Score Priority review and test – Scam or not?
Just2Trade is dead. Or rather, it has been rebranded as Score Priority. The rebranding took place in January 2020, but that’s all that changed. It’s still the same global online trading broker that it has always been.
For the sake of clarity, we won’t use its old moniker but stick throughout with its correct name of Score Priority (SPC).
What is Score Priority?
Score Priority is a mature platform that’s ditched its funky 90s-echoing name in part due to a desire to attract new institutional customers.
It is US-focused but does accept international customers. There are, however, different criteria and rules that apply to overseas clients.
On Score Priority, you can trade US stocks, options, ETFs, futures, equities, commodities, bonds, and mutual funds.
Commission-free trading is available, but only through the Score Priority Trading Platform. Otherwise, you operate on a per-trade basis.
Though zero commission trading is possible, there are exclusions you should note. It does not apply during extended trading hours or to Pink Sheets and the OTC Bulletin Board. Other fees may also apply, so commission-free comes with several asterisks attached.
While aimed at retail traders and day traders, Score Priority offers a package of propositions for institutional clients. This is separate from the main Score Priority website and sits on Lime, a Score Priority division that offers institutional services and products. You won’t be confused as the institutional portal is lime-colored predictably enough.
However, both retail and institutional customers are onboarded using the same registration form. You are also unlikely to mistake the websites either. The retail site looks quite dated and clunky compared to the contemporary and fresh modern design of the Lime website. It is not only better, but it’s also much easier to navigate and find information.
Even if you are a retail customer, you should take a nose around in the Lime site. The institutional site can be accessed from the banner on the Priority Score home page header or via the carousel.
If you don’t, you won’t stumble upon the Priority blog, which is packed with valuable tips and guides for retail customers. Strangely, there’s no direct link from the Score Priority site; you can only get into the blog from the Lime site for reasons that are not evident.
The main topic categories in the blog are:
- Market Trends
- Trading Lifestyle
- Trading Strategy and Insight
- SPC News and Media
Recent blog posts covered trading directly from your chart, a guide to risk management, and rookie mistakes made by day traders.
Regulation and safety of Score Priority
Score Priority’s regulator is FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which also issues its registration.
As a broker, Score Priority is licensed to operate in all 50 US states, plus DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.
Score Priority is also registered as a member of a couple of well-respected industry bodies.
They are signed up with the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. This is an organization that protects investors against their brokerage company going bust.
The other trade body of which Score Priority is a member is the National Futures Association.
Membership of these two industry organizations gives your investments, personal data, and accounts an extra layer of protection.
The trading conditions are very mixed. It’s possible to trade for zero commission up to a point. But it may make better economic sense for you to deal on a per-trade basis if you have a high volume of trades.
Testing the Score Priority Trading Platform
- Score Priority Trading Platform
Clients can use Score Priority’s trading platform to trade US stock, equity options, ETFs, and ADRs on a simple and easy-to-use platform.
The key features are:
- a clean, unfussy trading interface
- it’s web-based, so there’s no downloads or updates to worry about
- you get real-time quotes streamed to your dashboard
- watchlists you create sync with the mobile app
- fully customizable charts
- mostly commission-free trading
While the platform has some charts and trading tools, you may find the offering slightly on the light side. Indeed for some types of trading, you will need to plug-in third-party apps. However, the platform is easy to customize in this way so that you can get your dashboard just so.
Source Priority, though, is aimed at those who have gone beyond cutting their teeth at the digital coalface of online trading.
It’s plain that the platform and Score Priority is set up to serve the needs of more experienced and active traders.
Charting and Analysis
The source priority platform is not over-endowed with analytical or research tools. You are likely to be disappointed with what’s on offer. However, you can either use your favorite plug-ins or opt for the upgraded packages over the basic offering.
Currently, qualifying new customers can gain free access to a third-party site that offers scanning and advanced analysis tools.
Of the charts and analysis provided as standard, the platform mainly opens new tabs that can get messy. Ironically, perhaps, the mobile app has more charting features than most web-based platform packages, other than the Pro option.
The Score Priority apps are available at Google Play and Apple’s App Store for Android and iOS, respectively. Disappointingly, they only support English, as does the website.
Android users need only set aside 13 MB for this app and be running Android 4.4 or later.
The iOS version requires 125.5 MB of storage space and iOS 12.0 or later.
You can do much the same as the web client, including trading all the asset classes.
However, the mobile app isn’t the easiest to use as there are few single tap options. Everything needs to be done via the ‘pancake stack’ menu of three horizontal lines.
The review ratings on Google Play and the App Store are largely meaningless as they are based on very few ratings. The reviews are a mixed bag too.
