Cobra Trading Review
Executions and Routes
Cobra Trading is an online direct access broker offering competitive pricing, advanced trading platforms, and unparalleled customer service. This broker is ideal for intraday traders who demand powerful trading tools. Read the review to see if Cobra Trading is a good fit for your trading style.
About Cobra Trading
Cobra Trading is a direct market access broker built for day traders. It offers multiple trading platforms including Sterling Trader Pro, DAS Trader Pro, and Cobra TraderPro. In addition, Cobra offers outstanding customer support during market hours.
Is Cobra Trading the right broker for you? Keep reading our in-depth Cobra Trading review to find out.
Cobra Trading Pricing
Cobra Trading’s pricing is a little bit complicated because you have to pay trade commissions, software fees, and data fees. However, this type of pricing structure is common among direct access brokers.
Trade commissions start at $.003 per share or $.50 per options contract. You’ll qualify for discounted commissions if you trade more than 100,000 shares per month or 2,000 contracts per month.
Software fees depend on which trading platform you use:
- Cobra TraderPro: $100 per month (waived if you trade 200,000 shares per month)
- DAS Trader Pro: $125 per month (waived if you trade 250,000 shares per month)
- Sterling Trader Pro: $200 per month or $230 per month for options trading (waived if you trade 300,000 shares per month)
You can purchase market data a la carte starting at $1.50 per month for NASDAQ Level I or NYSE Level I data. Alternatively, Cobra Trading offers a data package that includes major US indices, NYSE Level 1, AMEX Level 1, NASDAQ Level 1, and top of book for these three exchanges for $18 per month. Data fees are higher for professional traders.
Cobra Trading’s margin rate is among the lowest in the industry. The broker charges a flat 6% fee for all margin balances up to $1 million.
Cobra Trading can route trades through a variety of major exchanges and ECNs, including Arca, ArcaEdge, NSDQ, EDGA, EDGX, and more. Routing fees vary based on which trading platform you use, which exchange your trade is routed through, and whether you create or remove liquidity. Rebates are available for creating liquidity on most exchanges.
You must deposit at least $25,000 to open a Cobra Trading account. This broker is designed for day traders, so it makes sense that the minimum deposit is above the threshold set by the Pattern Day Trader (PDT) rule. Accounts are typically opened through the clearing firm Wedbush Securities, but you can request to use Interactive Brokers as your clearing firm instead.
If you’re interested in Cobra Trading’s features but don’t have $25,000 to deposit, check out Venom by Cobra Trading. This is a sister brokerage that offers account minimums starting at $3,000.
Cobra Trading Platforms
Cobra Trading offers three trading platforms: Cobra TraderPro, DAS Trader Pro, and Sterling Trader Pro. We’ll focus on Cobra TraderPro since it’s the cheapest of the three and is unique to Cobra Trading.
Charts & Technical Indicators
Cobra TraderPro is built on the Sterling Trader framework, so it shares a lot in common with Sterling Trader Pro. That starts with the charts, which are extremely flexible and aesthetically pleasing. They don’t feel choppy at all, which is important when day trading.
Cobra TraderPro includes a huge library of common indicators, including stochastics, moving averages, Bollinger Bands, MACD, and pivot points. Pivot points are conveniently plotted alongside volume bars, which makes them much more actionable for trading.
Cobra TraderPro also offers drawing tools to help you identify trend lines, Gann lines, and Fibonacci retracements.
Cobra TraderPro offers Level 2 data for the NYSE, NASDAQ, and AMEX exchanges. You can also integrate Level 2 Pink Sheets data. Within Cobra TraderPro, the Level 2 data window is easy to read and full of useful information. It includes the VWAP and after hours price change. The latter is especially useful for finding stocks that may be tradeable after-hours.
Cobra TraderPro enables you to integrate a market newsfeed, but you must pay for a news service. The streaming Dow Jones Newswire is a great tool for news-based intra-day traders to filter the data in real time.
Cobra TraderPro offers customizable watchlists and alerts. There’s no scanner in this platform, but the watchlist tool can be configured to show basic data like price change and volume.
