The search continues for my new brokerage account. This week I opened a new account at TradeKing .
My TradeKing Review
I’ve written about TradeKing  before, because they offered a great sign up bonus in the past. I didn’t get a chance to open an account then, but I figured now was a great time, since 2009 is all about execution  for me!
- Account Minimum: None
- Opening Account Minimum: None
- Account Fees: None
- Trading Fees: $4.95 per trade (market or limit), which includes stock and ETF trades. Options have an additional 65 cents per contract. Mutual funds are $14.95 per trade.
Their niche. TradeKing  focuses on dirt cheap trades. At $4.95 per trade for market and limit orders, the price is tough to beat.
Research and Tools. The tools section is great. I started playing around with the various calculators and was impressed. Although to be honest, I haven’t ventured into the world of options in a long time, and I would have to dig out my old finance books from college to remember all the different terms! However, they do have an education center that could probably refresh my memory.
Dividend Reinvestment. For stocks that offer DRIP programs, you can enroll and dividends can purchase fractional shares.
Fund Availability. TradeKing offers stocks, ETF, bond, and mutual fund trading. I glanced at the list of mutual fund families and saw the majority of the big names listed.
Referral program. If you have friends that like to trade, you can refer them to get $50 . Your friends must open the account meeting the minimum funding and make the minimum number of trades to get the referral bonus.
The application process took 5 minutes. Lots of questions about investing experience, but straightforward.
Funding the account wasn’t as efficient. If you opt for ACH transfer, the first transfer “takes at least 10 business days before you can begin trading.” After that there is a 5 day hold on ACH transfers. Other options are to mail a check, or do a wire transfer, but pay the fees.
Withdrawals must be done by either wire (for a fee), or you can request a check. It didn’t list ACH as a withdrawal option, but I contacted the live chat and verified you can use ACH for withdrawals too. Whew! However, you must wait 10 days from the deposit.
Although I’m on a search to deposit old stock certificates , TradeKing won’t be the broker for that. The stock certificate deposit processing fee is $100 per certificate. Yikes!
Overall, the interface looks really easy to use, and for the price, I think it could be a good replacement for my current broker. If only they had a more efficient way to fund the account when you open it. It sounds like it will be a week or two before I’m ready to place a trade.