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TradeKing Review

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UPDATED: Apr 25, 2016

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TradeKing got its start in 2005 as a discount online brokerage firm, focusing primarily on stock and option traders. They are consistently one of the lowest cost brokers, and they have won awards for their customer service in four of the last six years.

In 2012, the company merged with Zecco, and currently operate under the TradeKing banner.


When it comes to price, TradeKing is the King.

As an online discount broker, TradeKing undercuts just about every other broker out there when it comes to their stock and options trading cost. At less than $5 per trade, this is about half of what even the cheapest big-box brokers charge.

TradeKing does have a few random fees that help make up for these low costs. For example, there is an inactivity fee of $50 per year for any account that has less than $2,500 or does not make at least one trade. They also charge $50 to transfer funds out of an IRA to another broker, or to close the account.

The majority of people using TradeKing would do so for the low trading costs, so the likelihood of being impacted by IRA fees is fairly low.

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Trading Platform

TradeKing offers basic tools for trading stocks, options, ETFs, etc. that are more robust than most other discount online brokers. They also have a browser-based platform called TradeKing LIVE, that can be accessed from any computer with a connection to the internet.

Accounts that perform more than 10 trades in a month also get access to Quotestream, a real-time streaming program that tracks watchlists, options chains, charts, and more. This service is not automatically enabled and must be requested. Once an account hits the minimum trades per month, the account holder can contact customer service to have Quotestream activated.

Retirement Plans

While certainly not an industry leader in retirement plans, TradeKing does offer a list of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) for its clients. Given the extremely low cost they charge per trade, anyone who actively changes their retirement plan investments may want to consider opening an account through them.

Here are the IRAs available from TradeKing:

  • Traditional IRA – Tax deferred retirement savings
  • Roth IRA – Distributions are not taxable
  • Rollover IRA – Transfer from company retirement plan to an IRA
  • SIMPLE IRA – Savings Incentive Match Plans for Employees
  • SEP IRA – Simplified Employee Pension

While not technically a retirement plan, TradeKing does also offer Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (also known as an ESA) for college savings. These accounts can grow tax-free, and are not subject to tax during withdrawal if the funds are used for approved education.

Banking Features

TradeKing offers the ability to write checks from an investment account, as long as the minimum criteria are met. The account must maintain at least $10,000 and there is a $50 annual fee to have this feature active.

Customer Service

There are three primary ways to contact TradeKing:

877-495-5464 – Phone (Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm ET)
Visit Website – Chat (Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm ET) – Email (24/7)

TradeKing has won numerous awards for their customer service over the last few years. SmartMoney Magazine rated them #1 in customer service in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012 before the magazine was discontinued. In 2008 Kiplinger’s gave them a “Top-Rated” award for customer service.


For anyone looking for low-cost stock and/or options trading, look no further than TradeKing. They are at the lowest end of the price spectrum and their online tools and trading platform offers more features than most other online discount brokers.

TradeKing is perfect for a do-it-yourselfer that wants to save money on fees.

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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

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