Generic Trade Review - Discount Futures Broker for You?
Generic trade is a basic, no-frills futures and options broker. The greatest benefit to using Generic Trade is the transparent, low fees. Generic Trade only charges $0.59 per contract, per side.
They do not vary their commissions based on volume. So you always know how much a trade is going to cost.
Overall, Generic Trade is a great broker to use if you want basic service with low fees. If you want trading advice over the telephone, advanced platform features, or other add-on features, Generic Trade is probably not the best broker to use.
Generic Trade is a fairly new company compared to many other brokers. They've only been in business for about seven years. And their philosophy is a bit different from most of the big brokers.
While most brokers take pride in offering lots of research and advice to their clients, Generic Trade believes that clients can get information on their own and do not want help from their brokers.
In Generic Trade's view, having a bunch of salespeople and brokers on staff only increases the cost, frustrating clients - in their point of view, it's the best not to have any sales people!
Generic Trade offers futures and options. They do not offer stocks, bonds, mutual funds or ETFs.
But used strictly as a means of trading futures and options, Generic Trade's platform works just fine.
Who Should Consider It
If you are an experienced trader, you may want to consider Generic Trader brokerage. They offer very low fees: just 59 cents per contract, per side. This means that it will only cost you $1.18 commission for each trade, not counting exchange and NFA fees.
If you have a small amount of capital, you may also want to use Generic Trader. Unlike a lot of other brokerages, Generic Trade does not require a minimum account size.
Likes & Dislikes
- Simple, transparent fee structure
- Low fees
- No pushy salespeople
- No minimum account size
- Easy-to-use web interface
- Free demo
- No discounts for high volume traders
- Does not offer free desktop software
- Does not offer free mobile software
- Only offers futures and options, no stocks or bonds
- Provides little in the way of research or advice
The best feature of Generic Trade is its low fees. Generic Trade only charges 59 cents each time you enter or exit a trade. So a full round-trip only costs $1.18.
Of course, they also pass through the charges of the exchanges.
But the website has a link on its “commissions” page that provides updated information on what the exchanges are charging. So you always know how much it is going to cost for each trade.
Generic Trade only offers futures and options. You cannot use them to buy stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, or bonds.
However, they do offer all of the futures contracts from the major exchanges.
So whether you like to trade metals, financials, indices, agricultural commodities or any other type of futures contract, you can do it with Generic Trade.
Research and Education
If you subscribe to Generic Trader Professional, you get access to a news-stream. Other than this, there's pretty much no research available from the company.
With Generic Trade, you're on your own when it comes to research and education.
But if you do your research elsewhere, this might not be a problem.
Eliminating the research & education services that most brokers offer is one of the ways Generic Trade is able to keep their its fees so low.
Generic Trader offers a downloadable desktop client called “Generic Trader Professional” for $59/month. This includes a mobile version as well.
However, most of the functions of this platform as also available on the web-based software that is available for free.
When the desktop client first opens, a chart of the S&P 500 e-mini appears on the right-hand side. This chart can be customized to display any contract you want: gold, coffee, 30-year treasury notes, whatever. You can also choose whether the chart displays bars or candlesticks and can add indicators to it if you want.
In the upper-left corner is a “trading matrix” that contains a list of several contracts with info about them. By default, this list includes the e-mini, gold, silver, and corn. Other contracts can be found by clicking on tabs. And these tabs have obvious labels like “energy,” “financials,” “metals,” etc.
The “main” tab of the trading matrix can be customized to list whatever contracts you want it to. So the idea is that you will develop a list you like to trade and will eventually configure the trading matrix to keep you updated on all your favorite commodities or financial assets.
In the bottom-left corner is the “Order Book” window. This window displays all of your current orders that have yet to be filled or that have already been filled. There is also a small “Order Fill” window that keeps track of your current open trades.
You can also add a “Newstream” window to tell you the latest news about assets you are interested in, or an “Account Detail” window to keep track of your balances.
If you have to make a trade while logged onto your uncle's computer during a family get-together, or if you just don't want to pay $59/month for the desktop client, you can always trade using generic Trade's web-based software.
As could be expected, the web-based client isn't as easy to customize as the desktop one.
However, it contains essentially all of the same features. The “trade,” “account,” and “quote and research” tabs contain all of the same information you would get from the desktop client.
You can't move the menus around and have them all on one screen. And it's a little slower and more clunky than the desktop version. But other than that, it's perfectly adequate.
Users who choose to pay for the desktop client also get access to a mobile app. This mobile app is setup very similar to the desktop one.
Of course, trying to trade on a mobile device is never easy. But it's nice that they do provide it as an option.
Generic Trade has a stellar reputation for customer service. Although they do not have salespeople or brokers, they do offer 24-hour technical support.
So if you are up trading in the middle of the night and can't get something to work, they are available to fix any problems that arise.
Most reviews of Generic Trade's customer service have expressed that they are very friendly and helpful.
Generic Trade Review Wrap-Up
Generic Trade is a bare-bones, inexpensive futures and options broker. If you are an experienced trader who isn't looking for a bunch of bells and whistles, Generic Trader may be the right broker for you.
If you are a beginner that needs a lot of advice or just someone who wants extra features that will give you a trading edge, you may want to use a different broker.
Overall, Generic Broker is a great way to trade options and futures for anyone that wants to find a bargain.