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Tradovate Review – What You Need To Know About This Brokerage

By Dave

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Tradovate Review

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Tradovate Review

  • Commissions & Fees
  • Trading Platform
  • Diversity of Investment of Offerings
  • Customer Service
3.8

Summary

If you’re in the trading market you may have heard of the online futures trading brokerage, Tradovate.com. Tradovate.com has many innovative tools and features. Read this review to decide if Tradovate.com is the brokerage that will change your trading.

About Tradovate

Tradovate.com is an online futures trading brokerage. The firm implements many innovations from structure to platform design to distinguish itself from the universe of futures brokers. Flat-rate and commission-free trades are available depending on the selected membership plan. Rather than try to fit all the bells and whistles into a single platform like many mainstream brokerages, Tradovate concentrates on the most useful tools that experienced traders rely on to be efficient and effective. I personally stray away from mainstream brokers that bundle every (useless) tool under the sun, clogging up ram and slowing down performance.

Headquartered in Columbus, OH, Tradovate was launched in 2015 by Rick Tomsic, former founder of Open E Cry, LLC. Having served in executive roles at OptionsXpress, Charles Schwab, and GAIN Capital, Tomsic crafted the visions of a unique futures brokerage focused on alleviating common pain points. In an era of non-stop bundling and jack-of-all-trades type platforms, it’s refreshing to find one that is laser-focused on precision application and enabling a seamless experience. The cloud-based platform is designed to be intuitive and seamless with a minimal learning curve to get traders on board and trading. Β 

TradovateCommissions and Fees

The commission-pricing structure is based on three monthly membership plans:

Membership-Free access has no monthly fee, but trades cost $0.79-per side on futures and $0.99-per side on futures options.

Active Trader Plan is $99-per month or prepaid for $79-per month average. This plan drops the commissions to $0.19-per side on futures trades. Futures options are still charges at $0.99-per side.

Commission-Free plan is $249-per month or prepaid for $199-per month average. This plan enables commission-free futures trading and $0.99-per side futures options trades.

Users can upgrade or downgrade plans monthly. Additional Add-On services:

On-Demand Market Replay enables the trader to replay the action live a TiVo for $69-per month for Membership-Free, $25-per month for Active Trade, and Commission-Free Plan subscribers.

There are many 3rd-party service providers (IE: TradingView, Motivewave, Investor RT, Sierra Chart, etc.) that enhance the platform from analytic tools to execution. Users can add-on through the platform to enhance the tools. Pricing varies for each service. Tradovate has no inactivity or platform fees or volume requirements and offers a free two-week demo to test out the platform.

Tradovate Dashboard

Tradovate Platform Tools

Tradovate is a flexible cloud-based platform enabling the convenience of portability and access from desktop, tablet, or mobile device. The Tradovate Pulse Mobile App is available on Android and iOS to enhance the frictionless experience.

Tradovate Charts

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Charts Β 

Tradovate offers an impressive arsenal of charts to choose from, including basic candlestick, bar, and line charts to more advanced Heikin-Ashi, Renko, Point & Figure, Bid-Ask Volume, and Order Flow Analytics (OFA) charts. Trades can be executed or triggered directly off the charts.

Tradovate OFA/Algox

OFA and AlgoX

OFA is unique to Tradovate as it enables unique order flow and volume analysis with proprietary tools. Bid/ask charts viewable inside each candle to see how much volume traded at which price is amazing! OFA/AlgoX enables traders to automate trades through customized algos that users can set-up tough, simple tab-menu settings like VWAP, CWAP, or trend line triggers.

Indicators

There are over 40 built-in indicators ranging from moving averages, stochastic, volume analysis to Fibonacci retracement, and trend lines. Time frames range from unfiltered tick to minute up to daily and monthly, along with custom time frames. This is a technical analyst’s dream.

Tradovate DOM

Order Entry and Hot Keys

Tradovate provides one-click order entry with sweep limit capabilities through multiple depth-of-market (DOM) screens for trade execution. Volume histograms give a quick snapshot of supply and demand at each price point. Basic orders types, including market, limit, and stop limit orders are available. Configurable hotkeys further enhance frictionless trade sequences.

Advanced Orders

Tradovate has multiple limit order types ranging from Good-to-Cancel to trailing stops and conditional bracket orders. Bracket orders are buy and/or sell orders placed at both ends of a price range. One-cancels-other (OCO) bracket order will cancel out the remaining order after the first order is executed. One-send-order will trigger the remaining order after the first order is executed. This enables traders to select a profit and stop-loss range to automatically execute when one side is triggered. Tradovate allows up to 10-bracket orders placed by ticks, price, or currency. This is a semi-automated method to trade that takes the emotion out of a trading plan.

Research and Alerts

Users can select various futures markets and contracts to view with watchlists with configurable price alerts. Real-time newsfeeds are available as well as trading statistics.

Margins and Minimums

There is a $2,000 account minimum. Tradovate offers $500 day trading margins for S&P 500 E-minis, Nasdaq 100, Dow, and E-mini Russell 2000. It’s prudent to check the margin requirements, including initial and day trading, for the specific instruments you’re trading. Margin requirements can fluctuate throughout the day. It goes without saying that leverage is a double-edged sword.

