Cobra Trading Review
Cobra Trading was founded in 2003 by Chadd Hessing as a direct-access, low-cost online brokerage for professional stock traders. While Cobra Trading offers multiple trading platforms and personalized service, trading costs are more expensive than leader Interactive Brokers.
Top Takeaways for 2019
After spending six months testing 16 online brokers for our ninth annual stock broker review, here are our top findings on Cobra Trading:
- Founded in 2003, Cobra Trading is a competitor in the ultra-competitive niche of professional traders.
- Cobra Trading's pricing is on par with its competitors. That said, it doesn't have the size and sophistication to offer lower costs than pricing leader Interactive Brokers.
- The main advantage of choosing Cobra Trading over its competitors is customer service, which we found to be lightning fast and reliable. Access to better shorts is another potential benefit; however, every player in this space mentions this, and we were unable to derive a comprehensive testing methodology.
- Cobra Trading is primarily a Das Trader Pro brokerage. Bottom line: Das Trader Pro is just "ok". It doesn't quite stack up the best day trading platforms.
- In our testing, we found that SpeedTrader underperforms in the areas relevant to everyday investors, including Ease of Use, Research, and Education, making it a poor choice for beginners and ordinary discount trading.
- Get a 50% comm. discount for 60 days. Open Account
|Commissions & Fees|
|Offering of Investments|
|Platforms & Tools|
|Ease of Use|
Commissions & Fees
Cobra Trading’s pricing is easy to understand, and in line with its competitors. 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). That said, low-volume traders beware, the less you trade, the more expensive Cobra Trading quickly becomes.
Like all professional trading brokerages, 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. For margin trading, Cobra Trading’s 5.25% flat margin rates are competitive compared to competitors such as SpeedTrader but do not come close to matching the rates of Interactive Brokers.
Cobra Trading pricing summary:
|Stock Trade Fee (per trade)||N/A|
|ETF Trade Fee||N/A|
|Options Base Fee||N/A|
|Options Per Contract Fee||$0.50|
|Mutual Fund Trade Fee||$25.00|
|Broker Assisted Trades Fee||$0.00|
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. Das Trader Pro provides traders only the core features required to trade stocks quickly and efficiently. Bottom line, the best day trading platforms are proprietary and built in-house.
In addition to Cobra TraderPro, which is a white-labeled platform developed by Sterling, traders can directly access multiple platforms, including DAS Trader Pro, Sterling Trader Pro, and RealTick / RealTick Express.
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. Alongside no traditional fundamental research, advanced portfolio analysis and backtesting capabilities are nowhere to be found.
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. 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.
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. Alongside full direct-market routing, full short locate capabilities are provided 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.
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.
About Cobra Trading
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.
2019 Review Methodology
For the StockBrokers.com ninth annual best online brokers review published in February 2019, a total of 4,544 data points were collected over six months and used to score brokers. This makes StockBrokers.com home to the largest independent database on the web covering the online broker industry.
Participation is required to be included. Each broker completed an in-depth data profile and provided executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting. Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.
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 WSJ, The New York Times, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune, among others.