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LAST UPDATED: June 27th, 2019

TradeKing was founded in 2005 and merged with Zecco in late 2012. They strive to offer a compelling new alternative, based on clear principles, such as honesty, fairness, great value and high-touch service while combining smart pioneering technologies that help investors learn new skills and insights while engaging directly with other traders. They are dedicated to making you feel like a valuable, informed part of their community and are committed to your success.

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The Good

  • Client support
  • Active on social media
  • Low commissions
  • TradeKing advisors
TradeKing builds your diversified, low-cost investment portfolio using ETFs and concentrates on providing you with a solid foundation for the long-term, and will make adjustments when needed to keep you on track. So far, we haven't seen anything indicating that TradeKing isn't anything but a top-notch, reputable online trading services provider. Benefits of the service include:

Client Support

TradeKing has award-winning customer service. You can reach them via email and they state they will respond within two hours during business hours and within 24 hours on weekends. Additionally, you can reach them by phone or live chat from 8:00 am through 6:00 pm EST Monday through Friday and via fax any time.

Active on Social Media

TradeKing is very active on many social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and blogs, which is great when you need a little advice from fellow traders or would just like to keep up with the latest happenings. And that's where TradeKing's Trader Network comes in. This feature is what makes them a little different from competing discount brokers. It has more than 200,000 members and is a great way to connect with other investors to share ideas, strategies and experiences, to see what other people are trading and to learn how they are performing.

Low Commissions

Almost no one can beat TradeKing's low commissions with their stock and ETF trade commission at $4.95 and their options contracts at $4.95 plus 65¢ per contract, whereas their competitors are significantly higher.

TradeKing Advisors

TradeKing launched TradeKing Advisors in 2014, which is an automated service designed to provide investors with more detailed guidance for their portfolios and will hopefully make them feel more confident about taking the proper risks with their investments. TradeKing Advisors is structured to put together a portfolio based on your risk profile and has two options - Core and Momentum. The Core option takes a more passive approach and the Momentum option allows managers to look for market opportunities to give your portfolio a bigger boost.

Excellent Tools

TradeKing offers a wide variety of tools for its investors to use, such as an options pricing calculator, probability calculator, profit and loss calculator, options and strategy scanners, stock, ETF and mutual fund screeners, Maxit tax manager, a technical analysis, and TradeKing Live. TradeKing has revamped their old system and introduced TradeKing Live back in 2014, although it's still kept in a separate area. This new 100% responsive system provides real-time streaming quotes, you can place trades from any given page, it has a fully customizable dashboard that's visually appealing and it's 100% mobile user-friendly. A huge improvement over the old presentation.

The Bad

  • Inactivity fee
  • Minimum deposits for TradeKing advisors
  • User friendliness
We always strive to bring you the good and the bad when we review any given company in an effort to provide you with all the information you need to make an educated decision about whether or not they are the right fit for you. So now that we have discussed some of the areas where TradeKing excels, let's talk about a few areas we feel they could use a little improvement:

Inactivity Fee

TradeKing assesses a $50 inactivity fee for any customers who don't place at least one trade per year or those who don't maintain a balance of $2,500, which is what the asterisk next to their requirement refers to. TradeKing has no cost transaction fee mutual funds; however, their mutual funds trades are only $9.95, which is lower than their competitors.

Minimum Deposits for TradeKing Advisors

Unfortunately, TradeKing's Live system and TradeKing Advisors have some pretty steep minimum requirements. To access TradeKing Live, customers have to either maintain a $2,500 account balance or make at least one trade per year, in addition to the $50 non-activity fee mentioned above if they don't. TradeKing Advisors Core plan requires $500 as your investment minimum and their Momentum plan requires $5,000. They both offer great features of robo-advising, but it costs just a little more to get started.

User Friendliness

TradeKing's website is not very user-friendly, especially when it comes to navigating, trading and logging in. The process of trading is frustrating, because instead of an all-in-one trade ticket, they have over a dozen separate trade ticket pages, which is extremely inconvenient. Additionally, their login process is also frustrating due to having to answer security questions every time, even after checking the box for the system to remember your password. And their website uses triple-level navigation, which is just another feature that makes it hard to find what you need.

The Bottom Line

TradeKing appears to be a reputable online trading broker if you are an active trader; however, if you are a beginner, or one who mainly invests in mutual funds and ETF's, you might want to choose a brokerage that doesn't charge transaction fees or commissions. With that being said, we have no problem giving TradeKing a high recommendation due to their positive online feedback, their low prices, above average trading tools and their award-winning customer service. And due to their TradeKing Live interface showing such promise. TradeKing Advisor is also bringing investing features of the future to the table. If you're considering an online stock broker, we highly recommend TradeKing.
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