TradeStation Group, Inc. is the parent company of online securities & futures brokerage firms and trading technology companies. It is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, and has offices in New York, Chicago, Richardson, TX, London, Sydney and Costa Rica. TradeStation is best known for the analysis software and electronic trading platform it provides to the active trader and certain institutional trader markets that enable clients to design, test, optimize, monitor, and automate their own custom equities, options & futures trading strategies. TradeStation Group was a Nasdaq GS-listed company from 1997-2011, until acquired by Monex Group, a Tokyo Stock Exchange listed parent company of one of Japan’s leading online securities brokerage firms.
TradeStation was founded by Cuban-born brothers William (Bill) and Rafael (Ralph) Cruz, who sought to create a way to design, test, optimize, and automate their own custom trading strategies. Bill started studying trading at the age of 16, and two years later, the brothers pooled $2,400 to open a futures trading account. They gathered trading data to create charts, which were used to test trading ideas. Bill began to test strategies himself without the benefit of formal coding knowledge, a process that resulted in the development of EasyLanguage®, the company’s proprietary coding language for non-specialists.
Bill and Ralph decided to start their own company, then known as Omega Research. The brothers focused on selling tools that would give clients without a technical or computer programming background the ability to program and test their own trading strategies. In 1987, they released System Writer, a software product that enabled users to develop and “back-test” their own trading ideas using historical market data. In 1989, System Writer Plus was released with new and innovative charting features, which the publication Commodity Trader Consumer Reports likened to “the system trading software equivalent of putting a man on the moon.”
In 1991, Omega Research released TradeStation and, three years later, struck a licensing deal with Dow Jones Telerate to offer TradeStation as a premium service to Telerate’s institutional clients worldwide. In 1997, Omega Research conducted an IPO and became listed on the Nasdaq National Market. The company launched an online version of its product in 1999. In 2001, the company converted itself from a trading software company to an online securities brokerage, and renamed itself “TradeStation.” The software’s back-testing, order-generation and trade execution capabilities were fully integrated for both securities and futures markets in 2003, and forex was added soon thereafter. In 2004 and 2005, TradeStation became a self-clearing equities and options firm. An entire industry eventually grew up around TradeStation’s software, including seminars, publications, and user networks.
TradeStation Analysis and Trading Platform
The TradeStation analysis and trading platform is a professional electronic trading platform for financial market traders. It provides extensive functionality for receiving real-time data, displaying charts, entering orders, and managing outstanding orders and market positions.
Although it comes with a large number of pre-defined indicators, strategy components, and analysis tools, individuals can modify and customize existing indicators and strategies, as well as create their own indicators and strategies, using TradeStation’s proprietary object-oriented EasyLanguage programming language. Traders can also access hundreds of TradeStation-compatible products created by independent third-party developers through the TradeStation TradingApp® Store, as well as access strategy trading ideas submitted by the TradeStation community in the EasyLanguage Library.
TradeStation supports the development, testing, optimizing, and automation of all aspects of trading. Trading strategies can be back-tested and refined against historical data in simulated trading before being traded "live." TradeStation can be used either as a research and testing tool or as a trading platform with TradeStation Securities or IBFX acting as the broker.
TradeStation Group, Inc.’s principal operating subsidiaries are TradeStation Securities, Inc., IBFX, Inc. and TradeStation Technologies, Inc. TradeStation Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Monex Group, Inc., one of Japan’s largest online financial services providers.
TradeStation Securities, Inc. is a member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) and the National Futures Association (NFA). It is a licensed securities broker-dealer and a registered futures commission merchant, and is also a member of the Boston Options Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Chicago Stock Exchange, International Securities Exchange and NASDAQ OMX. Its TradeStation Prime Services division, based in New York, seeks to provide prime brokerage services to small and mid-sized hedge funds and other firms. The company’s technology subsidiary, TradeStation Technologies, Inc., develops and offers strategy trading software tools and subscription services. Its London-based subsidiary, TradeStation Europe Limited, an Financial Services Authority authorized brokerage firm, introduces UK and other European accounts to TradeStation Securities and TradeStation Forex, Inc.
Monex Group, Inc. provides online investment and trading services for retail and institutional customers around the world through its subsidiaries, including Monex, Inc. in Japan, TradeStation in the U.S. and Europe and Monex Boom in Hong Kong. Monex Group is pursuing its “Global Vision” strategy to establish a truly global online financial institution that creates positive synergies for all stakeholders.
