SpeedTrader is one of the oldest day trader brokerage firms in the market, having established itself as a leader when it was created in 1999. The whole SpeedTrader organization is housed within Mint Global Markets Inc., a member of the prestigious FINRA and SIPC association. SpeedTrader is the go-to day trading platform of choice for individual traders and institutional clients. One of the main advantages you can look forward to when going with SpeedTrader are competitive pricing, flexible commission structures, multiple routing options and extensive short list access. In this SpeedTrader review, we check out the company’s main features and see if it’s the right fit for what you need.
The SpeedTrader website offers clients a per-share or a per-trade commission structure on stock options. You’ll be asked right from the get-go whether you prefer a per-trade or per-share pricing as you set up your SpeedTrader account. Once this option is set it cannot be changed, so it’s best to know which one suits your preferences beforehand.
The per-share pricing becomes available for SpeedTrader accounts who have at least $25,000 in minimum balance and whose shares are priced at $0.0044 plus pass-thru and ECN routing costs. The per-trade option starts with $6.95 trade fee costs but goes down to $4.49 per trade once your account balance hits a minimum of $25,000. Both options are competitive when it comes to commissions, but the per-share structure is a bit better since it allows traders to scale in or out as much as they want without having to sacrifice commission in the process. On the other hand, traders who have a propensity to move big stocks or buy cheaper ones may be better off with a per-trade pricing model.
Derivative trading is a feature in SpeedTrader. The platform charges traders a rate of $0.40 per contract, which is an excellent rate compared to similar trading sites. Also, like most other online trading companies, SpeedTrader has a minimum fee of $1.99 per option trade and equity.
Platform Features and Tools
SpeedTrader has an impressive array of unique trading platforms for the discerning user.
One of the most responsive web-based platform we’ve come across. Traders use the ActiveWeb when they’re trading stocks on their laptop or desktop computers. You get basic trading functionalities on a minimal interface that’s quite speedy and capable. Level 1 quote data, watch lists, option chains, basic charting, scanners and live streaming news are available here.
ActiveWeb has an edge over similar web-based trading platforms in that you can use it as part of a multi-screen layout seamlessly. Day traders often have to utilize many tools, software and screens, and ActiveWeb presents a major convenience in this regard. ActiveWeb even has a mini-screen for Twitter feeds if you like to keep abreast of the latest news and tweets from expert traders. New articles are also viewable and can be searched by using the ticker symbol.
Bottom line is, SpeedTrader’s ActiveWeb is best for on-the-go trading, but if you’d like to have everything in one place then you should get the SpeedTrader Pro.
SpeedTrader Pro is an all-inclusive software for trading, replete with features for Level 1 and 2 streaming data options, multi-account access, mobile and web access, advanced chart studies, high-low tickets, news headlines, hot key functionalities and direct access routing on a wide selection of available ECNs. It also has a nice set of tools as being part of the Das Trader technology. You’ll be impressed with the smooth operation and the exquisite charting on your screen. The hot key functionality is standout here, as you get over 100 key functions that can be called up in a few strokes. You also get the ability to set up custom-screen layouts that can be saved and loaded up for later use.
You’ll find the multi-account management tool very handy if you’ve got more than one user account. Simply toggle back and forth with a single login on the SpeedTrader Pro screen, and you’re all set. One main difference that SpeedTrader Pro has over ActiveWeb is the inclusion of Level 2 quotes. Information comes in on a real-time basis, along with sales data and time. Users can order straight from the Level 2 screen which adds more convenience.
Sterling Trader Pro
Currently the most advanced software trading platform available for SpeedTrader users. The platform mainly uses stock scanners for feeding you real-time data in conjunction with sophisticated charting and direct-access routing.
You’ll find the Basket Trading feature to be one of the most-used screens in Sterling Trader Pro. Here, you’ll be able to create, manage or trade one or more securities in one command. You’ll find it to be an invaluable companion during moments where time is of the essence.
