Zacks Trade Review 2021: 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.

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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

None

no promotion available at this time

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
SoFi Active Investing
TD Ameritrade
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Fees

$0.01

per share

Fees

$0

per trade

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$2,500

Account Minimum

$0

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Promotion

$5 to $1,000

in free stock for users who sign up via mobile app

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

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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

Account minimum

$2,500

Stock trading costs

One cent per share, with a $1 minimum.

Options trades

$1 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. • Fractional shares. • Bonds. • Mutual funds. • ETFs. • Options.

Trading platform

Three free platforms: Zacks Trade Pro offers extensive tools and customizable format for active traders; Zacks Trader is a scaled-down, web-based version; Client Portal allows for simple trades and provides access to account documents and balances.

Mobile app

The Handy Trader app lets you trade stocks, options and more, plus monitor your portfolio.

Research and data

More than 20 free research reports and access to 80 premium trials.

Customer support options (including website transparency)

Phone, chat and email support Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time, including access to a broker at no extra cost.

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 $27.50 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 three trading platforms, all 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. 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).Zacks also offers Client Portal, which provides access to account documents and balances and can facilitate simple trades, as well as a mobile app called Handy Trader.

International investors and foreign stock exchanges. Because of the broker's relationship with Interactive Brokers, Zacks is available in 218 countries and territories; customers can trade on more than 90 international exchanges.

Customer service. While Zacks' phone and chat lines are staffed only during regular business hours (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday), 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 Interactive Brokers. 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

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