TradingBlock is one of four brokerage platforms administered by AOS, Inc., the parent firm. This version is intended for individual investors and traders; their other products are intended for registered investment advisers, professional traders, and futures traders. In late 2018, the parent firm welcomed a new investor group and plans to provide new mobile and web-based brokerage products over the coming year. Their website is intended for active stock investors as well as beginner to intermediate level options traders. Third-party direct access systems such as Sterling Trader Pro, Silexx, RealTick, LiquidPoint Blaze, and others are also available to customers. We examined the online platform, which was built in-house and links to a variety of third-party research and analytic tools.Pros
Simple online platform with features for identifying options trading and risk management.
Subscribers to participating email publishers may use an automated trade execution service.
Relatively low margin rates
The toolbox hasn’t been updated in some years, and webinars and other educational opportunities date back to 2016.
Many of the tools are powered by Adobe Flash, which is being phased out by various browsers.
No mobile app that we could find
The website has a straightforward appearance and is simple to use. You may instantly construct a closure order for any of your open positions. It features a limited number of customizing possibilities. Third-party software programs that can operate on TradingBlock are even more configurable, and you may also choose a venue for your purchase.
Streaming real-time quotations are an option, although they are only accessible from three exchanges. Though market orders are fulfilled rapidly, there is little effort expended to seek price enhancement.
The site is straightforward; navigating around requires clicking on a task center and then selecting a task. We would want to see additional website personalization choices.
Mobile and Emerging Tech
Despite the fact that the company claims to have launched a mobile app for the first time, we couldn’t discover it on the iOS App Store or Google Play. TradingBlock Futures subscribers may use a mobile app with a separate account.
Range of Offerings
Online trading is available for multi-leg options and a large range of mutual funds. Trading futures and futures options requires a TradingBlock Futures account. Although the business claims to enable consumers to conduct fixed income trades, we couldn’t locate a means to do so on the website.
News and Research
The majority of research skills are geared at identifying options strategies or portfolio hedging ideas. Technical overlays are included in the charting capabilities. A stock and ETF screener is available that may be modified. The Probability Calculator for options transactions is powered by Tradespoon’s algorithms.
Portfolio Analysis and Reports
There are no customization options for portfolio analysis. Margin requirements, as well as balances and portfolio value, are updated in real time.
Customer Service and Help
The online assistance is simple to use and contains FACs (frequently asked questions) rather than FAQs. A few pages include context-sensitive aid, including charting. Phone calls are returned quite soon. TradingBlock provides a stock borrowing program as well as portfolio margining.
The webinar schedule has not been updated since 2016. Some basic trade instruction is offered, however the majority of the information is supplied by other parties. This section’s assessment covers security factors, which TradingBlock meets.
The usual commission rate at Trading Block is $0.001 per share, with a $5 minimum. Options transactions carry a single $5 base cost, plus $0.50 per contract, regardless of the number of legs transacted. Margin fees are lower than the industry norm. Accounts that have had no activity in the last 12 months are subject to a $30 inactivity charge. Paper statements and confirmations cost $2-$5 at the company.
What You Need to Know
TradingBlock seemed to be a brokerage to watch when it debuted in its present version a few years ago. The platform’s simple risk management capabilities are a nice start, but nothing has been done in many years. We hope that the new investment group will generate fresh development and instructional materials. It’s tough to endorse a broker who does not yet have a mobile app available in an app store.
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Furthermore, each broker we assessed was asked to complete a 320-point survey regarding all parts of their platform that we tested. Many of the online brokers we looked at offered us in-person demos of their systems at our offices.
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