Investing > Best Day Trading Software

Best Day Trading Software

Effective day trading requires the leading day trading software. This review covers them all.

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Looking to day trade? You’re going to need top-notch day trading software.

That software should elevate your trading experience by helping you meet all your investing goals. This means it should have all the features and analysis tools necessary for you to effectively implement your strategy.

In this guide, we list and evaluate the top day trading software on aspects that matter most to investors. These include the best beginner friendly software to the top software without any budget at all.

We complete our review by going through exactly what to look out for when researching the best day trading software, and how to know if it’s the one for you.

So, out of all the day trading software out there — which has what you’re looking for?

Let’s find out.

Top Day Trading Software

This list includes the seven best day trading software:

1. TradeStation
Best Overall
2. eOption
Best Budget Trading Software
3. TD Ameritrade
Best Education and Resources
4. Interactive Brokers
Best for Trading Professionals
5. Firstrade
Best for Non-English Speaking Traders
6. Forex.com
Best for High Volume Traders
7. E*Trade
Best for Advanced Traders

What is the Best Software For Day Trading?

1. TradeStation – Best Overall

Tradestation Logo

Pros

  • Excellent web and mobile trading software
  • Low ETF and stock fees
  • Quality educational tools

Cons

  • No forex trading
Visit TradeStation on TradeStation’s website

TradeStation has really upped its game in recent times. While it used to cater to professionals specifically, the TradeStation trading platform now offers a TS GO account option that gives beginners access to professional standard stock screeners and a comprehensive library of educational content and development tools.

Another highlight from TradeStation is the volume of offerings available for traders. The firm offers everything from ETFs to stocks, and cryptocurrencies to futures. All of these assets are complimented by the resources and educational tools.

Moreover, as you will see with other brokers mentioned below, TradeStation offers $0 commissions on stocks and most ETFs. Learn more in our in-depth TradeStation review.


2. eOption: Best Budget Trading Software

eOption Logo

Pros

  • Detailed educational content
  • Low cost contracts for options traders
  • Minimum account fee of $500

Cons

  • Lack of support 
  • Standard platform
Visit eOption on eOption’s website

eOption offers the ideal day trading software for those looking to trade on a budget. It charges a low commission of only $3 per trade, and traders can open an account with a minimum of $500. These fees are beaten only by professional-grade brokers like Interactive Brokers.

eOption does offer both a desktop and mobile trading platform that each come with a full suite of features, up-to-date quotes, and live streams. However, day traders looking to sign up to eOption should note that the low fees are compensated for in other ways.

For example, those with less than $10,000 in capital in their accounts or make less than two trades in the year will be billed an annual fee of $50.

Overall, eOption’s day trading software will hit the mark for more advanced day traders who utilize outside research tools and charting and plan on only using the platform for executing trades.


3. TD Ameritrade – Best Education and Resources

TD Ameritrade Big Logo Banner

Pros

  • Low trading fees
  • Super desktop trading software
  • Extensive research and data

Cons

  • Fees are not transparent
Visit TD Ameritrade on TD Ameritrade’s website

TD Ameritrade is a leading broker offering a huge range of platform options and tools to help day traders optimize their profit potential.

Traders can find a host of development tools suitable for novice traders, including a complete library packed with educational articles and videos, portfolio planning tools, not to mention their on hand chatbot, ready to answer any burning questions you might have.

TD Ameritrade’s well renowned thinkorswim platform will give you access to customizable trading indicators, charting software, and PaperMoney, a virtual simulator where you can practice your trades risk free.

Day traders, or mobile traders, won’t be able to get enough of TD Ameritrade’s Mobile Trader app, which gives all the same functions as the desktop version. 

On the downside, day traders interested in this trading software will be hit with a steep bill of $6.95 per trade which can seriously add up at the end of your trading day. That said, this trading software is one of the best, and charges a cool $0 account minimum, along with no inactivity or annual fees.


