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SpeedTrader 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.

Appealing to the elusive segment of traders who place hundreds to thousands of trades per year is no easy task. Size matters to drive down costs, and as we will explore here, firms such as SpeedTrader face great difficulty in providing value over Interactive Brokers.

Review Summary

Rank: 12th (of 16)

SpeedTrader, a division of Mint Global Markets, has been serving active traders for 19 years. As a Das Trader Pro exclusive firm, SpeedTrader caters solely to hyperactive and professional traders and offers discounted commissions; however, pricing plans are complicated.

Benefits

  • If you prefer DAS Trader Pro, then SpeedTrader is a viable contender for your portfolio.
  • As a small firm, SpeedTrader can provide traders a more “homey” feel, which means getting to know the trading desk on a first-name basis.
  • In certain situations, short locates may be more widely available than what is available among competitors.

Considerations

  • Like most other niche professional focused brokers, the mobile experience is very poor.
  • No proprietary trading platform.
  • Navigating the optional pricing plans and platform subscriptions is confusing. Baked-in monthly costs add up fast.

Commissions & Fees

Rank: 5th (of 16)

With multiple plans and subscription options, traders need to read the fine print to select the best setup for them. For low-volume traders, SpeedTrader becomes very expensive, very quickly.

Benefits

  • SpeedTrader currently works with two clearing companies, COR and ETC. This means two different plan options for traders.
  • Traders with COR accounts can either choose per-trade pricing, starting at $4.49 per trade plus/minus routing fees, or per-share pricing, starting at $0.0044 per share plus/minus routing fees, with a one- to two-day waiting period to change between the two.
  • Traders with ETC accounts are given a discounted $.004 per share, plus/minus routing fees, which decreases down to $0.001 per share plus/minus routing fees, if a high enough monthly share volume is achieved.

Considerations

  • Platform fees are additional and come bundled with market data, which is another cost passed onto the trader.
  • Choosing an ETC account sacrifices the pay per-trade option, as well as the ability to trade options or make ACH transfers.
  • Traders are fully responsible for their market center routing fees or rebates. Adding liquidity yields a rebate, while taking liquidity (e.g., market orders) are charged an additional fee by the market center.
  • SpeedTrader charges 6.00% margin rates across the board, which is competitive, yet much higher than industry leader Interactive Brokers.

Further Reading

Fees Comparison

FeatureSpeedTraderInteractive BrokersLightspeedTradeStationCobra Trading
Minimum Deposit$30,000.00$0.00$10,000.00$500.00$30,000.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade)$4.49N/A$4.50$5.00N/A
ETF Trade Fee$4.49$0.005$4.50$5.00N/A
Options Base FeeN/A$0.00$0.00$5.00N/A
Options Per Contract Fee$0.00$0.70$0.60$0.50$0.50
Mutual Fund Trade Fee$50.00$14.95N/A$14.95$25.00
Broker Assisted Trades Fee$30.00$30.00$25.00$50.00$0.00
Commission-Free ETFs048000
Commissions & Fees 4 Stars 4.5 Stars 3 Stars 3.5 Stars 3 Stars
View all 23 data points

Platforms & Tools

Rank: 11th (of 16)

SpeedTrader is a DAS Trader Pro exclusive brokerage. DAS Trader Pro provides only the tools needed to trade and lacks depth across the board.

Benefits

  • Advanced order functionality, including hotkey mapping options, are robust.

Considerations

  • As mentioned in the Commissions & Fees section above, traders have to select a monthly platform plan which bakes in the licensing cost of Das Trader Pro.
  • Monthly platform plans range from a minimum of $25 for a web-only platform to $104 a month, and can be waived only if certain minimum commission spend thresholds are met.
  • Das Trader Pro will satisfy most professionals. However, traders seeking a variety of tools and features will be disappointed.

