Lightspeed Financial Services Group was first founded in the early 2000s and has since evolved to offer a wide variety of online (trading) opportunities. Lightspeed allows you to access advanced trading platforms such as their Lightspeed Trader platform as well as specialty and futures trading platforms at competitive prices. Lightspeed provides customizable software that focuses on risk management and fast execution speeds while optimizing control.
- Active traders
- High-Volume traders
- Option traders
- Deep discounts for high-volume traders
- Fast & personal customer service
- Fast execution speeds
- Cutting-edge trading platform in Lightspeed Trader
- Robust inventory of locates on HTB stocks
- High minimum investment ($10,000)
LIghtspeed Trading Ratings at a Glance
Lightspeed Financial Services Group has a strong product offering intended to appeal to experienced, and active traders. The company provides trading opportunities for stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options and futures. Lightspeed was founded to support high-volume, active traders and offering fast and personal customer service.
Lightspeed offers a wide variety of advanced trading platforms specifically designed for active traders. Of those advanced trading platforms, their hallmark trading platform, Lightspeed Trader is the pinnacle of them all and stands alone from the rest. The Lightspeed Trader platform lives up to its name by focusing on and delivering on lightning-fast execution speeds. The Lightspeed Trader platform allows experienced traders to create and handle custom orders using pre-configured settings. Traders can customize risk settings using easy-to-use tools to set daily value limits and daily max loss limits. These tools are crucial for navigating volatile markets and sustaining your account over long periods of time. Lightspeed Trader also offers intuitive charting and an easy-to-use short-locate window with a robust inventory of locates on HTB stocks to make short-selling efficient and seamless.
Lightspeed offers third-party, specialty trading platforms such as Sterling Trader Pro, Sterling Vol Trader, SILEXX OEMS, and many more to allow traders to participate in trading many different asset classes ranging from stocks, options, and futures. Partnering with third-party platforms lets Lightspeed Financial Services Group offer various trading opportunities to its customers. For example, Sterling Trader Pro allows traders to implement a customizable Level II order entry system while operating on a wide range of technologies, while Eze EMS Pro offers traders the ability to trade a wide variety of asset classes including futures.
Lightspeed’s product offering focuses on the needs of the active trader; fast execution speeds, competitive pricing, advanced trading platforms, and a responsive, knowledgeable, and friendly customer service team to help you at a moment’s notice.
Lightspeed Financial Services Group offers responsive, knowledgeable, and friendly customer service. The website has a contact page that includes organized information and multiple methods of communication, including a team of licensed, in-house professionals ready to answer your phone call. The company’s headquarters is located in Morristown, New Jersey, with other offices located in Wisconsin and Chicago.
The company makes it easy for customers to learn about frequently asked questions by having an FAQ page available on their website. Providing a page dedicated to answering frequently asked questions allows customers to easily troubleshoot their concerns. In addition to answering frequently asked questions, the website has short informative videos and tutorials to help traders access the information they need to feel confident to begin trading.
The website has a blog that provides traders with a resource that offers well-organized news, insights and tips listed under categories such as IPOs, education, stocks, options, earnings, and indices.
The options academy includes content such as a brief introduction to options and basic trading strategies.
Educational tools such as the glossary allow customers to connect terms and definitions. Trading requires its own terminology, and Lightspeed Financial Services Group understands the need to teach traders the language.
Lightspeed also offers live webinars and a webinar library which allows traders to receive trading and platform information from experts. The website provides a list of upcoming events so customers can plan ahead and register for interactive webinars with live Q&A sessions. Customers who cannot attend live or who prefer minimal social interaction can watch recordings of past webinars in their video library.
Lightspeed Financial Services Group uses multiple social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube to interact with and cater to the active trading community.
Customer reviews placed on third-party websites such as Trustpilot indicate largely positive customer sentiment. The majority of reviews spoke highly of the company. Customers that highly reviewed Lightspeed Financial Services Group mentioned fast execution speed and excellent active trading tools.
The company ranks high in customer service by combining several methods of communication, generous amount of educational tools, and a friendly and knowledgeable staff. The resources increase trader knowledge while raising confidence in the company.
The company takes security seriously by using multiple defensive measures and tools. For example, Lightspeed Financial Services Group implements a combination of standard due diligence and background checks in tandem with know-your-customer (KYC) requirements. Investors have access to two-step verification.
Lightspeed Financial Services Group is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), National Futures Association (NFA) and Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). The company has SIPC protection for financial assets such as securities, equities and cash related to the purchase or sale of securities. Under the SIPC, accounts are protected up to $500,000. However, only half, or $250,000, of the protected amount will cover cash credit balances. Client accounts are protected by Lloyd’s of London with an excess SIPC bond for an extra $25 million per account as stated in the regulations.
