Investing » Broker Reviews » Zacks Trade Review 2021: focuses on individual traders
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Zacks Trade Review 2021: focuses on individual traders

With a vast experience in brokerage services, Zacks Trade focuses on individual traders. From trading products to benefits & limitations - our full review.

We may receive compensation from companies that appear on this page. This may impact how and where products appear on a page (including, for example, the order in which they appear). It doesn’t affect our unbiased editors’ opinions. our opinions are our own.

Zacks Trade Review

A brokerage house from Chicago, United States, Zacks Trade serves traders for more than four decades. It offers the U.S. and international traders access to over 91 exchanges in 19 countries, and it is renowned for its reputable research department that helps traders finding opportunities in the market.

A global broker, Zacks Trade charges no inactivity or maintenance fee, and trading starts with as low as $1 in commissions or fees. Zacks Trade is an online broker dedicated to traders and investors from all over the world that emphasizes stocks and options trading.

Having an account with Zacks Trade gives you the possibility to trade on U.S., European, Asian and Australian markets, with competitive rates and decent execution.

Zacks Trade broker review

On Zacks Secure Website

Account Options

– Stocks / Options / Margin
– Fixed Income – Bonds, CDs
– Retirement

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

PROS

CONS

Zacks Trade is a popular U.S. Broker that may offer access to global financial markets, but it is less well known internationally. However, Zacks does accept international clients, which puts this company in a small group of regulated brokers that target clients globally. 

Zacks has a focus on international traders, offering low commissions and products catered more for individuals and active traders. There is also a simple and easy to understand commission and fee structure.

However, there are limited products on offer. Zacks Trade does not facilitate Forex trading. Additionally, many of the products have limited information. This focus on a limited number of products aims to create better trading conditions. Just be aware that Zacks lacks trading education and would benefit from a clearer presentation of account types and information. 

How Zacks Trade Work?

A popular broker in the United States, Zacks Trade is less known internationally despite offering access to global financial markets. The fact that it accepts international clients puts it in a select category of regulated brokers targeting clients worldwide.

Its product offering caters more for the individual, active trader, rather than institutional clients.

Also, the commissions and fees structure is simpler than at other brokers, and therefore easier to understand.

On the other hand, the product offering seems limited. There's no Forex trading with Zacks Trade, and the information for most of its products is limited (e.g., you can't tell before opening an account the number of mutual funds offered to trade). All in all, Zacks Trade focuses on a limited number of products with the aim of offering better trading conditions. In some ways, it managed to do that, especially in regard to the low margin rate.  

However, it lacks trading education, a better structure for the information presented on the website, and a clearer presentation of the account types and the markets offered to its customers. Support is provided via live chat, email or phone during the working hours.

Trading Products

When compared with other brokerage houses (e.g., Interactive Brokers, Firstrade, TradeStation, E-Trade), Zacks Trade has a significantly reduced product range. The explanation comes from the intense focus on offering only the products where it can successfully compete and where it can offer a true competitive advantage to its customers.

From one single trading account, the Zacks Trade customer has access to over 91 exchanges from all over the world for stocks and ETFs trading, and also to a wide range of options, mutual funds, corporate and U.S. government bonds.

Commissions and Fees

You can trade stocks and ETFs with Zacks Trade for $0.01 per share or a minimum of $1. Options trading comes at the cost of $1 for the first contract and then $0.75 for any additional contract to follow – options exercise/assignment is free of charge.

There’s only fixed commission when trading mutual funds, in the amount of $27.5. The fixed income commissioning is based on the face value for both corporate and U.S. government bonds. When trading corporate bonds, Zacks Trade charges 0.1% times the face value, plus an additional $3 for bonds up to $10,000 face value.

For the remaining face value, the commission falls to 0.025% times the face value plus $3 per bond. The threshold for U.S. government bonds increases to $1 million face value, and the broker charges 0.025% up to $1 million face value of 0.005% for the remaining face value plus $3/bond.

It is worth mentioning that the foreign commissions differ from the ones when trading U.S. products but have a similar structure. Also, most regulatory and exchange fees are included – when they exceed the advertised rate, the additional fees would be passed along to the client.

Perhaps the strongest inventive to trade with this brokerage house is the low margin rate.

It has one of the lowest, if not the lowest among its peers, charging only 5.08% interest when traders purchase financial instruments on margin and hold it overnight. As a comparison, Charles Schwab charges 9.325%, E-Trade 10.25%, and T.D. Ameritrade 10.25%.

