There are lots of investing apps that you can choose from these days.
As a group they have a lot to offer including no commission trades, no account minimums and low costs. Some even award free stocks when you sign up.
While Tornado offers a lot of the things that other investing sites do when it comes to low costs and a low entry point, they have a unique set of features and tools that can help you to benefit from professional investing plans and portfolios, without needing to pay a hefty management fee.
In this Tornado review, we’ll delve into this platform to help you decide if it is a good option for you.
- $10-$1,000 new account cash bonus!
- Portfolio optimization with one click.
- Earn referral rewards.
- Get tips from experts, and learn from other users.
Tornado (originally named Nvstr) was founded in 2015 by Patrick Aber and Bernard George. They both left the hedge fund industry with the aim to make intelligent investing accessible and available to everyone.
The platform allows you to invest in stocks or ETFs traded on the US stock exchanges.
Most online brokers require that you make investment decisions by yourself without any real guidance, or they use a proprietary, automated robo-advisor where you have no control. The lack of guidance can be intimidating for newbies or casual investors.
Tornado is somewhere in-between. They allow you to manage your portfolio yourself but provide suggestions on what to buy and sell to maintain a balanced portfolio.
The platform has a user-friendly web and mobile interface where you can research investments, simulate trades, assess the pros and cons for stocks, and even see what other members and famous investors are buying and selling.
Tornado is available via their website, or you can use it on your iOS or Android device.
Opening An Account, Account Options
To open an account with Tornado, there are some requirements.
- You need to be a US resident
- You need to be at least 18 years old.
You can use your account to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, or ADRs that are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Although you can't invest in some foreign companies, you can buy most tickers traded on Nasdaq and the NY Stock Exchange.
While you can't trade call options, you can sell short stocks.
Each taxable individual brokerage account has a margin account with the possibility to get margin loans with a minimum account balance of $3,000.
Currently, joint accounts and retirement accounts are not available.
There are no minimum deposit requirements.
When you have a $3,000 trading account balance, you will be able to buy multiple portfolio optimizations with only one click.
Cash Bonus Of Up To $1,000
If you fund your Tornado brokerage account and place a trade within your first month, you can receive a random cash bonus that is worth anywhere from $10 to $1,000.
You must place a trade within 1 month to keep your sign up/referral rewards, so keep that in mind. See their site for complete cash bonus rules.
Use our link and you'll get a 20% bonus!
Funding Your Tornado Account
The best way to fund your Tornado account is to link a savings or checking account. You can either use instant verification or manually enter your bank details. Instant verification involves selecting your bank and then logging on with your online banking details.
Tornado will send two micro-deposits of between $0.01 and $1 each to the account you specify. You can then enter these deposit amounts to verify account ownership.
You can link up to three savings or checking accounts to fund your Tornado account. This makes it easy to move money into or out of your account. You can initiate a transfer through the Account Funding Page.You can remove an account from your Tornado profile at any time.
There are no fees to transfer funds into or out of your Tornado account, but the minimum deposit is $10 and there is a maximum transfer limit of $50,000 per day. You can generally have access to your deposited funds the following business day to make investments. However, newly deposited funds are retained for five business days before you can initiate a withdrawal.
When it comes to fees in an Tornado account, there aren't very many, and the ones they do have are pretty reasonable. There is a $4.99 per month subscription fee, which provides 25 free trades per month. That means the cost comes in at less than $0.20 per trade!. Trades in excess of the first 25 cost $4.50 each.
Additionally, you’ll need to pay interest on any margin loans at a rate of 6.5% APR, if you use that option.
Monthly subscription costs can be paid through your linked savings account or checking account, or with a credit or debit card.
There are no other main fees to worry about, however, there are some other less common fees you may encounter:
- Paper trade confirmations: $2
- Paper prospectus $2.50
- Paper statements: $5
- ACH notice of change/correction $5
- Tax statement: $5
- Margin sell out: $25
- Short forced buy-in: $25
- Returned check/ACH/Wire $30
- ACATS outgoing (per security or entire account) $75
Tornado is a versatile platform offering a number of intelligent investment features. These include:
This is one of the most powerful tools on the Tornado platform. The one-click portfolio optimization feature allows Tornado to become an automated robo-advisor, but with individual stocks or ETFs.
