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TradeKing Review

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Launched towards the end of 2005, TradeKing is a relatively young discount brokerage when compared to many of their competitors. TradeKing, more than any other brokerage, is more in tune with today’s social networking and social media trend. This online trading network is somewhat of a forum just for investors, where they can connect with one another, share experiences, strategies and ideas.

Online brokerages have become more sophisticated recently, offering not only competitive pricing but innovative tools and technology. Here is was TradeKing has to offer its customers.

TradeKing pricing and fees


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The commission to trade stocks and ETFs is $4.95 every day, whether you use a broker for assistance or do it yourself online. Up to 8 contracts, options also cost $4.95, but have an additional cost of $0.65 per contract. If you trade more than 8 options contracts, the commission is the $8.95 base plus an additional $0.15 per contract.

The brokerage also offers no-load mutual funds for a commission of $14.95, bonds for $4.95 with a minimum of $14.95 per transactions, and treasuries and CDs for $24.95 per transaction.

While some brokers offer trades for less than $4.95, most brokers charge $10 or more per trade. In terms of overall price, TradeKing usually beats other brokers. They offer more features than some of the less-expensive brokers, though, so as you get to know what TradeKing has to offer beyond other discount brokerages, keep that in mind.

Funding your TradeKing account

The easiest of the several ways to fund a new TradeKing account is through wire transfer. Wire transfers could take anywhere from a few hours to one business day, depending on your bank. Most lileky a more popular choice is the ACH transfer. This takes one or two business days, but your bank will most likely offer this option for free.

You can also send TradeKing a check to their P.O. Box or directly to their customer service office address included below. For any customer who wants to transfer funds or securities of any kind directly from another broker or mutual fund company without selling and buying, TradeKing will accept direct transfer of your investments. This process can take five to seven business days.

If your bank or brokerage charges you any fees to transfer your cash or funds to TradeKing, including wire transfer fees, account termination fees, or any other cost to move your money, they will reimburse you up to $150.

TradeKing technology and trading platform

Among the tools you may now expect from an online broker, TradeKing offers an options pricing calculator, a probability calculator, a profit and loss calculator, options and strategy scanners and screeners for stocks, ETFs and mutual funds. TradeKing also has a variety of research tools like market and company overviews, a watch list, live quotes, interactive charts and options chains. TradeKing is an innovator in the online trading tools arena, and they constantly improve these tools to meet the demands of active traders.

TradeKing offers an iPhone app for any customer who happens to have an iPhone or iPad. The app provides access to accounts, stock quotes, and many of the same online features in an interface that suits the mobile interface.

Industry awards

  • Rated #1 in customer service by SmartMoney in 2010
  • Received the maximum five-star rating for its customer service and trading tools by SmartMoney in 2009
  • Recognized as the “Best for Option Trading” and earning 4 out of 5 stars by Barron’s 2009-2011
  • Named the leader in Web Site Speed and Availability in the Gomez “Best of the Web 2009″ Report

TradeKing promotions

To entice new customers, TradeKing often provides bonuses and incentives. Here is what is available today.

  1. Get $50 for referring a friend. TradeKing will deposit $50 in your account and $50 in your friend’s account when you refer him or her to TradeKing. Your friend must open a new account funded with at least $1,000 for both of you to qualify for the referral fee.
  2. Switch to TradeKing and they will refund your transfer fees. Open a TradeKing account, complete and print an account transfer form, mail or fax the signed form along with a copy of your most recent broker statement to TradeKing, and request your reimbursement by faxing your transfer form, as well as proof of your transfer charge to -866-699-0563. Fees up to $150 will be refunded.

Customer service

To differentiate the company from its competition, TradeKing focuses on customer service. If you’ve had experience with TradeKing’s customer service, share your thoughts, either positive or negative, in the comments below. TradeKing offers several communication lines for customers.

  1. By phone at 877-495-5464 during their office hours, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Easter Time, Monday through Friday
  2. By fax at 866-699-0563
  3. By email at service@tradeking.com. TradeKing guarantees your emails will be answered within two hours during regular business hours and within 24 hours on the weekends.
  4. You can also send them checks, forms or letters to: PO Box 49050, Charlotte, NC 28277-3432, or overnight deliveries to: 13024 Ballantyne Corporate Place, Suite 500, Charlotte, NC 28277.
  5. You can speak directly to a representative using their online Live Chat via the TradeKing website during their business hours noted above.

