If you’re an avid investor looking for access to a vast number of financial products at the click of a button, then you’ll probably know that the internet is now jam-packed with options. While consumer choice in the online brokerage space is typically a good thing, this can make it difficult to know which platform to go with.
One such example of an online broker that has grown in popularity in recent years is that of Zacks Trade. The platform claims to have one of the most comprehensive investment platforms in the space, alongside some rather juicy trading fees.
If you are thinking about using ZacksTrade for your investment endeavours, then be sure to read our in-depth review first. We’ve covered all of the fine points that we think you should know, should as how Zacks Trade works, what fees it charges, the number of assets you can trade, regulation, and more.
Let’s start by exploring what Zacks Trade is.
What is Zacks Trade?
- 1 What is Zacks Trade?
- 2 What can you Trade at Zacks Trade? How Much Does it Cost?
- 3 Stocks and Shares
- 4 Penny Stocks
- 5 Options
- 6 Mutual Funds
- 7 ETFs
- 8 Bonds
- 9 Deposit and Withdrawals at Zacks Trade
- 10 Trading Platforms at Zacks Trade
- 11 Online Web Browser
- 12 PRO Platform
- 13 Mobile or Tablet Application
- 14 Account and Portfolio Management
- 15 Human Assisted Trades
- 16 Margin Trading and Leverage
- 17 Am I Eligible to Open an Account at Zacks Trade?
- 18 Is Zacks Trade Safe?
- 19 Customer Service
- 20 Zacks Trade Review: The Verdict?
- 21 ZacksTrade
- 22 Pros
- 23 Cons
ZacksTrade is an online brokerage platform that allows both retail and institutional investors to buy and sell a full range of financial products. This includes US equities, foreign stocks, penny shares, ETFs, options, and more.
The Chicago-based platform was founded by Len Zacks – and has since attracted a significant following in the online investment space. For example, the Zacks Trade website claims that it is currently serving 218 individual counties, and has since facilitated more than 200 million stock trades.
As we will discuss in more detail further down, the Zacks Trade platform is often regarded as one of the most cost-effective trading websites in the online arena. For example, the platform charges just $0.01 per share, at a minimum of $3 per order. Moreover, the platform also allows newbie investors to acquire human assistance from one of its in-house brokers – free of charge.
On top of its super low trading fees, Zacks Trade also has one of the most extensive product listings, subsequently giving users access to more than 91 different financial markets. This also includes access to the Penny Stocks arena, which is something that most online brokers steer clear of.
In terms of its regulatory standing, the platform’s parent company – LBMZ Securities, is both authorized and regulated in the US by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Moreover, LBMZ Securities is also a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). As a member of SIPC, this means that client securities are protected by up to $500,000, in the event that Zacks Trade no longer existed.
Finally, it is also worth noting that Zacks Trade allows users to buy and sell assets via its main desktop website, mobile application, or for more experienced traders – through the Zacks Trade PRO Platform.
So now that you have an idea of what Zacks Trade is, in the next section of our review we are going to explore the types of assets that you can trade.
What can you Trade at Zacks Trade? How Much Does it Cost?
Zacks Trade has a huge list of stocks and shares listed on its platform. For those of you that want access to US equities found on the NASDAQ and NYSE, there are thousands of stocks listed.
Outside of the US, Zacks Trade also gives you access to heaps of international financial markets across across 19 different nations. This includes the likes of the UK’s London Stock Exchange, the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Japan, and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Germany.
As the platform’s hallmark offering, stocks and shares can be traded at just $0.01 per share, at a minimum of $3 per order. For example, if you were to purchase 1,000 shares in Ford, you would pay just $10. As such, anything under 300 shares would cost you $3.
International shares follow a slightly different pricing model. Instead of a flat dollar fee, you will instead pay a percentage of total amount you purchase or sell. This actually varies depending on the specific market you are looking to access. For example, while stock exchanges in France, Germany, Italy and the UK come at a trading fee of 0.3%, accessing markets in Sweden will cost you 1%.
Zacks Trade is one of the most popular platforms in the industry for those looking to access the thrills and spills of penny stocks.
Ordinarily, most online brokers do not get involved in penny stocks, not least because they typically require OTC (over-the-counter) trading. However, the team at Zacks Trade has made this marketplace accessible at the click of a button.
Take note, while standard commission rates apply for Penny Stocks priced above $1 per share, stocks priced below $1 you will pay 1% in trading fees which comes with a $3 minimum.
Moreover, just because you are able to purchase penny stocks seamlessly via Zacks Trade, there is no guarantee that the selling process will be as straight forward. Penny stocks operate in a highly volatile arena that is often very low in liquidity, so do bear this in mind.
If you’re a more experienced trader and looking to buy and sell options, Zacks Trade offers a very competitive trading fee of $3 for the first contact, and $0.75 for each additional contract.
