Lightspeed Trading

1-888-LSPD123 (577-3123), +1-646-393-4800
New York Office 1001 Avenue of the Americas, 16th Floor New York, NY 10018

Lightspeed Financial LLC operates through two wholly owned subsidiaries Lightspeed Trading, LLC and Lightspeed Technologies LLC. It has its headquarters in Newyork city, USA.

Lightspeed Trading, LLC is provider of low cost risk management and brokerage services to professional traders, proprietary trading groups and hedge funds through direct market access technology. It provides both electronic and automated trading. It also offers risk management solutions.

Lightspeed’s Offerings

As the name suggests, Lightspeed offers products and services that enables a trader to trade with minimal latency enabling faster execution.

  • Automated Trading
  • Co-location by using NASDAQ’s data center for its server
  • Net-order imbalance indicator – used to identify stocks that have non-normal buy-sell ratios, suggesting strong price movement in one direction or another
  •  Block-trader screener – used to identify stocks for which buy or sell orders greater than a threshold number, say 200,000 shares, have been placed indicating price swing
  • Offers two version of trading platform: web and system-based
  • Offers large number of investment products to choose from: stocks, options, futures, mutual funds, bonds, ETFs, Forex

Advantages

  • Very low latency resulting from co-location and state-of-the-art IT infrastructure makes it preferred choice for algorithm-based trading
  • One of the lowest commissions in the industry
  • Online community facilitates collaboration among traders
  • Free practice account ensures minimum learning cost
  • Web-based trading platform enables trading from system with even basic configuration
  • Innovative and highly useful features like net-order imbalance indicator and block-trader screener provides additional opportunity for profitable trades
  • Customizable trading platform
  • Risk management tools offers many features with most prominent being it helps to measure impact of actual or hypothetical trades on portfolio
  • Won many awards and top-notch rating like Barron’s Highest Ranking for Frequent Traders and Lowest Cost broker d for frequent traders
  • Split-second trading through hot keystrokes or mouse clicks

Disadvantages

  • Web based trading platform become unresponsive  or slow-to-respond in high volume market
  • Web based trading platform is not as stable and bug-free as system-based trading platform is.
  • Customer service leaves a lot to be desired
  • System-installed trading platform slows down or hangs occasionally or in very active trading
  • Difficult to learn for beginners
  • System-based trading platform is resource intensive and thus requires a computer with high-end configuration
  • Mutual Fund trading is not allowed
  • High liquidity fees

Trading Platform

Four Trading platforms are available for Lightspeed’s customers, they being, Lightspeed Trader, Lightspeed Gateway, Lightspeed Forex and Lightspeed web Trader. The Lightspeed trader can used to trade stocks, futures and options online, it comes with a dashboard containing various windows which can be viewed at the same time and customized as well. There is a research and statistics window which provides continuous real-time information about a stock tick on various exchanges. Common windows like Order entry, Margin positions, and Account summary are provided. Apart from these a level II quote window, containing bids and offer prices for a stock from various market participants is useful for day trading.  Another window called ticket alert shows a few stocks which are trading at either intraday highs or lows. The chart window provides the technical analysis chart for a selected stock.

Lightspeed provides flexibility in the methods of order execution using four different methods including both keyboard and mouse click methods. In the keyboard method of order execution various shortcuts are allowed mainly for intraday traders. Live data feed in the form of excel is also available and racks of lightspeed are placed at a NASDAQ data center for the same. Lightspeed gateway enables automated trading with the help of a tool called Black Box Developers Kit (BDK).

Coming to the Forex trader, it is also present in the form of a dashboard with various windows. Mouse click trading is enabled. One good feature is the associate order property that is a kind of if else order containing two orders, the second order being based on the first one.

The Lightspeed web trader enables browser based trading useful for clients who do not have a fixed workstation.

Tools

Lightspeed has a plethora of Risk Management tools in its kitty like Lightspeed Risk, Lighspeed Auto Risk, BOEI and Online Risk Management, all of them aimed at minimizing losses.  The Broker Order Entry Interface (BOEI) enables a manager to directly access his clients account and place orders in case a client is unable to do so.

Commissions and Fees

Lightspeed provides trading platforms in two forms: web based and system based, with different minimum deposit. Lightspeed Web trading platform requires a minimum deposit of $1,000, whereas Lightspeed Trader platform requires a $10,000 as minimum deposit for a web trader and $10000 for a professional trader using Lightspeed trading platform. Furthermore, it charges margin of 6.00%.

Lightspeed offers two pricing choices: per -share and per –trade. The equity per share basis costs $.045 per share or $4.50 per trade. Options and futures can be traded at $.60 per contract. Phone based order facility is also available and is priced at $20 per trade plus regular commission charges.

 

Lightspeed has been primarily geared towards active traders and thus offers services, inter alia, automated trading, direct access, split-second trading suitable mostly for them.

However, its high liquidity fees can be a cause of concern for an active trader as failure to meet their liquidity requirement may significantly lead to decrease in the trading profit. Furthermore, to get best out of Lightspeed requires a system laced with latest configuration. And its below-par customer service can be cause of concern if a person is not well verse with trading platform or know how to deal with unfriendly customer support.

In a nutshell, Lightspeed is great if you are an active trader looking for automated trading with direct access and trades in multiple products, and not much concerned with intermittent software hangs and abrasive customer support. As a final word, Lightspeed is clearly a discount broker targeting quantity rather than the quality of trade.