4. Interactive Brokers – Best for Professional Traders

Interactive Brokers Banner with White Background

Pros

  • Low fees and discounts for high-volume traders 
  • Huge range of asset classes and global markets
  • Big discounts for high volume traders

Cons

  • Platform may not be suitable for beginners
  • Lacks forex charts
  • Minimum activity fees
Visit Interactive Brokers on Interactive Broker’s website

Interactive Brokers makes our best day trading software list because it focuses on offering active, professional day traders a high-quality platform to suit their trading goals. Long-term or casual traders, however, need not apply.

Opening an account with Interactive Brokers won’t cost you a penny, you will have to pay a fee of $10 per month should you hold less than $100,000 in your account, or if you don’t make a minimum of $10 in trading commissions per month. 

Although a fee of $10 might make you initially run for the hills, when you think about it a bit more, some other brokers charge a fee of between $4 to $7 per trade, whereas Interactive Brokers charges the lowest commissions in the industry.

In addition, day traders will be asked to pay a fee of $.005 per share traded with a $1 minimum and 1% maximum of the trade value. When it comes to deals, IBKR offers additional discounts to the highest-volume traders. 

IBKR’s Trader Workstation was created with a beautiful and extensive selection of intricate features, such as customizable alerts, watchlists, volatility measurement tools, and even maps that track market segments experiencing unusual activity. 

To fade out this review, we’ll highlight Interactive Brokers’ huge selection of industry-low fees, stock selection, and professional quality trading tools, making it a dangerous trading software in the hands of a dedicated, experienced day trader.


5. Firstrade: Best for Chinese Speakers

Firstrade Logo

Pros

  • $0 contracts on options
  • Commission free mutual funds
  • Chinese language experience

Cons

  • Higher outgoing transfer account fee
Visit Firstrade on Firstrade’s website

Firsts trade offers day traders ETF, stock and options trades for $0 commission. Its website is known for being easy to use, as well as its Chinese language services. 

Firstrade’s trading platform is an excellent choice for Chinese speaking traders as it offers support to Chinese speaking clients 24/7. The broker does have a slightly outdated web platform, but it’s mobile app is seamless and clean, after a redesign in 2019. The website is easy to use, which many users appreciate.

Day traders will reap the benefits of Morningstar, and the broker’s overall balanced research experience. Firstrade offers a third party research report for ETFs and stocks. However, there is no report for mutual funds.

While Firstrade does not charge any inactivity fees, it does charge a $75 outgoing transfer account fee.


6. Forex.com – Best for Active Traders

Forex.com Banner

Pros

  • Excellent desktop and mobile functionality
  • Active traders will appreciate account options
  • Highly regulated and considered safe

Cons

  • Higher spreads than many competitors
  • No negative balance protection on accounts
Visit Forex.com on Forex.com’s website

FOREX.com is another world-leading broker for day trading software. It offers forex and CFD traders a superb trading experience with a number of trading platforms, competitive pricing, up to date market research, and quality mobile app.

Forex.com’s advanced trading platform will be all that most traders need to reach their goals, with a simple but well-designed user interface.

US traders will be happy to hear that they will have access to Forex.com’s Direct Market Access, in addition to the other accounts. As soon as you open an account you can download the app for iOS and Android which offer full-feature capabilities, integrated charting tools and sophisticated charts.

To get the most out of your strategy you can also utilize Reuters news, set up alerts, and access an economic calendar. Day traders will have access to two account, mostly; one will offer access to Forex.com’s proprietary trading platform, and the other will give access to the standard MT4 software.


7. E*TRADE: Best for Advanced Traders

ETrade Logo Banner

Pros

  • Free stock and ETF trading 
  • Robust mobile app 
  • Full suite of analysis tools and features

Cons

  • Higher commissions than many competitors
  • High minimum account balance of $250,000
Visit E*Trade on E*Trade’s website

E*Trade has grown exponentially over the years, expanding its offerings and earning it a place in our best day trading software list.

E*Trade offers a total off three platforms that each have a specific trader in mind: E*trade web, E*Trade Pro, and OptionsHouse. As you can imagine, E*Trade pro offers a professional suite of analysis tools and features overall but you will need a minimum of $250,000 in your account.

If you’re a mobile trader, you’ll appreciate E*Trade’s mobile app. It’s responsive, clean, and enables day traders to place orders and track stock quotes in real time without any issue.

