Website URL: https://www.tradestation.com/
Regulation: Securities and Exchange Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
Deposit Methods: Bank wire transfer, credit cards, e-wallets
Minimum Deposit: $500
Free Demo Account: yes
Types of Assets: CFDs, Forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies
TradeStation is a name that has been present in the online trading world from quite some time – since 1982 to be exact. The company is one of the main sources of providing trading activities in the United States, which is not an easy task to achieve. For starters, being able to provide these services requires from a company to fulfil a lot of requirements, from a significant amount of capital to the safe and strict regulatory frame that is constantly being updated to honour the rights of the clients as well as satisfy the harsh demands of the market.
As a result, a company should be a secure place for all the clients who wish to engage with the trading market, no matter how skilful or experienced they are. This is why there are so many different levels of structure that a trading company has to own and follow to ensure that the clients are safe from fraud, cybercrime, identity theft and other harmful malicious activities that are happening online. Is TradeStation able to rise to the occasion and fulfil these requirements?
The most evident proof and a telling sign of the companies safety and security is the fact that it is regulated by two of the most reputable regulatory authorities in the United States – the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
SEC is an independent agency that works separately from the states’ authority, which says a lot about its reliability. This regulatory body was created in the aftermath of one of the most devastating occurrences in the US economic history – the stock market crash of 1920. In the wake of this event, the Congress has decided to introduce a new and independent regulatory authority that will be able to protect not only individual investors but also the entire national financial system. The main job of the SEC is to enforce the federal laws and regulations in this area, as well as impose their own regulatory frame for trading companies to follow.
FINRA, on the other hand, is a privately-owned corporation that works as a self-regulatory body that also contributes to the security of the trading market in the US. This company is also a part of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and is in charge of enforcing laws and regulatory rules for trading companies who wish to provide trading services in this country. FINRA is the largest independent financial regulator in the United States, with the most important goal of creating a safe and helpful environment for traders of different backgrounds.
From the very first time we saw the platform, we saw that it is user-friendly and loads instantly. This is especially important for the first time visitors, who aren’t sure where to go and how to get around. There are three modes in which you can use this platform, depending on your personal preferences – desktop, mobile and web. While each one has a different set of features, they are all based on the same goal, and that is to ensure that the clients have the most productive time while trading.
The trading platform was last improved in 2018 when their team introduced new features and analytic tools which are here to make your trading go smoothly and successfully. And while the trading platform is available in 9 different layouts, it is still only possible to use it if you speak English, which is a shame since it excludes a lot of the clients. The platform is also able to protect them with two-factor authentication and other additional levels of security for their funds and resources.
Despite being a US-based broker, TradeStation accepts clients from all over the world. However, you should still check their list of accepted countries before applying for an account. Speaking of, there are different account types which you can sign up for, depending on what you wish to achieve in your trading journey. There are actually two ways in which you can choose these account types.
The first one is the choice based on tradeable products. According to this, you can apply for 4 different types of accounts according to tradeable assets. Those are the futures account, the equity account, the options account and the crypto account, which is quite new.
On the other hand, there is also a selection of account types based on ownership and taxation. These accounts are the individual, joint, retirement, entity and custodial. Each one is for people of different ages and trading goals. Lastly, we should also mention that there is a choice between the cash and margin accounts, which come with different minimum deposits and other requirements.
We were pleasantly surprised to see the wide selection of trading and educational tools that are available on the TradeStation website. Did you know that this company also acquired the YouCanTrade educational website just last year? So now, you have more than one option to get your knowledge and skills from. If you wish to get educated directly on the TradeStation page, you can use one of the following tools. They are thesimulated trading account, the webinars, booklets, live events and educational tutorials and videos. Also, you can find two tabs marked TradeStation University and the Market Insight section, which take your educational experience to another level.
On the other hand, the YouCanTrade website is giving you different options when it comes to courses and the coaches that can guide you through it. The choice is completely up to you when it comes to finding and taking these courses. This is a huge advantage for you.
Deposits and Withdrawals
The main downside that we found quite discouraging here is the fact that you can use only 1 currency type for trading with an equity account. This may not seem like a big deal, but it can make your life a lot harder down the line. If the currency suits both your bank account and your trading account, you won’t have to pay a conversion fee. On the other hand, if you don’t, which is more likely, you will have to pay a conversion fee. This is an unnecessary hassle, especially if you are engaging with the market for the first time.
Also, we should note that the deposits come without any fees, which is not so strange. However, there is one thing that stings our eye here. It’s the fact that you can only use the bank wire transfer option to fund your account. Also, the company has included an option called Automated Account Transfer. This makes it easy to transfer your funds from one financial institution to the other. For example, when you have multiple bank accounts, which would be wise in this case.
Also, the waiting times for your deposit to come through are 4 business days for the US-based clients. And – 15 business days for the clients outside of the US. This is quite a long wait if you ask us. In case you want to make a withdrawal by using the bank wire transfer, you will learn that you will have to pay quite a big fee of $25 if you are trading from the US and $35 if you’re anywhere else in the world.
The biggest downside when it comes to this section is the fact that the clients can only contact the TradeStation customer support on the weekdays. The agents are not available 24/7, which makes things somewhat more difficult. You can try contacting them by using the telephone number, the email or the live chat option. However, they seem to be replying quite slowly, which is a shame. After all, you need fast and efficient assistance if you are in a hurry, right?
So, what’s left? The email option might just be the best feature that TradeStation has in this area. The replies come in about 1 or 2 business days. However, the answers aren’t always what we were looking for, so this process is much longer. Overall, they could use a lot of improvements in this case. We couldn’t even tell if the agents are friendly or not – since the response seems automated and without any effort. Regardless, this should not be an issue. Since the most important thing is for the answer to be helpful and precise. It seems to us that this company is failing in all those cases. This is unusual for such a well-established name. This just goes to show you that a first look can be deceiving. This is certainly the case with TradeStation.