Its main subsidiary, Monex Inc., one of Japan’s largest online securities brokerages, provides advanced and unique financial services to its nearly 1 million individual investors. Monex Group’s services also cover M&A advisory, debt and equity underwriting, asset management focusing on alternative investments, investment education, and other investment banking functions in Japan.
A large number of third-party developers develop TradeStation-compatible products. Since Tradestation is a development platform, a custom trading program can be developed called a trading system or trading strategy. If any trader has an analysis technique or potentially profitable strategy he would like to have developed, he can either write his own strategy in EasyLanguage or have his trading system developed by third-party developers. Traders can also take advantage of the TradeStation TradingApp® Store, an online marketplace of ready-to-use add-on products built to run on the TradeStation platform by independent developers.
The TradeStation WebAPI is an application programming interface that is used to power applications like Web trading, TradeStation Mobile, and products available through the TradeStation TradingApp® Store. With TradeStation WebAPI, third-party developers can also build stand-alone applications or integrate key benefits from TradeStation into their existing systems using any programming language that can make HTTP requests and receive HTTP responses.
Industry Awards and Rankings
Year in and year out, leading financial publications have recognized TradeStation’s trading software and brokerage services.
|Trading Platforms||TradeStation Platform, TradeStation Web Trading, TradeStation Mobile|
|Phone||800 808 9336|
|Address||Plantation, Florida, United States|
All the complaints above, can anyone recommend a broker they actually like?
A couple of years ago I rolled over my 401k into an IRA and opened an account with Think or Swim. I only swing trade equities and follow an options newsletter but I can't say enough about the great customer service at ToS. To say I'm a bumbler with options is putting it mildly (although I am getting better) -- theToS is always there, they answer the phones, and help place the trade if necessary. I took a trading course from a group that refers their student to TradeStation with a special "deal," but after reading this I'm not sure it's worth making the switch. I usually call for assistance about once every week fo two and Think or Swim representatives are always polite and helpful. I appreciate all the comments here.
I have used TradeStation actively for well over 4 years. I like the platform and how it looks and works. But the biggest problems I have had are the errors TS included in my 1099B tax forms, and the time I had to take to correct their mistakes. The problems originate with the inability of TS to accurately deal with tax lot selection when placing Sell orders. That is, their inability in matching trades when selling.
I've been trying to get up and running on the Tradestation Platform, moved funds to their account in December requested a session with someone to help set up the software but did not get that until 5 January. Requested a customizing session but did not get that session with a representative until the 16th of January. I've also called for support twice each time I spent in excess of 30 minutes on hold, they do not have sufficient staff to handle the calls. And both times when I was finally connected they told me that my system was not set up like theirs so they couldn't help me. One fourth of the questions I had during the customizing session were unanswered as there was not enough time and they can only spend one hour for any client!
I just opened my account with TS a week ago, so far it is a great trading platform, but their support is really bad. I don't agree you need to be an experienced trader to use this platform, it's a software interface and while it is complex and has a ton of features, the order bar is sufficient and simple enough that anyone can use it, if you want to use a lot of the features beyond buy and sell, you will have to learn your way around the software no matter how much trading experience you have. Point being, that being an experienced trader and knowing your way around this software, are 2 separate things. The fees may be high for some, but for others that place sizable trades, the fees may be insignificant. You mention "video help built into almost every screen", I have seen no video help anywhere in this platform, maybe I just have not found it yet... but that's not much help if you cant find it. I had Ameritrade before this and found the TOS platform was just not that user friendly, the functionality just never fit into my way of thinking, I found it far more complicated than tradestation, it's very proprietary and still lives in the mindset of the developer who wrote it. The TDA web interface is separate from TOS, it is real easy but I had to switch screens a lot to switch between accounts and the thing was always slow and locking up, there were times I spent 10 minutes selling positions or could not get quotes or just lost the quote screen. What I realize looking at all these broker reviews, is that they are always based on what the reviewer wants or needs and never matched my criteria. The "Cons" in this review are mostly about fees (which I really don't care about). The steep learning curve I also disagree, anyone that could stand to sit thru their boring videos could use this thing and anyone that feels a need to use any more advanced features is probably a more advanced trader anyway or they probably are not going to even look for these features, nobody is going to use everything in this software. I found the platform is laid out in a very logical way, everything is where I would logically expect it, TOS was not. You also do not mention support... I have so far, found their support to be so bad, they might as well not offer any support at all which would save people the 20 minute hold on the phone and at least people would know upfront the support is worthless. I have contacted them a couple times and my impression was they just had an attitude, seemed that the objective was to get rid of me. I wanted to get a walk thru of the platform when it first funded (The account rep. had said that I would get a walk thru and could be trading next day) but the help desk guy said all he could do was refer me to their setup guy and schedule an appointment, but the first available appointment was 4 weeks out. then I contacted them about which program folders to back up so I would not lose my configurations and he could not (Or would not) tell me. Later I found there is a backup utility built in, why didn't the help desk guy bother to mention it? I contacted their support group by email and 2 days later got a response that I need to call... I probably wont need much support but if you do then... IDK. But I do love the platform!