Keep in mind that a decrease in asset value is not covered by insurance or security measures. When navigating sensitive financial information online, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to have another layer of protection. A VPN works to create a secure link to the internet and can be helpful when using public internet connections. Implementing multiple methods of security better safeguards accounts against unforeseen circumstances.
The minimum investment and pricing have room for progress. The company touts that customers have the power to control their pricing model. New account funding minimum requirements remain high depending on the type of account. The lowest minimum investment to fund an account is $10,000, whereas portfolio margin accounts will face a minimum of $175,000.
The company encourages high-volume traders to open an account by offering attractive discounts. For example, traders that meet minimum trading volume requirements receive sizeable discounts. Traders that meet the monthly minimum of 10,000 trades can receive a generous rate of $2.50 per trade; with less than 250 trades per month, your fee would be $4.50 per trade. Lightspeed also offers per-share trading structures as well. If you trade more than 15 Million shares in a month you can receive an extremely competitive rate of $.001 per share; with less than 249,999 shares traded in a month, you qualify for the per share rate of $.0045 per share.
Lightspeed Financial Services Group offers several trading platforms. The Lightspeed Web & Mobile platform has no monthly platform fees whereas the Lightspeed Trader platform costs $130 per month minus the previous month’s commission. For active traders, the Lightspeed Trader platform offers fast execution speeds and provides an extensive list of tools such as advanced filters, customizable layouts, hotkeys, and hot buttons, as well as research capabilities. Lightspeed is currently offering a promotion for Benzinga referrals where you receive 50% off commissions for life and two free months of the Lightspeed Trader Platform when opening an account using promo code “BENZINGA”.
Fees for the company are listed across multiple pages. Brokerage accounts face a wide range of charges such as a minimum monthly commission of $25 for accounts that have less than $15,000. The brokerage fee page clearly states a list of charges that range from security deposit processing fees to certificate fees, cashiering fees, statement confirmation fees, trade confirmation fees, trading fees and account fees. The website lists the order routing destinations and fees on a separate web page.
The company has room for improvement in terms of fees and pricing structure, however, they combat this by offering promos for new accounts such as the one mentioned above. Fees span multiple pages and can be difficult for a customer to understand without spending significant time looking for specific charges. Lightspeed Financial Services Group retains a high barrier to entry by keeping commission fees and deposit minimums that many big-box brokers such as TD Ameritrade and Fidelity have removed. However, Lightspeed is designed for active traders who typically are used to commission fees as well as deposit minimums to keep their account balance above the PDT threshold, in order to receive premium tools and fast execution speeds which are crucial for successful trading.
The company has a strong user experience that caters to active traders. The company has a wide range of educational resources that allow traders to learn more about the Lightspeed Trader platform, trading strategies and concepts, and other market insights to help them navigate their software and the market. The brokerage firm emphasizes fast execution speed, exceptional customer service, and direct market access.
The company stands out from the crowd thanks to its Lightspeed Trader Platform which offers lightning-fast execution speeds. The flagship trading platform has more than 100 order-routing destinations.
Lightspeed vs. Competitors
Lightspeed outperforms the big-box brokers such as TD Ameritrade, and Fidelity by offering lightning-fast execution speeds that these free-commission brokers simply can’t compete with. In terms of comparing Lightspeed against other commission-based brokers such as Cobra Trading, Guardian Trading, and Centerpoint Securities, the answer is simple; Lightspeed is the premier brokerage firm in this space in terms of software. Lightspeed Trader is a premium trading software with lightning-fast execution speeds, customizable features, and advanced trading tools.
Overall, Lightspeed Financial Services Group earns a 4 out of 5; a fantastic rating. The company offers fast execution speeds, competitive pricing, a sizable product offering, fast customer service and excellent security. Lightspeed provides traders with the freedom to choose from multiple platforms while providing quality performance and exemplary speed. The Lightspeed Trader platform showcases speed, advanced customization and risk management features.
The company has room for growth in terms of minimum investment and pricing. While many brokers have done away with commission fees, Lightspeed Financial Services Group has chosen to continue. Although low, charging commission fees differs from the growing trend pushing brokerages away from commission-related charges. However, active traders need fast execution speeds, access to locates on HTB stocks, and advanced trading software. All of which are difficult to find at a commission-free broker, but Lightspeed has them all. Active traders know they need a premium product to be successful, and Lightspeed Financial Services Group has a premium product that active traders trust.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make money trading online?
Yes, it is possible to make money trading online. Knowledgeable traders can make a comfortable living. Prior to trading, study the markets, spend time researching trading platforms and examine investment opportunities to make informed financial decisions.
How do I trade online?
Open a brokerage account that offers online trading and fund your account. You could start trading right away, but educating yourself about the market and how to trade is a smart first move. Many online brokerages let you paper trade or use a trading simulator to practice.