Zacks Trade is an online brokerage firm committed to active traders and investors, offering penny-per-share trades and a robust trading platform. The name might ring a bell — its sister company, Zacks Investment Research, is well-known for stock analysis and research reports. Unusual in the world of discount brokers, Zacks offers free broker-assisted trades, so if you’re at all likely to seek help making a trade, Zacks could be a good choice.
- Commissions: $0.01 per share, with a $3 minimum.
- Account minimum: $2,500.
- Promotion: The minimum trade is just $1 until 2020 for those who fund an account by May 31.
Zacks Trade is best for:
- Active traders.
- Investors seeking access to a human broker.
- Investors looking to trade on foreign exchanges.
- Options traders.
Zacks Trade at a glance
|Stock trading costs||One cent per share, with a $3 minimum|
|Options trades||$3 for first contract and 75 cents for each additional one|
|Account fees (annual, transfer, closing, inactivity)||None (one free withdrawal per month, after which it's $1 for ACH, $4 for a check and $10 for a wire)|
|Number of commission-free ETFs||None|
|Number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds||None|
|Tradable securities||• Stocks
• Mutual funds
|Trading platform||Two free platforms: one with extensive tools and customizable format for active traders, the other a scaled-down, web-based version|
|Mobile app||App lets you trade stocks, options and more, plus monitor your portfolio|
|Research and data||Extensive research reports, both free and paid|
|Customer support options (including website transparency)||Phone, chat and email support 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Mon.-Fri.|
|Promotion||The minimum trading cost is $1, instead of $3, until 2020, for those who fund an account by May 31.|
Where Zacks Trade shines
Commissions. It’s tough to find trading commissions as cheap as a penny, which is what Zacks charges to trade stocks worth $1 or more. There’s a $3 minimum. To trade penny stocks, you’ll pay 1% of the trade’s value, with a $3 minimum. Options cost $3 for the first contract and 75 cents for each additional one, with no exercise or assignment fee. But if you want to focus on mutual funds, Zacks isn’t ideal: Trades cost $27.50 and Zacks offers zero no-transaction-fee funds.
Research. Zacks Trade offers investors free access to 26 research and news reports, including Zacks Investment Research, plus another 87 subscription reports, at varying prices.
Trading platform. Zacks offers two tools: the downloadable ZacksTrade Pro, which lets you customize the layout to suit your needs, and the web-based ZacksTrader, the low-calorie version of their Pro platform. There’s also a mobile app, Handy Trader. All of these tools are created by Interactive Brokers, another discount broker, and ZacksTrade simply rebrands them for its own customers (more on this below).
Foreign exchanges. Zacks customers can trade on 91 exchanges in 19 countries, often for a commission of 0.3% of trade value (though commissions vary).
Customer service. While Zacks’ phone and chat lines are staffed only during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern), the company offers a rare service: a dedicated broker, assigned to you. You’ll even get that broker’s direct desk line. Plus, unlike pretty much every other broker out there, Zacks doesn’t charge an extra fee for making trades over the phone, so if you often find yourself without internet service, or just wanting a little extra help, Zacks could be a good solution for you.
Where Zacks Trade falls short
Commissions. Wait, you might be saying — how can Zacks shine on commissions, but also fall short? Here’s how: While Zacks Brokers charges just a penny per share, Interactive Brokers charges half of that. And, as noted above, Zacks uses IB’s trading platforms and mobile app. If you’re a do-it-yourself investor looking for the cheapest trades out there, consider IB. Where Zacks really stands out is that free access to a live broker. If you might ever want to talk to a human broker, consider Zacks.
How Zacks Trade stacks up
» Want to compare Zacks to more brokers? Check out our picks for best online brokers
Is Zacks Trade right for you?
Zacks offers basically what Interactive Brokers offers — same platform, same mobile app — but at a slightly higher price in exchange for better customer service, including free broker-assisted trades and a “dedicated rep” (you get that person’s direct phone line).
Zacks is a good fit for people who are relatively savvy, active investors but who aren’t yet ready to go it entirely alone and might want a little hand-holding and/or a backup plan for their online trades.