Tradestation customer service is very sub-par. They are condescending, rude and It seems when you call we are bothering them. Now for the platform, it is good. Good charting, love the Matrix ordering, goofy on the data delay sometimes, but overall the system is good..not great...not wonderful...not awesome, but just good.
So many negative comments- I have been with Tradestation for over a year and I had a few issues (technical issues like not being able to run their software successfully the first time around but it was resolved and like most of the time it was actually my fault).
I mostly joined them for the low commision (I pay around 1 dollar per buying/selling based on my original fee structure choice and my trading volume.
I also have accounts at ToS and pay about $10 per buying/selling.
I mostly trade through the web platform and can access it at work with no problems.
The Rep I deal with has always been very helpful.
I do not pay for the monthly fee ($99) as I have +100k on 2 accounts combined.
There are additional fees for data feed (a few dollars a month). I am not happy about it as I do not need them but I have to pay them to be able to trade.
At the end it still saves me a lot of money versus paying $10 per trade.
Generally speaking, Tradestation is designed for skilled and seasoned traders. It is not suitable for the majority of traders, but provides a tremendous advantage over more generic online brokers and/or platforms. They created their platform to appeal to these highly competitive and skilled traders -- those that design, test and successfully execute their own ideas / trading strategies. For example, I have had many years trading over 100% in account growth (rarely - my worst years) and I have had many years with 500%+ returns that would have been impossible for me to achieve without the system-writing software provided by TS. I have the freedom to design and test effective trading strategies, that no one else is aware of, by utilizing the Easy Language trading software. I rarely utilized customer service. Tradestation is for experienced traders that require complexity of the most advanced system writing / designing software -- if you are not an experienced / seasoned trader with a desire for advanced trading tools and system development, then TS is not necessary.
Not Mac OS X Compatible!!! Means NOT USEABLE!!!!!!!!!!!! >:(
Been a Tradestation customer for over three years. Have several accounts with both the retail side and the institutional/advisor side of the business. Generally would give them good marks although the retail side is actually superior to the institutional side of the house.
On the retail side they handle all trade data internally whereas on the institutional side they use their platform (or several others) as a front end to JPMorgan Clearing. Their Tradestation trading platform is elegant in design and execution and works well with both retail and institutional accounts, however their record keeping and trade data are well integrated into their website and platforms for the retail investor but generally suck for the institutional/advisor accounts. Amazingly, many of the website, reporting and data aggregation features available for the retail customer are not available for the institutional/advisory customer.
I have found customer service to be a mixed bag. Customer service for trading and executions have been excellent once I got them on the phone, but sometimes involve a wait of up to 10 minutes. Customer service for platform and technology issues have also been helpful, responsive and generally excellent to deal with. But customer service for back office, accounts, paperwork, etc are sometimes diffident and not always helpful.
Commissions of $0.01 per share and $1.00 per option contract are not the lowest (nor the highest) in the industry but are reasonable when you factor in the free use of the TS platform (if you trade enough to avoid the monthly charge).
TS's smug videos turn me off. Plus, their platforms are more suited to options and day traders. I'm an investor.
i have used Trade Station for almost two years now. I dont have any customer service complaints. Data has been on point and they have all the bells and whistles. have not encountered any major issues. Really no small ones.
I've used Tradestation for 4 years, after using Etrade and Interactive Brokers.
They have an awesome software platform. instanct executions. 1 cent per share commissions. cheap futures trades
I trade over 5000 share per month, so the software is free.
They are the best in my opinion,
I opened an then closed my account with Tradestation the same day for 2 reasons. Margin accounts are geared for intraday traders only. You do not want to hold over-night at Tradestation
1. On a margin account 0vernight holdings for stocks is limited to 2 x equity. Ameritrade is 3.333 x equity.
2. When you sell a position you bought yesterday or earlier, you cannot trade with the proceeds of that sale unitil the next day. Ameritrade you can trade on proceeds immediately.
None of Broker Reviews that I see cover the Margin Account leverage and funds access. TradeStation is Good for Intraday only