Please Note: TradeMonster is no longer available. The company merged with OptionsHouse in 2014.
This is my no fluff review of tradeMONSTER's free paper trading account.
This review does not reveal everything that the free paper trading account offers.
The review only outlines the major aspects that were of interest to me.
I highly recommend that you check them out for yourself. Unlike some of their competitors, they provide a convenient way for you to test out their trading platform.
I had been hearing about tradeMONSTER for some time, but since it's a fairly new broker I stayed clear of them until I could learn a bit more about them.
I finally found the time to open up a free paper trading account and tested out their trading platform. I've been reviewing their service for the last few weeks and I thought I'd give you a review of my experience.
The first benefit that I noticed is that unlike my other two brokerage accounts, (thinkorswim and optionsXpress) I did not have to open up a regular brokerage account to access the paper trading account.
It's been awhile since I opened up my thinkorswim and optionsXpress accounts, but with both accounts I had to go through the lengthy application process and fund the account in order to gain access to their free paper trading account.
Opening up a free paper trading account at tradeMONSTER was much easier!
All I had to do was fill out a short form that took less than a minute and hit submit. It took me straight to the trading platform. Short and sweet, just the way I like it.
Signing up for tradeMONSTER's free paper trading account is ideal for...
Through tradeMONSTER's free paper trading account, you can experience all the features of a regular account without using your own money.
It's a zero-risk real world experience of trading.
So if you transition from a free paper trading account to a regular brokerage account or IRA, it should be a smooth transition as you will already be familiar with the trading platform.
They give you $50,000 to trade with and a $100,000 margin.
When I initially opened my paper trading account, I did not have the chance to look around and figure out how things worked. I immediately logged out.
A few days later I found a trade I wanted to make so I figured this would be an ideal opportunity to test out tradeMONSTER's trading platform.
I went in blind. I didn't know how the trading platform worked, I didn't watch any video tutorials, or read any help instructions.
Can you guess what happened?
Within 5 minutes I had successfully executed two trades and had their orders filled. And for one of the trades, I even had to go back in and modify my bid price. I was able to do all of that without even knowing how tradeMONSTER's trading platform worked.
Now what I did was risky, but hey… it's a free paper trading account so I had nothing to lose. Buying and selling was pretty easy. You click on the stock option you want to buy and there's a green button that says "BUY" and a red button that says "SELL."
Now granted I've been trading for many years, so over time I began to get a feel for how to place orders. The companies may change and their order screens are all completely different, but the basics stay the same.
However, I admit if tradeMONSTER's trading platform wasn't so easy to use, I would have had to fumble around awhile like I did with my first thinkorswim trade.
TradeMonster's trading platform is web-based so there is no software to download on your computer. You can trade from anywhere you like.
No need to drag your laptop on vacation with you (yes I'm guilty of doing that).
I like it because my thinkorswim software I downloaded on my computer works fine until my virus scan comes on, then my computer locks up.
I can't tell you how many times I was in the middle of a trade when my computer locked up. Thinkorswim does have the capability to trade through a browser-based platform like tradeMONSTER, but I'm not too crazy about it.
TradeMonster also has a "drag and drop" feature that is pretty unique for a trading platform. You can customize your trading screen by using the "drag and drop" function to move menus around.
They also have a mutual fund screener and a list of mutual funds that they offer. This is important as you should not have all of your available trading capital tied up in stock options.
One interesting thing that happened while I was testing out the platform was that I placed an order to buy stock options after market hours (8:09 PM EST) to see what message I would get. I was rather surprised when it said my order was filled.
What the heck? That's not realistic and it could throw some new traders off.
You're generally suppose to get some kind of message that the markets are closed and your trade will be executed at the opening of the next trading day OR your order should just sit there as an open order until the next morning.
No more calculating your stop losses by hand or through an excel spreadsheet. They have this really cool stop loss calculator and exit plan function. Discovering this alone was worth the time it took to test out the trading platform.
When you place any trade, you have the option to enter in your exit strategy and any alerts will be sent via email or as a pop-up on the site. You can set your exit plan by Price, Price Change, or Price % Change.
The mere fact that tradeMONSTER even has an "exit plan" function means they are serious about helping you become a successful trader because EVERY, and I mean EVERY trader should have an exit plan for EVERY trade. I think you get the point.
They don't have quite as many studies (technical indicators) to apply, but they have the most important ones that I use.
Also, once I applied the indicators to the chart I had to scroll down to see them. This was a minor annoyance.
They have lower options trading commissions than their competitors, .50 per contract with a $12.50 minimum per order. You can take a look at tradeMONSTER's pricing here.
Yes, I even tested out their customer service.
I tried their live help feature and the experience was good. I didn't have to wait long for an operator to respond and he answered my questions to my satisfaction.
There was one question he could not answer so he directed me to their contact form on the website.
When you submit an e-mail to support this is the e-mail you will receive:
"Thank you for contacting us! We have received your inquiry and are assigning it to a representative. You can expect to receive a response from us within one business day."
One business day great! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 DAYS LATER I FINALLY GOT A RESPONSE!
And then to top it off my issue was still not resolved. All the person did was ask more questions. The annoying part was that the answers to those questions were in my first e-mail.
I politely explained that I was annoyed and copied my original e-mail within the body and highlighted the information he was looking for.
Roughly 12 hours later, my issue was resolved. Now that was a better response time! So they were 1 for 1 with regards to their response time.
I assume they took so long to respond the first time because they are being bombarded with so many new members signing up. You know how it is. A new company grows so fast that sometimes the staff has a hard time keeping pace with the growth.
Besides, it's not like I haven't had a bad customer service experience with my other brokers.
My other two brokers, optionsXpress and thinkorswim, have a huge head start on tradeMONSTER so I can't expect them to have all the nifty resources and reading material as everyone else.
For those who may consider opening up an account at tradeMONSTER…
If you become frustrated because they don't have all the bells and whistles as other brokerage accounts, I'd say be patient.
I believe great things are going to come from tradeMONSTER.
After all, it was started by 3 trading veterans and respected investment industry experts - Jon Najarian, Pete Najarian, and Dirk Mueller - which all have more than 20 years of experience cultivating financial and technology-driven businesses.
Here are some of the additional benefits of opening an account with tradeMONSTER:
Ultimately, free is still free no matter how many ways you look at it. And the great thing about tradeMONSTER'S free paper trading account is that it takes less than a minute to open.
Don’t just take my word for it though. You won't ever know what they have to offer until you check them out for yourself…don't miss out on the next big thing.
Regards, Trader Travis
P.S. And for all you Twitter fans who don't like to be confined to your brokerages forum tradeMONSTER has integrated their trading platform with Twitter.
Does your broker offer that service?
Check it out the FREE paper trading account at tradeMONSTER's for yourself. Visit https://www.trademonster.com
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