TradeStation.com Review
  • Commissions
  • Platform
  • Research
  • Platform Add-Ons
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Summary

TradeStation.com is a trading platform with solid analysis and research tools, high quality educational content, expert analysis and a community forum. Tradestation also serves as a broker for those who would like to trade directly within the platform. Discover how it could work for you.

About TradeStation

TradeStation.com is an award-winning trading platform with some of the industry’s most solid analysis and research tools. Additionally, the platform has interwoven together high quality educational content, expert analysis and a community forum for an extra level of support to accommodate traders of all levels.

Originally launched in 1982 as Omega Research as a research platform primarily used for charting, testing and designing trading strategies with its Easy Language proprietary coding language. The deep rooted technical analysis features have made it a favorite among loyal technicians as it eventually transformed into an online broker with its own clearing firm. Widely considered a chart user’s trading platform, the tools have been optimized and simplified to accommodate hardcore active traders to investors.

Commissions and Fees

TradeStation has both flat and per share commissions for stocks and options.

The flat-rate commission rates consist of $5 per trade for stocks. Options are $5 per trade + $0.50 per contract. Futures are $1.50 per contract per side for futures. The minimum account is $500 for stocks, $2,000 for options and $5,000 for futures trading.

The per-share commission rates range from $0.006 to $0.01 per share based on trading volume for stocks with a $1 minimum. For options the per-contract rate is $1 per contract.

IRA accounts have an annual $35 account fee. Mutual feeds have a $14.95 commission.

Tradestation Platform Features and Tools

Tradestation has an extensive arsenal of tools that have improved and evolved over time. The streamlined comprehensive dashboard has been simplified for speed and efficiency while minimizing clutter.

TradeStation Dashboard

Charts

TradeStation is well-known for its charting features. From basic candlestick and line charts to Renko and Ichimoku clouds, traders have access to every possible type of chart to enhance price action interpretation. The drawing tools enable users to add in trend lines, fans, rays and notes directly on the chart along with trigger alerts to maximize efficiency. This is extremely helpful for those who have a lot of alerts/alarms set at key trigger levels.

Tradestation Charting

Technical Indicators

This is my favorite part of the platform. While the interface looks simple on the surface, the depth and versatility of the charting indicators and tools are second to none. From basic indicators like moving averages to Fibonacci drawing tools to market profile analysis with pre-programmed sophisticated add-on indicator/strategy apps, the charting accommodates the most hardcore chartists.

Level 2

Tradestation has market depth windows with point-and-click order entry with time and sales. This serves the needs of seasoned active intra-day traders and tape readers.

News

Users have access to streaming news headlines and research from multiple third-party sources. News can be customized to filter for key words, themes or companies. I like to link the news window to my watch list and portfolio to stay current on any catalysts that may affect price. Clicking on the headline provides the complete articles and press releases.

Scanners/Research Tools

The pre-set scans are enough to accommodate basic scans. However, users may find customizing scans to be a bit clunky as it takes some effort to define the parameters. This could be simplified to make it easier to onboard newbies.  

Order Entry

TradeStation has multiple types of order entry windows ranging from the classic level 2/market depth point and click to vertical DOM windows that futures traders are familiar with. I also like the audio alerts and confirmations when orders are placed, filled or cancelled. As simple as this seems, it’s amazing how more trading platforms lack integrated audio confirmations.

Watch Lists

Users can create and customize their own watch lists or use the pre-set watch lists like the most active stocks or benchmark index stocks like the S&P 500 or Nasdaq 100. Stocks can be linked to charts so simple click on any symbol in a watch list can quickly update the chart along with all your indicators and studies.  

Options Trading

TradeStation has a powerful options tool called OptionStation Pro. As the name states, it’s designed for options trading and enables users to scan, create and implement simple or complex options strategies ranging from directional longs to sophisticated multi-leg spreads and derivatives strategies. It comes complete with strategy analysis tools to visualize potential outcomes before putting on the trade.

TradeStation Performance Summary

Performance Summary

One of the most useful platform features is the Performance Summary Report which provides very insightful statistics on your trading performance. Stats like “Average Bars in Winning/Losing/Even Trades” give perspective on whether you are chasing too late or entering too early on trades.

TradeStation University

The educational content is exceptional for the TradeStation community of users. The self-paced platform videos are easy to follow along and achieve the task of making complicated features much easier to understand and implement. They also have online chats available for immediate assistance.

Platform Differentiators

The depth and flexibility of the tools and the hundreds of add-on products in their exclusive Apps store makes Tradestation the most resourceful trading platform on the market. Traders can customize the platform to be as simple or as sophisticated as they need. The Easy Language programmability and API enables everything from customized indicators to algorithmic trading. Many of the popular apps are free and shareable within the community.

What Type of Trader Is TradeStation Best For

TradeStation is one of the most powerful integrated platform brokerages on the market. While seasoned traders and technicians will gain the most value from the platform, it has been streamlined tremendously to accommodate and educate newbies. Everyone was a newbie once, after all. 

Pros:

  • Powerful and programmable charting and research platform
  • Newbies can start slowly and advance thoroughly with TradeStation University
  • Programmable Easy Language enables maximum customization
  • Mobile app adds more flexibility and access
  • Flexible per-trade and per-share commission structure
  • Hundreds of add-on indicators and strategies from Apps store

Cons:

  • Learning curve may intimidate newbies
  • Scanner involves some legwork to customize