ChoiceTrade Investment Platform Review
- Customer Service
- Commission Fees
- Trading Platforms
- Research Tools
In the trading world, ChoiceTrade is not exactly a household name. This may be a bit surprising, considering that the company is offering discounted trading and was founded almost two decades ago. But when you take a closer look at ChoiceTrade’s website, you see that this particular broker has some major flaws. And it’s not hard to see why ChoiceTrade remains out of the spotlight.
The site doesn’t provide too much information about the company. For instance, the site says that the broker offers mutual funds trading, however, there’s no information about the commission rate. Moreover, the site doesn’t even say whether ChoiceTrade is registered with FINRA or not. But as you’re about to see, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Fees and Commissions
In addition to mutual funds, ChoiceTrade offers ETFs, margin accounts, options, and stock trading. The price of regular stock trades is 5 dollars per trade. Options trades, on the other hand, cost 5 dollars plus 50 cents per contract. Lastly, margin rates are 7.45% no matter what the size of your account is.
ChoiceTrade’s main web platform is freely available to all users, but there are three more platforms that require a fee. These three platforms come with a standard monthly fee, along with additional data fees: ChoiceTrade Elite (29.95 dollars/month), QuoteStream (between 14.95 and 29.95 dollars/month), and Direct Pro (staggering 135 dollars/month).
The free version is actually not well-designed, looks pretty outdated, and it’s fairly hard to use. The company is probably counting on clients switching to the paid version. However, a monthly fee immediately wipes out the benefits of cheap trades, especially if you’re a casual investor.
Platforms, Features, and Tools
When talking about the ChoiceTrade, it’s hard to find positive things to say, but we’ll try nonetheless. The good news is, the web platform is completely free, doesn’t have any hidden fees, and provides new traders a way to place trades in just a few steps. ChoiceTrade gives you basic, as well as advanced charting, with more than 20 studies, level II quotes, time and sales, and P&L charts.
And that’s all – the best thing we have to say about ChoiceTrade is that it provides a free way to place stock trades and do some simple analysis.
Now, this platform has more than a few drawbacks. First, navigating the free website and finding the tools you need is time-consuming and even confusing at times. The Research tab, for instance, has a link for Watchlists, but when you click it, you find yourself on an empty page.
In order to access Watchlists, you have to use the WatchPlus feature that consolidates all your pre-filled order that have not been executed yet. If you want to add something to your Watchlist, you have to fill out a trade ticket and click a button in a small popup window.
Using the charts is equally confusing. When you pull up a quote for a security, you’ll find a stock chart, with no tools present. If you want a more advanced chart, you have to enter a symbol using the quote box, wait for a popup window to appear, and then check the Comparison Chart box.
Taking everything into account, if you really want to use ChoiceTrade, you can only rely on it for pulling price quotes, filling out an order, and finally, executing trades. That’s about it.
Other Things to Note
There’s little to no research featured on the ChoiceTrade free web platform. Conducting basic research and pulling stock quotes is all you can actually do. Mutual funds and ETFs research is completely absent. There’s no native smartphone app, but you can place trades on the mobile version of the website. In order to use the Android app, you have to upgrade to a 3rd-party platform.
When it comes educational resources, the site has a standard investor dictionary, plus, you have a couple of educational articles. The resource page is actually useful for inexperienced traders. It breaks down some of the more popular trading strategies and offers detailed descriptions. Besides this page, there’s no educational content on the site.
The Bottom Line
After a few minutes of browsing, you realize why ChoiceTrade had almost no success in almost two decades and remained so obscure. If you’re relatively new to the online investor world and you want cheap stock trades, then this platform is a possible option, despite its drawbacks.
But if you want to have a positive experience using ChoiceTrade, you need to pay a monthly fee for access to a 3rd-party platform. And since the fees are so high that they cancel out the benefits of cheap trades, we can’t really recommend the paid version.
Even if the platform didn’t take any commissions, it would be hard to recommend it to anyone for day-to-day investing.