Last Updated: June 18, 2021
FINRA and SEC
$0.01 per share
Individual, joint, custody, IRA, trust
The past decade has been among the best for investors. Returns have risen, trading has become more accessible than ever, and the stock market has remained in its 2009 bullish state. Compared to the history of bull markets and the fact they lasted for less than five years, this is quite an achievement.
To make the best out of this robust market and thrive as a stock trader, you need a good and reliable online brokerage. Sometimes, however, it might be tough to find the right broker to suit your needs and trading style.
With our Zacks Trade review, we’ll try to figure out why it’s considered one of the best brokerage firms and help you decide whether it qualifies as your platform of choice.
What Is Zacks Trade?
Zacks Trade is an online broker oriented towards active investors who prefer having control over their investments instead of using robo-advisors. The Chicago-based company was launched back in 1978 by brothers Len and Ben Zacks, the Zacks Investment Research founders.
The stock brokerage firm arose from a partnership with industry peer Interactive Brokers. Practically, the company merged Zack Investment Research’s tools with the IBRK investment capacities. So, if you’re familiar with IBKR, you may notice some similarities between the two brokerages.
And is Zack Trade regulated? As suggested by Zacks Trade’s history and backing, you don’t need to worry about the company’s legitimacy. Prestigious US authorities — the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) — oversee the company’s operations.
Who is Zacks Trade best for?
Zacks Trade is geared towards experienced investors, specifically day traders who favor US and foreign stocks, bonds, and funds at rather low commissions and fees. Also, traders who seek occasional help from a professional broker or want to carry out extensive research may find this top stock brokerage quite appealing.
Even though novice investors are accepted, they might find the Zacks trade platform a bit too confusing.
How to Use Zacks Trade?
Zacks Trade users have three different platforms (each of which we’ll discuss later) at their disposal. Given its recommended minimum deposit, Zacks Trade is suitable for traders who are willing to invest more money, borrow on margin, and trade stocks frequently.
Naturally, to start trading, you need to open an account and make your first deposit.
What are the account types?
There are two main Zacks Trade account categories:
- Accounts for institutions
- Accounts for individuals
In case you’d like to see how the brokerage works before joining, the Zacks Trade demo account offers just that. It allows you to test the platform in real-time but without risking any of your investments.
Individual traders or investors may opt for individual, joint, or IRA accounts. As a parent or custodian, you have an option to open a UGMA or UTMA account for your minor child.
Note, however, that IRA and custody accounts are available only for US clients.
What are the account requirements?
Although Zacks Trade is US-based, it accepts clients from over 200 countries. Still, they won’t have access to all services or account types.
As with other brokerage firms, the first necessary step before you start trading or investing is opening an account. It’s worth mentioning that, according to many Zacks Trade reviews, the opening process is a bit tedious and may last longer than usual. The verification can also take up to one week.
Although everything is fully digital, it’s too complicated at times. The application form takes about an hour to complete, and there are nine steps. During the process, Zacks Trade will ask you to:
- Provide personal name, phone number, and email address
- Choose the preferred account type
- Confirm your email address
- Add location, home address, and phone number
- Reveal your employment status and income details
- Select a security question
- Disclose your trading experience and set your goals
- Verify your identity and residence by providing a snapshot of your passport, ID, or driver’s license and utility bills
How to start trading?
Once you’ve met all Zacks Trade requirements, the time has come to start investing. With the demo account, you have $1 million in virtual funds at your disposal to trade all the available assets before you’re ready to use real money.
Officially, you need $0 to place your first trade. Yet, the recommended Zacks Trade minimum deposit is $2,500.
As mentioned above, Zacks Trade is a good match for experienced and self-directed traders. Yet, the company offers assistance from a human broker should you happen to need any guidance with your investments or trades. Keep in mind that the professional brokers are available only during the company’s office hours.
What can you trade?
Zacks Trade includes the same assets as the majority of US brokerages. Its vast product range includes:
As soon as you make a Zacks Trade deposit, you’ll be able to trade on a large number of international stock exchange markets such as NASDAQ, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and the London Stock Exchange (LSE). In addition to standard stocks, you can tap into the Zacks Trade penny stocks trading options.
