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ZacksTrade Review

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1 Minute Review

Founded by Len Zacks of Zacks Investment Research, the Zacks Trade online discount brokerage offers clients a broad range of financial assets to trade and invest in, as well as access to many of the most active global exchanges. Zacks Trade has considerable resources for active traders and investors, including excellent research and trading platforms. 

Zacks Trade’s 3 trading platforms include a wide array of trading tools and can be completely customized for active traders. Another advantage of Zacks Trade is phone access to a live human broker to enter trades and receive trade confirmations from. Unlike many other brokers, Zacks Trade doesn’t charge an extra fee for this service, although the broker still charges a per share transaction fee even though quite a few of its competitors now offer commission-free stock trading. 

If you’re an experienced trader or investor who can afford the broker’s rather high minimum deposit, Zacks Trade could be worth considering.

Best For

  • Self-directed traders and investors
  • Active traders
  • International traders and investors
  • Those wanting access to a human broker

Pros

  • Excellent research resources
  • Access to over 90 international exchanges
  • 3 trading platforms and a mobile app
  • Free access to a human broker

Cons

  • High account minimum deposit
  • Charges commissions on stock trades
  • No forex, precious metals, futures or cryptocurrency trading
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Why Zacks Trade Over Others?

Some of the main advantages of trading through Zacks Trade are listed below: 

  • Excellent research: If you’re looking to trade and invest in equities, options, ETFs, bonds or mutual funds, Zacks Trade provides ample resources including some of the best financial research available. In addition to its own in-house Zacks Investment Research, you can access 3rd-party research from some of the top research websites. 
  • International trading: For traders and investors based outside the U.S., Zacks Trade is available in over 200 countries with access to more than 91 international exchanges in 19 countries. Traders from Canada and Japan, however, are excluded due to the securities regulations and laws in those countries.
  • Three excellent trading platforms: Zacks Trade trading platforms are offered free of charge, and you have your choice of an advanced platform, Zacks Trade Pro, the Client Portal and Zacks Trader. Each platform satisfies the different needs you may have for investing or trading. 
  • Free broker-assisted trading: Zacks Trade provides live phone access to a human broker to enter, exit and receive confirmations for trades and doesn’t charge for this service, unlike many other online brokers.

Brokerage Quick Summary 

FeatureZacks Trade Rank
Fees, Commissions, Margin and Minimums3
Usability4
Education3
Customer Support4
Offerings4
Mobile App5
Overall4

Zacks Trade Fees, Commissions, Margin Rates and Account Minimums

Zacks Trade has a rather high minimum deposit requirement of $2,500, but it charges no fees for inactivity, platform access, account transfers or broker-assisted trades. You can also make 1 free account withdrawal per month, with a $1 fee for subsequent withdrawals in the same month. 

In addition, Zacks charges for automated clearing house (ACH) withdrawals, while issuing a check costs and wire transfers cost . Zacks Trade offers a very low rate on margin accounts, starting at 3.59% compared to Fidelity and Charles Schwab at 8.325%, 9.50% at TD Ameritrade and 8.95% at E*TRADE. Currency conversion to U.S. dollars costs $2-$2.50. 

Additional transaction fees and information can be found in the tables below. 

Commissions for U.S. Securities:

