What is Lightspeed?
- Awesome Customer Service: Their customer service is known to be fast, which is very important for active traders.
- Great Trading Platforms: You have plenty of trading platforms/software to choose from, depending on what you want to do.
- Low Commissions: They have low commissions for stocks and options traders. If you are a high-volume trader, then you will love their commissions.
- Fast Order Executions: They route your order to one of 100 destinations and ensure faster order executions.
- Not for Beginners: With the high minimum investment and the focus on high-volume trading, I don’t think that beginners will find much use of this platform.
- High Account Minimum: The account minimum is $10,000 for Lightspeed Web/Mobile trader and $25,000 for using the trading platforms.
- Fees: They charge a lot of different fees, and you will need to take some time to understand the fees schedule.
How does Lightspeed work?
The following are the important features of this platform.
Lightspeed Trader: This is their flagship trading platform, which caters to day traders. This trading software offers a lot of features such as customizable options chains, Complex Order Entry, advanced charting, custom orders, and risk control. Your orders are sent to one of the 100 routed destinations.
You can build and trade using complex options strategies such as straddles and butterflies. This advanced trader is fully customizable and allows you to configure up to 10 personalized screen layouts. You will be able to sort by over 100 possible criteria and filter to see the opportunities that you want to see.
You can request them for a free practice demo account, and I encourage you to do so if you are interested. They have two versions of this software, which are Lightspeed Trader for desktop and Lightspeed Web/Mobile trader. Obviously, the desktop version offers the most features, and it is best for active and professional traders.
Sterling Trader: This is a level ll trading platform for those professionals who value speed and accuracy. Some of the notable features of this platform include customizable level ll order entry system, windows linking and customization, real-time profit and loss information, advanced charting package, and API access for connecting with third-party or custom applications.
Livevol X: Livevol X is a platform designed for advanced trading and risk analysis. It can be used to identify trade opportunities and develop suitable strategies. Risk analysis has been given due attention, and you will surely be impressed by the advanced options trading capabilities. It provides you access to options market scanners and live order flow information. Overall, it is a great platform for analyzing risk and finding the right opportunities.
Other Platforms: Several other platforms serve the needs of different types of active traders. You can also find specialized software for stock, options, and futures trading.
Research: You must understand that their research is not on par with some of the best platforms in terms of research. Their target market (active traders) are not that interested in research. You do get access to TipRanks inside the Lightspeed Trader. TipRanks is good for research because it allows you to access the analyst recommendations while ranking the success rate of those analysts. You also get access to historical data and a live market scanner.
How much does Lightspeed cost?
It would be hard to list all of the fees that they charge, but I will surely try to cover the basics. You will be charged $4.50 per trade for trading stocks and ETFs as per the standard commission. The per-share rate is $0.0045, with $1 minimum for traders who trade less than 249,999 shares per month. The per-contract fees for trading options is $0.60 with $1 minimum.
You can save money by trading a lot more. People who trade over 250,000 shares monthly start to earn discounts, and the per-share rate can drop as much as $0.0010. The per trade rate can drop as much as $2.50 for those people who have over 10,000 monthly trades. So, people who are high-volume traders will surely save money while trading shares and options.
Who should try Lightspeed?
This brokerage is for the active traders who like to make a lot of monthly trades. If you want to invest a low amount of money, then this platform is not for you because the account minimums are high. Experienced traders will be able to fully utilize the tools that this platform provides and get the benefit of faster executions.
Lightspeed is for a specific group of traders, hedge fund managers, and institutions. If you don’t fall within the group, then you will never really be able to appreciate the beauty of this platform. I am not saying that it is not flawed, but it has plenty of useful features that their target market would appreciate. They offer a free demo account so that you can try it before you spend any money.
People who are looking for handholding or education will surely be disappointed. There are platforms out there that will provide you the guidance that you need along with the tools that better suit amateurs. However, if you are an active trader who knows what he is doing, then this might be the platform that you have been looking for.