TradeKing IRA Accounts
TradeKing has a quality IRA platform that mixes fair pricing and great service, which is a combination that is hard to beat. Their low pricing is one of their most attractive qualities and the one that they boast the most. For stock and ETF trading their fees are quite low at only $4.95 per trade. There are a few commission costs but they are generally low. The TradeKing web platform is intuitive and relatively simple to master, making it a great option for those who are inexperienced with online IRA accounts.
Opening a TradeKing IRA
It takes just a few minutes to open a TradeKing IRA account online. You can fund your IRA by making a deposit, or transfer an existing IRA. If your old IRA charges a transfer fee, no worries. TradeKing reimburses transfer fees up to $150. Note that account holders will incur a $50 annual fee is their IRA balance falls under $2,500, or if no trades were placed for one year. If you are likely to be in either situation, it is best to shop elsewhere for an IRA account.
Competing on Price
First and foremost, TradeKing leads with competitive pricing for their IRA accounts. The $4.95 per trade price is good for stock and ETF transactions. The rate for options trades is the same, plus a fee of $0.65 per options contract. Mutual fund transactions are $9.95, very competitive when stacked up against the competition. For those IRA account holders who are active traders, the fees are as low as you'll find. Additionally, TradeKing does not charge annual fees or setup fees on IRA accounts.
As with other online brokers, you can open either a traditional IRA or Roth IRA with TradeKing. The traditional IRA grows your money tax-deferred until you withdrawal it, while the Roth IRA is funded with post tax dollars that you grow and withdrawal without paying any further taxes.
You may trade actively with either type of IRA account, but margin trading is not permitted. Investors who are able to prove they have option-trading experience are permitted to trade options in a TradeKing IRA. After your first trade, you can contact TradeKing and they enable free streaming quotes for your account. This is a great feature especially for those who are active traders.
Healthy Mutual Fund Offering
Most IRA account holders simply invest in mutual funds. Ideally, you want access to a large selection of funds at competitive pricing, and TradeKing delivers. For a transaction fee of $9.95, TradeKing puts your IRA funds in one of over 8,000 mutual funds. This includes both load and no-load mutual funds, available from a large selection of fund families. The only other online brokers with this level of mutual fund offerings for IRA accounts are Scottrade and Ameritrade.
Investor Resources at TradeKing
Investors can share ideas on trading, stocks, and strategy on the TradeKing Trader Network. Professional traders provide opinions there on investing and meeting financial goals. TradeKing also has trading apps available for smartphones that get high marks from their clients.
The TradeKing website perpetually undergoes improvements, with the result that it is easy and intuitive to use, even for beginning investors. The security features are state-of-the-art. The account page presents your balances, profit and losses to date and other pertinent date in a clear, easy to read format.
IRA Account holders can check TradeKing Live, their platform displaying live streaming data from the market on stocks, bonds, options or ETFs. You can place your trades directly from the TradeKing Live platform if you prefer. There are links to research tools on the page as well to aid you in trading decisions. You can configure the real time data to display in charts from one day to ten years. The interface works quickly and smoothly as you click through it, there are no long waits, screen freezes or clumsy crashes.
The Good and Bad with TradeKing
As stated above, TradeKing leads the online broker field in pricing for IRA accounts. You get the peace of mind of investing with a large, stable broker. Customer service satisfaction is high, and TradeKing is committed to continually improving the research and education tools available at their site.
Even though TradeKing has very competitive prices, they do have some unattractive fees. There is no set-up or annual fee but there is a termination fee of $50 if you want to close your account. If you want to transfer your money out in full, that will cost you an additional $50. Plus, if your account balance is below $2,500 and you haven't made a trade for 12 months you can incur the $50 inactivity fee.
TradeKing is known to have good customer service, with minimal hold times and menu options. If you want to reach customer service another way you can also live chat with a representative via their website. Smart Money has consistently called TradeKing one of the top brokerage houses in terms of customer service. When you phone TradeKing, hold times are minimal and you don't have to sort through an endless list of menu options. You can also contact TradeKing via online chat. They answer emails within two business hours, and within 24 hours on weekends.
IRA account holders at TradeKing have access to webinars and classes via social media to improve their investing skills. These learning opportunities are broken down by level of experience to help investors get the most out of the experience.
TradeKing started in the online broker business in 2005, and merged with Zecco as of 2012 to boost their offerings
Verdict - Superb
With Tradeking's low prices, good web site and excellent customer service, they are an attractive option. On the other hand there are some high fees you have to watch out for.