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Lightspeed Trading reviews, customer complaints, broker rating, trading platform pros and cons. Is Lightspeed Trading a good and safe company?

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Lightspeed Trading Reviews

by Stardog,  10/13/2021

Pros:  None

Cons:  Many

Review:  Takes FFFFFOOOORRRRREEEVVVVEEERRRR to set up your account.
Executions no better than other platforms.
The web and mobile version are complete trash. Full of glitches and just flat out doesn’t work. Upgraded to Lightspeed platform which requires desktop to run. Took another week. Traded for a day and made $250. However they turned off my fading towards the end of the day and said my account wasn’t done being set up. Next day only the money I deposited and not my trading gains were in the account I’m sure if I had lost money it would have been the same! Platform is clumsy compared to literally everything else out there and not “Lightspeed” fast.
Biggest disappointment of my trading career.

by FC,  7/15/2020

Pros:  You can type in your price

Cons:  Executions are crap. You don't get in or out where you want $$$!!! :(

Review:  Took almost 2 weeks for the application approval. No one ever answers the phone. And when they finaly did after multiple attemps... One guy did answered the phone and sounded like he was eating a sandwich and a bag of potato chips. Another guy sounded like he was too busy typing out a book and wasn't paying attention to my questions.

The platform seems quick in the demo state for scalping. But once you live live,... forget it. You try to buy in at say $1.82 and you execute the buy with your programmed hotkey and the damn thing buys it at $1.89 and the stock goes red at $1.88. BAM!!! You just got screwed! It happens with every execution no matter what settings or routing you try. It happens every damn time. There is no way that guy Ross Cameron is getting lightning fills right where he wants. Hell, I even tried typing in the exact amount I wanted it to execute and BAM... nope it still bought it almost 10 cents higher!

I'm totally done with Lightspeed!

by Gabriel,  8/1/2018

Pros: 

Cons: 

Review:  Horrible customer service. There is no one to answer the phone at 4:00 am as they claim they open for trading. This happens almost daily.

by Cliff,  6/6/2018

Pros: 

Cons:  Platform issues and they won't answer the phone

Review:  When there are issues they appear to hide...My platform is down and no one answers the phone

by Alan Gay,  5/15/2018

Pros:  The people were initially very friendly and helpful but it took 4 days to fill out my paperwork and get approved.

Cons:  Opening the account was very hard

Review:  After I got approved I got a letter saying they had checked my background and "because I was not able to get a FINRA license I would not be able to trade" I had already funded the account etc. Apparently you must have to have a perfect background to be able to work with these people. I finally got them to tell me what info they had on me and it was not my information very bad experience. Also I had traded with them in the past for 8 years.

by Richard C,  6/1/2017

Pros:  Extremely Fast Executions, Very Cheap Per Share Pricing or Flat Fee if you choose, Everything I need in LSTrader Platform, Amazing Customer Service, Email Support Possible

Cons:  Minimum monthly commission on LSTrader, Market Data Fees, Higher Initial Funding Minimums

Review:  I have been using Lightspeed for years now and absolutely love them. If you are a frequent and serious trader, you should find the functionality in Lightspeed perfect for your needs. LSTrader Platform is highly recommended.
Executions are lightning fast. You can choose either per trade ($4.50 per trade) or per share (highest rate is currently around 0.0045 per share and that pricing can be lower depending on how many shares you trade each month). Minimum commission per order is $1. Market fees add in about another $0.0035 per share.
Another plus to Lightspeed is the ability to receive rebates on market fees if you add liquidity rather than take liquidity.
Another thing I love about Lightspeed is the Customer Service. I have emailed my service rep Rob with almost every question imaginable and he is always very fast to respond. Their support desk is as well. Many other brokers won't allow you to email support.
As far as platform, trading, back office, customer support, and web tutorials, Lightspeed Excels.
The only drawbacks that I have found with Lightspeed is that it takes higher funding requirements, so it's not a broker for casual mom and pop traders with only a few bucks to their name. You will need at least $10k-$15k to open an account.
Another drawback is that data fees usually run about $10-$20 extra per month but with the money your saving in commissions, it kind of makes up for itself.
With LSTrader, you will also need to accumulate at least $100 in commission each month or pay the difference as a fee (say all your trades for April comes out to $50 in commission total, you would be charged the other $50 as a fee. If instead for the month of April you paid $105 in commissions, than you're ok and wouldn't be charged any extra fee).
All in all, I would highly highly recommend Lightspeed for any serious trader. Especially if you are a frequent trader. It is way better than overrated HF brokers like Interactive brokers in my opinion.

by Ken T,  4/20/2015

Pros: 

Cons: 

Review:  Incoming ACAT transfers are very slow at Lightspeed. It took them 2 weeks to complete a transfer in my IRA account. I know there was no issue with the transferring brokerage because a transfer of another account from the same originating brokerage to a 3rd brokerage was completed in just 2 days. This was the slowest account transfer I had ever experienced. Lightspeed claimed that it was due to the type of positions I had in my account. Their claim didn't make sense because the account only had stocks and call options in it.

After the transfer was completed, I found that their platform was inadequate for my needs. I was aware they did not have a mobile app, but I was hopeful that I would be able to use their Lightspeed Web Trader on my work computer and possibly on my Android phone. It turned out that the Web Trader requires Microsoft Silverlight to run. No where on the Lightspeed web site is this restriction mentioned. It turned out that the Web Trader would not run on my computer because my computer had IE 8 installed and Silverlight does not work with IE 8. So this along with the fact the Silverlight does not run on Android was a deal breaker to me.

