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Lightspeed Account Review: Brokerage Fees, IRA Investing, Pros and Cons, Mutual Fund Offerings

Lightspeed Review - Pricing

  • Stocks/ETFs per share plan: $0.0045 per share with $1 minimum per trade plus/minus routing fees
  • Stocks/ETFs per trade plan: $4.50 per trade plus/minus routing fees
  • Options: $0.60 per contract, routing fees may apply
  • Futures: $0.60 per contract, plus exchange fees

Lightspeed Important Fees and Surcharges

  • Extended hours surcharge: $0
  • Large order surcharge: $0
  • Penny stocks surcharge: $0
  • IRA setup fee: $0
  • Annual IRA fee: $30
  • Minimum monthly commission, accounts under $5,000: $25
  • Options Exercise/Assignment Fee: $15

  • Lightspeed Trading Advantages

    • Very low pricing on almost all asset classes
    • Direct access to ECNs and exchanges
    • Fast executions
    • Automated trading
    • Practice account

    Lightspeed Trading Disadvantages

    • Major customer service issues
    • High minimum funding to use platforms
    • Web Trader platform is buggy
    • Annual $30 IRA fee
    • Charts need improvement
    • Minimum monthly commission for accounts under $15,000 is $25

    Lightspeed Trading Account Types

    • Individual
    • Joint
    • Corporate
    • Trust
    • Partnership
    • Sub-Accounts
    • IRA’s - Traditional, Roth, and SEP’s (U.S Taxpayers only)

    Lightspeed Trading Software

    Lightspeed offers a few trading platforms for beginners and professionals:

    • Lightspeed Trader is a standalone trading platform with features like advanced multi threaded, multi-core processing 64-bit technology, higher order throughput. It’s a single platform for online stock, options and futures trading, as well as customizable layouts and charts. The price tag is $130 per month.
    • Lightspeed Web Trader offers a browser-based trading and account management, with features like real-time streaming quotes, access to advanced market data (charting, analytics), watch lists, charting and news. System requires the latest version of browser installed (IE, Firefox, Mozilla, Safari), and screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768. Web Trader users get free market data and research package. It's free to use.
    • RealTick Pro is fully featured trading software for the professional traders and includes advanced order entry and trading ith real-time global data; customizable user interface; hotkeys and hot buttons; MarketMinder quote display, streaming news. It costs $275 per month.

    Lightspeed Review

    Lightspeed Trading offers some of the best commissions in the industry. It offers extremely low trading rates of just $0.0045 per share, and any order of up to 220 shares will cost $1 or less (orders with up to 500 shares are $2.25 or less). Options commission is $0.60 per contract with no order charges. The company has high minimum initial funding requirement: $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000 for Web Trader plan, RealTick plan and Trader plan respectively.

    Lightspeed Trading is primarily used by very active traders who know what they are doing. The firm provides direct access to ECN’s and exchanges which is a must for day traders. Lightspeed's trading platform has a steep learning curve (especially for beginner investors), and don't expect to get much handholding. Customer service is hit and miss and is a major issue with this company.

    Lightspeed's Web Trader (website-based) platform design is not intuitive. Performance is very slow. But what disappoints even more, is that the platform is full of bugs, and it often makes trading a frustrating experience. The absence of extended hours trading at Web Trader is a big disadvantage too. The company's other platform, Lightspeed Trader, is much more stable and usually performs well. It could get slow on high-volume days though.

    The company introduced Minimum Commission Fee for accounts with balance less than $15,000 - $25 per month. Of course, it makes Lighspeed way too expensive for investors with small accounts.

    The brokerage firm offers free practice account for newbies to give them an opportunity to learn trading platform and some market principles without any monetary risks. Moreover, company’s educational center is quite good. Lightspeed provides video learning library that consists of Trader Truth series, Training videos and Trader Talk series. Customers can learn the basics of the financial instruments including stocks, futures and options. Also, the company conducts numerous webinars for beginners and experienced traders.

    Lightspeed Trading is primarily suited for very active traders who need cheap executions. Beginners, retirement account and buy-and-hold investors should stay away from this broker.

    Lightspeed Trading Promotion Offer

Lightspeed Trading Reviewed by on . Rating: 3
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