TradeStation was originally founded as Omega Research, Inc. in 1982 by two brothers, William (Bill) and Rafael (Ralph) Cruz. The brothers’ objective was to create an application in which traders that didn’t have a technical or computer programming background could test their own trading strategies. The result was the development of EasyLanguage, the company’s proprietary coding language for non-computer-programmers. In 1991, the company released the first version of the Tradestation Trading Platform, and in 1996 released OptionStation, an options trading analytics add-on application used for exploring complex options trading strategies. Both applications were cutting-edge. By 2005 TradeStation became a self-clearing equities and options firm. It has since then morphed into TradeStation Group, Inc and is the parent company of online securities and futures brokerage firms and trading technology companies. It’s headquarters is located in Plantation, Florida, and it operates offices in New York; Chicago; Richardson, Texas; London; Sydney; and Costa Rica.
From 1997-2011, TradeStation Group was listed on the Nasdaq as ticker symbol TRAD, but is no longer since being acquired by Monex Group, a Tokyo Stock Exchange listed parent company of one of Japan’s leading online securities brokerage firms. TradeStation is a member of the NYSE, FINRA, SIPC, and is regulated by the SEC, FCA and other regulatory agencies around the world. Its Customer funds are eligible for the SIPC investor protection scheme which offers up to $500,000 (cash up to $250,000) per account.
TradeStation offers its clients tradable assets across multiple classes including stocks, EFTs options, futures, commodities, and mutual funds. Commissions will vary depending on the asset and the volume of trading. TradeStation also offers after-hours trading. Below is a list of instruments available for trading at TradeStation:
|Asset class||Number of instruments||Commissions/Spreads from|
|Stocks||US markets||$5 per Trade Commission|
|ETF’s||US markets||$5 per Trade Commission|
|Options||US markets||$.50 per contract + $5 per trade Commission|
|Futures||US markets||$1.50 per contract per side Commission|
|Commodities||US markets||$1.50 per contract per side Commission|
|Indexes||US markets||$1.50 per contract per side Commission|
|Bonds||US markets||$14.95 per Trade Commission|
|Mutual Funds||56 Fund Families||$14.95 per Trade Commission|
TradeStation announced in mid-January 2019, its plans to enter the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency markets in 2019. It recently formed a subsidiary, TradeStation Crypto, Inc. which will be specifically geared towards providing an online brokerage service for cryptocurrency traders and investors.
TradeStation clients can open an individual, joint, IRA, or custodial account. Business entity accounts are also available. TradeStation also caters to large institutions. All accounts can also be specifically tailored for specific type of assets. For example, a trader can open an individual account to exclusively trade stocks. This requires a smaller initial deposit. Below is a list of details and features for Individual Trader Accounts.
|Zero spread account||No|
There is a $500 minimum amount required to open an online trading account with TradeStation. There is a minimum balance of $25,000 to day trade in accordance with U.S. regulation. Clients are required to have cleared funds in their account prior to placing a trade.
Funding a TradeStation account can be accomplished via bank transfer or check. Bank transfer transactions take up to 3 business days. There is no minimum deposit for a bank transfer. There is a $25 charge for normal withdrawals and a $35 charge for withdrawals that require international wire transfers.
Opening an account with TradeStation is usually completed within 3-business days. Documents required are a valid ID (i.e. passport, driver’s license, or national ID), Social Security Number, 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).
Web & Desktop Trading Platforms
Where TradeStation sets itself apart from other brokerages is its Trading Platform. The platform is loaded with tools that provide traders with superior functionality, exceptional order and market position management, comprehensive chart analysis, and advanced technical and fundamental analysis. The platform includes a large number of pre-defined indicators, strategy components, and analysis tools. The standout difference that distinguishes the TradeStation platform is its proprietary object-oriented Easy-Language programming component that allows traders to code their own custom indicators and trading strategies. Easy-Language is a very intuitive, “easy” to use programming language that was designed by traders, for traders, to use specifically for trading. With Easy-Language, programming indicators and trading strategies does not require extensive computer-programming language skills. Traders can quickly learn the basics and start developing their trading ideas into computerized trading algorithms. Traders can then use the advanced back-testing and walk-forward testing tools to test the viability of their trading ideas. Strategies can then be fully automated and run on a simulator to ensure that they work properly and generate profit before risking any capital.
TradeStation also provides its clients with the TradeStation TradingApp Store where traders can access hundreds of TradeStation-compatible products created by independent third-party developers. Users also have access to strategy trading ideas submitted by the TradeStation community in the Easy-Language Library.
