By Blain Reinkensmeyer
February 18th, 2019
Last Updated: March 5th, 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.
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.
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.
SpeedTrader is one of several direct-access brokers that focus on professional traders. The offerings are all identical, and SpeedTrader generally fails to match those of industry powerhouse Interactive Brokers, with the one caveat being personalized service.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
|Stock Trade Fee (flat)||$4.49|
|Options Base Fee||N/A|
|Options Per Contract Fee||$0.00|
|Mutual Fund Trade Fee||$50.00|
Platforms & Tools
SpeedTrader is a DAS Trader Pro exclusive brokerage. DAS Trader Pro provides only the tools needed to trade and lacks depth across the board.
- Advanced order functionality, including hotkey mapping options, are robust.
- 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.
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Watch Lists - Total Fields||30|
|Charting - Drawing Tools||9|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||36|
|Option Chains - Total Columns||17|
Like SpeedTrader’s closest competitors, Lightspeed, Cobra Trading, and CenterPoint Securities, research is not a focal point and is essentially nonexistent.
- Traditional fundamental research, including advanced portfolio analysis and back testing capabilities are 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: 7.0 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 6.5 / 10
- Overall Score: 7.24 / 10
- Ranking: 12 th (16 brokers)
- View Infographic
Like SpeedTrader’s closest competitors, Lightspeed, Cobra Trading, and CenterPoint Securities, mobile apps and trading on the go are an afterthought.
- Mobile trading is offered, and basic trading can be conducted.
- 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.
|Apple Watch App||No|
|Watch List Syncing||No|
|Stock Alerts - Basic Fields||No|
|Charting - After Hours||Yes|
Offering of Investments
SpeedTrader offers everything professional traders require to go about their business.
- Full direct-market routing.
- Short locate capabilities with multiple venues for liquidity.
- SpeedTrader has little to offer beyond a rich stock and options offering.
|OTCBB / Pink Sheets||Yes|
|Complex Options Max Legs||4|
|Mutual Funds (No Load)||0|
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.