Benefits

Margin rates are responsible for a big chunk of a broker’s revenue, and this is where Zacks Trade stands out of the crowd. Before opening a trading account, many traders look at general commissions and fees for trading, leaving margin rates unchecked when they are a major cost of trading.

Margin trading increased in popularity, and all brokerage houses offer the possibility to buy on margin. When you borrow money from a broker to purchase a stock, you pay interest for the loan from your brokerage. This way, you have more buying power than otherwise, albeit the risk increases as well.

Zacks Trade excels at this chapter – its margin rates are far lower than what competition has to offer.

Not all U.S. based brokerage houses accept non-US residents as their clients, but Zacks Trade does.

Therefore, non-US residents looking for a broker to tap U.S. markets may add Zacks Trade to the list.

An interesting feature is the research department. Zacks Trade brings together free and paid research subscriptions in one place, making it easier for the trader to stay informed and take the appropriate trading decision. 

While competitors usually charge for placing trades using a real person, Zacks trade opted to offer this service for free. It has the advantage that customers feel a real human presence at the other end and increases trust in the brokerage house.

In addition to the classic username and password system, Zacks Trade' clients use a security code device that generates a unique key (random numbers) that must be introduced at log in. This extra layer of security is designed to offer additional protection of accounts of all sizes.

Drawbacks

Surprisingly for a 21st century broker, Zacks Trade charges a withdrawal fee. The first withdrawal of every month is free, but any subsequent ones have a fee.

Other brokers make it clear from the start the types of the accounts available, with their different characteristics.

Not Zacks Trade. Digging through the FAQ on their website, some information exists about IRA and Roth IRA accounts, but that’s about all. For a broker that wants to convince investors to use its services, more information about the account types is needed.

For all account types, Zacks Trade imposes a minimum deposit requirement.
It varies based on the account type ($2,500 for most of the accounts, but it goes up to $110,000 for the Portfolio Margin account. This is not seen at other brokerage houses, and it makes it difficult for the active trader to cope with such conditions.

For instance, on the Portfolio Margin account, if the account drops below $100,000 at any one time, the trader is restricted from doing any margin-increased trades. 

Zacks Trade only lists the products offered to trade from the same trading account, but there are no additional details. For instance, it offers the possibility to trade mutual funds, but it doesn't specify the number of funds available to trade. The same goes for options and fixed income products.

While other brokers constantly invest in educated their customers to increase the retention rate, Zacks Trade completely ignores this aspect. There's no trading education product anywhere on their website, not to mention that even the basic trading platform presentation exists only in a rigid, unfriendly user guide, with no video presentation of the features it has to offer.

Trading Platforms

The broker successfully integrated various trading platforms in its offering so that the customer can access the trading account at any time. From mobile to desktop trading, Zacks Trade platforms covers all aspects of the day-to-day trading regardless of the physical location one may be at one point in time. 

Zacks Trade Pro

The flagship trading platform that allows a customizable view of all products to trade. Traders can create real-time alerts based on different elements (price, volume, time, margin) and create multiple watchlists for any type of security.

From a single trading account, one can trade stocks, options bonds, and funds from nineteen different countries – ideal for high-volume, active traders.

Client Portal

A simplified version of a trading platform, mostly having the purpose of managing the account settings, permissions, subscriptions, etc. However, traders can also use it for trading, albeit it allows placing and management of simple trades only.

Zacks Trader

A scaled-down version of the Zacks Trade Pro, the Zacks Trader is the web-based platform for the traders that want a simpler solution or can't access the Zacks Trade Pro.

Handy Trader

Trading on-the-go is a reality and a must for any respectable brokerage house. The solution offered by Zacks Trade suits both smartphones and tablets and gives access to the trading account for position management, a quick overview of the market – most features of the desktop version, without sacrificing functionality.

Account Types

Zacks Trade gives traders the possibility to open various account types, although it is difficult to find that info on the company’s website. However, during the application process of opening an account, more details are provided, and the trader is routed to the desired account type in a smooth manner.

  • Individual
  • Joint
  • Custodial
  • Trust
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Rollover IRA
  • SEP IRA
  • Corporate
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Corporation & Unincorporated Business
  • Reg T Margin
  • Portfolio margin

Minimum Deposit Requirements

There's a minimum deposit requirement of $2,500 or non-USD equivalent for all account types, with the exception of the Portfolio Margin account that needs a minimum of $110,000 to use it.