With TradeKing’s focus on customer service and technology, any investor should consider using them for their daily trading needs. There are better options out there for those interested in cheaper trades but for a few dollars more per trade, these guys go above and beyond in terms of research, tools and service. Customers should decide whether these features are worth the slightly higher transaction costs. For some traders, they will be.

To visit TradeKing for more information or open up an account, head over to tradeking.com.

Updated February 19, 2014 and originally published May 5, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Bryan Short

I have used TradeKing as my exclusive broker for several years now. I love it, will never move to another brokerage house and their customer service is FANTASTIC. Live chat, or by phone, they are courteous, professional, us-located, and efficient. Now that they (finally) integrate with Mint, I am in broker nirvana. I have used Fidelity, Zecco, and Etrade in the past, just so that you know I have a broad range of broker experiences to draw from in my recommendation of TradeKing.

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avatar Ceecee ♦53 (Newbie)

This is just great information (including comment from Bryan). I’ve used TDAmeritrade but would like less expensive trades. I am going to give this some thought. Since they will reimburse the transfer fees, I can’t see a down side.

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avatar skylog ♦368 (Nickel)

this really looks like it could be worth a look. my only concern is how many of the discount brokers in the past also looked great, but then, after some time passed, they had to change several aspects of their service. these changes often made them less attractive.

that said, there is very little here not to like. thanks for the review.

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avatar 4hendricks ♦248 (Cent)

I hate changing things around – thanks for the info, but I will stick with our online brokerage.

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avatar lynn ♦155 (Cent)

Thank you for the information.

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avatar B Pitt

I recently opened an account with TK. Had a slight problem with ACH availability, but reps quickly resolved the matter, very much to my satisfaction. I have used one online brokerage firm for many years and am thus very familiar with online trading. TK is straight forward and very user friendly. The chat line is helpful, especially to a new customer who might have some questions. It is convenient to have a live person to chat with and the representative was knowledgeable and courteous. So far I am most pleased with them.

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avatar Matt R

TRADE AT YOUR OWN RISK. I tried Tradeking for the first time today. I have used ScottTrade, OptionsHouse, Etrade, Ameritrade, Bank Of America, and OptionsXpress… I have NEVER encountered issues like this before.

I am a high-volume options trader, my average trade size is roughly $10k, average execution time on this site was between 20s-30s. I missed out on nearly all my trades today. Every single order had to be a market buy, or a market sell because every single trade had to be ‘reviewed’ (as per a supervisor) and added all of that overhead. I called up and complained… asking how they could justify putting my trades through a review every single time (all of these trades should have ended up at +15% profit today instead I netted a LOSS of 30%)

When asked how I as going to be compensated for all of these issues, they said, we will not compensate you, Wen I asked how they were going to address the ‘required review’ of each trade they said that will not change.

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR… DO NOT GO WITH TRADEKING IF YOU TRADE A LOT. They may be cheap, but the extra bucks you save are NOT worth it… you WILL lose WAY more money than you will save in fees.

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avatar Zoltan

STAY AWAY FROM TRADEKING!

I’m a Tradeking customer for a few years now, but in this year I decided to move my account elsewhere. They have issued an incorrect 1099 form 3 times this year, out of which one was 2 days prior to the tax deadline and another 1 week after!!!
This caused me redoing my taxes 3 times this year and filing a correction due to their last correction being 1 after the deadline to file taxes.

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avatar D. R.

Just started with TK this past summer. The service chat feature enabled me to ask my prelim questions as the account was opening with immediate response. I have sent 3 emails to customer service for enabling features which were all answered promptly. I have had no problems with ACH or other transfers. (even a simple way to upload drivers license and voided check directly to the site) I’d say they are aces there in the customer service department. I have used Scottrade and OptionsXpress in the past and have many years of online brokerage experience. So far, so good.

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avatar OldGranny

We moved our accounts from Fidelity to Ameritrade because Fidelity made 3 separate major dilligence errors, each in the 5-figure category over the years which took weeks to correct. We switched from Ameritrade, which we loved, to TradeKing just to save trading fees, we’re pretty active. Our only complaint about TradeKing, when I’ve been hospitalized and not Johnny-on-the-Spot about downloading monthly statements, and TradeKing changed clearing houses while we were thusly occupied, twice, the statements for a couple of consecutive months, both occasions, never became available afterwards. Fortunately, I’m a good record keeper, but I wait for time to pass because the IRS likes original statements.

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