Mirus was the first to do it, they announced a $25/month maintenance fee for 2012. This fee is waived if you trade 5 round turns per month. This sounds reasonable to me.
But then.. starting February Velocity has $30/month and requires 25 round turns. That’s a bit more steep especially for someone who is starting out and/or trading a lot on sim.
These fees are probably designed to stop people from “freeloading” by getting free data and trading on sim, as any not-yet-profitable trader should be doing. But the worse is once a fee like this appears, it tends to grow. Think ATM fees. They started at $0.50 then $1.00 and then $1.50 and some are now over $3.50. Soon all brokers will have these fees and then they’ll raise them. I can see them at $50/month and 50 round turns minimum, etc.
While I trade enough to meet the minimums, I do have two broker accounts so I have to make sure I do the minimum on every one each month. And if I go on vacation for a month I’ll get socked with the fee.. twice!
If you’re trading on sim watch out for this fee and choose your broker accordingly. I wouldn’t necessarily switch brokers because of this because I think they’ll all have it soon.
We can show our displeasure with these fees by complaining about them and choosing brokers without them, at least until they all have them. That’s about all we can do. So I won’t recommend Velocity for new traders any more unless you’re ok with a $30/month fee.