How to trade
As mentioned, Score Priority is not in any way set up for novice traders. There’s no social trading. And there’s precious few educational resources bar the blog on the Lime site.
Score Priority clearly is focused on experienced traders who wish to up their game and become more active. The rebranding in 2020 was without a doubt about seeing the company repositioning itself and seeking out intermediate and experienced traders.
If you enjoy the demo account and wish to press on with Score Priority, you would be well advised to seek further alternative learning and training resources. There’s not much to get your teeth into on Score Priority.
Given the financial markets’ volatility having the best possible grounding before you start trading is the best way to prevent disaster.
How to open an account
To register with Score Priority, click or tap on the Open Account button on the home page of scorepriority.com. Or any of the other Open An Account buttons that pepper the website.
Ultimately, you end up on the registration page. It’s a fairly standard web form apart from fields to select your country of citizenship and residency from drop-down menus. If the two don’t match, you will be asked to provide proof of address for verification purposes.
Your name should be that which appears in your passport.
If you encounter problems with the registration process or have any questions, you can email email@example.com for help.
If you are either a permanent resident or a citizen of the USA, you will be asked to declare whether you have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or a Social Security Number.
If you have neither an ITIN nor an SSN, basically anyone living outside the US, you will be obliged to provide additional documentation and meet specific other criteria.
If you are employed or self-employed, you will need to:
- earn at least $50,000 per year
- have $50,000 or more in liquidity
- be able able to deposit a minimum of$5,000 within 60 days of opening an account
- and maintain a minimum balance of $5,000
If you are retired, a student, or unemployed, you will need to:
- have a liquid net worth of $50,000 or more
- be able able to deposit a minimum of$5,000 within 60 days of opening an account
- and maintain a minimum balance of $5,000
The documents required to prove employment or income include:
- a payslip carrying a company letterhead, plus a letter from your employer
- a pension, bank, or brokerage statement if retired, a student, or unemployed
- a tax form, bank statements, or other documents show six months’ earning if self-employed
The next step is to choose your account type. The widest choice is for customers based in the US. There’s a vast range of account types for US clients:
- joint WROS
- joint entirety
- joint common
- custodial UGMA
- custodial UTMA
- IRA Roth
- IRA Traditional
- and other
If you select other, the options are:
- rollover IRA
- simplified employee pension IRA
- sole proprietorship
When you complete the form and all the selections, click Next. Depending on your selections, etc., you will face several more screens’ worth of form-filling. A US citizen looking for a joint entirety account has the pleasure of completing six more tabs of forms to reach the end of the quest.
If Score Priority’s registration process is anything, it’s thorough. However, you do come away with the feeling it could be drastically streamlined and some of the other information completed later once you finally get on the platform. As onboarding goes, it’s a dreary trudge to the end.
They could obtain the bare bones to get you in the door first. And then prompt you later within your profile to complete the rest. It would be fascinating to know the abandon rate is in that signup funnel. Potential customers must surely give up the will to live before the end of a journey that would make JRR Tolkien blush.
Understandably, perhaps, there’s no immediately obvious way on the Score Priority website to compare accounts like you would with other brokers. Okay, there are many options, but even an upfront and brief rundown straight from the homepage without having to register is not asking a lot.
However, if you are curious enough to go searching, you will strike gold in the FAQs. Predictably, the link to the FAQs is buried in the bottom menu of the home page. But here’s the link to the FAQ section to save you time.
You are, though, probably going to be underwhelmed by the one-sentence answers and the clickathon that’s involved. So zero points for presentation.
However, here’s a round-up of the main points gleaned from the FAQs.
Per Trade Plan
This plan is the basic Score Priority pricing structure. On Score Priority Plus, the commission is $2.50 per trade.
- minimum balance of $2,500 is required to start trading
- no monthly fees
- commission fees per trade apply if you fall below $2,500
- Score Priority Trading Platform is commission-free, but there’s an additional $0.50 per option
Options account – per trade plan
- the minimum balance varies depending on what tier you are in
- there five tiers or options levels, the most basic being covered call writing
- the commission for options trading is $0.50 per option contract
Futures account – per trade plan
- the minimum balance to open a futures accounts is $2,500
- the minimum balance to keep an account open is $100
- a specific margin must be maintained at all times
- if you fail to meet a margin requirement after getting a margin call, your account will be locked until the margin call has been resolved
- the commission per contract is $2.50 per side
Commission-free trading is only available on the SPC Trading platform. Other fees may apply, however.
Score Priority offers a free demo account to let you try out their platform before committing yourself.
