Trading platforms commonly charge traders every time they sell or buy. When you are a frequent trader, commission charges will build up and become a large amount eating into your margin or worsening your loss. If you are an active futures trader, a subscription-based flat fee could save tons of money as time goes by. This article will review and explain Tradovate, commission-free trading platform with a membership.
Later in this article, I will share my customer review analysis based on more than 250 customer reviews from TrustPilot. Also, I will explain how much attention this platform has gained over the past 5 years. First, let me explain the major features of Tradovate.
Major Tradovate Features
The biggest advantage of using Tradovate over other trading platforms is the fact that you don’t have to pay extra cost for a platform. Tradovate is cloud-based, so you can access it on all of your smart devices like PCs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. You can download Tradovate platform into your Windows or Mac machine. Or you can use your web browser. Or you can download an app for your mobile phone or tablet. These platforms and apps are all free.
Whenever you trade, depth information provides useful insight to traders since it shows the level of interest at a specific time. Depending on the depth information, you can quickly make orders and easily controlling your positions. Its DOB (or Depth of Market) feature allows you to:
- Order with one-click entry
- Bracket orders including controlling brackets by ticks, price, or currency
- Up to 10 target multiple brackets and stop levels
- Volume histogram
- Quotes link
- Hotkey configurations
No one will argue the importance of charts for trading. In many cases, you will use charts that are just given from a trading platform company. On Tradovate, however, you can design your charts and you can access them using any device. Key benefits you can gain from Tradovate charts include:
- Directly trading from the charts and multiple brackets
- Visualizing orders, position, and highs and lows.
- Controlling ticks, minutes, hours, daily, volume, range and custom time frame.
- Over 40 technical indicators
- Customizing templates, chart types, drawing tools, and more
- Volume profiling with user definitions and volume labels
Tradovate’s quotes enable users to monitor happenings in the market, analyze the data rapidly, and act promptly. The quote board has:
- Customized quite lists that are synchronized across different devices and OS
- Contract symbols, names, and exchanges for easy symbol searching
- Data view customization for your preferences
- Detail quote information to swiftly check margins, trading hours, and contract specifications
- Contract month roll forward and backward easily
- Setting alerts
- Launching a Tick Stream to monitor every print and associated volume with that print by product or by volume.
Advanced Order Management
The Tradovate platform allows you to automatically manage your orders and control exit strategies.
- OCO (One Cancels Other) bracket orders to simultaneously create profit target and make protective stop orders
- Up to 10 multiple brackets and stop levels
- OSO (One Sends Other) orders to automatically send a single order or OCO order upon the first order gets filled
- Trailing stop and stop-limit orders to automate tightening for the market moving favorable for your position
- GTD (Good Til Date) order to specify the time to release or cancel your order.
- Configurable hotkeys
All of your orders will be kept at the server or the exchange. Any of your orders will remain on your browser or a computer. All of them are kept in their cloud securely.
Safe Simulated Trading
Trading is risky. You will not want to put your actual money to trade on a new platform. I think Tradovate’s simulation tool is a good on-boarding environment where you don’t spend a penny of your money while testing the platform. You can study Tradovate to get familiar with the platform and simulate your trading using real-time market data. It is a risk-free environment, so you can get yourself prepared for actual trading. You can switch between simulation and live environments easily as well.
Although this tool is useful, be aware that Tradovate explains simulated trading may have some inherent limitations. Also, you cannot expect the same or similar results from your simulations in the real market.
With Tradovate, you can time-travel back to a certain time. Tradovate market replay will allow you to watch the market actions or actual trade ticks with full market depth in actual time. You can also fasten the speed to watch overall market movements on certain days.
The Tradovate option chain lets you quickly see both puts and calls. With option chain, you can:
- Check options for specific future contracts
- Select the number of strike prices per options chain
- Set specific expirations or view all of them
Tradovate’s spread matrix allows you to easily see and trade future spreads. You can customize your spread matrix for your convenience.
- Select the futures spread
- Customize the horizontal and vertical axis
- Comprehensive spread view with bids and offers
- Trade right from matrix efficiently
Tradovate Group Trade enables those who trade multiple accounts to set unlimited groups, add accounts to the groups, and assign quantities to those accounts in the group. Traders then can choose one of their groups and place a trade for all the accounts in the group.
In this section, we have learned the major features that Tradovate provides. Our next question will be that in spite of all these great features, how did actual users feel about the platform?
How Customers Think About Tradovate
When you see product introduction from a company, you will always hear great things about it. No company will reveal any weaknesses or defects of the product, obviously. So, as a consumer, it is wiser to doubt what they say and do your own research before making a final purchase decision. In this section, we will learn how actual users think about Tradovate. How can we measure these? We can do this by using data analysis techniques called sentiment analysis.
