Tradestation Review

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Andrew Hayward
Tradestation logo

Tradestation is a full-service brokerage with an award winning trading platform and trading tools. Tradestation is targeted towards active and professional traders, with excellent investment advice, commission free trading, free market data, trading futures, options trades, crypto trading, a simulated trading tool (paper trading), an advanced tradestation mobile app and desktop app, and advanced trading tools.

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Who is Tradestation?

Tradestation is one of the highest ranked full-service electronic brokerage. Their product portfolio is complete – cryptocurrency trading with bitcoin cash and other cryptos, stock and etf trades, forex trading, futures contracts, futures options, a mutual fund selection, option to trade bonds, penny stocks, free trades (stocks), and automated trading with a minimum deposit. The core of Tradestation’s advantage is their desktop trading platform, which allows access and automation to all of the products listed above. It has almost all of the features of a fully featured professional trading platform, for $99 a month or by holding certain amounts in the tradestation account.

Tradestation has also been named #1 broker by sites like Nerdwallet,, TradingView, Benzinga, Stocks & Commodities, Investor’s Business Daily, Investopedia, Barron’s and Investor’s Business Daily. This consistent #1 ranking by all of these sources is truly unique, no other electronic broker can match these accolades. It is based on the tradestation desktop trading platform, the web trading platform, and the mobile trading app. Tradestation also provides trading ideas, fundamental indicators, historical market data, and because Tradestation offers, a singular focus on Tradestation customers, trade execution, advanced trades, and commission free trades.

Who owns Tradestation?

Tradestation Group is the parent company to multiple brokerages and futures enabled accounts, and they have recently opened a crypto trading account but you must have an active equity account to trade cryptos with Tradestation.

Tradestation was created by two brothers Bill and Ralph Cruz out of their garage when they pooled $2,400 to open a futures trading account. Bill began testing trading strategies himself with no formal coding knowledge — this developed into the EasyLanguage, the trading platforms coding alternative for non-specialists.

In 1997 “Omega Research” (an older name for Tradestation) went public in 1997 on the Nasdaq In 2001, Tradestation renamed itself and became a full-service online broker with a desktop platform, registration with the financial industry regulatory authority, the securities and exchange commission, and recently a suite of six cryptocurrencies which require their own account to trade in.

In 2011, the Monex Group (a leading Japanese brokerage) bought Tradestation Group and assumed all of the assets and liabilities. The Monex group owns all of TradeStation group’s equities, and therefore is a member of the NYSE, FINRA, SIPC, DTCC, OCC, CBOE, CSE, ISE, and NASDAQ OMX. Tradestation international, a Financial Services Authority authorizes Tradestation to operate in London and various other international markets.

Tradestation Ratings


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  • Powerful, nearly professional grade desktop Tradestation platform.
  • Ability to execute complicated futures and options trading strategies.
  • Vast selection of Tradestation securities to choose from.


  • Certain fees ($.50 per option leg for example) are higher than the average futures trades broker.
  • Tradestation has not captured the attention of hedge funds or institutional investors because it does not offer algorthmic trading or option volatility charts.
  • To trade futures accounts, options trades, and tradestation crypto you need certain rather high minimums ($25,000 for futures trading, etc).
TradeStation review

Tradestation Product Available

Tradestation offers a full suite of securities to trade using their mobile trading platforms, Tradestation’s desktop platform, and Tradestation web trading platform. These platforms can trade the full suite of exchange traded products as long as you meet the account minimum balance for all the securities such as equity options, futures, forex, options on futures, and crypto trading.

Tradestation Desktop Platform 10

An advanced trading platform to help you design, test, optimize, monitor, and automate your custom trading strategies.

  • Dynamic market-scanning tools.
  • Fully customizable charting.
  • Fast and reliable trade execution.
  • Advanced order management.

Tradestation Platform — Online Brokers

If you’ve got internet access, you’ve got TradeStation – no installation required. Our powerful, easy-to-use web platform works in conjunction with TradeStation’s iOS and Android apps for a unified experience that uses TradeStation’s cloud technology. The desktop platform does not trade transaction fee mutual funds even for active traders.

Tradestation Platform — Mobile App

Access the markets and place trades on your time – all on the go from the palm of your hand.  We’re one of the highly-rated mobile trading apps in the Apple and Google app stores.

Tradestation Product Options

Theme Based Portfolios

Although Tradestation does not have ready made theme based portfolios to invest in, the Tradestation desktop platform for active traders has something called “Portfolio Maestro” where you can back test the performance of a group of strategies in a category or “Theme”.

Manage Taxes

Tradestation cannot help you actually complete your taxes, however they allow you to download every trade in a year for tax preparation.

Tradestation Does Not Support DRIP (Dividend Re-investment Programs).

You have to re-invest your dividends into the stock manually.

Are OTC trades possible through Tradestation?

OTC Markets provides additional bid and ask information for OTC stocks as a supplement to the NASDAQ-sourced bid, ask, and trade information for OTC stocks. Level I data from OTC Markets includes additional inside bid and ask data for OTC stocks, while Level II data from OTC Markets includes additional inside bid and ask data for OTC stocks plus additional levels of depth for bid and ask for OTC stocks.