Also, for the Reg T Margin account, on top of the $2,500 minimum deposit requirement, the broker requires that the trader maintains $2,000 in the account at all times.

Application Process

Step 1: Visit the Zacks Trade homepage and click on “Open an account”.

1_Zacks Trade_Homepage

Step 2: Next, choose your account type, and then click “Continue.”

2_Zacks Trade_Get started

Step 3: Next, fill in your email address and then create a username, and password.

3_Zacks Trade_Account type

Also, indicate the country or region where you are residing.

4_Zacks Trade_Create Account

Step 3: Next, an email will be sent to you.

5_Zacks Trade_Check and confirm email

Check and confirm your account.

Alternative Brokers

Here are our 3 choices of brokers which can use as a great alternative to the Zacks trade:

Fidelity Investments has millions of customers across the USA and overseas. The company has been around for fifty years and is considered one of the largest brokerage houses in the world. The majority of Fidelity operations are in the USA, and it operates various investor centers and regional offices across the country.

Fidelity investment products range from annuities, mutual funds, and options through to sector investing and managed accounts, catering to advisors, institutions, employers, and individual investors. However, Fidelity also offers its investment services to international clients, but this is only in a limited number of countries, and it is via a separate, dedicated site.

Although it is not the cheapest brokerage house, Fidelity does excel in many areas where other companies lack. So, if you are prepared to pay a premium for outstanding trading education and excellent customer service, Fidelity could be the broker for you.

Interactive Brokers offers services for both retail and institutional investors. It stands out from the pack as a broker that is best for gaining access to the worldwide markets. Interactive

IB offers a complete brokerage service. It not only caters to individual clients, but prop traders, family offices, hedge funds, money managers, and small businesses. This makes Interactive suitable for global traders. The company recently aggressive campaigning to encourage retailer traders, who can benefit from the experience, background, and resources the company gained through big business dealings.

While it may not be the cheapest broker around, the access to global financial markets, competitive pricing, and premium technology make Interactive an interesting proposition. So, if you’re in need of a professional, regulated, global broker, who brings together institutional clients and retail traders for mutual benefit. Interactive is a solid choice.

Determined to change the way the world invests, Vanguard offers a different perspective to asset management. For sure, Vanguard is different than any other brokerage house in the United States, for the simple reason that it focuses more on investment management rather than on brokerage.

Vanguard runs a hybrid business – a combination of traditional brokerage (for stocks, ETFs) and investment management. With a client-first culture, Vanguard began operations in 1975, still managing the oldest balanced fund in the United States – Vanguard Wellington.

One of the world’s largest investment companies, Vanguard has over 30 million investors and focuses on funds management. Addressing both individual investors and financial professionals, Vanguard manages over 190 funds in the United States and more than 230 outside the country. It also operates Vanguard Brokerage, allowing individual investors to trade stocks and ETFs via a traditional brokerage account. 

Zacks Trade Best For…

With a vast experience in offering brokerage services, Zacks Trade focuses on individual traders. It knows well that low commissioning attracts customers, and it chose to differentiate its offer by cutting the margin rate drastically when compared with the competition.

Sure, it compensates with higher commissions and fees on regular trading, but the bottom line is that margin rate is a huge cost for the active trader – lowering it way below competitors’ offer makes Zacks Trade a broker best to use when trading on margin.

Broker Reviews Methodology

When it comes to working with investors, we want to make sure that you’re getting unbiased reviews and we want to make sure that you can get a good idea of what to expect from online brokers. We also want to make sure that whether you’re new to investing or you’ve been at it for a while you can get what you want. Here are the main things we focus: 

  • Investment Options – What type of options are available and what sort of variety? Are you able to work in ETFs, mutual funds, options, futures and more?
  • Technology – What does the system allow you to do when it comes to software and applications? Can you get data exportation, email updates and even currency support?
  • Fees – What are the costs associated with the service
  • Account Options – What types of products and features are actually available and how can you get the best variety? Where can you get good banking services like loans, checking and more? Can you do all of it in one location or are you going to have to go with different options and locations?
  • Customer Service – Do you get 24/7 responses and support? Are you going to have an easy time getting in touch with a real person for help?
  • Banking products – We look at things like savings accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts and CDs related to things like fees and APY. We also make sure that we’re looking at the best APY without having to worry about qualifications and expensive features. We don’t want to have a difficult usability rating or difficult to use mobile apps, ATMs or restrictions. We want to get it as easy for you as possible.