Tornado uses Modern Portfolio Theory to generate a model portfolio. This Nobel Prize winning methodology is what many robo-advisors use to create their invesment portfolios, except that they typically only offer index fund ETF investments.
When you join, Tornado has you fill out a questionnaire to determine your investment preferences. This information is used to help find stocks to diversify your portfolio that match your risk tolerance. If you approve the model portfolio after viewing it, Tornado will buy the chosen stocks or funds for you, all in one transaction.
The platform continually monitors the performance of your portfolio and will even suggest buying or selling extra shares to ensure your portfolio is balanced. However, you need to authorize sales before Tornado will take action on a trade.
You can also adjust your open stock positions and investing goals beyond Tornado suggestions, which makes it more flexible than some robo-advisors.
As you gain investment experience, you can use advanced investment objectives to amend your portfolio. This tool may recommend short stocks, buying stocks with a minimum dividend income, avoiding portfolio volatility, and prioritizing stocks with an assigned high conviction rating.
Although this optimization tool is not perfect, it can help you to avoid an imbalanced portfolio or a portfolio with too many risky stocks.
NOTE: This feature is available for all Tornado users, but to enable one-click trading, the balance of your brokerage account needs to be at least $3,000.
This is a built-in feature that lists ETFs and stocks for traits such as high dividend yields, low correlation to your current stock holdings, low price to book value, and even stocks that investors like you are buying.
The screener has prebuilt screens, but you can add extra filters. You can also make a custom screen. If you like a pick, you can add it to your watch list. It is also possible to buy or sell stocks and ETFs directly from the screener page.
Ask Community Thought Leaders
Another interesting feature of Tornado is that you can ask a community leader to give their opinion on specific stocks or ETFs. Community Thought Leaders are typically professional Wall Street investors and Tornado actually pays them to answer your personalized questions.
This is a great feature for newbies and casual investors, and it's included in your $4.99 monthly fee.
Some investment apps allow you to see what other platform users are buying, but Tornado has several tools that help you to find new investment ideas. You can add these to your Investing Ideas Watch List.
On your list, you can rate stocks as a buy or sell. If you assign a stock a sell rating, Tornado may short the stock. You can also add a conviction rating, pros and cons, investment horizon, and even a reason that you added the symbol.
If you want to monitor a stock performance, but don’t want to invest in them, you can exclude specific tickers from the tool. Your list is visible to other users that you connect with on the Tornado platform unless you change your privacy settings.
Tornado compiles current portfolio holdings of some of the most publicly known and famous hedge funds and their managers. This includes Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway), Jake Tepper (Appaloosa Management), Seth Klarman (Baupost Group), David Einhorn (Greenlight Capital), and Bill Ackman (Pershing Square).
The tool allows you to see the Thought Leader's portfolio's long term holdings, but you won’t see any stocks that are being shorted.
You can then add any stocks from the portfolio to your ideas list. You can also click on the symbol to get an in-depth look at the recent news and basic stock fundamentals. There is even a section to add your personal thoughts.
Connect With Users
The Tornado platform allows you to connect with other users and effortlessly share investment ideas. You can see portfolios, but not specific shares or portfolio values. However, you can send messages to users you connect with to ask questions about specific stocks. You can also receive real-time notifications when your connections buy or sell shares.
Of course, you’ll still need to perform due diligence, but this feature can provide some investing ideas.
Tornado has a "Top Performers" section of the site where you can go and get inspired by the current ideas being invested in by the top performing Tornado users, the users in the top 10th percentile.
While you may not want to invest in all of their ideas, it can be a good place to go and look for good potential investments, to be invested in once you've done your own research.
Simulated Trading Account
Tornado also has a free simulated trading account. You can use this virtual trading account to test your investing ideas and improve your investing skills. The simulator allows you to use the portfolio optimizer to adjust your strategies. This is 100% free of charge.
