ChoiceTrade Review: A Forgotten Discount Broker
Even though you might wonder why no one knows anything about ChoiceTrade, you shouldn’t be surprised. Upon analyzing their website and services, we found flaws we just cannot ignore – and everything was clear as day.
The problems started once we navigated to their “About Us” page. Not only do they use a template text as a description, but they also do not provide any information about the founder.
After further research, there were even more questions. We couldn’t find the commission rate anywhere. Furthermore, there was nothing about their registration with FINRA.
Our safest bet was to contact ChoiceTrade and find out the commission rate. Afterward, they immediately added it to their page – $25. However, this made us wonder – has this been missing since their founding in 2000?
As far as FINRA goes, they are registered, and you can find them on FINRA.org. However, they forgot to place their registration in the footer – and the lack of details bothered us. Every serious broker has that on their website – so why did they fail to add it?
ChoiceTrade charges $5 per stock trade, $5 per options trade and an additional $50 per contract. You can also contact them if you are interested in trading mutual funds, ETFs, and margin accounts.
However, margin rates do not change, no matter the size your account is. They are always 7.45%. Furthermore, account fees are much higher than in other discount brokerages.
But, there is more bad news. ChoiceTrade also has its own web platform called ChoiceTrader. You can use it for free, but there is a catch.
It is not the easiest platform to work on – the design is terrible, and everything about it is outdated. However, if you want, you can always pay a monthly subscription and use their other platforms. Needless to say that this makes the advantages of cheap trade disappear.
We tried to make it work, but ChoiceTrade just kept giving us reasons to give up. Their customer service proved to be terrible. Furthermore, after testing the free platform even further, we lost our patience with this discount broker.
We are trying to find something positive to say about this platform, but it is really tricky. If you ever try to use it, you will immediately know what we are talking about.
The plus side is the fact that it is free and that you can actually trade without much hassle. However, you have to learn how to use the website first, and that is not as easy as riding a bicycle.
Everything on this platform is a journey. Unlike other intuitive tools, ChoiceTrader makes you crazy while you are navigating the website. Something as simple as adding a trade requires you to spend a lot of time just searching for the spot where you can do that.
Furthermore, there are many unnecessary steps you have to take to get to the tools you want. For example, we wanted to see the Watchlists. However, the link leads you to a dead page. Hence, you have to use WatchPlus tool, which is also difficult to use and requires you to go the extra mile just to add to the list.
The disadvantages of this platform do not end there. There are many problems with it, and even the most basic things are not available for a free user. If you ever have to use it, stick to the basics of trading – it is just not a great platform for anything else.
Other factors you should consider
There is no chance of research on their website because they do not provide any options. You can just pull out the price quotes, and do the basic stuff all platforms offer.
Furthermore, there are no native mobile apps that support this broker or their platform – unless you pay the subscription fee.
When it comes to education, you only get a basic investor dictionary and a few articles. Apart from one standout page, there wasn’t anything else interesting we could find.
Also, bear in mind that you should never choose them for your IRA – they will charge you for just about everything.
After researching their website, it is safe to say that ChoiceTrade is not a fantastic option if you are looking for a discount broker.
While you could have a mild success if you use their services for just the essentials, you would still have to pay extra to use the better platforms. It beats the purpose of trading – you are losing money on something that should be making you money.
However, even if you pick them, you would still have to pay the excessive account fees. Hence, this broker is just not worth your time or money.