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MB Trading Review

About MB Trading:

 

MB Trading is an Electronic Communications Network (ECN) brokerage firm based in El Segundo, California founded in the year 1999 by CEO Ross Diltove. The firm deals in common asset classes like Forex, stocks, futures, options.  It provides direct access to the NASDAQ to the investors through a tool called MBTX using proprietary trading mechanism. MB Trading’s mission is to provide high quality technological platforms to its customers.

Key offerings:

 

  • Interactive graphical charts for Forex trading.
  • Option Analyzing tool which provides powerful graphs for analyzing option strategies and enables to build new strategies and modify built in ones.
  • Technical offerings like
    • MBT Software development kit (SDK) which allows developing a custom application based on user needs.
    • Partner programs which can be integrated with MB Trading applications

Advantages:

 

  • Relatively low commission rates and further less rates and benefits for high volume traders and low minimum deposit requirements.
  • Separate Forex trading Platform.
  • Different channels, of customer services, such as Online chat Support, phone and Skype Support.
  • Integration of third party tools into the trading platform.
  • Automatic Trading tools provided.
  • Direct trade with the exchange with no intermediaries
  • Availability of Mobile Trading Facility.
  • Provision of demo trading to prospective investors.
  • Option trades donot need minimum amount/volume.

 

 

Drawbacks:

 

  • Software feeds will be disabled once an account value has fallen below $100
  • Many Kinds of hidden fees under the Miscellaneous name e.g. Research Fees
  • MB Trading does not have much expertise when it comes to long term investing and financial planning as compared to competitors like Fidelity. It is clearly evident in the kind of tools and In person services they offer.
  • Online trading platform not as sophisticated and user friendly as boasted. Also not many advanced trades are possible through this platform unless one has the capability if automation.
  • Lack of 24/7 customer care services.

 

Trading Platform:

 

MB Trading provides a desktop trading application called MBT Desktop. There are various versions of the MBT Desktop, such as MBT Desktop Pro, MBT Mobile, MBT Web, MBT Light Wave and MBT WebLite. The application can be used to trade FOREX, Stocks, Futures and Options based on customer needs. The Desktop Pro provides features like account details, Forex Board, charts, a watch list which can be customized, combined order book for different stocks and their derivatives. All these features can be viewed at a same time like on a dashboard which is very convenient for the trader.  The charts are available in candle stick formats and also contain various other indicators useful for trading based on technical analysis. The platform includes option strategist through complex option trades can be performed using standard strategies like Straddle and Strangle etc.

 

Another platform offered is the MetaTrader4, developed and maintained by a third party vendor. The MT4 is exclusively designed for FOREX trade. The Platform provides real time interactive charts, technical analysis and it enables automated trading using a language called MQL for tech savvy customers. Investors need to learn this language to do automation. A Mobile version is available for customers using smart devices.

 

Tools:

 

Tick History:

This is not exactly a tool instead it is a database archive containing historical ticks for various currency pairs e.g. USD vs. AUD. The data can be downloaded one day at a time and pone can go back up to one year.

MBT World:

The MBT World provides regular trainings through free webinars. It also helps in peer to peer learning through MBT Wiki, Blogs, User groups and MBT Idea Exchange.

 

Opening an Account:

A likely Investor can open his trading account online by filling the form. Payment can be made through VeriSign certified gateways.

Commission rates:

There are two plans offered to the customers. One being MBTR (flat rate) and other being MBTX (per Share basis), the former rate plan is independent on the volume of the transaction where as the latter is proportional to the volume. MBTR rate is $4.95 per trade where as the MBTX rate is $0.0075 per share with a $4.95 minimum per trade.

Trade on Mutual Funds and Bonds costs a flat rate of $12.95 per transaction. OTC trades cost $8.95 per trade.  Pre market and Post Market trades attract a surcharge of $0.005 per trade. Forex trade costs $2.95 for every $100000 of trade calculated in base currency.

Options can be traded at $0.95 per contract and there is no minimum amount required. Same is the case with Future transactions, however the exchange attract an additional fee on futures trade.

MB Trading provides two levels of data for its softwares. Level I data (Nasdaq, NYSE and AMEX quotes e) is provided free of cost whereas Level II data is charged a fee of $10 per month. Other data like ICE data, Canadian Exchange data also cost you extra. Options trade also requires additional data fees.

Professional trades have a different rate at $245 per month.

A Minimum opening deposit of $1000 is required for cash trading account where for margin trading account it is $2000. For IRA Account the minimum deposit is $500.

Customer Care Service:

 

MB Trading is providing customer service through various routes like phone, skype, online chat. However it does not has a 24/7 support.

Awards:

 

MB Trading has won Barron’s 2011 awards in their Review of Online Brokers for Trading Technology and Trading Experience continuously since the year 2005.

Synopsis:

 

MB Trading is clearly targeting the discount trading market and is not focusing on the long term investing aspect. Since, MB trading is only a brokerage service provider one has to maintain a separate savings account and transfer money from there.  Also, MB Trading offers a no frills kind of account mainly due to its commission structure (no minimum requirement and per share rates availability) and low deposit money. The trading platform provided has to be downloaded and installed as a standalone application and does not run on browsers; hence it restricts the flexibility in trading from different locations and different computers. MB trading is one of the market leaders and experts in Forex trading.  MB trading is apt for well experienced traders who don’t need much training and for those who can automate their trades. It also provides great technical analysis important for margin traders and Forex traders and overall a good account to opt for.

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