Trading stocks online for the first time can be a scary venture, especially if you’re not familiar with what an online stock broker can offer. One of the leaders in cheap stock trading is TradeKing, a company that’s been around since 2005 and is based in Boca Raton, Florida. TradeKing has always offered one of the lowest commission rates in the business and touts many awards from Barrons and Smart Money for their overall experience. Let’s take a closer look at what TradeKing is all about.
TradeKing Sign Up Process
Signing up for a TradeKing account is simple and takes about five minutes. You’ll be taken through five different pages, each of which requires a bit of personal information as well as questions on how experienced of a trader you are. Once completed, you will not be given immediate access to TradeKing as your application is sent for approval. While I’m not entirely sure what would prevent you from opening an account, a credit check is not pulled, so you can breathe a little.
TradeKing Commission Structure
In terms of pricing, TradeKing is one of the best around, especially if you need a broker to help you out. $4.95 trades whether made online or through the help of a licensed TradeKing broker and $0.65 for every options contract. If you are trading penny stocks (meaning stocks valued at under $2.00) you will be charged an extra $0.01 for every share traded. The low price is one of the best available and it’s only one of the very many reasons to open a TradeKing account. The lowest competitor price per stock trade is Scottrade at $7.00 per trade.
TradeKing Customer Service
I decided to test out all areas of customer service and here are the results
- TradeKing Live Chat – I was connected with an agent 5 seconds after clicking on the live chat link and was informed that the live chat feature is available from 8amET – 6pmET Monday-Friday.
- TradeKing Telephone Support – Again, I called their toll free number (877) 495-5464 and was immediately connected to a live agent. Service hours are the same as live chat: 8amET – 6pmET Monday-Friday.
- TradeKing Email Support – Emails can be sent in anytime but understand that responses will come at the same time telephone and live chat services are available. This means if you email TradeKing late on Friday, you will most likely receive a response the following Monday.
TradeKing Trader Network
TradeKing has a feature that few online stock brokers have and that’s a network designed for interactive traders. The TradeKing Trader Network is made up of all TradeKing account holders and offers assistance and educational tools to help you make the right portfolio decisions.
To help you out even more, you’ll find a list of 22,000 TradeKing account owners and the transactions they’ve made this year! The list is ordered by number of trades but you can also order it based on stocks owned, number of groups they belong too or number of blog articles they’ve contributed.
More than the Trader Network, TradeKing also provides a new online investment management service called TradeKing Advisors. The investment service offers a solution to the common problems the everyday investor, like most of us, often encounter.
Perhaps you don’t have a bunch of extra time on your hands, or maybe even the skills to pick your investments and manage your own portfolio. Additionally, you may not have the fortitude to stand by your strategy during market swings, thereby, sacrificing earnings when you nervously sell low and buy high.
Additionally, you may know that working with a financial advisor can be costly. TradeKing Advisors offers a service that is cheaper than working with an advisor, but a bit more costly than trading and managing your own portfolio through an online brokerage
How does it work? You simply answer 8 questions to determine your timeline and risk profile. TradeKing Advisors create a custom portfolio using Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and manages it for you. They do all the trading and rebalancing and you stay up to date through your online account.
TradeKing Advisors is currently running a promotion where their fees are FREE for the first year! Learn more by vising the TradeKing Advisors website.
TradeKing Awards and Accolades
Visiting the page TradeKing has designated for recent awards, you’ll find 22 current accolades, mostly from Smart Money and Barrons. Their five most recent awards are:
- #1 Trader Community – StockBrokers.com 2014
- Innovator of the Year – StockBrokers.com 2013
- #1 Customer Service – Smart Money 2012
- #1 Customer Service – Smart Money 2011
- #1 Customer Service – Smart Money 2010
TradeKing Overall Customer Satisfaction
When you take a look at everything TradeKing has to offer, they stack up against any online stock broker and especially those that offer cheap stock trades. Their commission structure, customer service and trading tools are as good as anyone else in the business.
If you’re in need of a new online stock broker, you should seriously consider all that TradeKing can provide for you. And don’t forget about checking out TradeKing Advisors if that’s a better approach for your situation.