LightSpeed Trading


Originally founded in 1994, Lightspeed Trading has built a reputation for having very fast and reliable trade execution (as the name implies). Lightspeed is also highly regarded for the cutting-edge technology applied to its trading platforms. Add to this the low fees that Lightspeed charges its customers and the result is a brokerage that appeals to active high-volume traders.

In May of 2018, Lightspeed Trading merged with Lime Brokerage and efutures. The combining of the three firms created an entity that will potentially handle approximately 1% of the US market in equities and options. The new brokerage will continue to operate under the name Lightspeed Trading and will owned by Limelight Holdings LLC. Lightspeed Trading is headquartered in New York City and has offices in Chicago, Boston, and Platteville, WI. It operates under FINRA and SEC regulations.

Lightspeed’s clearing agent Wedbush, provides excess Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”) coverage for each client account carried by Wedbush on behalf of Lightspeed. Each Lightspeed account is covered up to $25,500,000. SIPC provides coverage up to $500,000, of which a maximum of $250,000 applies to cash credit balances.

In addition to the SIPC coverage, Wedbush also provides an excess SIPC bond that grants additional coverage for up to $25,000,000 in cash and securities for each client account, subject to an aggregate loss limit of $100,000,000. This bond covers cash credit balances to a maximum of $900,000 for a total of $1,150,000 in cash balances.

Markets Offered

Lightspeed Trading offers its clients a selection of tradable assets for U.S. Markets including stocks, EFTs, mutual funds, and options. Commissions will vary on assets depending on trade size and monthly volume. Lightspeed Trading offers its customers two pricing schedules. One based on share volume traded, the other charges a flat fee per trade Under the per-share schedule, the commission for stock and ETF trades decreases as volume increases. Under the per-trade system, the flat fee is based on the number of trades an account places per month and decreases as volume increases.

For clients that do not meet monthly trading volume criteria to qualify for Active Trader Commissions, below is a table that summarize the commissions with the lowest volume thresholds:

Tradable Instruments and Commissions: Non-Active Traders

Asset classNumber of instrumentsStarting Commission/ per share/contractTotal Monthly shares/contracts
Stocks (per share)US markets$.0045 per shareUp to 250,000
Stocks (per Trade)US markets$4.50 per tradeUp to 250
ETFs (per share)US markets$.0045 per shareUp to 250,000
ETFs (per Trade)US markets$4.50 per tradeUp to 250
OptionsUS markets$.60 per contractUp to 500
FuturesUS markets$.60 per contractUp to 500

For large institutional and high net worth clients that do meet monthly trading volume criteria to qualify for Active Trader Commissions, below is a table that summarize the commissions with the lowest commission thresholds:

Tradable Instruments and Commissions: Active Traders

Asset classNumber of instrumentsLowest Commission/ per share/contractTotal Monthly shares/contracts
Stocks (per share)US markets$.0010 per shareAbove 15mil.
Stocks (per Trade)US markets$4.50 per tradeAbove 10K
ETFs (per share)US markets$.0010 per shareAbove 15mil.
ETFs (per Trade)US markets$4.50 per tradeAbove 10K
OptionsUS markets$.20 per contractAbove 100K
FuturesUS markets$.25 per contractAbove 100K


Account Types

Lightspeed Trading offers different types of brokerage accounts to fit the wide range of different types of clients ranging from novice traders to large institutional hedge funds. Standard investing, and IRA Retirement accounts are available for individual traders. International accounts are available for clients outside the US. And business accounts are available for institutional entities. Initial funding for opening an account at Lightspeed Trading is $10,000, and minimum equity is $2,000. Traders that that participate in pattern day trading techniques for trading require $25,000 of initial funding and minimum account equity.

Below is a list of the types of available accounts:

Investment Accounts 
Retirement Accounts 
IRA (Traditional & Roth)Yes
Business Accounts 
Corporate & LLCYes
Partnership & LLPYes
Sole ProprietorshipYes

Below is a list of details and features for Individual Trader Accounts.

