Website URL: https://www.choicetrade.com/
Regulation: SEC, FINRA, SIPC
Deposit Methods: Bank wire transfer
Minimum Deposit: $0
Free Demo Account: Yes
Types of Assets: stocks, ETFs, options
ChoiceTrade is a broker company focussed primarily on trading options. It takes pride in offering options trading at the lowest price in the industry, which is strange, particularly for the United States. This is a highly controversial area for the trading of any kind, with highly strict policies and harsh fines for not following the industry standards.
Among the best features that this company tends to emphasize are no deposit fees, additional safety and variety of trading options when it comes to stocks, ETFs and options trading. However, despite this company being present on the market for 20 years now, we decided to dig deeper and see if things changed over time. You know, companies tend to loosen up as they gain a strong reputation, so they think that there is no need to put any effort in anymore. This is why we dedicate our time and attention to researching both new and small companies as well as the established names in the industry. You’d be surprised at what we learn along the way. Keep reading this ChoiceTrade review to find out!
As you may have gathered already, ChoiceTrade is regulated by some of the most reputable and strict names in the industry. The first one is the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). This is the strongest regulatory authority on the globe, not just the United States. It was appointed by the US Congress itself to regulate not only the area of trading services but also to ensure the safe and functioning flow of the entire financial system of the country.
Next big name that we found on the regulation and licencing page is FINRA – Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. FINRA is a regulatory authority that works separately and independently from Congress as a private company. The fact that it is so influential only ads to its superiority and reliability on the market, don’t you think?
Lastly, SIPC stands for Security Investor Protection Corporation. It serves as a non-profit regulatory agency for the area of providing trading services, regardless of the type of assets that the company is focusing on. This regulatory authority is also in charge or imposing harsh fines for the companies who are not up to date with strict industry rules and regulatory frames, which makes them a liability not only for the clients but the entire trading industry and its reputation as well.
We have to say this right away – for a company that has such a long reputation, we were astounded to find that the trading platform seems really outdated and slow. It is available in both desktop and mobile modes, as well as a web-based solution, depending on your personal preference. Also, if you happen to choose the mobile option, you will be disappointed to learn that you will be again redirected to the web-based platform. What’s the catch here? Still, this is a good effort but only in the beginning – since all of these tend to slow down from time to time, or even stop loading completely.
As far as the asset selection goes, it is pretty modest, with only a few stocks, futures and options. Still, this is a standard selection for the United States market, so we will give them that. However, we have to admit that the platform is missing some key benefits and features, such as customization and the dynamic that we were normally used to with other big names in the industry.
The platform does not seem to offer you the chance to follow the majority of trading events in real-time. Rather, you can only create your personal watchlists by hand, which is a huge hassle in our opinion. It seems that the ChoiceTrade team has made sure to simplify things to the point of complete lack of usability.
ChoiceTrade offers a total of 5 account types for its clients. We have to admit we were quite surprised that this company accepts clients from most countries in the world, despite being based in the United States. This is quite strange, considering how strict this market is. Why would other clients ever wish to be subjected to that kind of strict measures to make one simple trade?
The very first account that we learned about is called the Individual account. As the name would suggest, it can only be used under one name and identity. However, we were surprised to learn that each account takes about 2 business days to be processed and set up before you can use them.
Next one is the Joint account, which several people can use. This normally refers to spouses or families, not just anybody that comes to mind. In case that this option does not suit you, you can also choose the Custodial account, which is for minors. We aren’t exactly sure how beneficial it is, considering that minors cannot engage with any type of trading activities. So, what is the difference between this account type and the individual one?
IRA account is an account package available for retired individuals. You should note that you can sign up for it only if you are a US citizen, which makes sense. After all, different countries have different policies when it comes to retirement. Lastly, you can only open the Corporate account can if you are a legal entity, such as companies and corporations, as the name would suggest.
We have to say we think this company’s educational section is quite good, and we don’t mean it nicely. Namely, their entire news section is same as Yahoo! Finances, which is a huge disappointment and a lack of effort. Why even include this in your page at all if its not original? Next, the clear lack of other educational tools is evident as well. It is only proof that ChoiceTrade does not take particular interest in improving their clients’ trading skills and knowledge.
Lastly, the only good thing about this part that we found is the Auto trading option. It works similarly to the free demo account, which allows you to trade freely and try out the platform before investing real money into it. It takes a lot of the pressure off and helps you become more confident in your trading.
The outdated nature of ChoiceTrade comes into play once again in their customer support section. This part shows us that the company does not offer any kind of live support at all. Namely, you can only use two options to contact them, and those are the e-mail and the telephone number.
Because of it, the waiting times are longer than you might have grown accustomed to – we know we are. The wait for the e-mail reply comes within 4 business days, which is quite long. On the other hand, the telephone lines are busy most times, particularly because the agents are not even available 24/7. If you ask us, you might have better luck with trying to find the answers yourself on Google, even.
Deposits and Withdrawals
The funding process at ChoiceTrade has two sides, and they could not be more different. For once, the depositing part is quite easy and simple, with no restrictions or requirements when it comes to minimum deposit amount or no commissions for that matter. However, ChoiceTrade has made the withdrawal process quite difficult to the point of nausea.
Namely, the only available option for withdrawing your funds is the bank wire transfer, which is quite slow and demanding. The withdrawal fee is also particularly high at $30 for US traders and $55 for international clients. That’s quite a lot if you ask us. Also, you can only make a withdrawal in a single base currency which is USD. It is quite obvious that this company is focusing primarily on US clients, entirely disregarding the needs of the clients from other parts of the world.
As you can see, there are a lot of things missing at ChoiceTrade. Despite the company being present for 20 years now, it seems to have been stuck in the early 2000s. The majority of features are not working at all. Also, the funding process is quite disappointing, to say the least. ChoiceTrade could definitely use quite a lot of improvement in most parts of its website. For starters, we would recommend safer processes for trading, as well as a greater variety of tradeable assets. In the meantime, we recommend our readers to keep on searching for a trading company of their dreams, because it is quite clear ChoiceTrade is not it.