Editorial Review

Zacks Trade Review 2020: Pros, Cons and How It Compares

Zacks Trade offers penny-a-share trades, a robust trading platform and, unlike most brokers, doesn't charge extra for broker-assisted trades.

Andrea CoombesJanuary 3, 2020

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Zacks Trade

on Zacks Trade's website

on Zacks Trade's website

Fees

$0.01

per share

Account Minimum

$2,500

Promotion

$1

minimum trade cost

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Ample research offerings.

  • Robust trading platform.

  • Access to international exchanges.

Cons

  • Trails competitors on commissions.

  • High account minimum.

Compare to Similar Brokers

Zacks Trade
TD Ameritrade
Fees

$0.01

per share

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$2,500

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

$1

minimum trade cost

Promotion

Up to $600

cash credit with qualifying deposit

Full Review

Zacks Trade is an online brokerage firm committed to active traders and investors, offering penny-per-share trades and a robust trading platform. 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.

Zacks Trade is best for:

  • Active traders.

  • Investors seeking access to a human broker.

  • Investors looking to trade on foreign stock exchanges.

  • Options traders.

Zacks Trade at a glance

Where Zacks Trade shines

Commissions. Zacks charges just a penny per trade for stocks worth $1 or more. There's a $1 minimum. To trade penny stocks, you'll pay 1% of the trade's value, with a $1 minimum. Options cost $1 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 $12.55 and Zacks offers zero no-transaction-fee funds.

Research. Zacks Trade offers investors free access to more than 20 research and news reports, including Zacks Investment Research, plus about 80 subscription reports, at varying prices.

Trading platform. Zacks offers two trading platforms, both of which are free and available to all customers. Among other features, the downloadable Zacks Trade Pro lets you customize the layout to suit your needs, offers custom charting, more than 120 technical indicators and an Options Strategy Lab to help you assess how profitable an options trade might be. The web-based Zacks Trader is the lower-calorie version of the Pro platform, offering interactive charts, streaming market data and other tools. There's also a mobile app, Handy Trader. All of these tools are created by Interactive Brokers, another discount broker, and Zacks Trade simply rebrands them for its own customers (more on this below).

Foreign stock exchanges. Zacks customers can trade on more than 90 international exchanges.

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: access to a broker, for free. 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 Trade charges just a penny per share, plenty of brokers offer free trades, including Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade and Interactive Brokers. 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.

The bottom line

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.

Zacks is a good fit for people who are relatively savvy, active investors but 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.

on Zacks Trade's website