MintBroker is a U.K.-based discount brokerage that offers independent traders access to U.S. markets for a reasonable fee. The company is upfront about pricing structure and fees and its web-based platform is free to use. A wide variety of U.S. stocks and options are available, including thousands of shortable securities. You can trade from a desktop computer or mobile phone at up to 5-to-1 leverage during market hours.
U.S. customers can’t open accounts and not every trader will appreciate its flat-rate commission. Non-active traders will be hit with an inactivity fee if you don’t make a certain number of trades per month. MintBroker is great for day traders looking for cheap access to U.S. markets, but long-term investors may prefer other brokerages.
- Investors who make more than 15 trades per quarter
- Traders looking for flat-rate commissions
- Short sellers and options traders
- Low fees on U.S. stock and option trades
- Over 10,000 shortable securities
- No restrictions on the number of daily trades
- Up to 5-1 leverage
- Free platform usage
- U.S. traders not allowed to open accounts
- Inactivity fee if you make less than 15 quarterly trades
- Flat-rate commission structure disincentivizes some traders
Established last year in London, MintBroker is a discount brokerage aimed at tech-savvy day traders. Both iPhone and Android users can access MintBroker’s slick mobile app and trade on the go or sit down and trade with a sophisticated desktop platform.
Thousands of U.S. stocks can be traded, shorted or optioned for a low flat-rate commission.
MintBroker’s platforms offer superior technology and traders of all levels can get comfortable using them without a steep learning curve. Buy-and-hold investors will want to look elsewhere thanks to MintBroker’s 15 minimum quarterly trades. U.S. citizens also can’t open accounts.
Who’s MintBroker For?
MintBroker is perfect for traders in the U.K. who want cost-efficient access to U.S. financial markets. Over 10,000 securities are available to trade and each trade involves a low commission. Users can trade on a desktop, web browser or mobile phone and pre- and after-hours trading is available for all users.
MintBroker is best suited for active traders comfortable with advanced charting tools, short-selling and complex options chains. Novice traders might be overwhelmed by the myriad of screening and charting tools, but demo accounts are available for those who simply want to dip their toes in the water before jumping into full-fledged trading.
Traders can make an unlimited number of transactions each month, but there’s a 15-trade minimum needed each quarter to avoid the inactivity fee.
MintBroker’s Platform and Tools
MintBroker leverages the latest technology to offer 3 different trading platforms.
The most powerful trading tools are included in the desktop platform, which features Level II quotes and direct access order routing. Multiple orders types enable users to clearly define entry and exit points to lock in profits and prevent excessive losses. Advanced traders can also ditch the mouse and execute trades on hotkeys.
The Desktop Platform provides live real-time news and the most advanced charting tools which makes it a perfect market access point for the seasoned day trader.
The Web Browser Platform, though not as sophisticated as the Desktop Platform, has tools and features for seasoned veteran traders and newbies learning the ropes. Level I order quotes provide accurate pricing for thousands of stocks and users can seamlessly switch between stocks and options.
The Web-Based Platform can be used on both mobile and desktop browsers. Internet Explorer version 10, Chrome version 16 or Firefox version 11 are required for download. MintBroker clients can access the web platform for free after signing up.
The MintBroker mobile platform has many of the same powerful tools as the Desktop platform conveniently tucked into an easy-to-use smartphone trading system. Level II quotes are available and trades can execute directly from the stock chart with just a few taps.
Trades are executed instantaneously and real-time news is delivered right to your app. Android 6.0 and iOS 6.0 are required to use the mobile trading app.
MintBroker’s Research Offerings
You can easily research stocks and options on MintBroker thanks to its charting tools and market data. You’ll get to peer inside the plumbing of the U.S. markets with Level II quotes, advanced charting features and a blog that details trading strategies and MintBroker account features.
Level II news reports cost $25 per month for account holders and even non-professionals get access to real-time news reports and data on the MintBroker web browser. MintBroker lacks research reports from premium services like Morningstar, Credit Suisse
The tools and charting features are impressive and subscription services are available, but MintBroker clients will likely need outside sources for detailed market research.
MintBroker’s Commission and Fees
MintBroker is very clear and upfront about its pricing structure. All stock trades are charged a $5 commission regardless of size or frequency.