Tradovate Mobile Apps

Tradovate offers mobile trading apps for both Android and iOS so that traders can take advantage of mobile trading on smartphones and tablet devices. Clients can choose from the main Tradovate mobile app and the Tradovate Pulse app, which is designed with simplicity in mind. Overall, the features on the apps are pretty solid, but it is clear that Tradovate is still refining their mobile technology. Mobile apps from discount brokers like ETrade and TD Ameritrade are clearly better developed. The Tradovate mobile apps can be buggy at times, but the development team continues to push updates.Β 

We much preferred the interface of the main Tradovate mobile app. This app provides access to charts, quotes, news, account management, and more.

Customer Service

Tradovate has omni channel support through live chat, forum, e-mail, or telephone. I prefer the chat access. Response time is quick, and I like the feature requests forums as they certainly are attentive to integrating good suggestions. Β 

Platform Differentiators

The depth of the tools and flexibility of the charting makes Tradovate stand out from competitors. Unique features like OFA charting and trade management tools are unique only to Tradovate. The membership-based commission pricing is unique and works well for active futures traders. Since it’s cloud-based, I don’t have to worry about reconfiguring charts on my smartphone to match the settings or indicators on my desktop.

What Type of Trader Tradovate is Best For

Experienced active futures traders generating over 300 trades per-month will benefit greatly from the no-commission plan on costs alone. However, even moderate traders looking to enhance their skillsets can benefit from the unique tools and flat-rate commissions. Algorithmic traders will find a lot of use with the OFA/AlgoX features. Experienced traders that are well familiar with the charts and indicators applicable with their own trading methodology will catch on quickly to the platform.

Newer traders or traders looking to trade a wider range of investments (i.e., stocks, options, etc.) may prefer another broker.

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Pros

  • Intuitive, robust cloud-based trading platform accessible online and mobile
  • In-candle bid/ask volume studies are amazing
  • Configurable OFA/Algox automation tools enhance speed
  • Attentive customer support that listens to users with feature requests
  • Flat or non-commission rates by subscription plan model are great of active futures traders
  • Replay mode lets you study past market action
  • Cloud-based platform saves changes and configurations to be used on any device
  • Free two-week trial with demo

Cons

  • Futures options trades are not commission-free
  • Tools can be complicated for newbies
Day Trade Review

Dave

Dave has been a part-time day trader and swing trader since 2011 when he first became obsessed with the markets. He focuses primarily on technical setups and will hold positions anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. Over his trading career, Dave has tried numerous day trading products, brokers, services, and courses. He continues to test and review new day trading services to this day.

7 thoughts on “Tradovate Review – What You Need To Know About This Brokerage”

  1. Hello Dave – thanks for your thorough review comments. Would you happen to know if indicators written
    in think or Swim Thinkscript code can be converted to run on Tradovate ?

    Reply
  2. Becareful! The fees that this broker has are too high!!! I order a wire of 100€ and i paid 55€ of fees!! The worst broker ever!!!!

    Reply
  3. The platform is awesome but I don’t feel that the brokerage is managed well. The $250 minimum is a trap because of their outrageous fees. It’s a shame because again, the platform is freaking awesome. If they get to a place where they allow you to choose your own broker and just allow use of the platform, then definitely do it.

    Reply
  4. For some reason they push you to Dorman brokers who are a rip off if your outside the US they do have Phillips capital Brokers which don’t charge you a currency conversion fee . So ask for Phillips and not Dorman .

    Reply
  5. Technical Support is very helpful. Account setup is easy for some, an act of congress for others. After using others (Infinity, AMP, TradeStation, CQG, Tastyworks, and TDA), I will have to pass. Loved the forward thinking approach to the platform (all features available across all platforms), but their charts are pretty buggy. As in pretty basic and you will encounter it a lot type bugs, ie not scrolling properly, not displaying all trade imbalance data properly, DOM flys off in a direction and never centers without manual intervention, etc. PLUS the fees are not what they seem to be on the surface. Not to mention that they are more limited than most for what you are allowed to monitor or trade (ex. Cannot even monitor VX even if you are paying for the feed from the exchange through them).

    Have to say that after hopes were dashed: It is not a platform I would risk much with but if super small and basically looking for an into demo/paid account, it may be worth a couple hundred till you move on or buy a supported platform (ex Jigsaw Daytradr, or Sierra Charts, plus 1-2 others). But by that time you will have found a better deal.

    Summary: Lots of promise, some really nice tech support people, some absolute garbage issues on the account setup and fund transfers (in/out) to the point to where you are willing to just walk away. Some will never face issue, but when you do, you have been warned. Serious red flags on the important stuff we do not think about often.

    IF you bring your own platform, seemingly less issues, but that still leaves the delays and terrible support turnaround time for account setup, funding, essentially important issues outside of tech, etc. WHEN it is beyond the most basic of basic small accounts. YMMV. Might revisit after the company leaves beta.

    OH! Support hours are ONLY during the “cash” session. So it is next day or next week for follow up. (FWIW- Still waiting on resolution on a well documented issue from 7 days ago)… Cheers!

    Reply

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