Launched towards the end of 2005, TradeKing (Now Ally Financial) 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
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 likely 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 (Ally Financial) 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.
- 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
To entice new customers, TradeKing often provides bonuses and incentives. Here is what is available today.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- By phone at 877-495-5464 during their office hours, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Easter Time, Monday through Friday
- By fax at 866-699-0563
- By email at [email protected]. TradeKing guarantees your emails will be answered within two hours during regular business hours and within 24 hours on the weekends.
- 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.
- 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 (Now Ally Financial).