Account-holders can make an unlimited number of trades each month, but there are no discounts for high-wealth clients or active traders. A flat $5 commission will appeal to many low-volume traders but account holders who make dozens (or hundreds) of trades each month will long for a more efficient system.
The $5 fee applies whether your trade includes 1 share or 100,000 shares.
Options trades have no commission, only a $0.50 fee per contract. All MintBroker deposits must be converted to U.S. dollars in order to make trades. Currency exchange rates may reduce the amount of your deposit and your bank may charge a fee for the exchange.
A few additional fees apply as well (and they do add up), but MintBroker doesn’t hide or obscure any of them. First of all, there’s a $50 inactivity fee per quarter if you make fewer than 15 trades. Also, the web-based platform is free to use, but the desktop and mobile platforms require a separate fee ($35 per month for mobile, $49 for mobile plus Pro desktop).
Professional clients also must pay $40 to access NASDAQ quotes and $65 for AMEX and NYSE quotes. Market depth access data, like Level 2 quotes, also requires a standard $40 monthly fee. Options, futures and pink sheets quotes also have their own specialized monthly fee. Outgoing transfers also require a $40 processing fee.
MintBroker is officially known as Mint Global Market U.K. Limited, a subsidiary of Thornbridge Investment Management LLC. Thornbridge is regulated by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). An indemnity insurance policy of $1,000,000 protects customer deposits.
MintBroker uses the latest technology to encrypt customer account numbers and prevent fraud. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology protects any information provided via a browser over the MintBroker server.
MintBroker’s Customer Support
MintBroker has several ways of getting in contact with customer support, including a chat feature. The MintBroker Support page features a Knowledge Base that contains dozens of useful articles about both using the platform and navigating financial markets.
An online submission form for sending in troubleshooting tickets is also available, along with an email address for more personal contact.
Of course, no customer support review is complete without mentioning the most important method of troubleshooting: the chat feature! Thankfully, MintBroker has a great chat feature embedded right on its website that both account holders and non-account holders can access.
An address and support phone number are listed on the website along with the company social media feeds. Very few brokers provide this level of customer support accessibility. MintBroker goes above and beyond to make sure their clients can reach a support agent.
MintBroker’s Tradable Asset Classes
Accessing the robust markets in the United States has never been easier with MintBroker. Over 10,000 American equities are available and thousands of them are shortable. Additionally, MintBroker account users can trade options contracts for $0.50 per contract. Clients can view futures data, but only equities and options are available to trade. Still, MintBroker gives its users full support in its U.S. market trading.
Pre-market and after-market trading is available to all users and leverage can be cranked up to 5-to-1 on trades made during market hours.
Leverage of 2-to-1 is available for extended hours trading, but all accounts must be reduced to 2-to-1 leverage by 3:30 p.m. EST or be subject to liquidation and accompanying fees. Only U.S. securities can be traded, but U.S. citizens are ineligible for MintBroker accounts.
MintBroker’s Ease of Use
MintBroker was built by day traders and market professionals and while the tools do point toward a sophisticated client base, the platform is easy to use for pros and new traders alike. All 3 platforms allow for seamless and unlimited trading of U.S. securities, but the web browser platform is perfect for new traders who want to learn the ins and outs of the market.
The trading experience is completely secure and leverage is applied automatically. MintBroker provides a collection of blog posts which describe how to open and fund an account, trade using momentum and range-bound strategies and how to read stock charts and signals.
Seasoned day traders can gain access to direct market access order routing, multiple types of order stops and Level II quotes so you can see the market moves form under the surface. The mobile and desktop platforms are certainly geared toward advanced traders, but inexperienced investors can quickly learn how to trade using the web browser platform, blogs and basic tools.
MintBroker has only been in business for a little over a year but has made a name for itself in a short time. The platforms are sophisticated yet simplified. You’ll find top-notch charting features and different order types that allow traders to limit losses and maximize gains.
MintBroker prides itself on no hidden fees, though they can be excessive when you factor in transactions costs, market data subscription, and platform access costs. Buy-and-hold investors might find it difficult to avoid the quarterly inactivity fee as well. If you don’t mind paying for all the extras, MintBroker is a great way for U.K. traders to trade short and option securities in U.S. markets.