In the end, Lightspeed was not a good match for me. I had to transfer my account out to another brokerage. Not only was this a waste of time, but it ended up costing me an extra $95 for my trouble.


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Lightspeed Trading Offers More Than Day Trading

Lightspeed Trading, a brokerage firm, delivers impressive resources for day traders, making it a specialty in this kind of investing. It stands out in the industry by providing several distinct platforms and the opportunity to trade in futures contracts. A comprehensive review of Lightspeed will show how it matches up with its competition.


Lightspeed Pricing Schedule

According to U.S. securities regulations, all pattern day-trading accounts should hold at least $25,000. Lightspeed Trading, targeting day traders, requires an initial deposit of $25,000 for any account using one of its advanced desktop platforms. Clients who aim to use the website and not day trade can deposit as little as $10,000.

Once the account is funded, some account types have lower minimums to maintain trading rights. Cash and margin accounts without day-trading activity hold a mere $2,000 minimum, whereas option accounts need to maintain $10,000.

Accounts with less than $15,000 in assets will be charged a monthly fee of $25. This fee can be offset by the commissions paid in the prior month.

There are two commission structures at Lightspeed for stocks and ETFs: a per-share plan and a per-trade plan. In the per-share scheme, trades begin at 0.45¢ per share with a $1 minimum commission. After reaching a monthly volume of 250,000 shares, the rate drops to 0.35¢. (To activate the reduced commission schedule, traders must contact the broker.) The rate keeps dropping until it hits 15,000,000 shares per month, at which point the commission is just 0.1¢ per share.

The per-trade scheme calculates the commission based on the number of trades per month. Trades start at $4.50 each. After an account records 250 trades in a month, the commission falls to $4. As with the per-share plan, clients must contact the broker to activate the reduced pricing. The commission keeps falling until an account reaches 10,000 trades in a month, at which point the commission is $2.50.

Options contracts at Lightspeed are 60¢ each up to 500 contracts traded in a month. The commission then falls to 50¢ and keeps falling until an account hits 100,000 contracts in a month, at which point the commission is only 20¢. There is no base charge at Lightspeed.

Lightspeed is among the few securities brokers also offering futures trading. The commission schedule begins at 60¢ per contract, drops to 50¢ when an account reaches 500 contracts, and finally gets to 25¢ when an account hits 100,000 contracts.

Given Lightspeed’s tiered commission schedules, it is clear that this broker-dealer caters to large customers capable of trading high volumes of securities each month. These customers are typically institutions, professional traders, hedge funds, and industry 'whales'.


Customer Service

A Lightspeed Trading representative is available via phone from 7 am to 8 pm, EST, Monday to Friday. In addition to its domestic phone number, it provides an international number. However, the broker is closed on the weekends. A Lightspeed representative can also be reached through email or a user-friendly web-based contact form. Unfortunately, the broker doesn't have a network of branch locations.


Trading Technology

Lightspeed Trading provides several platforms, each featuring different functionalities. Every software program caters to a specific type of trader. The broker-dealer also allows trading through its website and mobile app.


Website and Mobile

The website is tailored for amateur traders, not hedge funds or other professionals. It provides Level I quotes, but not Level II. Both watchlists and after-hours trading are available, but certain functions offered by other programs, like hot keys, are not. The website and apps for Apple and Android are free to use and require a starting amount of $10,000 for non-day traders. The per-share commission plan isn't available for website trading, and there's a $4.50 minimum commission on derivative orders.


LS Trader

The Lightspeed Trader platform caters to professional and sophisticated traders. This desktop software is the only one the broker provides that includes security research and up to 40 screens of customizable layouts. Users of this program must deposit at least $25,000. There's a monthly fee of $100, which can be offset by the amount spent on commissions the previous month.


Sterling

Sterling is another platform offered by Lightspeed Trading. It features Level II quotes, hot keys, direct market access, and other beneficial features. Like LS Trader, the software has a $100 monthly fee, which can be offset by the previous month's trading fees.


Livevol X

Livevol X is designed for both professional and amateur investors. It can be used for trading options. It does not provide customizable order routes or front-end API, which the other two programs do. However, Livevol X can be accessed 24/7, a feature not offered by the other two programs. This platform also includes some useful option tools not available in other programs. Livevol X does not have a monthly software fee.


RealTick Pro

RealTick Pro is the most advanced platform. It's the only software that can be used to trade futures contracts. It boasts many robust features found in other programs. However, Lightspeed charges $325 per month for this platform. The broker rebates part of this fee based on the previous month's trading fees. Any trade executed on this platform incurs a minimum commission of $3.


Alternative Investments

Despite Lightspeed Trading being frequently used by day traders to buy and sell stocks, the broker also offers futures contracts and ETFs. Trading in Pink sheet and other OTC stocks is also possible. Unfortunately, Lightspeed does not offer trading in bonds or other fixed-income products. Forex is also unavailable.


Security Education and Research

The only platform that provides security research is LS Trader. Here, research tools are scarce. There are market movers for daily activity and news stories accessible. More comprehensive security research is offered via TipRanks.

On the Lightspeed website, there are recorded and live webinars covering a broad range of financial topics, including ETF trading, swing trading, options investing, technical analysis, order routing, and day trading.

Short on-demand videos discussing various investment topics, such as Level II quotes, day trading margin, and platform layout, are also available. However, there's limited information on futures. A financial glossary is also provided on the Lightspeed site.

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