TradeZero review

Commission-free trading with an emphasis on short selling, but expect high account fees and minimum deposit requirements.

This online brokerage highlights its commission-free trading structure, and its feature to source shares for shorting makes it an appealing platform for experienced day traders. While beginners may find its free version useful, TradeZero requires a steep minimum deposit requirement across all its platforms.

  • Consider TradeZero if you’re an experienced, active trader looking for a platform that highlights short selling.
  • Look elsewhere if you want a more extensive list of available assets, fewer fees and a smaller, or no, minimum deposit requirement.
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What I think about TradeZero

TradeZero is suitable for beginners, but experienced traders will get the most out of the platform. Its commission-free stock and options trading makes it appealing for active traders. And its short locator feature — which provides access to more than 14,000 easy-to-borrow and hard-to-borrow stocks — makes a case for TradeZero being one of the best brokers for short selling.

Casual investors and those new to trading might find TradeZero’s $2,500 minimum opening deposit a big commitment. And if you want to pull out any of your money or want to transfer your account entirely, you’ll get hit with some fees that are steeper than on most beginner-friendly trading platforms. Long-term investors will also likely find TradeZero limiting, as it doesn’t offer mutual funds or cryptocurrency.

What investments does TradeZero offer?

You’ll find the following investments at TradeZero.

  • Stocks and ETFs. Trade stocks and ETFs priced $1 or more commission-free and over-the-counter stocks for $0.003 per share. OTC stocks are those not listed on a major exchange.
  • Options. Trade in US-listed equity, exchange-traded fund (ETF) and exchange-traded note (ETN) options.

TradeZero is best for experienced traders

Due to its emphasis on commission-free trading and its unique short-sell locator feature, which helps you find stocks you can use for short-selling, TradeZero is best for experienced, active traders. Those new to trading might find the $2,500 minimum deposit requirement steep and might instead opt for a more beginner-friendly platform.

  • Short sellers. TradeZero provides traders with access to more than 14,000 easy-to-borrow and hard-to-borrow stocks to short. It also allows traders to sell back shorts that are no longer needed to help recoup some of the initial cost of locating these stocks.
  • Active traders. TradeZero’s commission-free trade structure for stocks and options make it a suitable platform for those making frequent trades.

TradeZero fees are on the high end

TradeZero requires a minimum opening deposit of $2,500 when opening an account. Its platforms range from free to $59 per month and a minimum equity balance of $250 is required to maintain access to a trading platform. If you lose access to a trading platform for any reason, you’ll need to bring your equity balance back up to $2,500 to regain access.

Stock and ETF trading on TradeZero is commission-free for securities listed on the NYSE, AMEX or Nasdaq that are priced $1 or more. Securities trading less than $1, securities not trading on the NYSE, AMEX or Nasdaq, OTCBB and Pink Sheets greater than $0.10 and securities traded between 4:00 a.m and 7:00 a.m. EST are considered paid orders and cost $0.003 per share.

All considered, these fees and minimum balance requirements aren’t imposed by TradeZero’s more beginner-friendly competitors, such as SoFi Invest, Charles Schwab and Robinhood.

ZeroFreeZeroWebZeroPro
Price per month$0$59$59
Initial funding requirement$2,500$2,500$2,500
Minimum equity balance to maintain access to a trading platform$250$250$250
Minimum equity balance to regain access to a trading platform$2,500$2,500$2,500
Stocks and ETFs trading fee$0$0$0
OTCBB and Pink Sheets greater than $0.10$0.003 per share$0.003 per share$0.003 per share
Securities trading less than $1$0.003 per share$0.003 per share$0.003 per share
Securities not traded on the NYSE, AMEX or Nasdaq$0.003 per share$0.003 per share$0.003 per share
Securities traded 4:00 a.m.-7:00 a.m. ET$0.003 per share$0.003 per share$0.003 per share
Options trading feeNot availableNot available$0.00 per contract
OTC Markets Level 2$15 per monthIncludedIncluded
Inactivity fee$0$0$0
Unqualified Account feeUp to $5 quarterly if account:

  • Has a balance under $100
  • Doesn’t hold securities
  • Had no trading activity the previous quarter

Accounts with a $0 balance will not be charged

Up to $5 quarterly if account:

  • Has a balance under $100
  • Doesn’t hold securities
  • Had no trading activity the previous quarter

Accounts with a $0 balance will not be charged

Up to $5 quarterly if account:

  • Has a balance under $100
  • Doesn’t hold securities
  • Had no trading activity the previous quarter

Accounts with a $0 balance will not be charged

Account transfer fee$125$125$125
Outgoing ACH fee$5$5$5
Outgoing wire fee$50$50$50

How do I sign up?

