Just2Trade Review



Just2Trade are one of the smaller discount brokers, founded in 1999 they’ve been around for a while in online brokerage terms, but they don’t seem to have built up the following of some of the more contemporary brokers.

I’m not sure of why that might be, but I keep hearing rumors about poor customer service, a poorly designed platform and a lack of training. So I thought it was about time I tried them out for myself.

So check out my review of Just2Trade to see if the rumors are true.

 

Fees & Commissions

  • Stocks and ETFs: $2.50 (with surcharge for extended hours trading)
  • Options: $2.50 plus $0.50 per contract
  • Mutual funds: $2.50
  • Investment products: stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds and fixed income securities, ETFs
  • Minimum to open account: $2,500

 

Website & Sign-up

just2trade.com has a fairly basic website, it looks amateurish compared to other brokers websites, but at least it’s reasonably easy to navigate around.

To try out their service I applied for an individual trading account which can be opened online. It’s worth pointing out that all types of IRA and some other types of account require you to print off forms and complete them offline.

Since my time is short I applied online, the actual forms were fairly easy to follow and the whole process was complete within 15 minutes.

Up to the point of funding your account that is, most people use ACH transfer to fund their accounts these days since it’s easy and a relatively cheap way of transferring money.

You can do that with just2trade if you want, but for some reason they make you wait 10 days for your money to arrive, you then have to wait a further 5 days before the money has cleared into your account and is available to trade. That’s two weeks to transfer money, I’m sorry but that’s just not acceptable.

Since I didn’t have two weeks to wait I paid by wire transfer and transferred my money straight away. Incidentally their minimum equity requirement is $2500 which is a little on the steep side, especially if you’re just trying them out like me.

At least my money has now cleared so I’m ready to trade, so let’s see what their trading platform is like.

 

Trading Tools

Initial impressions of the Just2Trade platform are not good; I get the impression the same person designed this platform as did their website, It looks amateurish and unprofessional. Check it out below.

j2trade

However credit it where it’s due, it’s fairly intuitive to use and has a nice selection of tools including Stock Alerts, Stock Screeners, Technical Insight, and Daily Technical Events.

As a platform it’s suitable for intermediate traders but not really adequate for day traders or scalpers. Beginners will find the platform easy to use but Just2Trade are not a suitable broker for beginners due to the lack of training and support, but come to that later.

 

Pros

  • Very low commissions
  • Free real-time level 1 and 2 quotes
  • Free Morningstar research
  • Free dividend reinvestment including fractional shares
  • Low margin rates

Cons

  • An additional cost of $0.003 per share is incurred to trade on the ECN during the extended-hours sessions – from 7-9:30AM EST pre-market and 4-8PM EST after hours
  • $25 IRA setup fee, $75 IRA closing fee and $35 annual fee for IRA accounts (if below $25,000 in assets)
  • For customer service company encourages contact by email
  • Incorrect cash balances and other account balance discrepancies – company claims it’s fixed
  • Options Exercise / Assignment fee: $20 per exercise or assignment
  • Checking & VISA Debit Card fees: $50 (Gold Package); $75 (Platinum Package)
  • Minimum $2,500 account balance requirement
  • No support for beginner or novice investors
  • Poor choice of mutual funds
  • Open orders are getting randomly cancelled
  • Can’t trade many securities during extended hours

Summary

The one big thing Just2Trade has going for it is very low trading commissions, with stock trades starting at $2.50 per trade they are by far the cheapest mainstream broker out there.

The downside of that is poor to non existent customer service; this is a broker that likes its traders to be self sufficient. So if you need to call support for any reason don’t expect a quick response and email is even worse.

So are the cheap fees worth the sacrifice in service? Not for me they’re not, it’s not that I’m forever contacting support, in fact in over 10 years of trading I’ve only ever needed to contact support once, but I’d like to know they’re there if I do have a problem.

If you’re an intermediate trader like me I would recommend you join OptionsHouse or OptionsXpress over Just2Trade every time. They have much better platforms and exemplary customer service, yes they are more expensive but they’re worth it believe me.

For beginners I would recommend you join Zecco to make use of their excellent training materials and helpful community, both things that Just2Trade lack.

If you’re an advanced trader you might be tempted by the low fees and free level 2 data but to be honest you won’t be satisfied with their platform, it just doesn’t have the more advanced tools you’ll need to trade. I would recommend you join either a direct access broker or TD Ameritrade’s and make use of their excellent Trade Architect platform.




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