobra Trading has a small trading desk, offering traders the opportunity to know the team on a first-name basis.
- In certain situations, short locates may be more widely available with Cobra than its competitors.
- Like most other niche professional-focused brokers, the mobile experience is very poor.
- No proprietary trading platform.
- Failing to meet monthly share minimums results in hefty monthly fees, depending on the platform being used.
Commissions & Fees
Cobra Trading’s pricing is in line with its competitors. For low-volume traders, Cobra Trading quickly becomes expensive.
- Cobra Trading’s pricing structure is easy to understand.
- The company charges commissions on a per share basis, starting at $.004/share, which is cheaper than starting prices for SpeedTrader ($.0044/share) and LightSpeed ($.0045/share).
- Cobra Trading’s 5.25% flat margin rates are competitive compared to competitors such as SpeedTrader; however, like all brokers, the rates do not come close to matching the rates of Interactive Brokers.
- Traders are fully responsible for their market center routing fees or rebates. Adding liquidity yields a rebate, while taking liquidity (e.g., market orders) incurs an additional fee from the market center.
|Stock Trade Fee (flat)||N/A|
|Options Base Fee||N/A|
|Options Per Contract Fee||$0.50|
|Mutual Fund Trade Fee||$25.00|
Platforms & Tools
Cobra Trading is platform agnostic, providing traders the freedom to choose whichever platform they desire. We focused our testing on Das Trader Pro, which left us unimpressed overall.
- In addition to Cobra TraderPro, which is a white-labeled version of RealTick Pro, traders can directly access multiple platforms, including DAS Trader Pro, Sterling Trader Pro, and RealTick Express.
- Das Trader Pro provides traders only the core features required to effectively trade quickly and efficiently. Little is offered beyond this, which hurt Cobra Trading’s score for overall platform depth and flexibility.
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Watch Lists - Total Fields||30|
|Charting - Drawing Tools||9|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||36|
|Option Chains - Total Columns||17|
Cobra Trading’s research offering depends on the platform chosen for trading, and like all professionally focused trading platforms, traditional stock research is essentially nonexistent.
- Once again, we focused our testing on Das Trader Pro. Alongside no traditional fundamental research, advanced portfolio analysis and back testing capabilities were nowhere to be found.
|Research - Stocks||Yes|
|Stock Research - Reports||0|
|Research - ETFs||No|
|Research - Mutual Funds||No|
|Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB||No|
|Research - Fixed Income||No|
|Research - Futures||No|
|Research - Forex||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: 7.3 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 6.9 / 10
- Overall Score: 7.55 / 10
- Ranking: 10 th (16 brokers)
- View Infographic
Like Cobra Trading’s closest competitors, Lightspeed, SpeedTrader, and CenterPoint Securities, mobile apps and trading on the go are an afterthought. Our testing once again focused on Das Trader Pro.
- Depending on the platform provider used, mobile trading is provided.
- A mobile app is offered by Das Trader Pro, which is very basic but does provide trading capabilities. Compared to Interactive Brokers, the mobile experience is terrible.
- While we did not test Sterling Trader’s mobile app, we did confirm one is offered for both iOS and Android.
|Apple Watch App||No|
|Watch List Syncing||No|
|Stock Alerts - Basic Fields||No|
|Charting - After Hours||Yes|
Offering of Investments
Cobra Trading offers everything hyperactive traders require to go about their business, including futures and forex trading through its subsidiary, Venom by Cobra Trading.
- Full direct-market routing.
- Short locate capabilities with multiple venues for liquidity.
- By design, Cobra Trading focuses primarily on professional stock and options trading, which means there is little to attract casual investors.
- Cobra Trading’s futures and forex trading offering uses a white-labeled version of the Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation (TWS) platform, providing little value beyond personalized customer support.
|OTCBB / Pink Sheets||Yes|
|Complex Options Max Legs||4|
|Mutual Funds (No Load)||0|
Cobra Trading caters to the hyperactive and professional trader. Advantages of Cobra Trading include a clean commission structure, multiple trading platforms to select from, and personalized service that can only be found at a small firm.
Beyond these considerations, Interactive Brokers offers better pricing, a far superior trading platform, significantly better mobile capabilities, and much better value all round.