Lightspeed Trading Review 2023

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Andrew Hayward
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In this Lightspeed Trading review I will rate the fees, products, software, customer support, and UI usability so you can decide if Lightspeed will work for you as a brokerage or futures trading platform.

Read my Lightspeed review for more information on the platform and whether they are the right investment tool for your risk and reward needs.

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Who is Lightspeed?

Lightspeed grew out of a spin-off from the professional trading platform of E-Trade in 2006. It has been focused on the expert or professional trader from the beginning.

Lightspeed managed to buy a new brokerage every year, and that increased growth. In 2021 they bought Coinigy, a crypto portfolio manager to create Lightspeed Crypto.

Time will tell if that was a prescient purchase, or whether they are wandering into the current Crypto mess when Crypto is down 70%.

Lime offers a suite of electronic trading connection alternatives for customers, including an API available in Java and C/C++, an industry standard FIX protocol and front-end connectivity through REDIPlus, Bloomberg and a proprietary product.

On September 20, 2010, Lightspeed Brokerage launched high-speed options execution to complement its high-speed equities and futures trading capabilities.

The high-speed offering aggregates data, execution, pre-order risk controls and clearing/reporting into a single platform.

Available options exchanges are BATS Options (BATS), Boston Options Exchange (BOX), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), International Securities Exchange (ISE), Nasdaq OMX Options (NOM), Nasdaq OMX PHLX (PHLX), NYSE Amex Options (AMEX) and NYSE Arca Options (ARCA).

This many option brokerage trading opportunities helps Lightspeed maintain it’s main competitive advantage: extremely fast trade executions, especially for options which are the slowest security to trade due to their complexity.

Who owns Lightspeed brokerage?

Professional Trading Solutions, it’s previous owner, sold all of Lightspeed to Wedbush Securities in 2018.

Lightspeed Ratings


Overall Rating:
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  • Unrivalled speed of execution.
  • Customer support members are security professional traders themselves.
  • Comprehensive set of trading platforms for stocks, options, futures, and forex.


  • $25,000 minimum account deposit.
  • High trading fees
  • Mobile app lacking in professional trade execution tools.
Lightspeed Review Homepage

What is Lightspeed

Lightspeed trader is primarily marketed towards active traders with the Lightspeed trader platform.

The Lightspeed trader platform is an online platform offering investors, active day traders, and professional traders the fastest execution of any brokerage we have tested. However, this speed and suite of trading tools has to be paid for — $130 for a software fee, reduced by how many commissions you generate.

The Lightspeed trader platform interfaces with institutional investors, however it is not primarily targeted towards that trading group.

The trading platform is superior to most online brokers providing stock trading, equities trading, and products for futures traders. Keep reading below to determine if Lightspeed is the brokerage for you.

Lightspeed Products

Lightspeed has a number of products available for expert or professional traders.

The LS trader is the base software, and routes to 100 exchanges. It costs $130/month which can be reduced based on how many trades you make. Reg-T and Cash Account regulations require $25,000 in your brokerage account before you can trade anything on margin.

The web/mobile app provides the data of the LS trader for free. You still need to have $25,000 in your account to start before you can trade on the mobile app version.

Livevol X is a professional attachment which allows complex option trades to be executed. The software fee is free, but they take a percentage of commissions.

EZE EMS (formerly RealTick) Pro costs $325 per month, but you do get a rebate based on how many commissions are traded.

All of these trades are offered in the United States only.

Lightspeed Account Types

The company offers a variety of accounts to suit individual needs. These are the following account types:

  • Individual and Joint Accounts
  • Corporate Accounts
  • Joint Accounts
  • LLC Accounts
  • IRA Accounts
  • Trust Accounts
  • Registered Hedge Funds Accounts

Lightspeed Customer Service

Lightspeed has excellent customer service, with a human available during all market trading at 1-646-393-4800 and email at [email protected].

Risk Management for Traders and Risk Managers

Lightspeed offers a risk solution for risk management that manages threats to Lightspeed Trader activity. The risk management suite of services is designed to help trade managers and risk supervisors manage risk across multiple accounts.

Lightspeed users can monitor profit, loss, halted trading symbols, and real-time trading activity. Lightspeed has also developed an automated, real-time short stock locate system which allows for electronic requests and ensures compliance regulation.

  • Symbol Monitoring: Quickly see traders’ exposure to a particular symbol of interest.
  • Halted Symbols: See which traders are holding a halted trading symbol and the number of shares.
  • Trade Watcher: Real-time view of all executions for your trading group.
  • Short Sale Requester: Real-time locate of requests and responses that ensures Lightspeed is compliant with regulations.
  • Trading Limits: Set P&L, position size, and other trading limits on any supervised account. Violations are automatically blocked.
  • Portfolio margin and advanced options risk.

Lightspeed Financial Services is committed to respecting and protecting and protecting your privacy. The policy describes the information Lightspeed collects and how that personal information may be used, maintained, and, in some cases, shared.

Lightspeed is the controller and is responsible for deciding how personal information is used. The company is a limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of Delaware, U.S.A., with an office at 1001 Avenue of the Americas 16th Floor, New York, NY 10018 USA.