If you’re an ETF investor, Zacks Trade will be the best online broker due to its huge selection of securities to choose from. Furthermore, US clients may trade a vast collection of mutual funds but only on the US territory. In terms of bonds, Zacks Trade includes both US and EU government and corporate bonds. The offer, however, is not as rich as with other brokerages.
Unfortunately, there’s no Zacks Trade crypto or forex trading offering.
Which tools are available?
The brokerage includes a range of powerful and robust tools. The best place to learn about and use them is the Zacks Trade Pro dashboard.
Some of the tools include (but are not limited to):
- Algos — algorithms that discover uncommon market patterns that traders with poorer equipment might overlook and which standard charting tools won’t catch
- Market Scanners — Zacks Trade’s stock screener software
- Basket Trader — a handy way that allows high-volume traders to import and place bulk trades
- Labs — including advanced options strategies, probability, and market volatility analysis
- Spread Trader — a framework for coming up with and placing complex orders promptly and accurately
- Rebalance portfolio — an automated rebalancing tool that removes the need to execute individual trades.
Our Zacks Trade review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the platform’s research tools. Namely, all clients have access to market research subscriptions to prominent names such as Morningstar, The Motley Fool, Dow Jones, and Thomson Reuters.
Note, though, that these research tools are not all free. You’ll need to pay for some of them.
How does the platform work?
As we’ve already mentioned, Zacks Trade offers three trading platforms — the web-based venue, Client Portal and Zacks Trade Pro.
The Zacks Trade Pro is the company’s flagship product which customers praise in numerous Zacks Trade reviews. You can use it on your desktop or laptop. It offers a refined trading environment you can customize to suit your trading style and needs. You have an opportunity to create custom charting tools that will monitor your preferred datasets and technical indicators.
Additionally, you can create customized watchlists to track your securities, industries, or asset classes. Lastly, Zacks Trade Pro supports real-time data for which you can set alerts and notifications according to your needs.
The browser-based platform is primarily intended for beginners who need a simplified stock broker. It’s stripped off many powerful tools and customization options provided by the pro version.
Is there a Client Portal?
The Client Portal is a path to your Zacks Trade account management. This is an administrative portal that allows you to review your account and payment settings. In addition, you can execute your trades and manage your deposits and withdrawals.
Although it supports some basic investing features, the Client Portal is far less robust and comprehensive than Zacks Trade Pro.
Zacks Trade Fees
Even though Zacks Trade isn’t among thе online investment companies that offer no-commission trading, its fees are not very high. Plus, the broker doesn’t charge any non-trading fees, such as withdrawal or inactivity fees. The stocks and ETFs commissions are low as well, which can’t be said for mutual funds.
Zacks Trade margin rates depend on your balance and the traded currency. The highest rate charged for loans in USD amounts to 3.59%. And when it comes to Zacks Trade commissions, they also vary according to the assets you’re trading.
For further information about the fees and commissions, check out the table below.
|Stocks and ETFs (more than $1 per share)||$0.01 per share (*$1 minimum)|
|Stocks & ETFs (less than $1 per share)||1% of Trade Value (*$1 minimum)|
|Options||$1 for First Contract + $0.75 per additional|
|Options Exercise / Assignment Fee||$0|
|Mutual Fund Trades (more than $1 per share)||$27.50|
|Corporate Bonds up to 10,000 Face Value||0.1% * Face Value + $3 per bond|
|Corporate Bonds Remaining Face Value||$0.025% * Face Value + $3 per bond|
|Government Bonds Up to $1 Million Face Value||0.025% * Face Value + $3 per bond|
|Government Bonds Remaining Face Value||0.005% * Face Value + $3 per bond|
|Broker Assisted Trades||No Extra Charge|
Zacks Trade Mobile App
Apart from an excellent desktop platform, Zacks Trade has developed a mobile app for investors who prefer smartphones to computers. Referred to as Handy Trader, the app has the same features as the Client Portal. The difference between the two is that the Zacks Trade app is more convenient for use than the Portal.
Another great feature that helps the app stand out from the competition is iBot. This is an innovative chatbot you can use to place or close an order, or quickly obtain basic asset information.
