I’ve had a lot of experience with several brokers over the last six years. I started off with Scottrade because that’s what any inexperienced trader does. I’ve had my run of the gamut, so to speak. Once I became a student of Tim’s, his first recommendation is to open a brokerage account with Suretrader. When it comes to trading stocks, especially for a small account ($500-$5000), you can win or lose just based on who your broker is alone. Tim gets this. Which is why he recommends SureTrader.
I put this review together to help the novice user understand what they’re getting into. If you’re looking for a new broker, or you’re just following Tim’s recommendation, you will find this review helpful. It gives some keen insight on Tim’s recommendation. Here’s my experience with them.
1) SureTrader is really good for a young trader with little capital to start. The biggest issue they help you with is the Pattern Day Trader rule. What is that, you say? For anybody with less than $25k in their brokerage account in the US, the SEC/FINRA stipulates that they can’t trade more than 4 times in a 5 day period. If you’ve seen Tim’s alerts, you know he trades on average 50-100 x’s a month.
How does SureTrader get around this? Its simple. They’re based in the Bahamas, so the SEC rules don’t apply to them. If you have a small account and want to trade as often as Tim does, you’ll need a broker like SureTrader that doesn’t stipulate how often you can trade. Be warned, however, the SEC rules are in place to protect you. Young traders can easily be taken advantage of by pro’s.
2) SureTrader is an easy to use tool that allows novice users the chance to learn a more advanced system. Remember how I told you that I used Scottrade when I started out? The switch to SureTrader was a shocker. I’d never seen advanced charting capabilities like I did with SureTrader. Though Scottrade offers this in their advanced platform, you have to pay for it. With SureTrader, it comes with the standard package.
With that being said, I’ll be writing another post coming up soon on the brokers I use and recommend, but that’s for another time.
3) Shares to short. You will learn quickly that another part of the trading game is finding shares to short. This is straight out of Tim’s ShortStocking video. You might have the direction right, but if you can’t find a broker that has shares available to short, you can’t get in on the game. SureTrader is a great brokerage option, because they often have shares for shorting that you can’t find anywhere else. Especially when it comes to the pink sheet stocks. SureTrader can be a great resource for getting in on swing moves because of the shares they have available for shorting.
4) You can fund your account with a credit card. Now, here me out on this. I don’t think you should be loading up credit debt so you can trade on the stock market. But, there are professions out there that reward employees with Visa gift cards. For example, HP gives spiffs to sales reps for selling their stuff. Sales reps will literally get thousands of dollars loaded up on a Visa card from sales. Having the option to pay with a credit card is nice for some people, because it doesn’t necessitate a checking account withdraw like most brokers do.
1) You have to pay to subscribe to trading pink sheets. This was a huge struggle for me, because it would seem like you should just be able to trade anything you want. Nope. If you want to trade pink sheet stocks, which are often traded by Tim, you need to pay an additional subscription fee.
2) Commission Rates. There’s no way to soften this blow. The commission rates are terrible. It’s something like $9.95 per 1000 shares. What happens when you’re trading a penny stock? With $5000 invested, you can easily have tens of thousands of shares to purchase in a penny stock, and end up paying like $50-$100 in commissions on a single trade. Tim says it’s worth it, but if you can find a different broker to put the trade through, its best not to put the trade through SureTrader. That will eat away a ton of your profits.
3) The customer service is terrible. Think about it. They’re in the BAHAMAS. You can call them on your cell phone, but then you’re charged international rates, and SureTrader doesn’t pick up quickly. I had to setup a Google phone account, add money to it, wait forever for SureTrader to answer, and then speak with somebody that has a very strong native dialect.
To add onto this, it also took a long time to get my account setup, and funded. The process is not seamless, and communicating with somebody in another country, when you need answers here and now, is not always easy.
As with most of my recommendations, they always come with an “it depends” attached to it. Should you use SureTrader? Well, it depends. How much money do you have? How often do you plan on trading? How resourceful can you be?
If you know you’ll have $25k within your account soon, and can avoid Pattern Day Trader laws, I would recommend you find a different broker to use (again, more on that later). SureTrader should really only be used if you have a small account and want to trade often.
Secondly, it depends on if you can find shares to short. There are other brokers out there with better platforms, better charting, and better commissions. But what if they don’t have shares to short? SureTrader can be a decent platform to fall back on if you can’t find shares to short.
Lastly, it depends on how resourceful you can be. When I called into their support, I had to setup a Google voice account, and make a lot happen just to get connected to SureTrader support. If you’re not the most resourceful person in the world, doing something like that will seem daunting and difficult. You don’t want that problem, especially when you could lose a ton of money in the market, if you’re not willing to do what it takes to git ‘er done.
Altogether, I would give SureTrader 2 out 5 stars. It’s not awful to use, but it comes with some severe handicaps.