Cobra Trading, Inc. is a brokerage firm geared toward professional, active day traders of stocks, options, and futures. Their competitive commission schedules allow them to accommodate different investors' trading styles.
Cobra Trading brokers offer broker assisted trades, at no additional cost, for investors who don't have the time to go on a computer. While this can be a benefit to traders, Cobra Trading outsources to third-parties for its three trading platforms: RediPlus; RealTick; and RealTick Express. This outsourcing detail could be a drawback for some investors, as their information will not be maintained in one place.
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Cobra Trading offer a variety of trading platform options to meet the demands of today's traders. These platforms offer streaming quotes, charts, and other tools that seasoned investors find useful. Advanced traders can further benefit from the brokerage firm's desktop trading solutions, which provide real-time news, data, and quotes.
Cobra Trading offers the following trading platform options:
Fees vary by platform, but it is beneficial for traders to have multiple options to choose from, allowing them to find the platform that best fits their needs and trading level of expertise.
Cobra Trading seeks to keep margin rates low to help traders hold positions overnight, keep costs in line, and help you keep more of your earned money.
Cobra Trading charges a 5.25 percent margin rate on balances of $1 or $1,000,000. In comparison to other online stock trading companies, this rate is significantly low. It is important to note that if your margin balance exceeds $1,000,000 you will need to contact Cobra Trading for special margin pricing.
Cobra Trading's direct market access means it eliminates the middleman between investors and the market makers. While other brokerage firms operate as retail brokers by being the middleman who facilitates investments, Cobra Trading links investors directly to the market. This results in cheaper trading costs for high-volume traders. Investors can also expect faster trade executions with this direct access. Since every second counts when dealing with the market, faster executions can mean quick and accurate response times to indicators in the market.
For investors with an account balance greater than $30,000, the brokerage firm offers the ability to set up a margin account. This means investors can put down a certain percentage of the value of securities and then borrow money from the brokerage firm to cover the rest.
Investors who choose to invest with Cobra Trading can also expect prompt and effective customer service with the company. It strives to be a leader in customer service and this was quite evident when we entered into a live chat with one of the representatives. Whether investors get in touch by phone, email, or live chat, they can always expect to speak with a passionate, knowledgeable, and thorough representative. Each team member is equipped to handle general and industry-specific inquiries, which gives the company a competitive advantage over other brokerage firms.
While Cobra Trading offers good commission plans on their platforms, investors need to consider the brokerage firm's extra fees for trading, which could drastically bring up the costs of investing in trades. For example, investors need to apply software fees and data accessing fees to their overall charges. While investors can get rebates on costly software fees, investors should keep in mind that this is all dependent on how much they invest into the market.
The following fees are charged for use of Cobra Trading trading platforms:
If you would like to diversify your portfolio with foreign stocks, you will need to look into other online stock trading options because Cobra Trading doesn't offer foreign stock options.
The brokerage firm's mutual funds encompass a wide range of investment choices, however, investors need to consider the different fees associated with each fund. When applicable, Cobra Trading will charge $25 for certain transactions with mutual funds, which is a very high fee when compared to similar mutual funds at other brokerage firms. Similarly, options trades can also run more expensive with Cobra Trading when compared with its other competitors.
Since the brokerage firm caters to professional, high frequency traders, beginners or even intermediate investors should look elsewhere to satisfy their investment needs. The company's website offers no educational materials for investors and in addition to this, the firm's website is not user friendly. This detail confuses and frustrates visitors. Advanced traders who take advantage of the firm's desktop trading solutions should also realize the costs associated with this tool. It can be quite expensive and will require a large network bandwidth to use and maintain. For the 21st century investor with little time to trade, the brokerage firm's lack of apps means investments have to be made on a computer or via a phone call. This lack of mobile trading can debilitate the brokerage firm as it's competing for clients in an industry where newer and faster approaches to investing are coveted.
Cobra Trading's niche is specializing in handling professional, high frequency traders. High-volume traders can experience benefits from using Cobra Trading, most notably the direct access to the market and the flexible commission fees for high volume trades.
The brokerage firm's staff also knows the market and can provide specialized services for their clients. Their expert customer service is quite unparalleled and proves to be the brokerage firm's number 1 selling point. However, intermediate and beginner investors should look at other brokerage firms to satisfy their investing needs. With all the extra fees associated with making trades on Cobra Trading and the lack of educational materials, regular investors could find themselves frustrated and confused.
Cobra Trading has received low ratings in the past. For instance, in Barron's 2013 annual broker survey, it received the second lowest ranking among other brokers. It failed to rank in 2014. So, in conclusion, while the brokerage firm seems to work for some high-volume traders, the reality is, it's not well suited for the majority of regular investors.
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