Stocks & ETFs OptionsMutual FundsCorporate BondsGovernment Bonds
Stocks and ETFs: Over per share, Stocks & ETFs OptionsMutual FundsCorporate BondsGovernment Bonds
Stocks and ETFs: Over per share, Stocks & ETFs OptionsMutual FundsCorporate BondsGovernment Bonds
Stocks and ETFs: Over $1 per share, $0.01 per share $1 minimumOptions: $1 for first contract + $0.75 for additional contracts$27.50 for trading mutual funds that trade over $1 per shareUp to $10,000 face value:  0.1% of face value + $3 per bondUp to $1 million face value:  0.025% of face value + $3 per bond
Stocks and ETFs:  Less than $1 per share, 1% of trade value, $1 minimumFree option exerciseRemaining face value: $0.025% of face value +$3 per bondRemaining face value: 0.005% face value + $3 per bond.01 per share  minimumOptions: for first contract + Stocks & ETFs OptionsMutual FundsCorporate BondsGovernment Bonds
Stocks and ETFs: Over $1 per share, $0.01 per share $1 minimumOptions: $1 for first contract + $0.75 for additional contracts$27.50 for trading mutual funds that trade over $1 per shareUp to $10,000 face value:  0.1% of face value + $3 per bondUp to $1 million face value:  0.025% of face value + $3 per bond
Stocks and ETFs:  Less than $1 per share, 1% of trade value, $1 minimumFree option exerciseRemaining face value: $0.025% of face value +$3 per bondRemaining face value: 0.005% face value + $3 per bond.75 for additional contracts.50 for trading mutual funds that trade over per shareUp to ,000 face value:  0.1% of face value + per bondUp to million face value:  0.025% of face value + per bond
Stocks and ETFs:  Less than per share, 1% of trade value,  minimumFree option exerciseRemaining face value: Stocks & ETFs OptionsMutual FundsCorporate BondsGovernment Bonds
Stocks and ETFs: Over $1 per share, $0.01 per share $1 minimumOptions: $1 for first contract + $0.75 for additional contracts$27.50 for trading mutual funds that trade over $1 per shareUp to $10,000 face value:  0.1% of face value + $3 per bondUp to $1 million face value:  0.025% of face value + $3 per bond
Stocks and ETFs:  Less than $1 per share, 1% of trade value, $1 minimumFree option exerciseRemaining face value: $0.025% of face value +$3 per bondRemaining face value: 0.005% face value + $3 per bond.025% of face value + per bondRemaining face value: 0.005% face value + per bond.01 per share  minimumOptions: for first contract + Stocks & ETFs OptionsMutual FundsCorporate BondsGovernment Bonds
Stocks and ETFs: Over $1 per share, $0.01 per share $1 minimumOptions: $1 for first contract + $0.75 for additional contracts$27.50 for trading mutual funds that trade over $1 per shareUp to $10,000 face value:  0.1% of face value + $3 per bondUp to $1 million face value:  0.025% of face value + $3 per bond
Stocks and ETFs:  Less than $1 per share, 1% of trade value, $1 minimumFree option exerciseRemaining face value: $0.025% of face value +$3 per bondRemaining face value: 0.005% face value + $3 per bond.75 for additional contracts.50 for trading mutual funds that trade over per shareUp to ,000 face value:  0.1% of face value + per bondUp to million face value:  0.025% of face value + per bond
Stocks and ETFs:  Less than per share, 1% of trade value,  minimumFree option exerciseRemaining face value: Stocks & ETFs OptionsMutual FundsCorporate BondsGovernment Bonds
Stocks and ETFs: Over $1 per share, $0.01 per share $1 minimumOptions: $1 for first contract + $0.75 for additional contracts$27.50 for trading mutual funds that trade over $1 per shareUp to $10,000 face value:  0.1% of face value + $3 per bondUp to $1 million face value:  0.025% of face value + $3 per bond
Stocks and ETFs:  Less than $1 per share, 1% of trade value, $1 minimumFree option exerciseRemaining face value: $0.025% of face value +$3 per bondRemaining face value: 0.005% face value + $3 per bond.025% of face value + per bondRemaining face value: 0.005% face value + per bond

Commissions for Foreign Securities:

Other North AmericaEuropeAsiaAustralia
Canada: C$0.02 per share for stocks worth more than C$1 per share with a C$4.50 minimumAustria, Belgium, France,Germany, Italy, Netherlands,and Spain: 0.3% of EUR trade value with a 12 EUR minimum Hong Kong: 0.3% of HKD trade value with a 120 HKD minimum0.3% of AUD trade value with a 16 AUD minimum 
Less than C$1 per share, 1% of CAD trade value with a C$4.50 minimumNorway: 0.1% of NOK trade value with a 150 NOK minimumJapan: 0.3% of JPY trade value with a 1200 JPY minimum
Mexico: 0.3% of MXN trade value with a 180 MXN minimumSweden: 1% of SEK trade value with a100 SEK minimumSingapore: 0.3% of SGD trade value with a 20 SGD minimum
United Kingdom: 0.3% of GBP trade value with a 12 GBP minimumRussia: 0.05% of RUB trade value with a 95 RUB minimum
Switzerland: 0.3% of CHF trade value with a 15 CHF minimum

Zacks Trade Usability

Zacks Trade caters to more experienced stock and market operators. The broker’s 3 trading platforms and mobile app are all offered free of charge. They also seem suitable for traders at all levels and are easy to learn and use, although more experienced traders should appreciate their sophisticated features better.  

Zack’s Pro platform lets you customize its layout to fit your needs and gives you access to over 120 technical indicators, as well as advanced charting. Zacks’ other web-based platforms offer many of the same features as the Pro platform. 

Zacks Trade Usability

Screenshot of Zacks Trade’s Pro trading platform. Source: Zacks Trade

Opening an account at Zacks Trade is somewhat less than straightforward and takes longer than at most other online brokers. Zacks Trade evaluates your experience before opening an account appropriate to your experience level that can take up to 3 business days.

Zacks Trade Education

Zacks Trade’s educational resources seem to cater more to traders with some background, so newcomers might not find what they need here to get started. Despite the lack of educational resources, its free broker-assisted trading service could make up for that shortfall.  

