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 $1,150,000 in cash balances.
Lightspeed Trading offers its clients a selection of tradable assets for U.S. Markets including stocks, EFTs, mutual funds, and options. Commissions will vary on assets depending on trade size and monthly volume. Lightspeed Trading offers its customers two pricing schedules. One based on share volume traded, the other charges a flat fee per trade Under the per-share schedule, the commission for stock and ETF trades decreases as volume increases. Under the per-trade system, the flat fee is based on the number of trades an account places per month and decreases as volume increases.
For clients that do not meet monthly trading volume criteria to qualify for Active Trader Commissions, below is a table that summarize the commissions with the lowest volume thresholds:
Tradable Instruments and Commissions: Non-Active Traders
|Asset class||Number of instruments||Starting Commission/ per share/contract||Total Monthly shares/contracts|
|Stocks (per share)||US markets||$.0045 per share||Up to 250,000|
|Stocks (per Trade)||US markets||$4.50 per trade||Up to 250|
|ETFs (per share)||US markets||$.0045 per share||Up to 250,000|
|ETFs (per Trade)||US markets||$4.50 per trade||Up to 250|
|Options||US markets||$.60 per contract||Up to 500|
|Futures||US markets||$.60 per contract||Up to 500|
For large institutional and high net worth clients that do meet monthly trading volume criteria to qualify for Active Trader Commissions, below is a table that summarize the commissions with the lowest commission thresholds:
Tradable Instruments and Commissions: Active Traders
|Asset class||Number of instruments||Lowest Commission/ per share/contract||Total Monthly shares/contracts|
|Stocks (per share)||US markets||$.0010 per share||Above 15mil.|
|Stocks (per Trade)||US markets||$4.50 per trade||Above 10K|
|ETFs (per share)||US markets||$.0010 per share||Above 15mil.|
|ETFs (per Trade)||US markets||$4.50 per trade||Above 10K|
|Options||US markets||$.20 per contract||Above 100K|
|Futures||US markets||$.25 per contract||Above 100K|
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:
|IRA (Traditional & Roth)||Yes|
|Corporate & LLC||Yes|
|Partnership & LLP||Yes|
Below is a list of details and features for Individual Trader Accounts.
|Zero spread account||Yes|
Lightspeed Trading charges its clients various service and securities processing fees. Below is a list of fees.
|ACAT Fees – Inbound||FREE|
|ACAT Fees – Outbound||$95.00|
|ACH Transfers Funds||FREE|
|ACH Recalls / Reversals||$30.00|
|Certificate Safe Keeping Fee||$30.00/Quarter|
|Conversion Fees (changing ADR to ODR)||$25.00|
|Foreign securities-ACAT Fees||Variable|
|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 Fee||Free|
|Pre Pay Fees||$30.00|
|Saturday Delivery Checks||$30.00|
|Stop Pay Fees (W/D)||$30.00|
|Wire Fees (Domestic)||$20.00|
|Wire Fees (International)||$50.00|
|OTCBB||$10.00 Per Trade|
|Phone Orders||$20.00 Per Trade|
|Securities Processing Fees|
|ADR Hold Fee||Free|
|DRS Statement Withdrawal||$30.00|
|Certificate Processing Fee||$75.00|
|DWAC and DRS Process Fee||$30.00+Transfer Agent Fees|
|“F Stock”; Foreign Securities||$75.00|
|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 fees||Ranges 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|
|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)|
|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).
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 Feature||LightS Trader||Sterling||Livevol X Options||Eze EMS Pro||Web/Mobile|
|Best for Active and Professional Traders||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Best for Hedge Funds and Institutions||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Best for Investors||Yes||Yes|
|Streaming Level 1 Quotes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Streaming Level 2 Quotes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Hot Key Order Entry||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Fully Customizable Order Routes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Basket Order Entry||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|After Hours Trading||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Customizable charts with studies||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Up to 40 Screens of Custom Layouts||Yes|
|Advanced Window Linking||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Front End API (optional)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Web Based Application||Yes|
|24/7 Platform Access||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Multi Account Access||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Futures Ladder View||Yes|
|What If Analysis||Yes|
|Portfolio Risk Dynamic Skew||Yes|
|Historical Options Data||Yes|
|Monthly Software Fee||$130||$230-$260||Free||$325||Free|
|Software Fee Rebate Eligible||Yes||Yes|
|Monthly Market Data Fees||Variable||Variable||No||Variable||No|
|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.
The education section of Lightspeed Trading’s website provides its clients with extensive instruction, on-line classes, videos, tutorials, and a comprehensive glossary. Topics covered are trading basics, strategies, options, and platform use.
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.