Short Locate Monitor
Sell-side traders can take advantage of Cobra TraderPro’s built-in short locate monitor. This enables active traders to quickly request short locates and monitor the status of their open locates.
Cobra Trading provides outstanding customer support, and it’s one of the features that helps set this brokerage apart. Traders can get in touch by phone, email, or live chat from 7am–4:30pm (CST) Monday-Friday. We’ve been impressed by how responsive the company’s agents are. They’re also highly knowledgeable about the mechanics of execution and routing.
How Does Cobra Trading Compare?
Cobra Trading isn’t the only direct market access broker out there. So, let’s take a closer look at how it stacks up against peer brokers.
Cobra Trading vs. Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers is a global brokerage designed for active traders. Compared to Cobra Trading, it offers a wider variety of assets. Interactive Brokers customers can trade shares from exchanges around the globe, options, futures, cryptocurrencies, bonds, and warrants.
Interactive Brokers competes closely with Cobra Trading on price. Commissions for shares and options are slightly higher for most account types at Interactive Brokers, but the broker also offers a Lite account with zero fees for US share trading.
A major difference between Interactive Brokers and Cobra Trading is in their platforms. Interactive Brokers offers all of its own trading platforms, including a custom API. Interactive Broker’s flagship Trader Workstation software has a steep learning curve, but it’s more powerful and flexible than Cobra TraderPro.
Cobra Trading vs. CenterPoint
CenterPoint Securities is very similar to Cobra Trading in terms of pricing, platform capabilities, and trading options. CenterPoint offers share trades from $0.003 and options trades starting from $0.50 per contract. The CenterPoint Pro trading platform offers many of the same features as Cobra TraderPro, including Level 2 data, flexible charting, and fast speeds.
Where the two platforms differ is in short locates. Generally speaking, we’ve found that Cobra Trading does a better job at handling short locates quickly compared to CenterPoint. This isn’t an issue for easy-to-locate shorts, but it could be important for short sellers who frequently need to get their hands on difficult-to-short stocks. That said, traders who want access to the best locates will generally want to have accounts at multiple brokers so they can compare pricing and inventory in real-time.
Cobra Trading vs. TradeZero
TradeZero is a budget-friendly direct access broker that forgoes the liquidity rebates used by Cobra Trading and many of its competitors. Instead, TradeZero eliminates commissions for any trades that generate liquidity and charges higher commissions – starting at $0.005 per share – for trades that remove liquidity.
This pricing structure can work out extremely well for day traders who don’t mind waiting for the market to reach their limit order. However, if your strategy requires you to have orders filled as soon as possible, you could end up paying more in commissions with TradeZero.
Cobra Trading Differentiators
Cobra Trading offers some of the lowest trading fees of any direct access broker. High-volume traders are likely to find that they save money on commissions when switching to Cobra Trading. The broker is an even better deal if you trade enough to have your monthly software fees waived.
Another benefit to Cobra Trading is that it offers a choice of three different trading platforms. We think Cobra TraderPro is an excellent choice for share and options trading, and Sterling Trader Pro and DAS Trader Pro are widely beloved by day traders.
What Type of Trader Is Cobra Trading Best For?
Cobra Trading is tailor-made for seasoned day traders who want flawless trade execution and their pick of top trading platforms. It especially stands out for high-volume traders who can take advantage of Cobra Trading’s volume discounts and software fee waivers.
Cobra Trading is also a great choice for short sellers. This broker offers extremely fast short locates and you can request locates from inside the Cobra TraderPro software.
One thing to keep in mind is that Cobra Trading requires a $25,000 minimum deposit to open an account. This makes sense for day trading, but it can exclude swing traders or day traders who are working within the confines of the PDT rule. Anyone with less than $25,000 to deposit can check out Venom Trading, Cobra Trading’s sister brokerage.
- Choose from Cobra TraderPro, Sterling Trader Pro, and DAS Trader Pro
- Extremely fast short locates integrated into trading platform
- Outstanding customer support
- Low, flat 6% margin rate for balances up to $1 million
- Per-share pricing with abundant pass-through rebates
- Software and data fees can add up
- Requires a $25,000 deposit to open an account