Although Zacks Trade does offer a significant number of Mutual Funds to invest in, its fees are somewhat high in this department. You’ll pay $12.55 per trade, which is much higher than its industry counterparts.
Much like in the case of stocks and shares, ETFs can be bought and sold at tremendous value via the Zacks Trade website.
ETFs, like stocks, are $0.01/share and 1% of the trade amount for anything less. Once again, both pricing structures come with a $3 minimum.
When browsing through the Zacks Trade ETF section, we found that the platform has a highly extensive offering. This includes ETFs across the commodities, interest rates, bonds, real estate and currency markets – most of which operate 24/7.
If you want access to the multi-trillion dollar bonds space, then Zacks Trade also has this covered. You’ll find a good combination between government and corporate bonds, and fees are based on the face value of the bonds.
In the corporate bond space, you’ll pay 0.1% up to the first $10,000, plus $3 per bond. After that, you’ll pay a reduced fee of 0.025%, plus $3 per bond. In the case of government bonds, this follows the same pricing structure, albeit at 0.025% up to the first $1 million, and then 0.005% for everything over this.
So now that we’ve covered the main asset classes that Zacks Trade allows you to invest in, in the next section we are going to explore deposits and withdrawals.
Deposit and Withdrawals at Zacks Trade
First and foremost, it is important to note that the minimum account balance to register with Zacks Trade is $2,500 (or local currency equivalent). This is somewhat surprising. On the one hand, Zacks Trade is aiming to attract newbie traders, insofar that it offer zero-commission trading assistance from one of its in-house brokers. On the other hand, a minimum account balance of $2,500 might be a bit high for inexperienced investors.
Nevertheless, if you are in a position to deposit $2,500, you have a number of payment options at your disposal. This includes automatic clearing house (ACH), a bank wire, or cheque deposit. For some unknown reason, the platform does not allow you to deposit funds with a traditional debit or credit card, and in a less surprising move, nor does it support e-wallets such as PayPal or Skrill.
All deposits into Zacks Trade are free – other than the fees that your respective bank charges. In terms of cashing out, you are entitled to one free withdrawal per month. After that, you will pay $1 per withdrawal via ACH, $4 for a cheque withdrawal, and $10 for a bank wire withdrawal. These withdrawal fees are actually very competitive, as other brokers in the online space often charge a lot more.
So now that you know how you can get money into and out of the broker, in the next section we are going to take a closer look at the numerous trading platforms available at Zacks Trade.
Trading Platforms at Zacks Trade
Online Web Browser
For those of you looking for a simplified interface, you are probably best off sticking with the standard online platform. This can be accessed via any desktop web browser with ease. The online platform offers all of the same asset classes as you will find at the PRO desktop platform, albeit, in a more simplified manner.
This is perfect for those of you that simply want to buy and sell assets on a longer-term basis, as opposed to engaging in professional day trading.
For those of you that class yourself as an advanced trader, then we would suggest downloading the PRO platform to your desktop computer. The PRO platform is available to download free of charge across Windows, Mac and even Linux. One of the overarching benefits of downloading the PRO platform is that you will have access to over 120 technical indicators.
You can create and customize scalable charts, and essentially, you have all of the necessary analysis tools that a professional trader needs. This also includes integration with the likes of Basket Trader, SpreadTrader, Volatility Lab, Market Scanners and Algos. If you have never heard of any of the aforementioned trading tools, then we would suggest sticking with the online web platform!
Mobile or Tablet Application
If you’re the type of trader that likes to have the option of buying and selling assets while on the move, then you’ll be pleased to know that Zacks Trade offers a fully-fledged mobile application. Available across both Android and iOS, the app can be downloaded free of charge.
Upon further exploration, the mobile and tablet app comes with a whole host of features. This includes viewing real-time quotes and charts, enabling enhanced security controls, setting pricing notifications, and of course – trading on the move.
Account and Portfolio Management
Zacks Trade also offers users a separate platform for account and portfolio management. This allows you to view and access a range of information, such as account statements, deposits and withdrawals, and trade confirmations.
Even better, you have the option to export account statements to assist with tasks such as tax reporting. The account management portal is also required when you need to deposit or withdraw funds, or adjust the security settings on your account.
Human Assisted Trades
Although we often come across online brokerage platforms that claim to offer free trading assistant, we find that this is usually in the form of a robo-advisor. However, the Zacks Trade platform allows you to access a member of its in-house human broker team at no additional cost.
It is important to note that your free human assistance will not constitute financial advice. In other words, the broker can not tell you what to invest in, nor can they give you their personal opinion on whether or not a particular trade should be performed.
On the contrary, the purpose of assistance is to help you place trades. The broker can also explain how a particular financial product works, which is of huge value to inexperienced investors.