Gallery

Further Reading

Tools Comparison

FeatureSpeedTraderInteractive BrokersLightspeedTradeStationCobra Trading
Web Platform Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watch Lists - Total Fields3045314133530
Charting - Drawing Tools998239
Charting - Indicators / Studies361212028236
Option Chains - Total Columns1737603217
Streaming TV No Yes No No No
Paper Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Platforms & Tools 3 Stars 4.5 Stars 3 Stars 4.5 Stars 3 Stars
View all 59 data points

Research

Rank: 15th (of 16)

Like SpeedTrader’s closest competitors, Lightspeed, Cobra Trading, and CenterPoint Securities, research is not a focal point and is essentially nonexistent.

Benefits

  • None.

Considerations

  • Traditional fundamental research, including advanced portfolio analysis and back testing capabilities are nowhere to be found.

Gallery

Research Comparison

FeatureSpeedTraderInteractive BrokersLightspeedTradeStationCobra Trading
Research - Stocks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stock Research - Reports01000
Research - ETFs No Yes No Yes No
Research - Mutual Funds No No No No No
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB No Yes No Yes No
Research - Fixed Income No Yes No No No
Research - Futures No Yes No Yes No
Research - Forex No Yes No Yes No
Research 1 Stars 3.5 Stars 1 Stars 1.5 Stars 1 Stars
View all 60 data points

Customer Service

Rank: 12th (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: 7.0 / 10
  • Average Professionalism Score: 6.5 / 10
  • Overall Score: 7.24 / 10
  • Ranking: 12 th (16 brokers)
  • View Infographic

Mobile Trading

Rank: 13th (of 16)

Like SpeedTrader’s closest competitors, Lightspeed, Cobra Trading, and CenterPoint Securities, mobile apps and trading on the go are an afterthought.

Benefits

  • Mobile trading is offered, and basic trading can be conducted.

Considerations

  • SpeedTrader offers iSpeedTrader, which is available for download from the Apple iTunes store, while Android users must download the Das Trader Pro app directly to trade.
  • Compared to Interactive Brokers, the mobile experience is terrible.

Gallery

Further Reading:

Mobile Apps Comparison

FeatureSpeedTraderInteractive BrokersLightspeedTradeStationCobra Trading
iPhone App Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Android App Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Apple Watch App No Yes No No No
Watch List Syncing No Yes No Yes No
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields No Yes No Yes No
Charting - After Hours Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Mobile Trading 2.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 1.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 3 Stars
View all 52 data points

Offering of Investments

Rank: 14th (of 16)

SpeedTrader offers everything professional traders require to go about their business.

Benefits

  • Full direct-market routing.
  • Short locate capabilities with multiple venues for liquidity.

Considerations

  • SpeedTrader has little to offer beyond a rich stock and options offering.

Further Reading

Offering Comparison

FeatureSpeedTraderInteractive BrokersLightspeedTradeStationCobra Trading
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 Legs48644
Options Exercising (Web) No Yes No No No
Options Exercising (Phone) No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bonds (US Treasury) No Yes Yes Yes No
Bonds (Corporate) No Yes No Yes No
Bonds (Municipal) No Yes No Yes No
Futures Trading No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Trading No No No No Yes
Mutual Funds (No Load)0755808870
Mutual Funds (Total)011000043570
DRIPs No Yes No Yes Yes
Advisor Services No No No No No
Offering of Investments 2.5 Stars 5 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
View all 40 data points

Final Thoughts

Rank: 12th (of 16)

SpeedTrader is a direct-access broker that caters to active and professional traders seeking comprehensive execution and routing options, and lots of trading.

Assuming you can meet the minimum monthly commission spend thresholds to even make sense of the pricing structure, there are only two reasons to consider SpeedTrader. The first would be that you are using a small shop where you can get to know the trading desk personally. The second reason would be to access SpeedTrader’s short locate tool.

Beyond these two considerations, Interactive Brokers offers better pricing, a far superior trading platform, significantly better mobile capabilities, and much better all-round value.

Methodology

For the StockBrokers.com ninth annual review published in February 2019, a total of 4,544 data points were collected over six months and used to score brokers. Each broker completed an in-depth data profile and provided executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting. 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. We take pride in StockBrokers.com data quality because it is 100% verified by the industry itself. As part of our process, we hand check and validate each data point to ensure its accuracy.

This 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.


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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