I have been using SureTrader for more than a year now. I opened SureTrader account on January 2017. I know Ross from warrior trading opened small account challenge that time and he was about to use SureTrader so I thought to give it a try too. As I’m based in UK it’s hard to find proper broker without pattern day trader (PDT) rules, then SureTrader was the only option.
So what are my thoughts on SureTrader after using it for more than year?
- Minimum account balance is 500$
- 6:1 Margin
- Quick executions
- Easy and fast funding
- No PDT rule
- High commissions
- Margin restrictions on some low float stocks
- Slow customer support response time
- Often problems with orders and buying power
- No available shorts on low float stocks
You might say quite a lot of cons but I am saying how it is. Sometimes these things leave you frustrated and mess with your trading. As I am just a beginner trader (trading for about 1 year and 3 months) and didn’t had always big funds available, I traded small accounts. Was topping up up to 2000$ and mostly traded low float small cap stocks.
Account balance and Leverage.
When I first started out, 500$ minimum balance and 6:1 leverage sounded very tempting. I would recommend to top up account with at least 1000$ because if you loose some money on smaller account you might to need to top it up again if it goes under 500$. And I found it more difficult to build account from under 1000$ balance, it is possible but more difficult.
6:1 leverage or some leverage is a must for small accounts. If you have 1000$ equity then by applying 6:1 leverage, you have 6000$ buying power. You say – COOL! But there comes in one of CONS – not all stocks are leveraged. You can get get 6:1 leverage on stocks over 3$, so it means if you have 1000$ account balance and want to buy 2$ stock, you don’t have leverage on it, you can buy only 500 shares max. And if you have 600$ account – it is 300 shares maximum. And by applying 4.95$ one way minimum commission, its almost 10$ for buy and sell and it adds up quickly for small account. If you don’t have bigger wins than 20c, you are trading just for commissions.
One more thing on leverage. You see 4$ low float moving on momentum you press buy and nothing happens, you see message – not enough buying power -. Then you have a look on buying power and it is enough, and later you see message – stock has been put on 1:1 leverage, it means you can use just your account balance to trade this stock, NO margin. This sometimes leave you quite frustrated. You had good set up, but by pressing hotkey or sending out an order it gets cancelled and you watch how stock rips higher and higher. Then after missing a good and planed trade you get emotional and fuck up rest of trading. SureTrader explains its been put for margin restriction due to volatility. But volatility is where the money is.
It is 2:1 leverage if you hold something over night.
Commissions and Fees.
When it comes to commissions SureTrader gets expensive, I am sure there is more expensive brokers but for small account it’s killing.
In SureTrader you can get cheaper commissions when you have high volume trading. Minimum is 0.01$ with 4.95$ per trade for up to 250,000 shares traded in month and no more than 50$ on trade. If you trading small account, it’s nearly impossible to get cheaper commissions.
0-250,000 shares traded per month – 0.01$ per share, minimum 4.95$ per trade – 50$ max per trade
250,001-500,000 shares traded per month – 0.008$ per share, minimum 3.95$ per trade – 50$ max per trade
500,001-750,000 shares traded per month – 0.006$ per share, minimum 2.95$ per trade – 50$ max per trade
750,001-1,000,000 shares traded per month – 0.004$ per share, minimum 1.95$ per trade – 50$ max per trade
Recently they have changed commission rates on routing and now offer ZERO routing fees, that’s at least some additional money saving for customers.
- Margin or Equity call fee is 25$ plus 25$ trade desk fee = 50$
- Outgoing fund fee – 40$
- Inactivity fee (if under 15 trades quarterly) = 50$
- Call-in trades are an additional $25 per trade
- Trade fee 1 is $0.0000256 of the total dollar amount of securities sold. It is assessed for all SELL orders and is added to any total commissions charged.
- Trade fee 2 is FINRA TAF Fee. This fee is $0.000119 per share of securities sold ($0.002 per option contract) with a maximum of $5.95 per trade. This fee is assessed on all SELL orders and is added to any total commission charged.
- Holding positions on margin overnight are subject to an interest rate of 7.5% APR (annualized)
- Overnight Short Fee – 0.5% Fee charged on short positions held overnight (calculation is based on Market Closing Price).
Trading Platforms and Tools.
SureTrader is offering 3 types of platforms – SureTrader Desktop starting at 49$ Monthly, SureTrader ActiveWeb – free and SureTrader Mobile – 35$ monthly. If you using SureTrader Desktop, mobile comes for free.
I’m using SureTrader Desktop 49$ + Market depth data 40$ + Regional LVL2 quotes 15$ = 104$ monthly.
It all depends what you trading and what tools you need.
For extra 25$ dollars monthly you can add news block. (Little cheat sheet – you can read Headlines without paying 25$ fee, just when clicking on it it not gonna open. Sometimes headline is all you need).
Their platform is based on DAS TRADER PRO software which I found very fast and has amazing charts and Hot key possibilities.
You can see some pictures HERE how it looks like.
What can I say… I like trading platform a lot… It’s easily accessible, it’s very fast and have good hot key options.
There is some of what I am using.
This is where is the struggle. I haven’t tried to reach them by phone yet but by reading out other reviews I can say, they are not the best. Some of them are:
- Long waiting on phone lines – can loose money while waiting
- Long response times on Online chat
- Having technical problems all the time
I usually just used online support and usually it had slow response or no response at all. Sometimes needed to open Support ticket and wait for replay in email.
When chatting, stuff seemed polite and tried to help to resolve problem.
Opening a new account
I remember when I first tried to open account it took me around 3 weeks with all the funding. Up on opening account, they will ask a photo of an ID and Photo or copy of Utility bill. At the start I found this registration quite time consuming, but later funding took like about 3 days.
As I’m based in UK I liked that they have UK bank account and you can send GBP without extra transfer fee. Like additional international transfer fee.
Suretrader is good broker if you’r trying to escape PDT rule or if you don’t have big funds available. Sometimes on slow markets it’s hard to trade because commissions eats all of your profits. But I would still recommend SureTrader as broker.
If you are a beginner trader – SureTrader is a good option especially if you don’t have 25k to put in your account. And I would say it’s a bigger risk because you can loose all 25k if you lacking money management skills. Its better to loose 1000$ small account than 25k savings or credit card dept.
We have seen some people build 500-1000$ accounts to 100,000$ in few months. Ross took 580$ and made 100,000$ in three months in start of 2017 and he was using suretrader. Magic Mike recently did it in 8 months. Now he’s doing small account challenge again. It is hard but it is possible.
Overall I don’t like their margin limitations on some fast moving stocks, but like their software and hotkey options.
They have available DEMO platform, if you are interested you just can try it out for no charge. And for new traders SureTrader is offering 50$ in free trades if you top up account with 1000$.
I gonna be switching to different broker soon. I’m looking for broker with more available borrows for short selling low float stocks. Will try it out and then I can compare which is better and why.
Trough all my trading journey I finally have found a excellent broker for beginner traders. Wasn’t sure until I tried it myself. It’s tradenet. They not gonna kill you with commissions, broker fees or borrow fees, yes its CFD but feels like you using direct access broker. Now I regret that I didnt use them earlier. You already saving when opening account. They got multiple funded account options available. And you saving a lot of money. If you are interested, message me and I can get you a discount.