Account TypeStandard
Demo accountYes
Micro accountNo
Standard accountYes
Zero spread accountYes
VIP accountYes
Managed accountYes
Islamic accountNo
Min trade$1
Max tradeNone
Min deposit$10,000
Account SetupFree

Lightspeed Trading charges its clients various service and securities processing fees. Below is a list of fees.

ACAT Fees – InboundFREE
ACAT Fees – Outbound$95.00
ACH Transfers FundsFREE
ACH Recalls / Reversals$30.00
ACH Returns$30.00
Certificate Fees$50.00
Certificate Safe Keeping Fee$30.00/Quarter
Conversion Fees (changing ADR to ODR)$25.00
DTC Fees$25.00
Foreign securities-ACAT FeesVariable
IRA Opening Fee$20.00
IRA Annual Fee (First year waived)$35.00
IRA Closing Fee$95.00
Limited Partnership (Annual Fee)$50.00
Margin and Risk Liquidation Fees$0.01/share or $1.00/contract with a $50 per position minimum
Minimum monthly commission, accounts under $15,000$25.00
Options Exercise/Assignment Fee$15.00
Overnight Checks (Domestic)$30.00
Overnight Checks (International)$50.00
Paper Statement Delivery Fee (per mailing)$5.00
Paper Confirm Delivery Fee (per trade)$2.00
E-mail Statement and Confirm Delivery FeeFree
Pre Pay Fees$30.00
Return Certificates$25.00/Item
Saturday Delivery Checks$30.00
Stop Pay Fees (W/D)$30.00
Wire Fees (Domestic)$20.00
Wire Fees (International)$50.00
Wires Returned$30.00
OTCBB$10.00 Per Trade
Phone Orders$20.00 Per Trade
Securities Processing Fees 
ADR Hold FeeFree
DRS Statement Withdrawal$30.00
Certificate Processing Fee$75.00
DWAC and DRS Process Fee$30.00+Transfer Agent Fees
ESOP Trades$125.00
“F Stock”; Foreign Securities$75.00
Illiquid Charge$250
Non-DTC Eligible Securities$75.00
Non DTCC-eligible security execution fee$7.50
Non DTCC-eligible security DTC fee$80.00
Non DTCC-eligible security Deposit fee$75.00
Non DTCC-eligible security New York Window fee$34.00
Non DTCC-eligible security Transfer Agent feesRanges from $25.00 – $500.00
Reorganization Items (Subscriptions, Redemptions, Tenders, Exchanges and Conversions)$20.00
Replace Lost Cerificate$20.00 + Transfer Agent Fees
Request of Certificate for DRS eligible issue$350.00
Research Fee$25.00
Restricted Stock Processing$125.00
RUSH Transfer Request$575.00
Transfership request to mail to customer$235.00
Transfer of Securities Requiring Legal Opinion Documents$50.00 (Per issue)
Warrant Exercise$125.00
Worthless Security Held$7.50 / month / cusip
Worthless Security Reinstated$15.00 / cusip

Funding a Lightspeed Trading account can be accomplished via bank transfer, AHC, or check. Bank transfer transactions take up 5 business days. Opening an account with Lightspeed Trading is usually completed within up to 5 business days. Documents required are a valid ID (i.e. passport, driver’s license, or national ID), and proof of address (i.e. bank statement, utility bill, or tax invoice dated within the last three months and issued to your name and address).

Trading Platforms

Lightspeed Trading provides its clients with five trading platform options, LightSpeed Trader, Sterling, Livevol X, Eze EMS Pro, and a Web/Mobile application. Lightspeed Trading charges fees for three of the five platforms. The table below summarizes the features and fees of the trading platforms.