If using the mobile app, there are no commissions on OTC trades or penny stocks. If you want to trade OTC products with the Tradestation platform, there is a $10 per trade charge.

In order to subscribe to OTC Level I service, you must first subscribe to real-time data for NASDAQ Package 1, 2, or 3. In order to subscribe to OTC Level II service, you must first subscribe to NASDAQ Package 2 or 3.

Can I vote my Shares if I only have fractional ownership?

No, because Tradestation does not support fractional ownership in any way.

Tradestation Education

Tradestation has an excellent separate website with education for the trading platforms available through Tradestation. For an all access pass it is is $39.99 per month, or you can buy passes for modules for tradestation’s trading platforms at quite expenses prices above $1,000 per module.

There are free modules for basic introduction to the tradestation platform’s including the tradestation desktop platform, the web trading platform, and the mobile app functionality. The site has not added any cryptocurrency trading education as of yet.

Tradestation Commitment to Execution Quality

Why can’t I withdraw my ACH funds immediately?

ACH deposits take 7 days to settle, while wire transfers are available immediately depending on your bank or financial institution.

Customer Service

Tradestation offers live chat from Mon-Fri, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can also select “call me” and a human will call you from a support queue.

Tradestation Special Offers

You can trade futures in your IRA account at just $0.65 cents per contract per side. Regardless of the account type— traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA or SIMPLE IRA — TradeStation gives you the tools you need to actively manage your retirement savings. Use promo code 0035AEZP to get this special offer.

Can I trade cryptocurrency on Tradestation?

Yes, but they are limited to Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP).

Tradestation app review

Tradestation Fees

  • Stocks & ETFs $0 commission
  • Stock Options $0 commission + $0.60 per contract
  • Futures $0 commission  + $1.50 per contract, per side Micro Futures $0 commission  + $0.50 per contract, per side
  • Futures Options $0 commission   + $1.50 per contract, per side
  • Available Platforms   Web Trading Free Mobile Apps Free TradeStation Desktop Free
  • Real-time data for Stocks, ETFs, Stock Options, Futures, Futures Options, Indices and Cryptocurrencies Free
  • Minimum Deposit Which Meets Regulatory Account Balances

How fast can I make my first trade?

Tradestation takes one day to settle your funds, so you can trade open markets 24 hours after you fund your account.

How many subscribers does Tradestation have?

178,000, 36% higher than last year

Do you pay taxes on Tradestation?

Yes, you are responsible for all mandated taxes on capital gains and day trading. If you have a complicated portfolio or a large number of different products it may make sense to work with a CPA to correctly submit your taxes.

Tradestation Order Execution

Price Improvement

Tradestation Group has provided $21 million in price improvement for advanced traders, options trades, mobile trading platform, and through the tradestation’s trading platform.

The average price improvement for active trading is $6.67 per contract.

Average speed was only $.041 seconds per contract, 96% better than the rest of the market.

About The Tradestation Data Network

The TradeStation Data Network provides real-time data and historical data for all of the analysis tools available in TradeStation. The real-time data includes streaming data from the Nasdaq, NYSE, AMEX, and OPRA exchanges; all delivered through the Internet. The TradeStation Data Network also supports extended hours trading so that your analysis windows will update in real-time with pre- and post-market trades.

The following describes the type of market data (real-time and historical) that is available by symbol category.

Stocks – Tick-by-tick data is available for 6 months back, one-minute data from January 1991, and daily data from 1968.

When a date (such as 1991 for stocks) is given, it applies to those companies that were trading at that time and still trading today. Therefore, not every symbol may actually have data back to 1991.

Futures – Tick by tick for 6 months back, one minute data from 1982 (depending on market) in individual contract files by delivery month and year, daily pit market data for individual contracts from 1960’s, back adjusted continuous contracts for most popular markets from 1960’s.  Note: inception date for some markets is much later (Example: First day of trading on S&P 500 futures is April 1982). Data back to early 1960’s is mostly CME grains markets, Cotton, mid 1960’s is Live Cattle.

Forex – Tick by tick for 6 months back, one minute bar data from October 2002, daily data from 1998.

Funds – Daily mutual fund and money market fund data from 1994.

Indexes  – Tick-by-tick data is available for 6 months back. Start dates on indexes vary, but will generally include at least one-minute data from February 2001 and daily data from 2000.  Other popular indexes include the following additional data:

  • Dow Jones Industrial ($INDU/$DJI) – 4/1/1993 minute, 1/2/1920 daily
  • S&P 100 ($OEX/$OEX.X) – 1/2/1987 minute, 1/3/1978 daily
  • S&P 500 ($INX/$SPX.X) – 2/1/1983 minute, 1/4/1960 daily
  • S&P 400 Midcap ($MID.X) – 1/2/1998 minute 7/1/1994 daily
  • Russell 2000 ($RUT.X/$IUX) – 1/2/1997 minute, 9/10/1987 daily
  • Nasdaq 100 ($NDX.X) – 1/2/1997 minute, 11/7/1990 daily

Options – Stock, Futures, and Index options have 6 months tick, consolidated exchange minute and daily trade data for all currently trading options. Regional stock option symbols are available on a streaming real time basis. Historical options symbols are removed once they expire since symbols are reused by the exchanges.