Sterling Trader Pro shares the hot key functionality that SpeedTrader Pro has. Moreover, data packages can be imported into the platform, i.e., PR Newswire, OPRA, BATS Books, EDGX Book and OTC Markets, etc.
Day traders who want to gain access to their smartphones can head over to mobile.speedtrader.com and get the SpeedTrader Mobile App. Here, users can see information such as Level 2 data, option chains, advanced charting with multiple graphs and technical studies, with advanced routing options thrown in the mix alongside basic functions such as market news, order management, and order entries.
SpeedTrader users can choose to get ActiveWeb on their phone for $30 a month and SpeedTrader Pro for $15 a month. That being said, being able to access Level 2 data, advanced routing options and charts from your smartphone comes in handy if you’re frequently out and about.
All SpeedTrader trading platforms have a monthly fee that’s waived off if your account meets the required commissions for that particular month. The SpeedTrader ActiveWeb platform costs $25 each month, but this fee is canceled if users are able to generate $199 or more in commissions. Pink sheets cost $20 and Options Data is $15. The only service fee that isn’t waived is the mobile access (at $30 each month).
The SpeedTrader Pro platform is one of the more popular choices among SpeedTrader members, and it comes in two varieties, the SpeedTrader Pro Level 1 and the Speedtrader Pro Level 2. The Pro Level 1 access is $49 each month, with optional Level 1 data at $15 and Pink sheets for $20. Mobile access is $15 and is non-refundable. Pro Level 2 access is $104 each month, with optional Level 1 data at $15 and Pink sheets for $20. Users can get added Level 2 data, which includes Pink sheets for $30, OPRA options for $50, News Body for $35, NYSE Arca Book for $15 and the NASDAQ Total View for $20. All these fees are waived when members earn commissions of $499 and up.
SpeedTrader users get treated to a host of tools they can use for day trading. There are a few notable scanning tools such as the High/Low List and the Top Ten List which are embedded within the trading platform. Technical analysis becomes that much easier as you’d need less manual research, excluding the news feeds.
Execution and Routes
The SpeedTrader platform gives users direct access to markets, including ECNs and market makers, MDPT, Helix, and CUTS. Take note that some of these markets require fees or provide rebates whenever liquidity is involved. In itself, SpeedTrader has an impressive plethora of exchange routes, from popular ones such as EDGX, BATS, INET, ARCA to the more obscure ones such as ONXX, LQPT, XALL, CUTC, etc.
SpeedTrader users get complete control over their orders. Experienced traders can get more fills and executions when they use this feature to its maximum potential.
The desktop platform of SpeedTrader shows some easy-to-borrow stocks, which gets updated at 8 am EST. You can see the website for the hard-to-borrow list for more options. check out the Corelli Locate System for pricing on the list. You can then send out a broker request for moving the shares to your desktop account.
Members may get fined $30 for trading inactivity. The bare-bones requirement is making at least 5 trades per month or 15 trades per quarter. Make sure you’re getting statements and confirmations via email or else you’ll get charged $10 for each mailed statement and $4 for each mailed trade confirmation.
- Das Trader is one of the best trading platform software in the trading industry
- Members get a comprehensive list of available ECN order routes
- Has an excellent Top and High/Low Hit List
- Has Hot Key Customizations
- No pre-set scanners which could be useful for beginner traders
- Lacks a few vital analytic reports and research tools
- The mobile app is only available for the iPad and iPhone.
SpeedTrader manages to be a well-rounded trading platform that’s suitable for all traders of all levels. Active day traders and those who do this for a living stand to get more out of SpeedTrader as they won’t be penalized with additional platform and inactivity fees. Moreover, experienced traders will find the wealth of exotic ECNs a great addition to their trading repertoire. If you can use all the tools provided in SpeedTrader then it becomes a must-have. Traders who can make the per-share pricing work will stand to make the most profit in SpeedTrader.
Blake is a self-made online day trader with a knack for adventure. On his free time, he loves reading and learning new thing as well as improving his jiu-jitsu skills. He currently resides in New York City. Learn More >>