Founded in: 2006
Licensed:
Platforms: Lightspeed Trader, Lightspeed Gateway, Lightspeed Web Trader, Sterling Trader, Livevol X Options Trading, RealTick Pro and Express
Capital:
Fees:
Broker: 4.50
Exchange:
Withdrawal:
Minimum Deposit: 5000

User Reviews

AngelosSideris

They are lying Sacks. For Instance yesterday i traded 1600 Shares.

My Commission Fee should have been 16.00.

The total Amount i was charged was $50.03 in addition to the $16.00. All kinds of Fees in addition to the Commission fees they advertise..

When i was opening the Account i was told i could fund the Account in Euros. They said they would convert the Euros to Dollars at no Charge at the current Market Rate. They charged me $935.00.

Westerntrader

Make sure you get added to the news if you use LIghtspeed. Call up there and make them add you. I have an account that I keep open just for the news.

Sjabs

I've used Lightspeed for a number of years and have had a great experience with them. They have an easy to use platform with fast execution. They are great if you trade mainstream stocks such as NYSE and NASDAQ listed stocks.

QuikMomentum

Lightspeed has been around for a very long time. Their platform is reliable as well as their retail firm. You don't have to worry much about your account when it is with them.

4210timmy

.0045/share! great deal. RECCOMMENDED

Westcoast777

To be honest, I first began with Lightspeed trader given my limited finances and need for a broker with a low commission rate. Luckily for me, it would turn out that Lightspeed trader also offers a strong online trading platform and, in my experience, responsive customer service, though I will admit I haven't used the customer service many times.

Of course, for the low costs in commission, the fees for such things as data services do add up. Again, as a beginning trader it wasn't critical that I have access to market depth and LVL2 quotes, so this worked out for me.

Recommended for beginning traders with smallish account sizes.

JeffHorn12

I used LS for about a year

excitation is the best in the industry but charting tools is really bad

you need to have real tick beside it in order to use it properly

Rblooming

I have been moving around brokers as of late after not being able to find one to keep up with a consistently demanding customer and his wants. Lightspeed was the first out of the other 3 brokers I have tried to thoughtfully solve my problems and explain to me how I can avoid them going forward. I do like the Lightspeed Trader platform and it's features but I do use a secondary charting service as well. My only complaint thus far is that you can't run the platform on my Mac so I have to use one of my other PCs. Overall, with their service and low commission, I am glad that my search finally landed me with them.

Pbateman7

I trade about 1.3 million shares a month on average. I wasnt too familiar with Lightspeeds offering. I had heard they had a really solid platform with great executions and low cost. Due to my trading style thats pretty much exactly what i was looking for. I also heard about their web product not being too functional. I personally dont use and wouldnt want to use a web product when dealing with the market. I checked out both systems anyway and Lightspeed Trader was definitely the way to go. The Lightspeed trading platform is insanely fast. Been doing great with them and would highly recommend them to any trader. I came over to them from IB and am going to be here for a while

Fredolin

lightspeed charges for trading software. as i do not pay for tradingsoftware, i have to use the web trading platform. real time quotes are included for free as is moving money in and out.

using lightspeed for almost three years i believe that they are constantly trying to add new value to the customers. unfortunately ultra low commissions have been increased to still low commissions.

the bottleneck is , as always, the clearing firm. in this case it is penson. their credit rating does not convince me at all. in a fraudulent crazy bankers/brokers hypothecation and re-hypothecation world of lehman,mfglobal etc you can hardly rely on anyone. diversification WORLDWIDE is a must

Mortimerduke

I just opened a day trading account with these guys and so far so good. It was a bit challenging opening an account, but got through the process. I was with Tradestation previously and I'm glad I made the switch. I was looking for a firm that offered dma, fast executions, and low commissions and LS fit my criteria perfectly!

I'm one of those people that rarely calls customer service, and it takes something really serious for me to call. I've been trading for over eight years now and I don't want to have any hassles that would cause me to have to call in. As long as I can log in and my buying power is loaded, I'm happy and no problems so far!

Irukandji

OK, so $1 to enter an option and another to sell it is good. BUT, come on! The Lightspeed Web Trader software is like Web 0.0! It is so lame. It is how I imagine online retail brokers would have been in the mid-eighties had such things existed. It's the kind of interface I remember seeing when computer monitor displays were only green!

It is very cumbersome to enter a trade; first you type in the symbol, then press the magnifying glass - this takes you to a table, where you have to choose the month and expiration. Then you look down a crappy list to find the strike (which is pretty muddled and confusing) then you click it.

This brings you back to the order page where you then choose the contract size, order type, etc. On this page, you have no idea what the option price is currently trading at, so you effectively place the order blind, guessing at what it may be. You might enter way too high as it could have dropped and you would not have known.

There is also no real time price data with this Web Trader - rubbish.

For fast, intraday trading of options this platform may be cheap but it is cumbersome as hell. Really, really needs a total makeover.

AND you cannot set a stop or trailing stop on an option trade! WTF?! So you also have to sit with your trade ALL DAY in case it starts to move against you.

Very crap indeed. I have not tried the desktop version as it's $10,000 minimum account and I would rather have that money in a more professional account, like OptionsXpress. (even though they have dozens of serious problems of their own - see my review of them)

Are there ANY good brokers out there? OX, LS, IB... all of them suck!

Jean

$1 per stock trade when trading less than 200 shares: hardly beatable!

But I am using the web platform and it has some serious drawbacks. Worst is that P&L is only udated overnight!! Bottom line: you cannot have an idea of your portfolio performance during the day...

AntonMorozov

A relatively low fee ($4,5 per trade), there is $0 monthly fee at the depot >$15K , otherwise you need to trade for $25.