Let’s take a look at a relatively new player in the world of discount brokerage firms: tradeMONSTER. Aside from an attention grabbing name, tradeMONSTER offers multiple advantages, including a pretty impressive set of tools.
tradeMONSTER was launched in 2008 and founded by well-known professional investors, Jon Najarian and Guy Adami, which may explain its quick rise to prominence and unprecedented amount of early success. Najarian is a popular trader, market analyst, and contributor on CNBC, while Adami has had success working for Goldman Sachs and launched a well-known portfolio management firm called Drakon Capital.
With fees as low as $7.50 for stocks and a diverse tool set that includes educational resources and an in-depth trading platform, it’s clear that tradeMONSTER was designed for the active or options trader in mind. tradeMONSTER fits this niche quite well and has proven to be a heavy hitter.
- Full Featured Trading Platform. Some have said that tradeMONSTER’s trading platform is the best of the best for active traders. Based on my experience with the product, I couldn’t agree more with this statement. I have found the trading platform to be not only efficient and fast, but full-featured with tools such as screeners, stock calculators, charts, live quotes, and filters.
- Full Selection of Investments. tradeMONSTER offers just about every type of security and account you might want to trade, from an array of retirement accounts to stocks, options, and mutual funds. This selection positions tradeMONSTER to be a one-stop shop for traders to do all of their investing.
- Education Opportunities. There is a wealth of educational tools and resources available for various types of traders. For example, they offer live webinars and videos that cover the basics of online trading and risks one should avoid. There are also countless investing and trading articles available. A recent addition is a community centered blog where latest trends and topics are discussed.
- Paper Money Trading Accounts. tradeMONSTER offers a realistic fake money trading platform. You utilize all the same tools and resources but can use fake paper money. For a new investor learning the market or a seasoned pro honing their active trading skills, this is a great resource. Also, you’re not limited to trading only stocks. For example, you can place advanced options strategies or even spreads on futures.
- Corporate and Trust Accounts. tradeMONSTER delivers for groups like corporations, custodians, trusts, and investment clubs. You will find a wide range of services for just about anyone. For example, a parent can easily open a custodial account and help guide their children on what types of investments to choose while maintaining control over the money at the same time.
- Retirement Accounts. One of my favorite parts about tradeMONSTER is the ability to open a no-fee IRA or Roth IRA online. If you’re changing companies and looking to move your funds from your old 401K account, tradeMONSTER also offers rollover options that are easy to manage.
- Stocks: $7.50 per trade regardless of volume
- Mutual Funds: $15 to buy, $0 to sell
- Options: Fees range anywhere from $0.50 per contract for high volume trades to $1.25 for low volume trades
- Extended Hours: $0.015 per share surcharge on extended hours trading
- Penny Stocks: Additional $0.0005 per share on an entire order for stocks less than $1
- Brokerage Assistance: No additional charge for broker assisted trades
- Multiple Funding Options. Five different options make it easy to fund your account. You can transfer from an existing account, link up your bank account, write a check, deposit stock/bond certificates, or set up a simple wire transfer.
- 24/7 Customer Service. They offer easy access from 8:30 am to 6 pm and can be reached by phone, fax, or email.
- Trading Features. Like many brokers, tradeMONSTER offers tools for every type of trader, options traders included. For example, their complete virtual platform offers portfolio analytics and technical analysis so you can be well-informed about the investments you place and own.
- Education and Support Tools. tradeMONSTER offers live webinars in addition to unique tools that are new to the brokerage industry. For example, “Exit Plan” helps investors better time when to sell stocks.
- Higher Fees. tradeMONSTER does have a simple fee structure that provides significant convenience for traders, but it is on the more expensive end. With many discount brokers offering less than five dollars a trade like TradeKing and Zecco, tradeMONSTER is definitely not cheap. With that said, tradeMONSTER does offer lower fees than many other traditional brokers like TD Ameritrade, optionsXpress, and E*TRADE.
- Complicated Trading Tools. The free training tools can be a bit complicated for beginners. While other brokers streamline their tools, tradeMONSTER seems to go overboard with analytics.
- No Trading Community. tradeMONSTER does not offer an active trading community aside from their newly instituted blog.
Getting Started with tradeMONSTER
First, you need to choose the account you want to open. Next, enter all your personal information. Then, fund your account with a minimum of $2,000 via check, wire transfer, account transfer, bank account, or stock or bond deposits. Like most online brokers, they make getting started a breeze.
tradeMONSTER’s platform is blazing fast and easy to use. For some, this and the vast array of investment and account options will be worth the price. Yet for others who don’t need all the bells and whistles, the expense may be too high for simple, run-of-the-mill trades.
If you’re a tradeMONSTER customer, what has been your experience? Would you recommend tradeMONSTER to a new investor?