Lightspeed is a division of Lime Brokerage, a well-established and reputable brokerage house. They are targeting active traders with their service offerings, specifically in the commissions, execution speed, and trading platform area.
However, with a set of free and high-quality tools in their trading platform, investors are well catered to also.
|★ Fast Execution
★ Very Low Commissions
★ Good Customer Satisfaction
★ Good Trading Platform
|✘ Lack of Real-time News
✘ No In-house Research
Round 1 – Lightspeed Commissions Comparison
Commissions are not the be-all and end-all, but low commissions do help to reduce slippage, especially if you are an active investor or trader.
Some Brokers offer a flat fee regardless of how many shares are traded. Some offer an optional “per share” commission structure, which can be beneficial for smaller traders.
Lightspeed Stock Trade Commissions
With Lightspeed, you can choose a per trade commission, which starts at $4.50 per trade for under 250 trades per month.
But as you scale up your trading, the costs go down to $2.50 per month, which among the best of all the brokers we reviewed.
Alternatively, they offer a per-share commission of $0.0045 per share, scaling up to $0.0010. I am a big fan of having the choice of rates, and Lightspeed’s prices are some of the best in the industry.
As with any direct market access broker, routing fees are depending on which market you trade, but Lightspeed is very focused on keeping these extremely tight.
If you want Zero Commissions read more about our review winner Firstrade
Lightspeed Option Trade Commissions
As with the super competitive stock trades, Lightspeed is also leading in this area and are the only broker to have Zero Fixed Fee per trade; there is only the option contract cost of $0.60 for under 500 contracts. If you trade options contract at scale, this can reduce to an incredible $0.20 for over 100,000 contracts.
Round 2- Lightspeed – Trading Platform
How do you find the in-play stocks that have high volatility and are in a strong trend? This is the job of the trading platform.
You need your trading platform to be fast, intuitive, and powerful. In this section, we rate Lightspeed on their choice of a trading platform.
LightSpeed has a very well-thought-out portfolio of integrated trading platforms to suit their customers.
Lightspeed Trading Software Targeted to Day Traders
For investors, who will typically have fewer trades and less demand for L2 quotes and tick-by-tick streaming charts, Lightspeed has a nice solution in Lightspeed Web / Mobile Trader and LiveVolX.
For Web Trader and LivevolX, there are zero data fees & zero monthly costs, which is great. As part of the free package, you get:
- Streaming L1 Quotes
- Equities & Options Trading
- After Hours Trading
- Market Scanners
- Customizable Charts & Studies
- LiveVolX provides an advanced Options Trading Platform.
So a robust platform offering for investors, but what about professional and active investors?
Lightspeed Trading Software Targeted to Active-Investors
Lightspeed has a rounded portfolio of tools targeted at precisely professional traders.
Lightspeed Trader costs $100 per month, but if you generate $100 in commissions per month, it will be free.
For this fee, you get:
- Streaming L2 quotes
- Basket Order Entry
- After Hours Trading
- Streaming Charts & Studies
- Direct Market Access
- Research Reports
The key here for professional traders is direct market access (DMA), basket orders, and L2 views.
Lightspeed also offers Sterling Trader, which is targeted at Hedge Funds and Money Managers and is one of the most widely used professional-grade trading platforms produced by Sterling Trading Tech.
This product will cost $140 to $170 per month, but it does open up more advanced Options and Futures trading possibilities.
Sterling Trader gives the additional benefits of:
- Improved routing and direct market access globally
- Powerful charting and studies
- Exchange alerts & imbalances
- Improved portfolio and position management
- Support for futures trading, including market depth and all CME & BOVESPA futures
- Lastly, Lightspeed offers RealTick Pro at $325 per month and RealTick Express at $125 per month.
Video of LightSpeed Sterling Trader
Round 3 – Lightspeed – Customer Support & Research
In this round, we compare:
- Customer Support – We want to see all three options of Email, Messaging, and Phone.
- Customer Satisfaction Score – how many complaints or bad reviews within the last year on Twitter or TrustPilot (jump to methodology)
- Research & Ideas – what services are provided free of charge to help you research a particular stock or sector. Stand-alone research services can be costly, so free with an account is a big bonus.
- News – Is a real-time news service available for free or an additionally paid upgrade?
Lightspeed is a Winner in this Category
LightSpeed has a lot of positive tweets and good reviews all around the web.
The users seem to be very happy with the overall services; specifically, Twitter, which is often used as a stage for complaints, has a lot of people recommending and complimenting Lightspeed on the platform, execution, and support.
Lightspeed also has the full complement of email, chat, and 24/7 phone support implemented and operating effectively.
LightSpeed could improve its offerings of real-time streaming news and provide at least some access to research services. There is an attempt to give some blogging on market topics, but it is not really detailed and often enough.
Round 4 – Lightspeed Regulation & Account Minimum
Is the company well established, well funded, and well regulated? This is the main object of this round of comparisons.
Any US-based Broker should be a member of the following institutions.
Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA) Membership.
FINRA is a nonprofit organization established to protect investors and ensure that the members are complying with the law and the Securities and Exchange Commission rules. They audit all members regularly.
Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) Membership.
The SIPC is there to protect and hopefully recover any money lost if a Brokerage firm fails. Although Broker failure is rare, it can happen, and SIPC membership ensures that your account is protected up to $500,000.
Lightspeed has all the protection required in the U.S.A, they are fully registered in the FINRA Database and have SIPC insurance.
Lightspeed is targeting those who have larger trading volumes as the minimum account opening balance is $10,000. For that $10,000, you get a broker with high customer satisfaction ratings and fast execution at competitive commission rates.
Lightspeed Broker Review USA – Master Data Sheet
Do you want more Stock Broker Reviews?
Read our Review of the Best US Online Stock Brokers Comparison, or our Best Penny Stock Brokers or Best Brokers In-Depth Review
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Notes on the Review
Customer Satisfaction Score (Star Ratings)
The customer satisfaction score was compiled using the following methodology.
The Twitter Accounts of the Brokers were scanned back for one year for any negative feedback from customers. Also, TrustPilot UK and USA were reviewed, and any negative comments counted against the broker. These two sources of information were combined to provide the star rating you see below.
★★★★★ – No Complaints & Positive Recommendations (1 year)
★★★★ – No Complaints (1 year)
★★★ – < 10 Complaints (1 year)
★★ – 10 to 20 Complaints (1 year)
★ – > 20 Complaints (1 year)
Over 200 data points were collected during this review. Brokers change services, terms, and commissions regularly. If you represent a Brokerage House or are a client and you spot an inaccuracy, please leave a comment or contact us here, and we will endeavor to correct it.