Contributor, Benzinga
June 7, 2022
Gatsby
Overall Rating:
securely through Gatsby's website

Gatsby brings stock trading and options trading to the hands of users with a simple, user-friendly app. The platform incorporates several distinctive benefits, including a social feed, intuitive design and zero-commission fee structure. Traders can earn rewards on trades or referrals that they can then convert to cash. 

Gatsby does fall short in some aspects when compared to other mobile trading platforms. It does not provide the analytical tools or educational resources you can find on similar apps. Additionally, some users may find the investment options too limited since the only assets available to be traded are options for stocks and ETFs, as well as a limited number of stocks. As a Social Security number is required for registration, only U.S. investors can benefit from the app at the current time. 

For the right trader, Gatsby is an excellent mobile trading platform, as it delivers on its intended services with a straightforward and intuitive design. While some beginning traders may be better off choosing a platform with more educational resources, the design of the app and easy-to-understand terminology simplifies the process of options trading, making it suitable for newer traders. More experienced investors may be restricted by the platform as there are no analytical charting tools, and special permission must be obtained to change the account from a cash account to a margin account. Gatsby would be most appropriate for traders with some understanding of options seeking a zero-commission mobile trading platform that offers social features and rewards. 

Best For
  • Knowledgeable traders who do not need educational resources
  • Traders focusing solely on stocks and options
  • Traders looking for a zero-commission platform
Pros
  • Does not charge trading commissions
  • Only requires a $10 minimum deposit
  • Provides social features to connect with other traders
  • Uses simple terminology and clean design
Cons
  • Lacks analytical tools found on most competing platforms

Gatsby Ratings at a Glance

Product Offerings
Customer Service
Security
Pricing and Fees
Mobile App
User Benefits
User Experience
Overall

Gatsby Product Offerings

Gatsby is a mobile trading application that provides zero-commission options trading as well as access to stock investing. The simply designed app is easy to use and implements simple terminology rather than complicated trading lingo. It offers a social feed where users can view the trades made by other investors. The app is somewhat limited in terms of selection, as options and stocks are the only assets available to be traded. 

To use Gatsby, you must download the app, which is available for free on both the iOS and Android platforms. After opening the app, click sign up and you will be prompted to fill in your email address and phone number. Then, after verifying your email, you will need to create a password. The platform requires personal information such as your full name, birthday, Social Security number and employment status. 

Subsequently, you must answer thirteen disclosure questions, covering topics such as employment by political organizations or working on the board of a public company. One significant question to note is regarding risk tolerance. If you select that your risk tolerance is low or medium, you are directed to use another app and cannot move forward using Gatsby. To use Gatsby, you must select a high risk tolerance level because of the volatile nature of options trading. After you finish setting up your account, you connect your bank account to deposit funds, and from there, you can begin trading. 

Gatsby differs from other platforms as it focuses primarily on options trading. Options are financial instruments that derive their value from an underlying security. An investor can buy an option for a small premium, which allows them to transact a specified amount of a particular stock at a predetermined value on a designated date. Options do not need to be used, so if it is not advantageous to execute the option, the holder can choose to let it expire instead. In that case, you only lose the premium paid for the option. You can also trade and sell options contracts between investors before the expiration date arrives. Options are more complicated financial instruments when compared to stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), so beginners may want to learn more about the options market before exploring Gatsby’s platform offering. 

Gatsby makes it intuitive for traders to buy options with its app design and presentation. Each asset shows a minimalistic price chart and a button to select puts or calls. It can be unclear for some newer traders to determine if they want to buy puts or calls, so Gatsby shows put options with a thumbs down graphic and calls with a thumbs up visual, indicating the direction you think the price will go. The platform walks users through each option parameter, including the expiration date, strike price and the number of contracts. In addition, the app allows users to set buy limit orders and sell limit orders. 

Gatsby sets up all accounts as cash accounts by default. This means that you only have buying power equal to the funds in your account. You can request a leveraged margin account for spread trading by contacting support. Gatsby limits margin traders to adhere to day trading guidelines, which specify the number of trades an investor can make every five-day period. Cash accounts do not fall under this rule. Gatsby also implements some bounds on order size. The most contracts you can buy at a time is 1,000, and the maximum amount you can buy or sell is $500,000. These are high limits, and most investors interested in Gatsby will not come close to reaching them. 

The Gatsby app also offers a social trading feature. When you select the tab labeled “Everyone” on the homepage, you can see the activity of other traders on Gatsby. This feature is particularly helpful in gauging overall market sentiment, identifying trending stocks and finding ideas for new trades. The everyone tab is also available on an asset by asset level. You can use this to see all the recent trading activity surrounding a certain stock to bolster your trading strategy. 

Gatsby's highly focused stock and options trading platform does not offer much variety for users; however, it does achieve its goal of providing a simple mobile app for trading. The social feed brings a fresh twist to the simple platform although some traders may decide that the lack of educational resources and asset categories makes Gatsby an unsuitable application for their trading needs. In addition, the absence of analytical tools may stop more experienced traders from choosing the platform. 

Gatsby Customer Service

Gatsby offers several methods to contact customer service and provides live assistance during market hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST. It also has additional email and phone support that you can use to get in touch with the team. 

  • Via phone: To contact Gatsby by phone, call 856-393-6682. Customer assistance is available by phone during normal market hours. 
  • Via email: To contact Gatsby by email, send your message to support@trygatsby.com. 

You can find Gatsby on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. One way customer service could improve would be to offer a 24/7 live chat feature.

Gatsby Security

Gatsby protects customer funds up to $500,000, with an upper limit of $250,000 for cash claims. The platform offers additional insurance options under particular circumstances, which can be explored further in the disclosures page on the website. You can also set up a pin code and other authentication measures to secure your account further.

