TradeStation is an established broker that has existed since 1982. It has so many years of experience under its belt, but let us tell you something. Years of experience mean nothing if a broker is not eager to follow the trends and implement innovations.
This broker claims to offer state of the art technology and innovative trading platform. Having that in mind, we expect to see excellent design adjusted for both beginners and professional traders. The transformation of this company dates back in 2001. It transited from a trading software company to an online securities brokerage and in 2004 and 2005, it became a self-clearing equities and options firm.
From this point of view, TradeStation went through thick and thin to become the company they are today and we truly hope it was all worth it. Unfortunately, numerous negative comments from existing clients don’t lead us in that direction, but we will inspect every segment to see if this Forex broker deserves to be on your top list.
When it comes to the account, an interesting thing is that they claim to have 14 different accounts to fit all trading needs. This is a stunning number, but don’t get excited too soon. Yes, there are 14 accounts, but they are not so different. The main goal here was to create a good first impression and they successfully did that.
There are three main accounts — Individual & Joint, Retirement and Entity. Each of them has different subcategories. So, once you go to the Individual & Joint, there is an option to choose Individual, Joint with right of survivorship, Joint Tenants in Common and Custodial.
Within the Retirement account, there is Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP-IRA and SIMPLE IRA. Lastly, we have the Entity account and here you can choose between Trust, Corporation, General Partnership, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Company and Sole Proprietorship.
We feel a need to take some time and reflect on all those accounts we just mentioned. First of all, all of this is simply confusing. If you are new to the Forex market, there is not a single chance you will understand what this broker is talking about. Even if you already have the experience, these account types are not something you see on a regular basis.
Aside from confusion, there is one other thing we dislike. This broker wrote a few sentences about each of these accounts. But those are just some general things that do not include trading conditions. So, clients are supposed to choose an account without knowing what they will get within it. There isn’t a possibility to find out about the leverage, spreads, deposits, etc. We don’t even have to mention that those are some mandatory things that need to be transparent.
Unfortunately, the first thing about this broker disappointed us a lot. It’s written on the website that behind this broker stands a team of highly-trained professionals. Well, in that case, they should know what crucial information each client has to know.
TradeStation was originally created for professional traders. Since each experienced trader knows the importance of education it’s the most normal thing to expect a good learning material. At the first glance, that’s exactly what you are going to get. Separate page for learning, full of numerous articles.
The thing is, this broker is a master in filling its website with unnecessary details, just to make it more appealing. In reality, there is only one section dedicated to proper education and it’s called Market Basics. The name describes it completely. You will receive the most basic articles about the Forex market and if you already have some knowledge, this part would be completely unnecessary.
Another part of the Education Center is dedicated to the website and how you can use it. This can come handy because it really is confusing and it’s most likely that clients will need some help.
Basically, that’s it when it comes to education. We have to say, this is the first time a broker implemented the education part and we still ended up disappointed. If they are proud to tell that the platform is created for professional traders, it’s more than expected to see the education centre that fits the needs of professionals. This way, we just have a feeling they placed something on the website just to fill the empty space.
Technology is the part where we can discuss the platform and the website itself. We are aware that a website design depends on the personal preferences and that there is not much to discuss here, but this time we had to mention a few things about it.
Once you visit the landing page, everything seems rather normal. Important information is listed, the main menu is here and you can visit the social media platforms as well. But, there is one little problem. Finding specific information at TradeStation will take you a lot of time. Everything is divided into subcategories and there are dozens of them. So, if you are a person who likes to research everything before opening an account, arm yourself with patience, you’ll need one for sure.
The trading platform is another part of this technology section that we want to talk about. There are three available options — desktop, web platform and mobile one. This is an excellent selection but there is one problem with it. If you are a beginner, it’s most likely that you won’t be able to manage it. The thing is, it won’t be easy for professionals, too. There are so many details and many of them are quite unnecessary. Yes, it loads instantly and works without any interruptions but you will have to contact customer support and ask for help if you want to learn how to use it. And that brings us to the next problem, responsiveness of customer support.
If you take a good look on the Internet, there are so many comments about TradeStation. Unfortunately, most of them are just complaints about customer support. At first, we were surprised to see that since this broker has an excellent Contact Us page that offers different methods. But, that was just the first impression.
The support centre is different for the people who want to register and the one who already has an account. We don’t understand why, because existing clients are very limited when it comes to contact. If you already have an account, there isn’t an option to send an email. The only way to reach out to them is to use Live Chat or phone number.
The thing is, the Live Chat option never works, so the only way to seek help is to call them. Unfortunately, each time we visited the website chat was offline, even if it’s within the working hours. So, we understand all those complaints about customer support, because the chances are high that you won’t receive any help here.
As a funding option, each client has three possibilities — Bank Wire, Check and Smart Transfer. Although we are missing the Credit Cards or eWallet, the selection is not bad so we won’t complain about that a lot.
On the other hand, there is one thing that we dislike. You will have to wait to receive money on the trading account. It takes a couple of days, depending on the payment method you chose. So, no instant deposits with this broker. With Bank Wire, the money will be on the account the next business day. If you deposit something on Friday, you won’t be able to trade until Monday.
With checks, you have to wait five business days, while Smart Transfer ensures you have money on the account within three days (but the deposit limit for this method is up to $50,000). Needless to say, this could be arranged much better, because there is no reason to wait that long to start trading.
Another big disappointment comes with withdrawals. There is not a single information about it. We do not have an idea of how long the process lasts or when you will have money in the bank account. Honestly, this is a bit strange because those types of information should be available always.
It’s not hard to guess whether we recommend TradeStation or not. Yes, this broker has an incredible experience since it exists for decades now, but sometimes that’s not nearly enough. In this case, a broker doesn’t follow innovations and trends, and if we have in mind that a Forex market changes constantly, that can be a problem.
So, the only thing we can say for the end is to continue your search for the best broker. There are a lot of fish in the sea and we are certain some of them will treat you with much bigger respect.