TradeKing is one of the lowest-cost online investing sites but really shines with its investing social network
I found TradeKing last year while attending a financial bloggers conference and immediately opened an investing account when I got home. The investing site offers one of the lowest fees among discount online brokers and a great social network of investors.
Like most online investing sites, TradeKing fits a role for particular investors that need low-cost trading or some of its other unique features. The investing platform isn’t for everyone but is definitely one you’ll want to check out when deciding how to invest.
Even though I’m not a frequent stock trader, I’ve kept my TradeKing account open for some of its features including the social network and investor education. Read through this TradeKing review then compare it against the other online investing sites for different types of investors.
Basics of TradeKing Investing Online
TradeKing is a deep-discount online broker offering stock trades for just $4.95 each and options investing for an extra $0.65 per contract. That’s about half what you’ll pay on many other investing sites so really appeals to two types of investors, frequent traders and buy-and-hold investors.
The online broker makes it easy to open an account with no minimums and a special offer of up to $1,000 in free commissions for new accounts. Transferring funds to and from a bank account seems like it takes a few more days compared to other sites but isn’t too much of an issue. It took me a full five business days to fund my account and recently took one week to withdraw funds.
TradeKing operates a web-based trading platform so there is nothing to download. There’s also a mobile app available for on-the-go investing. Security is very good based on the site’s on-site keyboard for your password. It makes it a bit of a nuisance typing your password from a smaller device but helps to protect your account.
One of the few complaints I have about TradeKing is the $50 inactivity fee charged on accounts of under $2,500 and with no trades over the last year. It’s actually not an issue for the vast majority of investors who either have more than $2,500 in the account or make at least one trade per year. Most discount brokers don’t charge an inactivity fee at all so it’s still a disadvantage of the site.
TradeKing Investor Education
While TradeKing lacks some of the deep research I get on other investing accounts, the investor education center is excellent for new investors. The point-and-click navigation is easy to use and the site separates all its investor topics by skill level and investor needs.
Besides its constantly-updated investor education, TradeKing offers three or four live webinars every month on a range of investment topics. It helps to make up for the lack of analyst research you get with other online investing sites because you are constantly getting new investing ideas and insight from the webinars.
TradeKing Online Social Trader Network
TradeKing offers something like a social network for its investors through the Trader Network. Here you’ll find insight and information on trades and how to make money trading stocks from other members.
The site has more than 200,000 traders in its social network, sharing ideas and strategies about how to trade stocks and what works. I don’t trade frequently and prefer to just put my money to work long-term but the resource is a good one for people that want to learn more about trading.
TradeKing’s biggest offer for frequent traders is its TradeKing LIVE platform with real-time streaming quotes and a customizable dashboard.
Besides stock trading, options traders will like the low-fee structure on TradeKing and the other unique features. The site offers an options pricing calculator as well as probability-based tools to find the best option trade for a particular stock.
Opening a TradeKing Account
I had my account open in less than five minutes including linking my bank account. It takes a couple of days to verify your account and transfer funds but this is pretty common across online investing sites.
You’ll first fill out basic contact information before answering a few investor questions to get a better idea of your needs and whether you are an insider at a company.
Customer service at TradeKing is excellent and available during extended business hours Monday through Friday. The longest I’ve had to wait on the phone has been just under two minutes but that was during very high call volume around the Brexit stock market craziness. Customer service has always been knowledgeable and been able to help with any question I’ve had.
What I like about TradeKing Online Investing
TradeKing is really for anyone that is going to be trading frequently in stocks or options or for someone that just wants very low fees and doesn’t need much for research. I’ve moved almost all of my options trading to the website though I still also use OptionsHouse to research a trade.
- Low fees – At $4.95 per trade, TradeKing is hard to beat for frequent traders or even someone that only makes a couple of stock trades a year.
- The trader network is a great place to get ideas or exchange information with other traders.
- The investor education center is one of the easiest to use and separated by level of experience.
- While the inactivity fee really isn’t a problem since almost everyone will make at least one stock trade per year, it is still a TradeKing complaint for many investors since most other sites don’t have a fee.
- While education is available, you won’t find the deep research from analysts or Morningstar that you might get from other online investing sites.
TradeKing Review Summary
TradeKing is best for frequent stock trading or options trading but may also work for investors that want to buy-and-hold but don’t need much research. The $4.95 per trade commission is hard to beat and the investor education center offers something for every level of investor.
With the special offer for commission-free trades on new accounts, frequent traders can open a new account just to save money on planned trades. It’s easy to set up a TradeKing account and easy enough to transfer your money back out after you’ve used the free trade offer. There are other reasons to keep your investing account open after the special offer as well including an easy-to-use site and the trader social network.