Zacks Investment Research offers a free online book you can also download entitled “The Zacks Rank Guide” that details the methods Len Zacks uses to achieve an impressive average yearly gain of 24.41%. Furthermore, you can watch Zacks’ video series on the “Billion Dollar Secret” that shows how to rank stocks using his method. 

Other educational items on the website include a method for revealing earnings surprises called Zacks Earnings Expected Surprise Prediction (ESP) that is described in a YouTube video and on the broker’s Investing Secrets page. 

Zacks Trade Customer Support

Zacks Trade customer support can be accessed via email, phone, live chat and social media during its business hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. The live chat window opens when you open the webpage during trading hours. An extensive frequently asked questions (FAQ) page covers many important topics of interest.

While Zacks’ customer service seems adequate during business hours, outside of those hours the live chat page does not appear; calling the listed phone numbers reaches a message saying to call back during business hours. You can also email the broker for a next-day reply if you did so outside their business hours. 

Customer Support MethodContact Information
PhoneLocal:      312-265-9403
Toll-free:  888-979-2257
Fax:         312-265-9547
Emailsupport@zackstrade.com
FAQ TopicsAccount and User Settings, Account opening, Margin, Trading
How-to TutorialsAn extensive series of “How to” YouTube videos showing how to use different features on its platforms
Live chatAvailable from the website between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST Monday through Friday
Physical address
 
Zacks Trade
10 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL  60606 USA

Zacks Trade Offerings

Zacks Trade lets you trade a variety of U.S. securities, including penny stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, and corporate and government bonds. You can trade stocks listed on major exchanges in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. While you cannot trade futures, cryptocurrencies or forex currency pairs through Zacks Trade, you can convert currencies for a modest fee. 

Probably the best offerings from Zacks Trade are its free broker-assisted service and excellent investment research facilities. You get access to over 20 Zacks Investment Research news and research reports, plus as many as 80 reports you can subscribe to from 3rd parties including Benzinga, Morningstar, Dow Jones, Thomson Reuters and Seeking Alpha.

Your optimal account type and minimum deposit at Zacks Trade will depend on what kind of trading you intend to do. Some examples are listed below. 

  • Day Traders: Need to fund an account with a $25,000 minimum deposit since Zacks Trade operates under U.S. regulations.
  • Reg T Margin account: A minimum deposit of $2,500 is required and at least $2,000 in cash or securities must be maintained in the account. The account permits leverage of 2:1 for overnight positions and 4:1 on day trades.
  • Portfolio Margin account: Aimed at seasoned investors and requires a minimum of $110,000 or the equivalent in net liquidation value to be eligible. Leverage for this type of account is 6:1.  
  • Options Margin account: Has different requirements depending on the options strategies you plan to use. For example, you’ll have a much higher margin requirement for the sale of naked puts and calls than you would for a straight option purchase or a covered option sale.

Zacks Trade Stocks, ETFs and Mutual Funds 

Stock and ETF trades through Zacks Trade cost 1 penny per share on stocks and ETFs trading at $1 or more, which seems extremely low except for the fact that most major brokers in the U.S. now offer commission-free trades on stocks. 

If you plan on trading mutual funds, you might think twice about using Zacks Trade. Mutual funds trades cost $27.50 for each transaction, which seems high compared to other brokers with $0 transaction fee funds available. 

Zacks Trade Options 

Options cost $1 for the 1st contract and $0.75 for additional contracts, which is more or less in line with what other online brokers charge. There’s no charge for exercising or assigning options. 

You can trade options by simply clicking on the bid or offer from the options chain shown in Zacks’ trading platform, and you can manage your options positions from a single screen. You can also create orders for spreads and multiple leg strategies using the Strategy Builder feature. Other options tools include Options Trader, Spread Trader and Rollover Options.  

Zacks Trade Mobile App

Zacks Trade’s mobile app for iOS or Android is called Handy Trader and it provides you access to your Zacks Trade account so you can enter orders and view executions. You can also monitor your portfolio and account balances from your mobile device. 

If you use the app on your cell phone, you can take a call and reconnect to the app without having to log in again. Other nice Handy Trader features include real-time streaming quotes, fundamental data and independent analyst reports that you can also see on Zacks’ desktop platform. 

Zacks Trade Overall Rating

Zacks Trade is an excellent choice for traders and investors who concentrate on U.S. stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and options. The broker also caters well to those who wish to trade on international exchanges and accounts can be opened in multiple currencies, although the lack of forex, cryptocurrency and futures trading at Zacks Trade may disappoint some traders.

Still, you’ll get access to the valuable resources of Zacks Investment Research, which has proven its worth over time, and if you prefer having a broker enter your orders via direct phone contact, then Zacks Trade could suit you well.