The demo is an excellent way to get to grips with the SPC Trading platform and decide whether it is right for you. Score Priority itself characterizes the platform as basic, so that’s another reason to check it out with a demo if you are not a complete beginner.
Some may find it’s a little too little on features for their liking. However, each to their own. It may prove to be the minimalist, cutdown approach you have been looking for.
Or the basic tool you need as an inexperienced trader to make headway in your trading without too steep a learning curve and information overload.
Conversely, a demo account is a risk-free way for advanced traders to test drive their new trading ideas and strategies.
Is there negative balance protection?
No. But Score Priority goes on at length in their risk disclosure documentation about the risks involved. They point out, quite rightly, that ‘stop loss’ and other contingent orders are not enough to limit losses.
Score Priority also points out market conditions, network traffic, and technology malfunctions could lead to losses.
They warn, too, that leverage or margin can amplify losses as well as gains. Adding that in addition to losing all their funds, clients can easily incur losses beyond their initial investment for which they would be responsible.
Deposit and withdrawals
There are various ways to fund your Score Priority account. And some methods that are not accepted.
Acceptable payment methods include:
- bank wire transfer
- ACH transfer
- or internal account transfer when you hold more than one account
Not accepted, and some will surprise you, are:
- credit and debit cards
- credit card checks
- traveler’s checks
- money orders
- Western Union
- third-party transfers
So if you are not a US resident, your pay in methods are limited.
However, if you are interested in ACH, which stands for Automated Clearing House, an electronic financial network used in the USA.
Once your bank account has been okayed and linked to your Score Priority account, you can transfer funds between them without any charge. However, ACH is currently not available for IRA accounts.
It takes around five to seven days to activate ACH on your account, with fund transfers taking two to three business days.
Regular US domestic wire transfers typically take up to 24 hours to reach your account.
Overseas bank wire transfers can take up to 48 hours to clear.
Withdrawals are via the method you used to pay in.
In the case of ACH, you can withdraw deposits via ACH ten business days following the initial deposit. There is a $100 ACH minimum on deposits and withdrawals.
Support and service
If there’s one thing Score Priority excels in, it’s its contactability.
You can raise customer support using the following:
- Live Chat
- Facebook Messenger
You can also use good old-fashioned email (Info@scorepriority.com) and the telephone. There’s toll-free calling to 1-855-274-4934. The domestic US phone number is +1 646 558-3232.
Live Chat and the other instant messaging platforms can be summoned via the floating menu panel at the bottom of your screen.
You can reach a Score Priority contact person:
- Monday to Thursday between 9 am and 6 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST)
- And on Fridays between 9 am and 5 pm EST
There’s no support during normal market holidays.
For overseas clients, EST is five hours behind GMT during the winter months and four hours behind when the clocks go forward for the summer.
Their postal address is One Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10119.
Accepted countries and forbidden countries
As Score Priority is US-based, it has to comply with strict federal regulations.
It, therefore, does not do business with residents of the following countries:
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo
- The Central African Republic
- North Korea
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
Score Priority also exercises extra caution and additional due diligence for clients in the following countries:
- Ukraine (mainly Crimea)
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- Trinidad and Tobago
- St Lucia
- Palestinian Territory
- Papua New Guinea
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Sri Lanka
- South Sudan
- Burkina Faso
- Côte d’Ivoire
- Guinea Bissau
- The Gambia
If you are not on this either list, such as the UK, the United States, the European Union, etc., you are good to go.
There are no special offers per se with Score Priority. Indeed, there are no deposit or trading bonuses, promotions, or special offers of any kind. None of the incentives you can sometimes pick up with brokers registered and licensed in offshore jurisdictions.
But the net is closing on promotional offers everywhere else. Today, these types of offers are becoming the exception increasingly.
However, there are a few perks with Score Priority.
You can go paperless and sign up for digital soft copies of statements and trade confirmations. You can arrange this by logging on to the client portal, then going Statements/Statements & Confirmations. Check three or more of the options, then Save.
However, you will still receive some mail as certain information has to be delivered as a hard copy. Typically, this will include interest rate changes, shareholder information, and tax-related notifications. These are sent free of charge.
Similarly, there are no charges for mailing out proxy, regulatory, or corporate action communications.
Score Priority is very much US-centric and geared up to dealing with US residents. International clients are accepted, but the restrictions and hoops you have to jump through you may find challenging.
Unless you specifically want to use Score Priority to trade in the US markets, there are probably better options for overseas traders.
That said, Score Priority is upfront and clearcut about its fees and commissions.
The only other misgiving is over the trading platform. There are few features to get in the way, but advanced traders may find it a little lacking. Particularly so if they were weaned on MT 4 and 5.