Research And Community Investing Tools
Many free investing apps don't give you a lot of in depth research and investing tools or charts. They give you the bare minimum.
Tornado, on the other hand, has a good selection of long-term investing focused research tools. These resources are far better than many of the most basic investing apps, but they may not be as extensive as full-service brokerages.
Tornado gives you the ability to see basic stock price charts, stock related news, and even some limited resources for technical analysis. They don't have more than the basics, however, because this platform is designed for long-term investors, so technical analysis is not really a prominent feature.
The tools that Tornado does have include:
Pros and Cons Investor Ratings
Most investors can likely make good use of this tool. Each stock or ETF has a list of short investor opinions on their detail page, and in your dashboard feed that detail the pros or cons of the stock. Users can also add their own pro/con comments or agree or disagree with existing comments.
This feature makes it easy to understand the potential risks, or potential upsides of a particular stock. Even if you’ve already done some research, pros and cons may present arguments you may have overlooked from other investors.
S&P Capital IQ
Tornado provides stock and ETF fundamental data using S&P Capital IQ. This is the same source that professional investors use to compare their potential investments. Although you don’t get full access to research reports and advanced charting, you can compare metrics such as market cap, revenue LTM, net debt and price to earnings, sales, tangible book ratio, or sales ratio.
These metrics vary widely with a free research tool, but they can help you to make informed investment decisions.
The Tornado Referral Rewards Program
Another attractive feature of Tornado is its rewards program. When you open an approved brokerage account, you will receive a cash bonus of up to $1,000. You can also get cash for referring family members and friends to the platform.
When you invite someone to join using your unique link, both you and your referral will receive a cash bonus when their account is opened. Each successful referral will net you at least $10. You’ll find your referral link, and your successful referrals on your "Rewards" page.
The rewards are generally deposited into your account within two business days. You will need to place a trade within a month to keep the reward.
There is currently a limit for how much you can earn through the referral program. This is set at $1,000 and the promotion may be withdrawn at any time.
The Pros And Cons Of Tornado
No Tornado review would be complete without assessing both the pros and cons of the platform.
- $0 account minimum
- 25 trades included in your monthly subscription fee
- Ask professional investors stock specific questions
- Portfolio optimization with one click
- Connect with other users to share ideas and investment tips.
- There is a $4.99 per month subscription fee
- No fractional investing
- Short term traders may find that lack of technical analysis frustrating
- Doesn’t allow buying or selling of mutual funds or ADR stocks.
Is Tornado The Right Option For You?
Tornado is a unique investment platform that differs from much of the competition. If you are new to investing or like to have the input of others before you make your investment decisions, you are likely to enjoy the social aspects of the Tornado platform. You can get opinions about investment strategies or specific stocks from other users and professional investors.
Others that may find Tornado a great platform are those who enjoy staying up to date on the latest trends and strategies, like to have data-driven technology to create customized portfolios or those who seek out expert stock market advice and analysis.
Finally, Tornado is likely to be a solid choice if you are looking for a cost-effective way to make trades. Although there is a $4.99 monthly subscription charge, Tornado provides a whole host of features that you’re not likely to find on completely free platforms.
This makes Tornado a great choice for investors wanting to invest in individual stocks or ETFs. The portfolio optimization makes it easy to create diversified portfolios, but you can add stocks from newsletters, and social network connections.
If you prefer investing in mutual funds or rely on powerful technical analysis tools, Tornado is not likely to be the best choice for you. You may want to consider alternative platforms that cater to your preferred investment strategies.
Tornado is not the only investment app on the market. There are a lot of excellent options out there. Here are some of our other favorites:
Tornado Is A Good Choice For Those Who Want Control, But With Expert Advice
The Tornado platform makes it easy to start investing for the long term.
The platform has a number of innovative tools including the one-click portfolio optimization tool, making it like a robo-advisor, but one that gives you more control over your portfolio.
You can also connect with professional investors and others in their investing community to get insight and help you develop effective strategies for your portfolio.
Although Tornado may not be the best choice for every investor, the low monthly fee makes it worthy of consideration for most others, especially when you consider the generous cash bonus that they're offering.
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