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TradeMONSTER Review

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TradeMONSTERTradeMONSTER is a relatively new online discount broker in an industry that hasn’t seen a new entrant in a few years. I believe TradeMonster’s strategy is to offer relatively low pricing (not rock bottom) and a powerful suite of browser-based analysis tools. TradeMonster is owned by optionMonster, a financial media company that publishes market news and commentary on options and stock trading. If you’ve ever watched CNBC then you’ll recognize a bunch of the faces behind optionMonster (Jon ‘DRJ’ Najarian and Guy Adami are on Fast Money).

The aspect of TradeMonster that really jumped out at me is the first thing I’m going to review – paper trading.

Practice Paper Trading

This is the first broker, that I know of, that lets you open a paper trading account (called Paper Trade) with all the features of a regular trading account. To do a TradeMonster review and not talk about this feature would be a travesty! That means you can open an account for free, pay no fees, practice trading stocks or options, and still use all of the tools available to regular brokerage account holders. You get real time streaming quotes, charts, and balances; all the stock analysis; performance charts, projections, risk analysis; as well all their options spreadMAKER tools (for complext options). It’s generous of them to offer all these tools for someone who isn’t paying a penny.

If you want to practice, I can’t think of a better place than here. It’s like behind able to test drive a Ferrari without having to pay the price when you slam it into a wall. :)

Commission Pricing

  • Stocks: TradeMonster charges a flat $7.50 equity commission on up to 5,000 shares, which is higher than what my current broker of choice, TradeKing, charges. TradeKing charges $4.95 a trade, unless you trade stocks priced less than $1, then they add a $0.01 per share premium on top of the $4.95. If you’re using anyone else, chances are their prices are going to be higher than TradeMonster for stock trades.
  • Options: TradeMonster charges $12.50 for up to 20 contracts, $25 for 50 contracts, $50 for 100 contracts, and $250 for 500 contracts. TradeKing can only beat that pricing if you purchase 10 contracts, which is $11.45, otherwise the commission structure is higher at every other tier ($17.95, $37.45, $69.96, $329.95 respectively). The disparity is even higher when you talk about multi-leg spreads.
  • Mutual Funds: Here’s where I think TradeMonster has a competitive edge over competitors because they charge $15 per mutual fund purchase and it’s free to sell. TradeKing charges $14.95 on both the purchase and sale on no-load mutual funds (which is standard commission pricing). So if you want to invest in both stocks and mutual funds, TradeMonster has a favorable commission structure for that.
  • Bonds: The commission on Municipal, Corporate, Agency, and Treasury Bonds is $15.00 per trade, which is actually equal to or cheaper than TradeKing. TradeKing charges $4.95 per bond with a $14.95 minimum fee. If you were to buy Treasuries with TradeKing, the fee jumps to $24.95 per transaction.

Tools

At E*Trade you get access to a suite of Power E*Trade tools if you’re an active trader that makes 30 trades a quarter. At TradeKing, you need 25+ trades a month to get access to their streaming quotes tools. At TradeMonster, everyone gets access to the tools and they’re browser-based, so you don’t have to download anything.

Since their pedigree was in options trading, a lot of their tools have options traders in mind. They have several powerful tools, most notably SpreadMAKER and AdjustTRADE, designed specifically to help you tailor your options trading. They also have portfolio simulators that let you see how your trade would react to market changes without your money on the line.

Summary

If you want powerful tools and the flexibility to get good pricing on any trade, TradeMonster is a pretty good choice. I’ll be sticking with TradeKing for now because I only use my broker to trade stocks and I don’t use sophisticated charting tools, so TradeKing’s $4.95 trades and lack of sophisticated tools for a low volume trader like myself is not an issue. You’ll be hard pressed to find these types of tools at any other discount broker, which is probably the strategy TradeMonster is going for.

I hope you enjoyed this TradeMonster review and learned a lot about the service. Do you have an account at TradeMONSTER? I’d love to hear your opinion about it.

{ 13 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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13 Responses to “TradeMONSTER Review”

  1. thanks. I didn’t know about TradeMONSTER. in your review, you don’t mention what is minimum amount required to open the account? Sometime high minimum is the biggest deterrent for a new investors like us.

  2. Great post Jim, personally I have been happy with TradeKing but always open to change. The commissions are higher but if TradeMonster is better for options, it could be a could platform to help me get into this money maker once again.

    This looks to be worthy of a try as I have probably opened accounts with a handful of the discount brokers over the years to find the best fit for me needs. Thanks for shedding light on this one!

  3. zapeta says:

    The pricing for mutual funds trades is great! Plus, the practice trading is a great feature. Thanks for the review.

  4. Rick Morley says:

    When comparing options pricing with Brokers, you have to also pay attention to assignment fees.

    After reading the sites:
    TradeKing is $4.95 + 0.65/contract, and $9.95 to exercise.
    TradeMonster seems to have confusing pricing. It says the price is 0.50/contract, with a minumum of $7.50 per leg. But the chart they provide doesn’t match up. It says $12.50 for up to 20 contracts. It also costs $7.50 to exercise.

    I have yet to find an options broker than Zecco. Zecco is only $4.50 + 0.50/contract, and only $4.50 to exercise or assign. The tools are not the best, but the pricing is. So maybe it would be worth it to use the free tools with TradeMonster, but do your trading with Zecco.

  5. JC says:

    I signed up to be a TradeMonster paper trader and can attest to the quality of the tools. They really open the doors and let you in, even before you pay a penny in fees. Options has always been a scary thing for me so being able to try it out has been lots of fun. I’m losing money but it’s only play money. :)

  6. Richard says:

    What happens as soon as an account with is opened with TradeMonster? Are there hidden costs?

  7. OPTIONVILLAIN says:

    Trade Monster… Has the most Professional and Knowledgable Staff on the Street. Highly Recommended For the Beginner in the Trade to the most Experienced of Investors.

  8. Bart says:

    Nobody is cheaper than Interactive Brokers. Excellent tool for active traders. Enough power behind the platform to blow your leg off if you aren’t careful, though. And yes, they too offer paper trading.

  9. richard says:

    I opened 3 accounts totalling over $20,000. It took 2 days for a cancelled order to go back into my account. I moved my money to another broker. Trademonster RIPPED ME OFF for $400 on the transfer.

  10. Anonymous says:

    wow 9 replies. i just opened an account and after being on tos for the past two years this site looks like it was build in a coffe shop.
    i can not even find how to adjust the font. com’on man. tos is not perfect, but at least i can see what i am doing. i trade 10-20 iron condors at a time and the comission really add up, so i am looking for a better price.

  11. Gerard says:

    Please, please don’t put your money there. Awful customer service. When I decided to close my account, I had to “beg” them for 3 weeks to recover my funds. My 1099s were always delayed; I’m still waiting for 2011 form. Currently, since my account is closed they don’t want to give me access to loss/gain reports to prepare my taxes.

  12. Mark says:

    I honestly can’t figure how or why Trade Monster would be liked by any experienced trader, let alone receive awards for being the best at anything. The visuals are so novice looking that it’s as if a high school kid put them together. Over the last 20 years, I’ve tried E-trade, Scottrade, and BrokersXpress. By far, the worst was Trade King

  13. Mark says:

    Opps, I meant to say the worst brokerage was Trade Monster. Shockingly inconvenient platform compared to the others.


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