Features and Fees of the Lightspeed Trading Platform

Platform FeatureLightS TraderSterlingLivevol X OptionsEze EMS ProWeb/Mobile
Best for Active and Professional TradersYesYesYesYes 
Best for Hedge Funds and InstitutionsYesYesYesYes 
Best for Investors  Yes Yes
Streaming Level 1 QuotesYesYesYesYesYes
Streaming Level 2 QuotesYesYesYesYes 
Futures   Yes 
Hot Key Order EntryYesYes Yes 
Fully Customizable Order RoutesYesYes Yes 
Basket Order EntryYesYesYesYes 
After Hours TradingYesYesYesYesYes
Customizable charts with studiesYesYesYesYesYes
Mobile    Yes
Up to 40 Screens of Custom LayoutsYes    
Market ScannersYesYesYes Yes
Advanced Window LinkingYesYesYes  
Front End API (optional)YesYesYesYes 
Downloadable ApplicationYesYesYesYes 
Web Based Application    Yes
24/7 Platform Access  YesYesYes
GTC OrdersYesYesYesYesYes
Multi Account AccessYesYesYesYesYes
Futures Ladder View   Yes 
What If Analysis  Yes  
Portfolio Risk Dynamic Skew  Yes  
Options Scanners  Yes  
Historical Options Data  Yes  
Monthly Software Fee$130$230-$260Free$325Free
Software Fee Rebate EligibleYes  Yes 
Monthly Market Data FeesVariableVariableNoVariableNo
Reg-T / Cash Account Minimum$25,000$25,000$25,000$25,000$10,000

Lightspeed Trader is the flagship trading platform. It is designed and well-suited for day-traders. The platform gives all levels of traders the capability to easily design and customize layouts, rules, and fully customizable home screens and reporting to best fit different trading styles.

Lightspeed Trader Trading Platform Screen Shot

Lightspeed Trading provides its clients with a mobile application for traders that trade on the go. For options and futures traders, Lightspeed Trading provides an options and futures analysis application. Also available is a powerful Application Programming Interface (API) for traders that prefer to use third party trading platforms.


Lightspeed Trader offers several forms of educational materials on its website. You can access articles, videos, webinars and newsletters to improve yourself as a trader. Unfortunately, you may encounter links that do not work on the education overview page. We suggest that you head to each specific sub-menu.

Lightspeed Trade News

Articles on the broker’s website discuss various trading topics ranging from tips to mitigate trading risks to updates on the futures market, and users can conveniently navigate through different topics via tabs. The articles, however, are not updated regularly. You may want to check other financial websites to get the latest updates in the market.

The broker offers video tutorials on its education page, which cover various trading topics, like short sale restrictions and volume-weighted average prices. These videos are compact yet do a great job explaining difficult trading concepts.

Lightspeed has also established a YouTube channel containing videos that will be helpful for traders. Compared with videos on its website, the broker’s YouTube videos have longer durations, meaning they go into more detail. However, Lightspeed rarely updates its channel.

Lightspeed Trade YouTube

Webinars might be one of the best educational content that the broker has to offer. On its website, you can see schedules for upcoming webinars. In these events, you can learn various trading concepts, specifically how to utilize Lightspeed’s tools to gain trading advantages. Through webinars, you can interact directly with in-house experts and ask them about features you are curious about.

Lightspeed Trade Webinars

Anyone can join Lightspeed’s webinar because the registration does not require you to list your broker account. If you miss out on any of the webinars, the website uploads its past online seminar events regularly.

Lightspeed offers a newsletter subscription for traders who want to receive the latest trading news. You simply need to register your email address on its website, and a newsletter will be delivered weekly to you.

Lightspeed Trade Twitter

If you are a registered Lightspeed trader, you may also want to check the broker’s Twitter account regularly to get the latest pricing news. You can also see the latest promotions offered by Lightspeed to maximize your gains.

Customer Service

A Lightspeed Trading customer service can be reached by U.S. or International Clients over the phone during the week from 7:00 am until 8:00 pm, EST, or by email. Customer service is provided in English, Spanish and Chinese. Weekend support is not available.


According to its website, Lightspeed is a member of several American financial organizations, namely the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). As a member of those organizations, Lightspeed provides investor protection under U.S. laws.

If a broker registered in FINRA, NFA and SIPC undergoes financial trouble or even insolvency, customers can still receive compensation instead of losing all their money. Through a collaboration with capital firm Wedbush Securities, customers can receive SIPC protection of up to $500,000 — a maximum of $250,000 in cash.

