Alpaca Trading Review

By | January 22, 2021

Alpaca is a big name in the US stock market because of its API trading services. It doesn’t charge any commission for buying and selling. In this review of Alpaca, we are providing the same important information related to Alpaca and how it is different from its competitors.

What is Alpaca?

Alpaca is a US-based stockbroking firm, which is accessible for US residents only. It is the best broker for API trading. Provides access to the US market, historical and fundamental data to customers through API.

Alpaca offers commission-free trading to the customers. It focuses majorly on automated services instead of providing human brokers to clients. 

It provides opportunities for coders to create algorithmic trading and collaborate with them. They eventually set up pre-made algorithms for non-traders. 

Alpaca Review

Why should I use the Alpaca Trading Brokerage?

It is a commission-free brokerage and this is the main reason to consider Alpaca for trading. As new traders do not have much idea about commissions and margins. So, one can take advantage of the zero commission policy in such cases. Moreover, its automatic trading services make it easy for traders to keep track of trading and transactions. 

Account Opening :

Opening an Alpaca account is a straightforward process. It is fully digital and does not require any minimum deposit. However, Alpaca’s business account requires a minimum of $30,000 during account opening. Provides third-party software, hence it becomes tricky to open an account but the team offers great guidance in case of ambiguity. 

What is the minimum deposit at Alpaca Trading?

The minimum requirement for opening an individual account is $0. While a business trading account requires $30,000 as a minimum investment.

Account types :

Individual account 

Business account 

Alpaca provides two types of accounts. Tax advantage accounts like IRA are not available. 

Fees :

Alpaca charges zero commission on stock and ETF trading. No inactivity fee is charged. This charges a 3.8% margin on stocks, which is very low as compared to TD Ameritrade and Robinhood

Deposit and Withdrawal:

It offers deposit and withdrawal only through bank transfer. No credit/debit or eWallet transactions are allowed. You can hold currency in only US dollars. Wire transfers are costly. It charges $25 for domestic wire withdrawals and $50 for international wire withdrawal. 

Trading platform :

It offers two types of trading platforms: Web trading and mobile trading. It is safe, easy to use, and is visually appealing. But the drawback lies in that it does not have good customizability. 

Both the mobile and the web platform didn’t allow setting notifications and price alerts. The platforms are available in English only. The mobile application is available on both iOS and Android. It doesn’t offer a desktop trading platform. 

Products Offered :

Alpaca trading currently only provides access to trade in stocks and ETFs. 

Alpaca Review

Is the Alpaca API easy to use?

The Alpaca is fairly easy to use and straightforward. It is the first platform that provides space to retailers to form their algorithm, which has previously been used by institutional brokers for years. Those who have used API to trade in cryptocurrencies find it simpler to use Alpaca’s API. 

The API allows users to integrate market data using the Polygon API, and to backtest using Blueshift. It is easy to use your paper trading (demo) account to test Alpaca capabilities, and there is plenty of good documentation available about how to begin. The Alpaca API is available in programming languages Python, Javascript, C#, and Golang.

Most of the users of Alpaca API have good knowledge of coding and its terminologies. Which serves the purpose because mastering coding is a difficult task. 

Alpaca Review

Research and Education 

It provides a highly capable API along with good charting tools and fundamental data. It lacks news feed and trading ideas for new traders,

Live videos, tutorials, and blog posts are available on the platform to teach the basics of the market. It also gives access to a demo account so that users can understand the working of the applications. 

Is Alpaca Safe?

Alpaca is regulated by the top tier US financial regulators. It is backed by the SEC and FINRA. It is a member of SIPC. SIPC offers $500,000 protection to customers, in case anything wrong happens to Alpaca. 

Alpaca Review

Customer Support :

One can contact Alpaca only through email. Phone and live chat support are not available at this point.

Alpaca Trading Review

8.8

Account opening

8.5/10

Fees

9.0/10

Trading Platform

9.0/10

Security

8.5/10

Pros

  • No activity fee
  • Great API trading service
  • Data on asset fundamentals
  • Free stock and ETF trading

Cons

  • Customer support is limited to email
  • Credit/debit card not available
  • Higher interest rate
  • Poor search function

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