CenterPoint Securities is for the professionals, and they mean it. This trading platform specializes in day trading and in helping investors short stocks and options. If you do this for a living and have a vast amount of money backing up your bets, this can be a great way to make even more. For the average investor, however, shorting is a potentially dangerous form of investment that plays by entirely different rules. CenterPoint Securities knows this and makes this system as well-managed as possible.
A financial advisor can help you build an investment portfolio and financial plan for the future.
Services & Features: What Does CenterPoint Securities Offer?
CenterPoint Securities is a feature-limited investment platform. While it offers a highly sophisticated toolkit and trading screen, it is built specifically around volatility investors. This is a product made for day traders and short sellers, and CenterPoint does not pretend to be anything but.
You can see this first and foremost in CenterPoint Securities’ assets. This platform supports only stocks, ETFs and options. You cannot trade the assets that round out a long-term portfolio, such as mutual funds and bonds, in this system.
However, it also offers an unusual twist to the traditional asset classes, in that CenterPoint Securities offers one of the most thorough short lists on the market. A short list is the collection of stocks that are available to borrow, either directly from the broker or from a third party, which is the first step in shorting a stock. In particular, CenterPoint Securities has a reputation for finding third parties who will lend stocks that typically are difficult to borrow (and therefore difficult to short). This makes it an excellent resource for investors looking to short not only a large number of stocks, but a wide diversity of them as well.
In a complementary move, CenterPoint Securities also attracts day traders by offering a strong platform for high-speed trading. Investors can choose from several clearing firms and routing options, allowing them to pick the fastest options and best prices at any given time. While ordinary traders would not often notice the seconds this can shave off of a trade, or the half-penny difference in a stock price, day traders can make and lose fortunes on those differences.
Fees: How Much Does CenterPoint Securities Cost?
There are usually four types of fees to look out for when choosing a trading platform. You should look out for these when evaluating any investment or trading service:
- Trading Fees: Any fixed charge attached to each trade that you make. This can come in the form of a flat fee or what’s known as the “spread.” This is when your broker charges you based on the difference, if any, between the buying and the selling price of an asset.
- Trading Commissions: This is when a broker will charge you a percentage based on the volume or value of each trade.
- Inactivity Fees: Any fees that the broker charges you for not trading, such as for keeping money in a brokerage account.
- Non-Trading/Other Fees: Any form of fee for trading on this platform not covered above. For example, a brokerage might charge you for making deposits into your brokerage account, taking money out of it or signing up for additional services.
CenterPoint Securities combines several of these elements, particularly commission-based and flat-fee structures. Like many platforms aimed at active traders, this service uses a complex pricing structure. The details of exactly how much any given investor will pay depend on which platform they use and how they trade.
First, CenterPoint Pro requires a $120 per month fee, while CenterPoint Web costs $20 per month, though mobile app access will run you $25 a month with the latter package. For market data, costs range from $1.50 to $100 a month, depending on your status and the data feed you want.
Individual commission fees per share of stock range from $0.003 for fewer than 500,000 trades per month down to $0.0010 for 10 million to 100 million trades per month. Minimum order fees for stock trades range from $0.30 for fewer than 500,000 trades per month down to $0.10 for 10 million to 100 million trades per month. Options trading fees range from $0.50 per contract for fewer than 10,000 monthly trades down to $0.20 for more than 100,000 monthly trades. Routing options may entail additional fees, depending on which plan you select.
Effectiveness: How Well Does CenterPoint Securities Work?
As a platform, CenterPoint Securities is well-targeted. This is a trading platform built for a niche class of investors. Its rates and minimum deposit requirement of $30,000 eliminate all but those who are well off, and its pricing structure emphasizes high-volume trading. The real savings don’t kick in until you’ve traded more than a half-million shares of stock every month. At the same time, this platform is built almost entirely around two types of investing: short sales and day trading.
In other words, this is a trading platform built for high-activity, high-risk professionals. It is targeted not just at institutions and people who do this for a living, but at the niche segment of those investors who are looking to trade in the riskiest segments of the market. This is a platform built for professionals who want to maximize the value of their speculative assets. For those traders, this might just be an excellent fit. It maximizes exactly what they need.
CenterPoint Securities is a trading platform built with short sales and day traders in mind. It is a high-volume, high-risk platform that might be very useful to a very specific category of investor. It’s also a high-price service. For the average retail investor, though, you don’t need to worry about the high price tag because this service is not likely to be a good fit.
Tips for Investing
- Long or short, the positions you take should align with your overall financial plan. A financial advisor can help with this. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- If you’re an active trader, choosing an online brokerage that charges no commission fees for stock and exchange-traded funds can help you hold on to more of your investment returns. When comparing online brokerage accounts, consider the minimum amount required to start investing, commission fees for trades as well as the expense ratios you might pay to invest in specific funds.
Photo credit: ©iStock.com/Damir Khabirov, ©iStock.com/gorodenkoff, ©iStock.com/Wilson Araujo