Generic Trade doesn’t have premium services, a flashy website or a high-profile advisor team. You won’t be choosing from a half dozen platforms and you don’t get a discount for making a ton of trades. Instead, Generic Trade makes a simple promise — fast trading with cheap commissions.
Don’t assume a broker is low-tech just because they’re simple. Generic Trade has 3 different trading platforms and co-location at a CME Globex data center for rapid trade execution. In finance, simple is usually better than complex and Generic Trade puts that theory to the test.
Who’s Generic Trade for?
Generic Trade sees itself as a competitor to companies like Trade Station and Interactive Brokers. Aggressively so since they have a comparison page right on its website. Generic Trade appeals to traders who might not have the capital or volume to access the best features offered by Interactive Brokers and other high-tech trading firms. For example, Interactive Brokers has a $10,000 account minimum while Generic Trade has no account minimum at all.
As mentioned above, you won’t find volume discounts at Generic Trade. Every trade is tagged with a $0.59 commission — never more, never less. If you trade 1 E-mini contract or 1,000, you’ll pay the same low commission. While this may not appeal to high volume traders, it will appeal to traders without huge sums of capital or the trade volume needed to get good deals at other brokers. New to trading options and futures? Generic Trade will let you try your hand on new strategies without risking too much money.
Generic Trade Platform and Tools (4.5 stars)
Generic Trade offers 3 different platforms: a web platform, a mobile app and a pro trader platform. Generic Trader Online, the web-based platform, is free to use for all users. Generic Trader Professional and the mobile app require a platform fee to use, but once paid you get access to the complete suite of platforms.
Generic Trader Online
Users can access Generic Trade Online for no fee and still make all available trades. You won’t be limited by asset classes or trade volume and you’ll still be charged the same $0.59 commission. But Generic Trader Online is a relatively bare-bones platform. You’ll have real-time charts but without the advanced tools found in the Professional platform. Real-time quotes are available, but not Level II. You won’t see the exchange order book, either. Generic Trader Online gives you simple account management and quick trading, which might be all some users need. But we recommend getting the full suite of platforms.
Generic Trader Professional
Now we’re talking. Generic Trader Professional has all the advanced features a day trader needs, like 1-click trade execution, stochastic charting tools and access to exchange order books. Charts on the Pro platform are much more sophisticated, showing technical trading signals like MACD, RSI and Bollinger Bands. The Order Book, Order Fill Window and Time and Sales screens give you up-to-the-microsecond updates on the status of your orders. You’ll see which orders are getting filled before you, the exact time each order is executed and who else is making trades alongside you.
Generic Trader Mobile
The mobile app brings all the power and sophistication of the Pro platform right to your smartphone. Live charting, the Order Book screen and the Advanced Trader features are available on the mobile app, which is available for both iOS and Android phones. The mobile app is 100% integrated with the online and professional platforms, too, so you can seamlessly jump from one platform to another.
Generic Trade Research Offerings (2.5 stars)
Generic Trade doesn’t offer much in the way of research. All 3 platforms offer streaming live news services and daily reporting, but you won’t find anything from sources like Morningstar, Credit Suisse or UBS. Generic Trade does put together 4 different reports in downloadable PDFs for users:
- Daily market updates
- Early morning report
- Top trading opportunities
- Biweekly newsletter
Reports are provided by Wyckoff Market Ratings. One source is better than nothing, but this is the only research offered by Generic Trade.
Generic Trade Commission and Fees (4.5 stars)
As previously mentioned, Generic Trade charges a flat $0.59 commission on all trades, regardless of size or frequency. If you make 1 small trade per month, you’ll be charged that per side. Make 300 large trades a month? Same fee. Despite the lack of volume discounts, Generic Trade’s $0.59 commission is still lower than the best rates offered by most competitors.
Generic Trade does have other fees, including a $59 monthly subscription charge for the Generic Trader Professional + Generic Trader Mobile platform suite. Clients can use the Generic Trade Online platform for free, but it lacks the tools and advanced features needed for day trading.
Additional fees include the standard charges for outgoing wire transfers, checks and insufficient funds. See the list of fees below and note there’s no monthly maintenance charge or inactivity fee.
Be sure to check the schedule of exchange fees as well before purchasing any contracts. Each asset class comes with its own set of exchange fees you’ll need to factor into your analysis.
Generic Trade Security (5 stars)
Client funds are well protected at Generic Trade. Your personal information is safeguarded by the latest data encryption technology and ACH transactions can be made without worry. Generic Trade also claims membership with the National Futures Association (NSA) and is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Trading futures is risky and broker insolvency is always a risk but Generic Trade clients can rest easy knowing their funds and personal information are secure.
Generic Trade Customer Support (4.5 stars)
Customer support is a place of pride for Generic Trade. Not many brokers offer 24/7 tech support, but reps from Generic Trade can be reached by phone throughout every hour of the night. Have a 4 a.m. platform integration question? Simply call the 800-number.
Another great tech support feature is the live chat option. A little chat support box is present at the bottom of every page on Generic Trade’s website. Click on the box to open a chat window and begin asking your question. Chat support hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST Fridays. Email and international phone support is also available.
Generic Trade Tradable Asset Classes (5 stars)
Generic Trade has a wide variety of futures and options contracts, but no direct purchasing of stocks, bonds or ETFs. Of course, stocks and bonds aren’t why you’d be coming to a broker like Generic Trade anyway. High-speed trading and low commissions are a necessary combo for derivatives brokers and Generic Trade has both.
Contracts are available for all major American indexes, including the Dow and Russell. Currently, the only international market index available is the Nikkei. Currencies include U.S., Canadian and Australian dollars, along with Euros, Swiss francs, Japanese yen and British pounds.
Want to get into grains and meat? Futures on everything from cattle to corn are available on Generic Trade. Metals contracts feature gold, silver, copper and platinum and yes, if you’ve got a bead on breakfast drinks, you can trade softs like coffee, sugar and orange juice. All futures and options contracts will cost $1.18 for a round-trip trade, regardless of what you purchase.
Generic Trade Ease of Use (4.5 stars)
With a name like Generic Trade, you know things will be simple. It takes 5 minutes to set up and fund an account and all 3 platforms have a lean learning curve. Cash can be sent via ACH and all trades have the same $0.59 commission. Customer support is available 24/7 and all potential clients can use the free demo version to test out the platform.
You’ll find no shortage of assets to trade contracts on, either. Traders can benefit from direct market access and sophisticated trading tools, but beginners are welcome, too. The demo version is a great way to practice trades and the low commissions allow you to test things out in reality without needing significant capital. Generic Trade is a user-friendly broker, whether you’re a seasoned trader or a newbie.
Great Bang for the Buck (4.5 stars)
Generic Trade is a no frills, low hype brokerage, but it still has plenty of technological prowess and accessible customer service. Generic Trader Pro is a terrific platform for both day trading and occasional buying and selling. Flat commissions might not appeal to the highest of high volume traders, but if you aren’t moving huge amounts of capital, a $0.59 commission is tough to beat. Having 24/7 customer support and live chat during working hours is a huge plus, too.
If you’re new to options and futures, however, you won’t find much as far as research and education. But Generic Trade is banking that you can find that information elsewhere on the web while still enjoying the benefits of a cheap, efficient platform. We at Benzinga tend to agree.