ChoiceTrade Review

Choicetrade brokerage firm review. Fees & commissions, advantages & disadvantages, minimum requirements & promotion offers for opening a new online account with the online discount stock broker.

ChoiceTrade Review

  • Stocks: $5
  • Options: 1) $5 + $0.15 per contract*
    2) $10.00 per trade with no per contract fee* (up to 250 contracts per leg)

* - Per contract charge applies to trades on the online platform. $0.55 a contract for options transacted on Direct Pro. There is a list of index options, including SPX, OEX and VIX, for which Choice Trade charges a surcharge of $1.00 per contract in addition to the regular commission. This surcharge does not apply for options on ETFs such as QQQ or SPY. If you participate in a third-party investment program, then your minimum commission per option trade will be $10, exclusive of index option surcharges (if applicable). Regulatory fees, exchange fees and index option surcharges are extra. $10.00 per trade with no contract fee plan is not available to accounts with naked option writing permission. The default pricing plan will be $5.00 per trade plus 0.15 cents per contract. You may switch between pricing plans no more than once a month by sending an email before the 1st of any given month. Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Prior to buying or selling an option, please read Characteristics & Risks of Standardized Options. A copy of this document can be obtained by contacting us at service@choicetrade.com. Note: Regulatory and OCC fees will apply. Please contact ChoiceTrade for details.

  • Minimum to open: $0 for a cash account, $0 for an IRA.

 

ChoiceTrade Review

ChoiceTrade is a discount stock broker that has been in business since 2000. The firm offers competitive pricing and a number of trading platforms geared toward a specific trading style of frequent and experienced traders. Located in New Jersey, ChoiceTrade is registered with SEC and SIPC.

The account can be opened either online or by downloading forms from the website and sending them via mail. The easiest and fastest way to open an account is online. The only caveat is that after submitting an application for approval, you will be required to send a copy of the government ID via email, FAX or mail.

 

ChoiceTrade Trading Commissions And Fees

Flat rate commissions on stocks and options are very low. The base fee on stocks and options is $5. Only Optionshouse and Ally Invest, the firm's strongest low-cost competitors, charge slightly less.

Cost per contract on options is $0.15 through the online platform and $0.55 per contract for options transacted on a direct access platform Direct Pro. It is important to note that there is a list of index options that are subject to a surcharge of $1.00 per contract in addition to the regular commission.

A $2 additional fee per trade is applicable on a maximum of 500,000 small and micro cap securities. An additional 1% of the total dollar value of the order to the base commission and surcharge is charged for OTC orders over 500,000 shares. In the event that an account holder deposits or DWAC stock into his account and sells the shares, his commission will be between 3% and 5% of the value sold. There is a 0.005/share additional fee for after-hours trades.

ChoiceTrade offers less expensive per share commissions, yet the plan is only available to advanced direct access platform traders. The platform comes with a steep $135 monthly fee.

Commissions on foreign stocks and foreign exchanges are pretty high as well. Investors will be charged $75 per trade.

 

ChoiceTrade Trading Platforms and Tools

Depending on their trading style and experience, investors can choose one of the three trading platforms provided by ChoiceTrade.

Web-based Choicetrader is a free basic platform available to all customers. Real-time quotes are also available for free via the platform.

Quotestream is a customizable streaming data platform that provides access to the market data and technical analysis solution. Advanced charting, news and research, and comprehensive technical analysis are available for $14.95 per month or $29.95 for Pro Version.

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DIRECT PRO is the broker's most advanced Level II direct access trading platform. The platform comes with real-time screens, charts and advanced indicators, trend line studies, drawing tools, real time news, ESN books and other advanced tools and features for intraday trading. However, the platform is quite pricey.

Mobile versions of platforms are available for iPhones and Android devices.

 

ChoiceTrade Investment Options and IRAs

ChoiceTrade has a limited selection of investments to choose from, and as mentioned above, the firm's main focus is on experienced and active stock and options traders.

Bonds and CDs cannot be bought through ChoiceTrade brokerage. This is an issue of concern to conservative investors and those nearing retirement age.

ChoiceTrade offers traditional, Roth and SEP IRAs. There is no minimum funding requirement for retirement accounts. However, the broker charges extremely high fees on retirement accounts. ChoiceTrade has a $25 IRA set- up fee, a $50 annual custodial fee, a $50 termination fee and other fees, which are not charged by the firm's major competitors. For example, well-priced Scottrade its great selection of investments does not have IRA account fees.

Considering ChoiceTrade's poor selection of investments and high IRA fees, the broker is not a good choice for retirement savings. Nowadays, there are cheaper options on the market.

 

ChoiceTrade Research and Education Review

With its focus on experienced traders, ChoiceTrade has not much to offer in terms of education. There are a few videos and articles on options strategies and links to external websites.

When it comes to research, charts, company's news, historical data, earnings and analyst information are available. However, like in terms of educational materials, the broker's research tools are very limited.

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ChoiceTrade Advantages

  • Low pricing on stocks and options
  • A variety of trading platforms (fee) for different styles of trading
  • Powerful direct access platform (steep fee)

ChoiceTrade Disadvantages

  • Limited investment choices
  • High account inactivity fee
  • Additional surcharges on stocks under $1
  • Trading is not allowed on stocks under $0.05
  • An additional fee for after-hours trades
  • High account fees
  • Monthly platform fees
  • Limited research
  • Lack educational resources

 

ChoiceTrade Review Summary

Low trading commissions and advanced trading platforms are the strongest features of ChoiceTrade. The company is committed to providing competitive pricing and powerful trading tools to active investors with different trading styles. However, there are a few other additional surcharges hidden in fine print that traders need to be aware of. Monthly platform fees are only adding up to the trading costs.

The broker's most advanced direct access platform has a very steep $135 monthly fee, which is more expensive than what the strongest competitors charge. For instance, TradeStation 's direct access platform, which is consistently rated high by Barron's, is offered for free.

Account fees are also pretty high, especially those that are charged to IRA accounts. ChoiceTrade is a very expensive firm for retirement savings. Another big drawback is its account inactivity fee. The brokerage charges a steep $30 quarterly fee if less than five trades are executed per quarter. The fee is waived for accounts with a balance greater than $50,000.

Less active and novice investors can find better and cheaper companies to serve their investment needs.

 

ChoiceTrade Offer For Opening a New Account

ChoiceTrade does not have special offers at this time.

 

ChoiceTrade Commissions and Fees

InvestmentsPrice
Stocks$5
Bulletin Board & OTC Markets (small and micro cap securities)Add $2 per trade*
F Stocks (Foreign stocks trading in the U.S. with five letter symbol ending in F)$25
Foreign stocks on foreign exchanges$25
Options$5 per trade plus $0.15 per contract
Assignment & Exercise$15
Broker-Assist Surcharge$25

* - Trading is not allowed on Bulletin Board & OTC Market stocks under $0.05.

 

ChoiceTrade IRA & Account Fees

FeeAmount
IRA Setup Fee$25
Annual IRA Fee$50
IRA Termination Fee$50
IRA Paper Statement from Millennium$15
Outgoing Wire out of IRA$35
Roth IRA Conversion or Recharacterization Fee$250
IRA Account Closing Fee
Full Account Transfer Out$75
Partial Account Transfer Out$35
Outgoing - Domestic Wire Fees$35
Outgoing - International Wire Fees$60
Inactive Account Fee$30 per quarter (waived if five or more trades per quarter or account equity greater than $50,000)

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