You don’t have to be scared by the technical term. I did the technical part and you can just look at pretty graphs. In this section, I will show you two types of graphs – word cloud and customer sentiment chart. For the analysis, I’ve compiled more than 250 customer reviews from TrustPilot and conducted analysis to summarize them. I will show you the result in a word cloud and a customer sentiments chart. And, lastly, I will share a Tradovate’s Google trend result that shows the level of interest from people.
Word cloud is one of the great and fun ways to understand customer sentiments toward a product or a service. In a word cloud, you can see specific words in different sizes. The larger it is, the more people used that word to describe the product. For this word cloud, I used the titles of the reviews, since people put the essence of their opinions in the title. The 350+ reviews allowed me to generate an interesting word cloud that let me reach a positive conclusion. Take a look!
Understanding the word cloud is easy. Just follow your eyes and see what you see. You will see that most of the big words are all positive. This means that customers have had a positive experience with the service. People used words like “great”, “like”, “best”, “excellent”, “good”, and more positive terms to describe this platform.
In the word cloud, we were able to observe what descriptive words people used to talk about Tradovate. As mentioned, the word cloud is based on the titles of customer reviews, but the sentiment analysis graph was generated by the contents of the reviews. In the sentiment analysis, we will see more specific types of feeling that people showed in their review. In the analysis, you can see 10 different sentiments such as positive, negative, trust, anticipation, joy, fear, sadness, anger, surprise, and disgust.
The technology behind the chart is straightforward. The analysis algorithm holds 10 different lists – each list containing words that are mapped to one of the 10 sentiments. When this algorithm runs, it checks and matches with one of the sentiments. When matched, it is counted as one and is categorized in one of the 10 sentiments. My analysis on the positive reviews appears as below.
The chart is also not difficult to understand. You can see that the positive sentiment is ranked number one. The first rank is followed by “trust”, “anticipation”, “joy”, “negative” and “fear”. It does have some negative opinions, but overall, people expressed more positive sentiments than negative ones. So my customer review analysis told me that many people have a positive experience with Tradovate.
Just in case that you may find the graph above complicated, I also made a simpler graph that shows positive vs. negative sentiments only. As you can see below, most of the people expressed a positive sentiment, which is a great sign for a good product.
As the final segment of analysis, let me share the trend of Tradovate. I used Google Trend to check how frequently “tradovate” is searched on Google over the past 12 months. Google Trend is a useful tool to measure the interest of people. The more frequently people search on Google, the more popular or trendy it is. The Google Trend result below (not visible on mobile phones) for the device below shows that people have gradually shown more interest in this trading platform over the period.
In addition to this trend line, we can see which region mostly searched on Tradovate. Click the list icon at the right bottom corner. As it shows the list, you can see that the two states, Illinois and California in the U.S. searched Tradovate mostly. To see the state names, click the list icon at the right bottom corner.
How Risky is Futures Trading
Before we wrap up, let’s remind ourselves of a risk of futures trading. Is it riskier than other investment options? According to this Investopedia website, futures are not inherently riskier than other investments including equities and currencies. We cannot say that the S&P 500 index futures are riskier than mutual funds and ETFs (Exchange-Traded Fund). Just like trading stocks, you will get exposed to market volatility. So, futures trading is not particularly riskier.
The biggest reason why people regard it as a riskier investment option is because of the leverage-backed futures trading.
Leverage is the ability to margin investments using only a portion of the total value of your investment asset. The Investopedia explains that the maximum leverage level for purchasing stocks is less than 50%. In contrast, you can look at 90 to 95% leverage of the total value. We can interpret that you only need 5 to 10 percent of the total investment for futures trading. When you leverage for investment, a small change in price will be magnified, which leads to substantial losses or profits.
Due to the leverage used in futures trading, it is very possible to get losses greater than the original investment. In other words, you can achieve very large profits too. Thus, it is the leverage level for futures trading that makes it riskier, not the investment type itself. To control your risk, you will have to learn and practice stop-loss orders to contain potential further losses.
Tradovate is not totally commission-free. It does have commission rates depending on your subscription type.
- Membership Free Access: $0
- Plus, $0.79 per side and $0.25 Micro E-Mini
- Active Trader Plan: $79 per month (prepaid annually)
- Plus, $0.19 per side
- Commission Free Membership: $199 per month (prepaid annually)
My research revealed that Tradovate has useful features for futures trading. Before you jump into actual trading, I will recommend you to use the simulation tool to get familiar with the tool. Also, be aware of a substantial risk of loss when you leverage more than what you can afford. Other than these, my customer review analysis proved that traders enjoyed using this trading platform a lot. So, I believe you will also love it too. Happy trading!