About 6 weeks ago when I started learning the ins and outs of trading, I began taking note of the different trading platforms in use by others. I found that a lot of people use either E*Trade Pro or DAS Trader Pro. Because E*Trade is one of the biggest brokers, I just assumed that most people use their software and services.
I had absolutely no idea how much it really cost to buy and sell a stock using E*Trade until I conducted my very first trade. They charge $9.99 to buy, then another $9.99 to sell. In total, a round trip trade costs around $20.00. Especially as a newbie, I know for sure that $20.00 per trade is way more than I care to spend when Day Trading.
I started searching the web to see which brokers were the cheapest, yet offered the most bang for a small accounts buck. The broker I kept running into was SureTrader.
As I began to look into SureTrader, I quickly discovered a number of benefits that other brokers don’t or can’t offer. The first and most notable benefit is being able to avoid the Pattern Day Trader rules. SureTrader is located in the Bahamas. Because they are not on US soil, they are not subject to all of the rules set forth by our SEC.
I’m not a lawyer, nor do I have advanced knowledge when it comes to international affairs. I believe as an American citizen we have the right to open offshore banking accounts as long as we claim everything on our yearly taxes.
With SureTrader, account holders have to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the government in the Bahamas. Luckily, the Bahamas International Securities Exchange does not enforce a limit on the number of trades you can do each week.
Being able to avoid the pattern day trader rule is an awesome advantage over US brokers, but the biggest thing that drew me to SureTrader was the cost. They charge $4.95 per trade or roughly $10.00 per round-trip trade. That’s half of what I’m paying with E*Trade. The cost savings alone of worth making the switch!
For those who short stocks, SureTrader was design with you in mind. Using the SureTrader ActiveWeb Online Trading Platform to buy and sell stocks, you’ll know immediately if a stock can be shorted or not.
With other platforms, I don’t think its this easy. With E*Trade Pro, I was never able to find a way to tell if a stock was short-able. SureTrader was designed with beginning day traders in mind. They feature more than 10,000 stock symbols and claim to be the best Penny Stock broker on the planet.
SureTrader also offers up to 6:1 intraday leverage for stocks above $3 per share. Accounts with $500 or more are able to use leverage. I believe with E*Trade, you must have $2,000 in your account to use leverage. I’ve never used this, but plan to use 20% to 30% leverage in the future.
To fund a SureTrader account, you can use a credit card, Skrill account or bank wire. I filled out the credit card application and my funds were available the next day. As you may have read in my previous posts. For some odd reason, it takes 3 to 4 business days for E*Trade to process and make funds available.
Normally the DAS Pro platform runs $200 per month. SureTrader has branded the DAS Pro platform as the SureTrader Pro Desktop Software. They charge $49 per month which is a huge savings over retail, and half the cost of E*Trade Pro.
The base software package is excellent for charting and placing buy/sell orders. For day traders, there are two additional services that you’ll need. Those are Market Depth Data Access and Regional Quotes (Basic Level 2).
The plan for me is to use SureTrader until I reach a sufficient amount of money. When that time comes, I’ll open additional broker accounts to spread my money out. This will give me more of a chance to short stocks that SureTrader may not have. From what I hear, Interactive Brokers and Center Point Securities are among the best brokers, but you have to have $10,000 to open an account.
I’ll stick with SureTrader as I’m learning the ropes. $10.00 round trip trades and no pattern day trader rules make them a no-brainer for small account holders like me.
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