Sign up for an account with TradeZero online or via the mobile app:

  1. Select Open Account from TradeZero’s website or Sign Up from the app.
  2. Enter your name, email address and a password. TradeZero will send you an email to verify your email address.
  3. Choose your account type and enter your residential address and phone number.
  4. Verify your identity by providing your Social Security number, date of birth and a valid ID.
  5. Enter your employment information, and choose a tax withholding option.
  6. Choose between margin trading, pattern day trading and cash trading.
  7. Choose your investment risk objectives and provide your annual income and net worth.
  8. Agree to the terms and conditions, and submit your application.

Eligibility

You’ll need to meet these eligibility criteria to sign up for a TradeZero account:

  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • At least 18 years old
  • International residents can sign up for TradeZero International

Required information

Be prepared to provide the following information when applying for a TradeZero account:

  • Name, email address and phone number
  • Residential address, date of birth and Social Security number
  • Valid government ID
  • Employment information

TradeZero’s research tools are standard

For the most part, TradeZero offers a set of research tools that are standard features an investor should expect from their trading platform. These include tools like Level 2 data, which shows best ask and bid prices for any given security, as well as customizable trading screens, live news and a Time and Sales screen.

But TradeZero does stand out for its short locate feature, which not only gives traders access to its list of easy-to-borrow shares at no additional cost but also helps traders source hard-to-borrow short stocks. TradeZero’s hard-to-borrow shares can be located for a fee, which is determined by the difficulty to borrow the stock on that particular day. Between these two lists, traders have access to more than 14,000 stocks to short daily.

TradeZero has also rolled out a new feature that lets traders sell back short locates they no longer need. You mark these locates for credit and they become available to other TradeZero clients looking for these specific locates. With this feature, you can recoup up to 50% of your initial locate cost.

Pros

Here’s where TradeZero stands out from the competition:

  • Commission-free trading. TradeZero doesn’t charge commissions on stock trades greater than $1 or on options contracts.
  • Extensive list of stocks to short. Access more than 14,000 easy-to-borrow and hard-to-borrow stocks.
  • Sell back short locates. Recoup up to 50% of your initial locate cost when another TradeZero client purchases your locates marked for credit.
  • Choose from several platforms. TradeZero offers three platforms that can appeal to both beginners and seasoned day traders.

Cons

But also consider these drawbacks:

  • Moving money out of TradeZero can be expensive. TradeZero charges a $5 outgoing ACH transfer fee, a $50 outgoing wire transfer fee and a $125 account transfer fee.
  • High minimum deposit amount. TradeZero requires an initial deposit of $2,500 for all new accounts.
  • Investment options are limited. TradeZero offers a limited number of assets for investors to trade, which include stocks, ETFs and option contracts. It doesn’t offer securities such as mutual funds, futures contracts or cryptocurrency.

Is TradeZero legit?

Yes, TradeZero is a legitimate company headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. Founded in 2015, the New York-based online brokerage offers retail investors commission-free stock and ETF trading and is a member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

TradeZero’s reviews are mixed but lean positive

As of February 2022, TradeZero has a strong customer rating on its Trustpilot profile. Customers have rated the company 4.7 out of 5 stars based on 2,139 reviews with an overwhelming number of 5-star reviews.

Satisfied customers largely praise the company’s responsive and helpful customer support. Those that didn’t rate the company a perfect 5 stars cited high transfer fees and a buggy app as the main reason why.

Reviews on the Apple App Store and Google Play are less favorable. Customers on the Apple App Store rate TradeZero a 2.8 out of 5 stars based on 75 reviews, and customers on Google Play give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars based on 138 reviews. Similar to the complaints on Trustpilot, customers frequently cited high fees, a buggy app and lackluster charting capabilities.

Better Business BureauRating: N/A
Better Business BureauAccredited? N
BBB customer ratingN/A
TrustScore4.7/5 stars based on 2,139 customer reviews
Google Play app reviews2.6/5 stars based on 163 customer reviews
Apple App Store app reviews2.8/5 stars based on 75 customer reviews
Data last updatedFebruary 2022

Contact TradeZero 3 ways

Reach TradeZero customer service by:

  1. Phone: 877-487-2330, available weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.
  2. Email: support@tradezero.us.
  3. Live chat: Customer support representatives are available 24/7 at www.tradezero.com

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