Trading Platform Screen Shot:
Below is a table summarizing the features of the TradeStation trading platforms:
|Stop loss Orders||Yes|
|Expert advisors (Easy-Language)||Yes|
|Virtual private server||Yes|
|Direct market access||Yes|
TradeStation also provides a mobile application for clients that need to trade on the go, and a client-portal where clients can check quotes and place trades, see account balances, P&L and key performance metrics, funding, reporting, and other important information.
TradeStation offers a variety of ways that you can use to learn about investing, such as a demo account, tutorial videos, webinars, educational articles and booklets. The broker offers a series of videos where you can learn about the basics of the platform. The platform tutorial videos are divided into topics like TradeStation mobile, Futures Plus, OptionStation Pro and more.
The majority of TradeStation educational content is located on the YouCanTrade website. The website offers many courses that new and experienced investors can learn. It suggests seven top courses, such as QuickStart to Web Trading and Master Class – Strategy Trading.
You can also join Live Events where you can learn about investing. However, you can only join the event once you have registered an account. It is also possible to access past events through the YouCanTrade website.
The website also provides a trading challenge to hone your skills. The challenge can be done solo, but you can also invite your friends or even join multi-player tournaments. The virtual trading game is developed to help you practice charting skills, pattern recognition, using indicators, buying and selling, moving averages and volumes and using historical data.
TradeStation has a YouTube channel where you can watch educational videos. Most last around five minutes, but some can reach one hour mark. The channel offers in-depth educational content for beginner to advanced investors.
Support is available for retail investors through phone between 8 am ET and 8 pm ET from Monday through Thursday and between 8 am ET to 6 pm ET on Fridays. Institutional investors can contact TradeStation through phone from Monday through Friday between 8:30 am ET and 6 pm ET. The trade desk can be contacted to place an equity/option trade between 7:30 am and 6:30 pm ET from Monday through Friday and between 7:30 am and 5 pm ET on Fridays. For futures trading, 24-hour support is available between 5 pm ET on Sunday and 6 pm ET on Friday. For Client Services, a client can contact between 8 am ET and 8 pm ET from Monday through Friday. Technical support for the trading platform is available 24 hours from Sunday, 3:30 pm ET to Friday 8 pm ET.
Also available for clients is a frequently asked questions database that clients can access on the website. The database can usually answer basic questions regarding accounts. The TradeStation trading platform includes a very comprehensive help database with a search engine. The help screen can assist users of the platform with most tasks.
For further information on the:-
TradeStation follows industry regulations and account protection requirements in the United States. The company also submits regular reports that are reviewed and audited by the U.S. government. It adheres to the regulatory requirements of reserving and segregation its clients’ equities and futures accounts.
Clients’ equities accounts are protected by SIPC insurance for up to $500,000 and up to $250,000 for cash. However, SIPC will also protect clients who are not U.S. citizens. TradeStation also has an arrangement with Lloyd’s of London, insuring each account up to $24.5 million.
TradeStation is a part of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). TradeStation is also regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
How can I register for a TradeStation account?
U.S. residents with a Social Security number or a valid taxpayer identification can register through TradeStation’s online application process. You can use the process to register many types of accounts, such as individuals, tenants in common and more. You can also open multiple accounts throughout multiple asset classes.
Paper applications are needed for U.S. residents who want to register a futures IRA account, international residents, or those who wish to register an account(s) on behalf of an entity. You can get the paper forms online in PDF format, which you will have to print, sign and mail.
What details must I include to complete an application?
You must give basic information like name, date of birth, permanent address and a valid Social Security or tax ID number.
You must also provide details regarding your financial status and your experience in investment. These details include total and liquid net worth, annual income, years of trading experience and activity in each asset class.
If you are an international client, you must submit a valid passport and address verification dated within the last 60 days. The address verification can be in the form of utility bills, bank or brokerage statements, lease agreements and more.
Can I modify my login details or password online?
Yes. You can do so by logging in to the TradeStation Client Center and selecting the Customer Profile tab. Then, you can click Security & Passwords, which will open a web page where you can update your username and password.
How can I make a trade?
You can trade to various market centers that are directly connected to TradeStation. You can place your orders in the Order Bar, Matrix Chart Trading and Market Depth Window. You can also use Hot Keys, Macros and automated strategies on the TradeStation platform.
How can I cancel my subscription?
You must call TradeStation’s Client Services Department to cancel your subscription. However, you have to call before the end of the month if you want to avoid billing for the next month.
- User-friendly trading platform with superior functionality
- Comprehensive chart analysis and advanced technical and fundamental analysis
- Very good educational content
- No Forex trading
- Limited international markets
Expert advisors (EAs)
Virtual private server
Direct market access
Major Stock markets (US UK Germany)
Hong Kong stocks
Listed on Stock Exchange
Zero spread account