Gatsby Pricing and Fees

While many brokerages charge commissions on all trades made, Gatsby prides itself on charging zero commissions for self-directed trades on U.S. contracts. Occasionally, SEC & FINRA fees may be applied to specific transactions. Still, these fees are minimal, and they are not influenced by Gatsby. 

Besides charging no commissions, Gatsby only requires a small $10 minimum deposit to begin trading. Other fees arise for select special needs, such as wire transfers, postage fees, check charges and 401(k) maintenance fees, but these may not apply to all investors. By viewing the online fee schedule, you can confirm none of these apply to you. Overall, Gatsby's pricing is low compared to other trading platforms.

Gatsby Mobile App

The Gatsby mobile app is the only way to access the platform, as Gatsby does not currently offer a desktop version. The application has received excellent reviews in the iOS app store and lists a 4.6-star rating. Google Play displays a 4.4-star rating and positive reviews as well. 

The simplistic application contains four sections. The “Me” tab holds your account information while the “Everyone tab” allows you to access your social media feed. This feed showcases a stream of activity from other users on the platform, which you can use to guide your investment options if you choose. You can see all your additional account information by clicking on the ellipsis graphic. Navigate to the “Trade” tab when you are ready to start trading stocks and options. 

You can choose the stocks and options you want to buy in the Trade tab. Once you select the company you want to invest in, you will see a chart showing company price activity. Below the price chart, you’ll see three tabs labeled “Me,” “Everyone” and “News.” The Everyone tab shows other user activity around the selected stock; the Me tab shows your activity; and the News tab shows articles about that particular stock from other investing resources. Gatsby keeps its app very minimalistic, and although it may be able to improve by adding more trading features to the app, it succeeds in its primary intent of providing an uncomplicated way to trade on the go.

Gatsby User Benefits

Gatsby rethinks how users benefit from trading platforms by offering a way to earn rewards with each trade. Not only does it not charge commissions, but it also pays you back rewards for using the application. Instead of employing complex finance jargon throughout the platform, Gatsby uses comprehensible terms that even beginners can understand. Some additional benefits offered by Gatsby include the following.  

  • Social trading: The social trading component shows the activity of other users on Gatsby. Watching other traders is an incredible way to learn and can help you evaluate overall market opinion. You can see if a stock is generally bullish or bearish and use this knowledge to help you reach a decision on your trading plan.  
  • Trading rewards: Gatsby also offers trading rewards that you earn on each eligible trade. At the beginning of each month, you can turn in last month's points for cash. You also receive bonus points when you sign up and can earn rewards for referring friends. Referrals generally earn 1,000 points, equal to $100, for each friend that joins. Each reward point is worth $0.01, and each contract traded typically earns five points; however, anywhere from 0 to 250 points can be acquired depending on the specific trade. After converting the points to cash, you can choose to invest, hold or withdraw it to your bank account. 
  • Accessible platform: By creating a simple platform that uses easy-to-understand language, Gatsby makes the platform accessible to users that may have been intimidated by other mobile investing apps. The way the app walks you through each parameter of the option contract allows you to understand the options trading process without making errors from a lack of terminology understanding. Because accounts are cash accounts, the platform provides guardrails for new investors to ensure they do not lose more money than they have to trade. 

Gatsby stands apart from competitors in the way the application rewards users for trading. More benefits could be added, such as free educational resources. However, the platform still does an outstanding job of using beginner-friendly vocabulary, which helps newer traders feel comfortable using the application.

Gatsby User Experience

The user-friendly application presents trading information concisely and unambiguously. Little details are incorporated to streamline the process of trading options, even down to thumbs up and thumbs down graphics differentiating between puts and calls. With a clean and streamlined design, the Gatsby application flows naturally from tab to tab.

Remember that only U.S. investors can sign up, so this does limit the users that are able to benefit from Gatsby. Experienced investors may find the platform too confining in terms of tools offered and order limitations. If you are looking for a casual way to trade options and stocks on your phone, Gatsby should be at the top of your list of trading platforms to check out.

Gatsby Overall

Gatsby can be an ideal trading platform for investors who want to trade stocks and options informally on their mobile device. Its zero-commission structure and reward program are compelling draws to new investors. Still, before using the application, you should spend some time understanding options trading since it does not provide educational resources. Trading options is risky, so you should not go into this style of trading unless you are prepared should you face severe losses.

Experienced traders will enjoy the convenience of the Gatsby app, but some may not prefer it due to the lack of analytical tools available compared to other trading platforms. If your priorities are analysis, learning and low-risk investment, Gatsby is likely not the proper app for you. However, if convenience, simplicity and options trading are the primary elements you seek in an investing platform, Gatsby can be worth trying.

Gatsby vs. Competitors

Gatsby is far from the only stock and options trading platform on the market. Depending on your needs, you might want to explore a few of Gatsby competitors before you open an account. Brokers like Robinhood, eTrade and Webull all offer streamlined, intuitive platforms that you can use to buy and sell securities. Benzinga offers insights and reviews on the following brokerage account providers. You might want to begin your search for the right broker with a few of the links below. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

What are the benefits of using Gatsby?

A

Gatsby offers commission-free trading, $10 account minimums and risk assessment tools.

Q

What are the drawbacks of using Gatsby?

A

The disadvantages of Gatsby include poor customer service and fewer educational resources.

Q

Is Gatsby investing legit?

A

Gatsby investing is legit. Per the company’s disclosures, “securities are offered through Gatsby Securities, LLC., a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).” The IOS app has over 500 reviews and has a 4.6-star rating. The android app has a 4.4-star rating and over 550 reviews.

Q

Can you buy stocks on Gatsby?

A

Yes, you can buy stocks on Gatsby. You can also buy and sell options contracts. 

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