Product Name: ZacksTrade
Product Description: If you’ve been using Zacks for your security research, you already know about this investment guru. Zacks was founded by Len Zacks in 1978 is known as a respected source for stock research and analysis, similar to The Motley Fool and Investors Business Daily. The people behind Zacks Research have recently launched an online discount broker called ZacksTrade. Let’s take a look under the hood.
Commissions and Fees
ZacksTrade is a discount broker run by the team behind Zacks.com. ZacksTrade offers a variety of compelling tool. The question is – how do they compare to other prominent brokers in the space?
About Zacks Trade
Zacks Trade is a low-cost brokerage firm launched by Zacks Investment Research. It’s open to anyone, regardless of whether you use Zacks for researching stocks.
Zacks Trade offers competitive trade pricing and a wide range of trading platforms. Keep reading our Zacks Trade review to find out if this is the best broker for you.
Zacks Trade Pricing
Stocks & ETFs
At ZacksTrade, stock and ETF trades cost 1¢ each with a $1 minimum per trade. Trading stocks priced at less than $1 costs 1% of your trade size (the $1 minimum still applies).
There’s no extra fee for broker-assisted trades that you place over the phone. This is pretty rare among brokerages, although it’s also rare for traders to place trades over the phone.
One noteworthy feature of Zacks Trade is that it offers access to more than 90 international stock exchanges. So, it can be a good option for traders interested in trading foreign stocks.
ZacksTrade has an unusual commission schedule for options. The first contract in a trade is $1, and each additional derivative is 75¢. There is no charge at all for assignments or exercising your options.
Pricing for crypto trades varies based on your monthly trading volume. Traders who place less than $100,000 worth of trades per month will pay a 0.18% commission. The minimum commission is $1.75 or no more than 1% of your trade value.
The commission drops to 0.15% for traders who have $100,000-$1 million in monthly volume and 0.12% for traders with more than $1 million in monthly volume.
Mutual fund trades cost $27.50 each.
You must make a minimum deposit of $2,500 deposit to open a Zacks Trade account. There is a $15 monthly inactivity fee for accounts with less than $25,000. Traders get one free withdrawal per month.
Zacks Trade doesn’t charge any fees to use its trading platforms, including its very robust desktop system.
Zacks Trade Trading Platforms
The Zacks Trade website is primarily used for account management. However, you can also use the client portal to place very simple market and limit orders.
The browser platform is really not designed for active trading, which can be annoying for traders who want a simpler interface than the Zacks Trade Pro desktop software. There are no drawing tools or technical indicators available in the web portal.
Zacks Trade Pro
Zacks Trade Pro is a desktop trading platform for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It’s actually the same program that Interactive Brokers uses, but which it calls Trader Workstation.
This is a very robust trading platform with a lot of features for active traders. You can fully configure the dashboard and set up an unlimited number of watchlists. You can also set up custom alerts based on price and volume so you never miss a trade. The platform is very customizable, although it also has quite a steep learning curve.
The order ticket has color-coded buy and sell choices. There are several order types, including trailing, stop, and on-close.
What we like most about Zacks Trade Pro platform is its charting capabilities. The software offers a large variety of drawing tools and technical studies. You can detach charts into their own windows to display them on your full screen.
Zacks Trade Pro also offers simulated trading environments. This is a nice feature if you want to test out a new trading strategy or get a better handle on the software before committing real money.
For busy traders, Zacks Trade offers a mobile platform called Handy Trader. It’s only available for Android devices, though, which is pretty disappointing for anyone with an iPhone or iPad.
Handy Trader offers basic charting, trade data, and an order ticket with many choices, such as time in force and order type. It works well, although it’s hardly the most exciting or advanced mobile trading platform we’ve tested.
Zacks Trade Research Tools
Traders using Zacks Trade should expect to do most o their research in Zacks Trade Pro. The Handy Trader app has limited market information, and there are almost no research tools available in the online client portal.
Zacks Trade has a stock scanner that can search a specific exchange (including OTC and foreign venues) for a variety of parameters. These include top gainers and most active stocks. The results list isn’t very detailed, however, so traders might prefer a dedicated stock screener like FinViz.
The desktop software also offers a bond scanner, Level II quotes, option chains with a strategy builder, a volatility lab, and other powerful tools. These can be really useful depending on your strategy, although all of the tools require some time to get used to them.
Zacks Trade Customer Service
Zacks Trade offers customer support from 9am to 6pm Eastern on market days. You can get in touch by phone or email.
Executions and Routes
Both the browser and desktop platforms offer direct-access order routing. SMART is the default choice, but this can be changed to ARCA, NYSE, IEX, VWAP, or BEX.
Zacks Trade Pro offers a ‘Check Margin’ feature. It shows you the initial and maintenance margin requirements for any ticker entered. Zacks Trade Pro also states on the order ticket of a stock whether or not it can be shorted. Zacks Trade does not issue margin calls, so be mindful that your position can be liquidated without warning.
How Does Zacks Trade Compare?
Zacks Trade is just one of dozens of discount brokerage firms focused on active traders. There are things to like about Zacks Trade, including its low trade commissions and direct-access order routing.
However, if your goal is to find the cheapest prices for trading, you might want to check out some of Zacks Trade’s competitors. Interactive Brokers offers the same exact desktop trading platform as Zacks Trade, and you can trade stocks and ETFs completely commission-free. Cobra Trading also offers significantly cheaper stock, ETF, and options trading.
Other discount brokers that active traders may want to consider include:
Who is Zacks Trade Best For?
Since Zacks Trade isn’t the cheapest discount broker overall, it’s best suited for very specific purposes. Equity traders who place a lot of orders of less than 500 shares can benefit from the brokerage firm’s commission schedule. In addition, option traders who exercise frequently or expect assignments will also find a good home here. If you need to place broker-assisted trades, Zacks Trade is one of the few brokers that will let you do that for free.
Beyond these categories, it’s hard to see exactly where Zacks Trade stands out in this industry. The platforms are good but not outstanding, and Zacks Trade is beaten on price by many of its competitors.
- Free broker-assisted trades
- Foreign stock exchanges are available.
- No fees for assigning or exercising options
- Powerful desktop trading software
- Very expensive mutual fund trades
- No mobile app for iOS devices
- Very limited web trading features