Zacks Trade Customer Service
In addition to a human broker who is there to offer a piece of advice regarding executing trades, Zacks Trade’s client support is at your disposal should you come across any issues. The support is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. You can reach it via phone, email, or live chat.
Alternatively, you can refer to the company’s FAQ and How-to sections.
Zacks Trade Alternatives
Since the goal of our comprehensive Zacks Trade review is to make sure whether it really deserves the title of the best online brokerage, we’ll now compare it to its competition.
Zacks Trade vs Interactive Brokers
Given the fact that Zacks Trade emerged from a partnership with IBKR, it’s no wonder why the two stock broker companies have a lot of similar features. Yet, we’ll focus on the differences here.
You can start trading with $0 at IBKR, as opposed to the recommended Zacks Trade minimum deposit of $2,500. Additionally, you can trade stocks without commission with IBKR, while Zacks Trade charges you per trade.
Regarding options, IBKR asks for $0.65 per contract, whereas futures per contract are charged $0.85. The mutual funds fee amounts to $14.95 compared to the Zacks Trade fee of $27.50.
Regarding non-trading charges, IBKR (particularly its Lite package) and Zacks Trade have no inactivity fee.
Zacks Trade vs Robinhood
Unlike Zacks Trade, which is designed for experienced and active traders, Robinhood is a better choice for beginners. Plus, it charges no trading fees, nor it requires any deposit provided that your trade stocks, options, and ETFs.
The minimum deposit for margin trades with Robinhood is $2,000, but you’ll need to upgrade to a Gold account, which costs $5 per month. If you’re into day trading, you’ll need to deposit $25,000.
Zacks Trade vs TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade is yet another best online stock broker for beginners. There are no annual or inactivity fees, and you can trade stocks and ETFs at $0 commission. Yet, the brokerage charges $0.65 per contract for an options trade, whereas the Zacks Trade options fee starts at $1 per contract.
To conclude, we’ll discuss what we liked and didn’t like about Zacks Trade.
Possibly the greatest downfall of the Zacks Trade broker is the slow registration process. It can take several days before your account is opened and verified. And although it accepts investors from different countries while using Zacks Trade non-US citizens face some limitations.
Unlike most trading websites that allow you to start trading with $0, the recommended Zacks Trade minimum deposit is $2,500. This might not be a huge amount for seasoned traders, but it could be too much for beginners. Additionally, the trading platform and research tools are not suitable for newbies due to their complexity.
Still, the company grants assistance from a human broker, should you ever need their help or have any questions regarding investing. The only minor drawback is that the support is available only during the company’s office hours.
With all that said, if you’re an experienced and active trader, Zacks Trade will undoubtedly be one of the best online trading sites for you. The broker offers a wide variety of securities you can trade at a low commission. The mobile app adds convenience to your trading experience, while the safety of your funds and personal information is as high as possible.
- Extensive trading and analytics tools
- Ample assets offerings
- Free broker-assisted trading
- Excellent customer service
- Robust trading platform
- High account minimum
- Too complicated for beginners
- High mutual funds commission
Is Zacks Trade legit?
Yes, it’s legit. Zacks Trade is a subsidiary of Zacks Investment Research, a reputable investment research company founded in 1978. The platform is available to traders and investors in more than 200 countries worldwide, covering 91 stock exchanges in 19 countries.
Is Zacks Trade regulated?
Yes, the company is regulated by two top-tier regulatory bodies — the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The two bodies regulate all eminent stock trade websites. Plus, your account is covered by Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).
Is Zacks Trade safe?
You can rest assured that all your credentials are safe with Zacks Trade. In addition to the unique username and password that you create upon registration, you receive a security code you enter every time you want to log in. This serves as an additional layer of security to your trading account. Furthermore, the company uses 128-bit SSL encryption to secure the connection between you and the Zacks Trade website.
Is Zacks Trade good?
Zacks Trade is good for its target user base. If you’re new to the realm of online stock market trade, Zack Trade, and all its features may be too robust and complicated for you. But if you’re a veteran investor who knows how to make use of the powerful research tools discussed in our Zacks Trade review, you can consider the company as one of the best online trading platforms.