So far my experience with brokers has been with Etrade Pro, SpeedTrader and now SureTrader. I originally made the switch to SpeedTrader because I wasn’t getting fast enough executions with Etrade as I was focusing more on day trading. I used SpeedTrader for a few months and was really happy with just about everything except the platform DAS Trader Pro. Although it’s fast, their charts are not anything to brag about. Its almost necessary to get an add on charting software like eSignal but I just relied on FinViz to do my chart studies.
I always heard about SureTrader but wasn’t always sure(no pun intended) if I could trust it because it has so many mixed reviews. I really liked the idea though of 6:1 buying power and only a $500 minimum to day trade. I thought it would be nice to not have to have so much money tied up in order to day trade and avoid the PDT rule. The other thing that concerned me was that you have to deposit money outside of the United States.
Blog Post: Pattern Day Trader and How to Avoid it
I decided to join but only with a small amount since I’m hesitant about sending a lot of money to an off shore account. During sign up everything seemed really legit and they also require you to sign forms that inform the IRS of your offshore account which I like because I’m not trying to do anything illegal. Overall the setup was really easy and to be honest almost identical to SpeedTrader. They also use the same exact trading platform(DAS Trader Pro) so that also made it easier for me.
Here’s some pro’s and con’s of my experience…
- 6:1 Buying Power
- $500 Min to Day trade(No PDT rule!)
- Fast and Cheap Executions(ECN/routing fees may be extra, they can be found on their site)
- Mobile Platform
- Hot Keys
- Lots of Shares to Short
- Set up quick and easy
- DAS Trader Pro Charts
- Platform issues(Didn’t effect me but noticed they did happen more often than other brokers)
- Requires Crossover for Mac users (See: Using SureTrader on Mac)
- Offshore account makes me nervous
Lastly I just want to mention the customer service. This seems to be what most people have a problem with. I never had to call them for anything and was able to do everything via their live chat. Everything I needed was addressed and fixed with no problems so I can’t say that I have any complaints as of yet.
Overall I can’t find anything wrong with SureTrader and it offers an easy way for traders to get around the pattern day trade rule. I recommend just sending over the smallest amount you think you’ll need to day trade. Otherwise if you’re sticking to just swing trading, I would probably just keep my money with a U.S. broker.
Sometimes they offer free trades when you sign up, all the latest pricing is here.