1 Minute Review
An arm of Mint Global Market, the New York-based online stock broker SpeedTrader caters to investors and active day traders. Touting itself as a firm with the “highest level of trading services at the lowest cost possible,” it is known for its multiple routing options and fast execution.
- Advanced day traders
- Stock and options traders
- Seamless and fast day trading platform
- Large selection of ECN order routes such as ARCA, INET, BATS, EDGX, etc.
- Fast execution and efficient direct access order routing
- Fairly low trading fee when the account balance is above $25,000
- Hotkey customization
- Limited choice of asset class
- Mobile trading is limited to iOS devices
- Higher fees for some services such as option exercise or assignment as well as for broker-assisted trades
Who’s Uses SpeedTrader?
- Advanced day traders
- Stock and options traders
Advanced Day Traders
Given their high activity levels, advanced and active day traders have the potential to circumvent the quarterly inactivity fee and software platform fee. This category of traders can also take advantage of the ECN order route options.
Stock and Options Traders
Online trading is available only for stocks and options. Stock and options traders, therefore, can take advantage of all the features the brokerage provides.
SpeedTrader Commissions and Fees
Pricing is either per-share or per-trade based, with per-share pricing starting at $0.0044/share and per-trade pricing starting at $4.49 per share. Options pricing start at $0.40/contract. The above rates are applicable for those clients having an account balance of over $25,000. Clients who have an account balance less than $25,000 are charged $6.95 per equities trade. SpeedTrader also offers discounted commission rates for trades that total over 400 a month. The electronic transaction clearing, or ETC, commissions are as follows:
ETC Clearing Commissions
The minimum deposit to open an account for both U.S. as well as overseas clients is $30,000. If you’re an overseas account holder and/or if you don’t actively trade, you’ll pay a monthly fee of $30. SpeedTrader now offers only margin and options accounts. Cash accounts are not allowed. The brokerage waives software fees if your account meets a fixed commission per month. If the minimum commission is not generated by the account, software fees works out to $25 per month for the web platform, $49 each month for Pro Level 1 and $104 per month for Pro Level 2.
SpeedTrader Platform and Tools
SpeedTrader offers web-based desktop or mobile trading platforms, including a powerful level 2 desktop trading software called SpeedTrader PRO. SpeedTrader PRO offers direct access order routing and advanced orders. Direct access order routing allows traders to trade a financial asset directly with a market maker or specialists on the floor of the exchange, ensuring immediate order execution. Real-time stock charting with multiple chart types and indicators are available. The chart supports multiple screens and supports point-and-click trading. The hotkey support facilitates use of over 100 hotkey options for faster order entries. You can create custom stock scanners to zero in on the ideal trading opportunity that aligns with this strategy, and many stock watch lists can be built and organized. SpeedTrader PRO has a multiple-account management facility so all trading accounts can be contained within the platform. SpeedTrader Elite is an ideal platform for equity, options and futures traders. You’ll be able to analyze real-time market action, portfolio management, etc. SpeedTrader’s web-based platform is called SpeedTrader ActiveWeb. It is browser-based and a HTLM5 trading platform loaded with features. The brokerage also has a mobile trading platform to cater to the needs of the “on the go” traders.
SpeedTrader mobile platform
Research via the SpeedTrader Blog
SpeedTrader has a blog on its website where it provides free webinars and articles on trading strategies, technical analysis, including chart patterns and technical indicators, as well as fundamental analysis. However, third-party research is not available.
A member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, SpeedTrader has access to funds to meet customer claims up to $500,000, including $250,000 for cash claims. An additional account coverage of up to $24.5 million, including $900,000 in cash, is available through SpeedTrader’s clearinghouse. Accounts are protected up to $25 million per client, including $1 million for cash balances.
SpeedTrader Customer Support
Support is available at SpeedTrader through telephone, fax, e-mail as well as live chat. SpeedTrader is available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
Tradable Asset Classes Available at SpeedTrader
- U.S. stocks
- Mutual funds
The maximum order size for a market order is 100,000 and that for a limit order is 1,000,000. A market order is an order executed immediately at the current market price, while a limit order is an order for buying/selling an asset at a specified price or better.
SpeedTrader & Its Ease of Use
Opening an account is fairly easy. You’ll need to complete an application online or send in a by email, fax, or mail. Basic information needed includes social security number or tax identification number, valid photo identification (driver’s license, passport or government-issued ID card), bank account details, employer’s address and telephone number and your financial information. SpeedTrader will then send an email to confirm the account opening. SpeedTrader also offers a free virtual practice account with virtual buying power. If a change is required in the trade rate, you can request it via email. The change will become effective 1-2 business days from the time the request is received, but the change can only be done once a month.
Final Thoughts on SpeedTrader
Use SpeedTrader if:
- You’re an expert trader who understands and uses the multiple routing options available as well as direct access order routing.
- You’re a frequent trader (which will help bring down commissions).
Avoid SpeedTrader if:
- You’re a beginner.
- You’re an infrequent trader.
- You look for a wide choice of tradable asset classes