The following post is another piece in our Online Stock Broker Reviews series. This time we will be checking out the broker TradeMonster so you can decide if you should be investing with them.
Stock/ETF Commissions: $7.50
Options Commissions: $0.50 per contract ($12.50 minimum)
Minimum Deposit: $2,000 in cash or securities
IRA’s: Traditional / Roth / Rollover
Customer Service: Phone/Email/Chat – 8:30AM – 6PM Mon-Fri
Mobile Trading: Yes – IPhone / Blackberry
Real Time Quotes: Yes
Educational Tools: Yes – Articles, videos, webinars, live events, glossary
Local Branches: No
Community Forum: Yes
Discount online broker TradeMonster was set up by professional investors who have recent experience in the market intelligence business. On TradeMonster you can trade and invest in stocks, ETFs and options. Other products offered by TradeMonster are mutual funds and bonds.
Barron’s gives TradeMonster 4.5 stars as an online investment broker for the active trader, despite it being quite new. These high ratings were based upon TradeMonster’s trading platform, research, usability, portfolio analysis, educational resources and reporting tools, such as Trade Simulator, an options spread building tool. Here is an overview of TradeMonster’s outstanding features and information about how it compares with other brokers.
Across the board, TradeMonster offers competitive pricing when stacked against other discount brokers. As for their commission costs, TradeMonster offers average pricing costs. There are a few online brokers that offer cheaper stock trades than TradeMonster, such as Zecco, TradeKing and OptionsHouse, but on average most charge more.
TradeMonster has a flat pricing rate of $7.50 per stock trade, which is considered not only reasonable but competitive. Depending on the number of contracts, their options pricing can vary. There is a $15.00 fee for purchases of mutual funds, no redemption fees, and municipal, corporate and treasury bonds are also priced at $15.00 per trade. TradeMonster’s site also offers the ability to save up to 35% on brokerage commissions when you open an account, and when switching to TradeMonster from another broker, they will cover transfer fees up to $250.
Active traders and investors will find TradeMonster’s platform and tools well-suited to all of their trading needs. With their customized software programs, TradeMonster surpasses the basic services, such as calculators, charts, quotes, filters and standard screens. Their Exit Plan program will allow you to create trading exit strategies by zeroing in on profit targets and by monitoring all of your exit points and stop loss orders. Without even risking your own money, TradeMonster’s Trade Simulator software creates a virtual trading environment, which allows you to use the TradeMonster platform to create fictional positions in your trading portfolio and see how they perform.
Investment Resources and Trading Education
As for the trading basics and general strategies, TradeMonster has you covered, but its free online educational center does not offer anything too exceptional compared to OptionsHouse and OptionsXpress. Webinars and other live events are also available for their users as informational and educational tools.
On the downside, TradeMonster seems to be missing the active investor communities that are in place at TradeKing and Zecco. If you are a long-term investor or short-term trader who desires a larger, more all-inclusive investment library, TradeMonster does not match other brokers such as Etrade, which has received a very high ranking by SmartMoney’s most recent broker survey in the area of education alone.
Customer Support and Account Types
TradeMonster can handle individual and joint accounts, as well as other general account types, like custodial and trust accounts, IRAs and corporate accounts, without charging any annual fees. TradeMonster is known for great customer service, with representatives who can be reached on regular weekdays by phone, chat, e-mail or fax.