Lightspeed-Wedbush also works together with London-based insurance firm Lloyd’s to provide additional coverage for clients. Each brokerage account can receive coverage of up to $25,000,000 at no charge.

Lightspeed complies with the Know Your Customer (KYC) regulation. During the registration, you must provide the necessary data, such as name, social security number, occupation and credit score. 

To provide its services, Lightspeed will share your data with third parties, like the clearing company and custodians. However, the broker assures you that it will not sell your information for purposes other than trading.

The broker also implements a risk policy to protect client assets. Based on its website, the risk policy is not severely restrictive to allow clients the freedom to manage their own portfolios. 

Lightspeed uses advanced risk management technology to monitor trading activities on its platforms. There are several parameters put in place to determine portfolio risk, including:

  • Day trading leverage
  • Concentration exposure
  • Liquidity exposure
  • Portfolio risk shocks

If the broker recognizes a high-risk client portfolio in its system, a representative will get in touch with the client to discuss the risks. Ultimately, the client makes the final decision regarding their portfolio. 

Lightspeed has a Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan, which is designed to minimize operational issues in the event of a disaster. The firm regularly backs up its database offsite. Additionally, clearing firms working with Lightspeed have copies of client data.


What are the deposit method options offered by Lightspeed?

You can deposit funds to your Lightspeed account via a wire transfer from your bank accounts or other brokerage accounts. Traders can also conduct full or partial account transfers (Automated Customer Account Transfer Service/ACATS). The minimum deposit amount depends on your account type. For example, a Sterling Vol Trader account should have a minimum $25,000 deposit.

Can I withdraw funds from my trading account with a check?

Yes. You can request a check by following these steps:

  • Sign into the Lightspeed trading account.
  • Head to the funding tab.
  • Choose “Check Request”
  • Enter the amount you want to withdraw.
  • Pick the delivery method.

Lightspeed will process your check request within the same business day. However, it may take three to five days before the check reaches you because it depends on the delivery method.

Why can’t I receive quotes for my orders?

A poor internet connection may sever your link to the quote server. Follow these steps to get your quotes:

  • Sign out of the trading platform
  • Sign back in
  • Re-establish connection with the quote server

If you are still unable to receive quotes after those steps, you can contact Lightspeed’s support team by calling 1-888-577-3123 and pressing “4.”

Can I reuse my past Lightspeed trading account if I want to trade again?

Yes. You can reopen your old Lightspeed trading account by sending an email to with your account number and reopening request. The broker’s representative will reach out to you to confirm the reopening. You may need to prepare updated financial documents beforehand, though.

Does Lightspeed charge maintenance fees?

Yes. Lightspeed charges you maintenance fees, which will be drawn from your account within the first business week of the month. The amount is based on the previous month’s commissions. These fees include:

  • Software fee
  • Market data
  • Inactivity fee


  • Targeting professional, high volume traders
  • Trading platform is built for high speed
  • Low commission via tiered volume discounts benefiting heavy traders


  • High minimum deposit
  • High fees, with extra charges for access to additional trading platforms
  • Not suited for beginner traders or low volume traders
Platforms : Proprietary trading software
    • Fixed spreads

    • Variable spreads

    • Stop losses

    • Limit orders

    • One-click trading

    • Trailing stops

    • Expert advisors (EAs)

    • Virtual private server

    • Direct market access

    • STP broker

    • ECN broker

    • Market maker

    • Price alerts

    • Signal trading

    • Watchlists

    • Charting tools

    • iOS App

    • Android App

    • Windows App

  • Major Stock markets (US UK Germany)

  • Indices

  • Penny stocks

  • Forex

  • Majors

  • ETF

  • CFDs

  • Bitcoin

  • Commodities

  • ETFs

  • IPO

  • Options

  • Futures

  • Bonds

  • Hong Kong stocks

  • Japanese stocks

  • Listed on Stock Exchange

  • Scalping

  • Hedging

  • Demo account

  • Islamic account

  • Micro account

  • Standard account

  • VIP account

  • Zero spread account

  • Managed account

  • Credit cards

  • Bank transfer

  • PayPal

  • Neteller

  • Skrill

  • Electronic wallets