Common Questions about Lightspeed

Below are some of the common questions asked about Lightspeed, who the trading platforms are for, if you need to be an active trader to get the most from the platforms and if Lightspeed is good for casual investors.

How much money does Lightspeed take when you withdraw?

Lightspeed charges a hefty $95 ACAT (Automated Customer Account Transfer Service) if you are moving your securities to another brokerage account, but $0 of if an ACH or wire transfer is used.

Can you lose money with Lightspeed?

Yes, all asset classes can lose money. However, if fraud is involved or other major issues (long technical outage, etc) the SEC and SIPC will pay you $500,000.00 to cover the loss. This does not cover normal market movements.

Is Lightspeed regulated?

Lightspeed is a regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Agency (FINRA), an independent, not-for-profit organization authorized to protect America’s investors by making sure the securities industry operates fairly and honestly. The company is also a broker-dealer and therefore the company is governed by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) which regulates and polices the securities industry in America.

The company has won numerous industry awards, including a seven-consecutive-year streak of winning Barron’s Best Broker for Frequent Traders Award. The company has also earned awards from Crain’s, Deloitte, and Ernst & Young.

What is better than Lightspeed?

In a poll of 15 brokers over 6 months, Interactive Brokers (89.29%) came out on top versus Lightspeed at (61.3%). Interactive brokers has an institutional grade desktop platform and very low margin rates. Interactive brokers also has an appeal for active traders with $0 trades and a user-friendly web platform.

How do I get my money back out of Lightspeed?

There are three options to move your money out of Lightspeed. If you are sending brokerage assets (not cash) to another brokerage account you will have to pay $95 for the ACATS (Automated Customer Account Transfer Service).

You can also fund your account with an ACH transfer which will take 2 days to be completed. There is no charge for ACH transfers. ACH deposits are limited to 1 $30,000 ACH transaction per 60 calendar days. Regular wire transfers are $20 domestic and $50 for international wire transfers.

Does Lightspeed allow selling stocks?

Yes, individual stocks cost .0045 with a maximum charge of $4.50 for individual stocks.

Monthly Limits

There is a $25,000 minimum deposit, and that allows you access to a $0 platform fee, delayed data feeds for nonprofessional traders and futures trading on the Eze EMS system.

With the $0 tier you only get the web platform and mobile platform, and not the professional grade desktop platform. The desktop platform costs an extra $139/month to access.

If you have the desktop platform, there is a $25 monthly inactivity fee.

Is Lightspeed good for beginners?

Lightspeed caters for active traders who are very active or are highly experienced as they charge high monthly commission so it isn’t good for beginners

How long does it take to be approved for Lightspeed?

Most applications are processed in in 1-2 days. Lightspeed will reach out if they need more information, or you can call or email for a status check anytime.

Can you cancel Lightspeed at any time?

Yes, you just have to wait for the the entire portfolio cash settles into cash so you don’t have to pay the ACATS $95 fee. If you’re a little more patient you can transfer your account cash by wire for $25 fee.

Can I see P&L across multiple account types?

Yes, equities, options, and futures will all be displayed in your Positions Window on Lightspeed Trader intraday and will be combined for your not P&L calculation.

What happens if Lightspeed goes out of business?

Another financial firm may agree to buy the firm’s assets and accounts will be transferred to the new custodian with little interruption and you may not lose anything or take a small haircut.

The government also provides insurance, known as SIPC (coverage, on up to $500,000 of securities or $250,000 of cash held at a brokerage firm.

The SIPC tries to recover the account value held at the time of the failure, and does not make up for losses due to price declines in individual securities.

In order to receive SIPC coverage, account holders that have witnessed a brokerage failure must file a claim with the Securities Investor Protect Corporation (SIPC). They will reimburse you up to $500,000 in brokerage securities or $250,000 cash.

Does Lightspeed pay dividends

Lightspeed does not pay a dividend on its own equity.

Can you trade Forex on Lightspeed ?

Yes you can trade forex on Lightspeed, but only the Eze EMS platform will trade Forex.

Is day trading illegal?

You have to qualify with Lightspeed and the exchanges to qualify. You should assess your personal financial situation before you apply for PDT (Pattern Day Trading).

How long must you hold a stock to avoid capital gains?

Any security held for less than one year does not qualify for capital gains tax treatment.

Does capital gain count as income?

No, capital gains in the U.S. result in tax rates of 0%, 15%, or 20% for assets held more than a year. For less than a year, profits are taxed at ordinary income such as 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% or 37%.

My final verdict: Is Lightspeed any good?

In my Lightspeed review I have highlighted the pros and cons of Lightspeed for active traders using their trading platforms. You need to be an active trader to justify the high monthly fees charged when you trade stocks.

If you are a beginner just starting out there are other trading platforms and trading tools that will be more beneficial than Lightspeed.

Lightspeed FAQs

Why should I use Lightspeed?

If the speed of execution is vital to your trading style, Lightspeed is a great option for you.

Does Lightspeed Trading have a physical location I can go to or mail to?

No, Lightspeed is online only.

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