Tradestation Global Trading Fees

TradeStation Global has low stock, ETF, and futures. The forex and options fees are average, while trading with mutual funds and CFDs are expensive.

Stock fees and ETF fees

TradeStation Global has generally low stock and ETF commissions.

TradeStation Global stock and ETF commission of a $2,000 trade

TradeStation Global charges fees mostly as a percentage of the traded volume. For US and Canadian stocks, however, the commission is based on the number of shares traded.

If you prefer stock trading on a margin, you should check TradeStation Global’s margin rates.

Basically means that you borrow money from your broker and can purchase more stocks than you could with just the available cash in your account. You have to pay interest on this borrowed money – the interest rate is called the margin rate. It can account for a significant portion of your trading costs.

TradeStation Global’s margin rates are in line with other brokers, however, they add a 2.5% markup to Interactive Brokers’s rates.

Common questions I get asked about Tradestation

These are the most common questions I get asked about Tradestation, so I will try to answer these as best I can, to give you a better view on whether Tradestation is the right investment choice for you.

How fast can I make my first trade?

Tradestation takes one day to settle your funds, so you can trade open markets 24 hours after you fund your account.

How many subscribers does Tradestation have?

178,000, 36% higher than last year

Do you pay taxes on Tradestation?

Yes, you are responsible for all mandated taxes on capital gains and day trading. If you have a complicated portfolio or a large number of different products it may make sense to work with a CPA to correctly submit your taxes.

Does Tradestation trade mutual funds for $0.00?

No, Tradestation does not trade any type of mutual funds unless you call and trade it manually with a Tradestation broker which is very expensive in terms of fees.

Can you lose money with Tradestation?

Yes, you can lose potentially all the capital you invest in a trade and unlike an equities account you can potentially lose more than you invested in the security in short futures trade where the underlying asset goes up sufficiently far that you became liable for more than the total you invested in the account and the futures trade.

Who is Tradestation for?

The Desktop trading platform is definitely targeted towards professional traders and active traders. The web version and the mobile trading app are very good, and are targeted towards serious novices who want to learn how to trade.

Does Tradestation provide research?

Yes, but it can only be accessed by the Desktop Platform and not Tradestation mobile or the web app. The research on the Desktop Platform offers dozens of data points about a selected security.

How do I withdraw money from TradeStation?

To withdraw money from TradeStation, you need to go through the following steps:

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Select ‘Withdrawal’ or ‘Withdraw funds’ from the appropriate menu.
  3. Select the withdrawal method and/or the account to withdraw to (if more than one option is available)

Can you leverage on TradeStation?

Yes, options and futures have built in leverage and Tradestation also allows margin for short sales of equities. TradeStation’s has a competitive equities margin interest rates – as low as 3.5 percent.

What Crypto is on TradeStation?

With TradeStation Crypto, traders in approved states and countries can trade Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP). Other supported crypto coins are planned to be added in the future.

TradeStation Global has low stock and ETF fees. You can access a wide range of products and stock exchanges. In addition, their customer support is fast and helpful.

On the negative side, TradeStation Global’s deposit and withdrawal processes could be better, as you can only use bank transfers. Also, a high minimum deposit of $1,000 is required to use the desktop platform, and the available education materials are limited.

How much money do you need to open a TradeStation account?

While TradeStation doesn’t have a minimum deposit for cash accounts, there is a $2,000 minimum deposit for margin accounts and a $5,000 minimum for futures accounts.

Does TradeStation have MT4?

Yes, FX Internals and Tenuvah Designs have completed software that allows you to run a TradeStation strategy and execute the trades on your MT4 Forex Trading platform. We have enabled all the account information, order handling, etc. MT4 API calls in TradeStation Easy Language.

Does TradeStation offer forex?

Trade Forex from a single Unified Global Account. This account, in partnership with Interactive Brokers’, is separate from a U.S. Tradestation account.

Does TradeStation have paper trading?

Now you can take advantage of Simulated / Paper Trading on TradeStation Global. Create and test trading strategies across FX, Equities, Mutual Funds and Futures markets, with an Interactive Brokers’ in partnership with TradeStation Global Paper Trading Account. Get access to a Paper Trading Account, plus the latest performance updates with no deposit and no fees.

Can you buy fractional shares on TradeStation?

TradeStation does not support fractional shares. This means that many casual traders are going to be extremely limited when it comes to buying high nominal value stocks like Tesla, Google, or Amazon.

Tradestation FAQs

How many trading pairs does Tradestation trade?

Tradestation Global currently trades 23 pairs (or “crosses”) of currencies.

Does Tradestation Allow pre- and post-market trading?

TradeStation offers market trading from 8:00 am until 9:30 am, EST. Tradestation’s after-hours session lasts four hours, from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm, EST.

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