I first came about Suretrader when I was switching some money over from Speedtrader to BroadStreet. When I was talking to a representative, he asked why I was moving my money and I told him that I was looking for more leverage as well as to get out from the PDT rule. He mentioned Suretrader and since I was already in the process of transferring my money to BroadStreet I decided not to look into it very much more. A few months later the name came up again in the Investors Live chat room and I started to do a little more research on it. I found out that Tim Sykes was announcing his newest preferred broker in a couple of days so I figured I would wait to open a new account. Come to find out the company I was looking into ended up being Tim’s preferred broker.
To get to the actual review portion, Suretrader’s account opening was pretty painless and easy. A basic application that asked a few odd questions in regards to references but I later found out that it was because of Bahamas laws. Speaking of that, yes, the company is based in the Bahamas. Also the company is owned and operated by the same person that started Speedtrader, Guy Gentile. Once you finish your application, they ask for two forms of ID as well as a current utility bill. All of which can be uploaded to a drop box right on the application site. A day or so later they will send you funding instructions. I wired my money around 12pm and received a confirmation that they were funding my account shortly. I was up and running a day later. In my opinion it was very fast and easy.
Suretrader utilizes the DAS Pro software like its sister company Speedtrader. The DAS Pro system is fairly easy to learn and a bunch of brokers seem to be using it now. Suretrader offers a huge amount of leverage in the likes of 6:1 and only has an account minimum of $2k. This paired with extremely low commissions of $4.95 a trade (up to 1k shares and .00495 there after) and $4.95 + $1 per option contract. These are some of the lowest rates out there.
One of if not the best feature a Suretrader account gives you, is not being under PDT no matter how much money you have. That is right, no more $25k minimum to be able to day trade to your hearts desire. But along with that comes responsibility because lets face it, it is very easy to over trade. Trust me, I have done it.
Since Suretrader is located in the Bahamas, this allows allows them to get around the pesky rule of shorting stocks under $2.50 a share. What does that mean? Well for US brokers, they are required to charge you $2.50 a share to short a stock under $2.50. So if a stock is $2, you still pay $2.50 a share to short it. .10 cents, still pay $2.50 a share to short it. It can become costly when trying to short stocks that are only worth pennies. Well with Suretrader, they drop that $2.50 to $2. Doesn’t sound like much but it consequently allows you to short 1/5 more then you could have previously.
I would also like to mention Suretrader’s borrows. They have great borrows for many stocks including those under $3 . They clear through multiple firms allowing them to find shorts on many stocks other brokers are unable to. This is also up there as one of their best features. I heard they are trying to add even more clearing firms to allow for even more shorts. If they are able to accomplish what I think they can, I do believe they might be the single best broker out there for shorting penny stocks.
Last thing I will mention, not necessarily about Suretrader themselves but about having an offshore brokerage account in general. Please read Michael Goode’s post about overseas accounts and some of the tax implications. It is very helpful for those who may not have looked into it for themselves.
All in all, I give Suretrader a 4.5 out of 5.