Ultimately, if you are just starting out in the online brokerage arena, it is well worth using the human assistance as you will not be charged!
Margin Trading and Leverage
If you have a slightly higher appetite for risk, and you know the ins and out of how it works, then you can also access margin trading services via Zacks Trade. If you didn’t select this option at the time of registration, then you can apply for it within your account management portal.
Take note, if you’ve never engaged in margin trading before, then you will need to ensure that you meet the conditions set out in Regulation T. In a nutshell, this means that you can only borrow up to 50% of the purchase price of securities, while the remainder must be paid for in cash.
Moreover, Zacks Trade will require you to have an account balance of at least $2,000 (cash or securities) if opting to trade on margin.
In terms of leverage, this will depend on your specific account privileges. Typically, Zacks Trade will allow you to obtain leverage of 2x on overnight holdings, and 4x for day trades.
Alternatively, if you have at least $110,000 in holdings, you might be able to increase this to 6x. When it comes to financing costs, this comes at a rate of 5.4% for account balances of sub-$100,000. The lowest rate on offer is 4.7%, and is reserved for those with balances of $3 million or more.
Am I Eligible to Open an Account at Zacks Trade?
Although Zacks Trade is used by millions of customers across more than 200 nation states, not everyone is eligible for an account. In terms of the fundamentals, you will need to ensure that you have a minimum annual income of $40,000, and a net worth not less than $20,000. You also need to indicate that you have have had sufficient exposure to the online investment space.
This includes at least two years of trading experience, and the execution of at least 100 trade. This is more of a tick-box exercise to ensure that Zacks Trade remains fully compliant with US trading laws, so you won’t be required to send in supporting documentation on hits.
Nevertheless, if you’re not from the US and thus, you don’t have a social security number, then you will need to provide the platform with a valid tax ID number.
Finally, and as is the case with all regulated brokers, you will need to verify your identity – either when you initially open an account, or when you make your first withdrawal. This will usually ask you to upload copies of a government-issued ID (passport, driver’s license or national ID card) and proof of address (bank statement, utility bill, tax statement, etc).
Is Zacks Trade Safe?
As is the case with any online broker you are using for the first time, you need to ensure that your platform of choice is safe. First and foremost, Zacks Trade is in possession of all of the required regulatory licenses to facilitate online trading. As noted earlier, all regulatory matters are based on the broker’s parent company – LBMZ Securities. This means that Zacks Trade is authorized and regulated by the SEC, FINRA, and SIPC.
Most importantly, Zacks Trade is covered by the SIPC insurance policy. This means that in the event of a brokerage failure, your account balances would be protected by up to $500,000 (cash limit of $250,000). For those with higher account balances, Zacks Trade has also been underwritten by Lloyd’s of London.
It is important to note that the SIPC policy does not protect you in the event that you lose money through your trading endeavours, nor does it protect you in the event that your account is fraudulently used by malicious third party actors.
When it comes to keeping your account secure, Zacks Trade offer a number of handy solutions. Firstly, you have the option to set up two-factor authentication (2FA). This means that you will need to enter a unique code every time you login, which can only be acquired from your personal mobile device.
If you don’t want to use your cell phone, you can also request a physical device to be sent to your home address. This works in a similar nature to 2FA, although you will get your codes from the device that Zacks Trade send you.
On top of this, Zacks Trade also employs the services of an in-house security team. They are tasked with keeping your account safe at all times, such as spotting suspicious login attempts or unusual trading activity.
If you need to contact the customer service team at Zacks Trade, you have a number of options available, which we’ve listed below.
- Phone: 888-979-2257 (Monday-Friday 09:00 to 18:00 Eastern Time)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Live Chat – Although the phone support team only working during the week, their Live Chat does capture inquiries for follow-up on Monday.
Zacks Trade Review: The Verdict?
In summary, there really isn’t much not to like with Zacks Trade. The platform lists virtually every asset class imaginable. Whether you’re in to stocks and shares, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, or options – you’ll have access to over 90 different markets at the click of a button. Moreover, Zacks Trade also allows you to access the otherwise difficult to reach penny stocks space.
When it comes to fees, Zacks Trade is up there with the very best of them. At a stocks and ETF trading fee of just $0.01 per holding ($3 minimum), this offers excellent value – especially to those that trade on a very frequent basis. We also like the fact that deposits are free – and after you’ve utilized your free monthly withdrawal, you’ll only pay between $1 and $10.
It is also notable that the platform is suited for traders of all sizes. For those that have little experience in the online trading sphere, you have the option of using the traditional web-based browser platform. For those with advanced trading capabilities, you can use the Zacks Trade PRO platform free of charge. This includes access to over 120 technical indicators, as well as a range of well-known third party tools.