Zacks Trades has the tools it takes to make the most of their trading: competitive commission rates, no inactivity or maintenance fees, and access to powerful platforms. They are built for self-directed traders, but offer dedicated support when you need it: responsive licensed reps and complimentary broker-assisted trades.
Zacks Trade is a licensed brokerage firm that has been in the business since 1978. One thing that stands out about them is their ability to remain relevant despite the changing face of the FinTech industry. The platform has grown in leaps and bounds to become one of the most sought-after online brokerage firms. But what exactly makes this company unique from just any other firm on the net? This review investigates.
First off, this company is affiliated with Zacks Investment Research which is known for its cutting edge research reports and stock analyses. One thing that sets this firm apart from the rest is the fact that they offer something known as free broker-assisted trades.
So, if you’re a greenhorn and have no idea which market moves to make, Zacks would be a good choice. That’s because you simply need to reach out to them and they’ll gladly hold your hand until you become a steady investor.
That said, you need a minimum of $2,500 to invest with them. You have the option of either venturing into stock trading, options trading, ETFs, bonds or mutual funds. And as such, if you’re looking for a brokerage firm that gives you an opportunity to trade a wide variety of securities, this would still be a great option to go for.
The Chicago-based company has a presence in all the 50 states of the mainland USA and currently boasts a $4.0 billion asset valuation. The company houses more than 600 employees a majority of who provide personalized brokerage services to clients, for free.
Key Features That Make Zacks Worth Banking On
Like all other stock brokerage services, Zacks Trade isn’t perfect. But the good thing is that they have their fair share of positive sides as well. Here’s a look at some of the instances where this company shines.
Brokerage fees can be a huge stumbling block to any trader looking to get started. Fortunately, Zacks seems to have put that factor into consideration when setting up their systems. In fact, the company charges a single penny (yup, you read that right) to trade stocks worth a dollar or thereabouts. That said, they have a $3 minimum value on tradeable assets.
Want to trade penny stocks? This would be an ideal platform because all you’d need to do is buy stocks worth a minimum of $3. You’ll be required to pay 1% of your trade’s value. As simple as that.
Looking for a well-priced broker that enables you to trade options at a competitive commission? At Zacks, options go for $3 for the first contract plus you’d need to part with 75 cents for any additional contract. And the best part is that this company doesn’t charge any assignment or exercise fees.
As far as mutual funds are concerned, this company seems to offer a lackluster kind of deal. Trades cost as much as $27.50 which we think isn’t competitive enough. So, if you’re after mutual funds, we think Zacks might not be the ideal brokerage to go for.
2. Well-Designed User Interface
You get two platform options – one of them being a downloadable program and the other one being a web-based platform. The good thing with their downloadable software is that, though resource intensive, it gives you the freedom to make customization to the UI to suit your needs. But if looking for a “low calorie” version of their platform, then it’d make perfect sense to opt for their web-based service.
What’s more? There’s a mobile app also available, Handy Trader, which helps you keep up with the market changes in real-time. And although the app is quite limited compared to the standalone desktop platform it does an awesome job of helping you keep up with the changing landscape of the markets.
3. Portfolio Management
If you’re an advanced trader but do not have an in-depth understanding of portfolio management, ZacksTrade’s built options might be of great help. Their innovative features go a long way in helping you build a powerful portfolio that’s based on basic investment, sector, and security performance rules.
Their built-in tools are designed to automatically notify you whenever your portfolio needs to be rebalanced. What’s more? The broker goes a step further and gives you the chance to effortlessly manage investments using different strategies. And that’s in addition to providing you with industry-wide breakdowns enabling you to benchmark different stock choices at a go.
One of the best things with the Pro tier of this platform is the What-If analysis tool. This is a fine-tuned widget that provides you with hands-on reports based on factors such as country, position, underlying assets, and industry.
And the icing on the cake is that this particular tool works by creating a chart which helps you keep track of market volatility over time (implied volatility). These stats are based on in-depth analyses along with the relative value change of your investment portfolio.
The ability to carry out research and present useful reports is yet another one of the fortes that Zacks in anchored on. Indeed, the company provides you with 26 research and news reports. Plus there’s an opportunity to access up to 87 subscription reports by parting with a tiny subscription fee.
It’s no wonder the company’s research tools are used by thousands of analysts seeking to provide their clients with reliable investment advice. On top of that, the company has expanded its digital footprint essentially bringing all their latest research documents a few clicks away.
The company, for instance, has a quantitative stock-rating system. This differs from the rest in the sense that it’s purely mathematical. So, it’s not influenced by anything happening in Wall Street or any other agenda. It’s, therefore, no wonder that they remain a go-to source of research and analytics even for major media companies like CapitalIQ, Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg.
5. Customer Support
As far as customer support goes, we’d give Zacks Trade a 3.5-star rating. That’s because their chat lines and phone desks are only manned from Monday to Friday (9am to 5pm, Easter time). So, you can imagine that those who live in the west only have a few hours of the day to be served.
But that said, we like the fact that the company provides each one of their members with a dedicated broker. Plus, you’ll be given that particular broker’s direct office line.
And that’s not all. Unlike other service providers, this company does not charge extra fees for anyone who chooses to make trades via the phone. This kind of old school service is a perfect bet for anyone who would like to trade even when their internet service is down.
Which Kind Of Trading Style Is Zacks Trade Best Suited For?
Zacks is renowned for providing an interactive brokerage platform. They also provide quite a few premium features among them award-winning market reports. On top of that, they provide you with a dedicated broker along with the opportunity to have an expert help you make investments as you learn the ropes.
In our view, this platform would be a perfect fit for long-term trades. Besides that, it works well for those who are savvy and active. Also, it’s friendly to both the pros and anyone who might need a bit of hand-holding.
What We Don’t Like About Zacks
The first major issue that we picked with Zacks is that their online trading platform isn’t as fast. In fact, it takes quite some time for anyone to get acclimatized to it especially as a beginner. We honestly think that the developers behind this system need to go back to work and come up with something that’s as simple and fast as the platforms offered by other competing brokers. You honestly can’t compare what they’re currently offering to what TD Ameritrade, for instance, provides.
The second gripe we could pick with this firm is that they offer a mixed bag of surprises as far as commissions are concerned. And even though they charge pennies for shares traded, it’s worth noting that their system is based on Interactive Brokers (IB) which charges half of that. In fact, if you look closely, you’ll notice that Zacks actually uses IB’s systems for its mobile app.
So, it’s safe to say that though their services are cheap, they are not necessarily the cheapest that you can ever get. But a plus side to their services is that they actually link you up with a real, human broker, for free.
Before we wrap up this Zacks Trade review, we’d like to provide you with a few quick insights on the broker’s pros and cons.
- Relatively low trading cost
- Awesome research tools
- A wide variety of securities to choose from
- They provide a workspace that can easily be customized
- Their platform is slower than average in our view
- It takes time to get acclimatized with this system
Zacks Trades provides an all-inclusive trading platform that enables you to grow your investments from scratch. The brokerage firm is quantitative in nature and relies heavily on its rating system to retain its market edge. That said, there’s still room for improvement on the user experience and customer support fronts. Otherwise, everything else about them deserves a 4-star rating.