So, what will you pay? E*Trade does charge slightly more expensive commissions than many of its competitors at $6.95 per trade. Luckily, new traders are offered a 60-day free trial to give you some time to discover if it’s everything you’re looking for. One thing, you will need a minimum deposit of $10,000 if you’re considering opening an account.


What to Look for in Day Trading Software

Trading System Softwares
Day trading has surged in popularity in recent years.

Trading has become increasingly more automated in recent years, especially when it comes to the short-term, sometimes rigorous activity of day trading. In turn, this has resulted in trading software surging in popularity, with traders searching for the broker with the best day trading platform.

The profit potential that can be derived from day-trading in the stock market through the use of stock brokers is controversial.

With so much to take into consideration, from brokerage fees and features, to research tools that will help you find stocks that will pay dividends, choosing a broker that will really help elevate your trading game can, understandably, become overwhelming.

Yet it remains a crucial step: choosing your first broker — the right way — is an imperative part of reaping returns in the stock market. In the day-trading world, it’s critical to assess how compatible a broker’s features and tools are with your own trading needs, budget, and strategy.

Day trading requires a lot of time sensitive tasks due to the fact that traders buy or sell position and close them on the same trading day. The idea behind such a strategy is to make smaller profits on big order volumes by buying and shorting, usually with the use of leverage.

Why is Day Trading Software Important?

Day trading software is simply a computer program that helps clients trade efficiently. It’s usually accessible through brokers, and has allowed more novices to embrace day trading. Some suggest that the lack of sports has resulted in many turning to day trading, pushing the market up.

 In fact, the stock market peaked higher than it has in 30 years in April, May wasn’t too bad either. The trading software automates the analysis process and implements trades to enable its owner to take home optimal profits that they otherwise may not have earned.

For example, day traders, or mere mortals, might find it to keep an eye on two technical indicators at once on two or four different stocks. Learning how to use technical analysis can be difficult enough. But bow would a day trading software cope though? Seamlessly. It was built for it.

Of course, there are so many day trading softwares, and each varies in different ways in terms of its features and functions, making it difficult to find the best for your needs.

Day Trading Tools

In general, there are three basic features in all day trading software. These include:

  • Functions that allow for the set up of a trading strategy (Taking into account news, technical indicators, trading signals etc).
  • Automated order placing (Typically through the use of a DMA) after the criteria is met.
  • Analytical tools to assess marketing developments, holdings, and the features to act accordingly. 

Day trading software does require a one-off set up that includes your trading strategy and limits, connecting it to live data, and allowing it to complete trade executions.

An example, let’s say that stock ABC is listed on both Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange. You are on the lookout for arbitrage opportunities and a day trading software is available for it. Here’s how to set it up:

  • Select arbitrage for the stock ABC and then select the two markets it is listed on for trading.
  • Let’s say both legs of the intraday will cost $0.10 per share in total for the broker and its fees; keep an eye out for price differentials between both markets that exceed the amount of $0.10 per share. You could set $.15 or more as the price difference – this will indicate to the software that it should only execute and buy and sell order once the bid and ask prices have a $0.20 or more difference.
  • Set up how many shares you would like to be bought and sold in one order
  • Go live with your order

The software might identify that the ABC stock has quotes of 59.05 on Nasdaq and 59.25 on NYSE for any orders that are more than the limit of 5,000 shares. The day trading software will recognize this and go ahead and initiate the trade, sending orders to both exchanges. Assuming everything goes as planned, the day trading software will earn you a ((59.25-59.05)  – 0.20 = 0.10) * (5,000) = $500 net profit in the blink of an eye.

The Essentials of Day Trading Software

We just looked at an example of an arbitrage strategy which is extremely short-lived. This strategy and others can be executed through day trading software which makes it crucial to choose the one that matches your goals and needs. 

Here is a list of what to look out for in day trading software.

Specific Day Trading Needs

Think about whether you want to aim for a simple day trading strategy or a more complex one. Will you need a forex feed or will you be trading on certain products like options? If so, you’ll need the tools to implement an options trading strategy. Don’t just trust the broker’s marketing claims. Take advantage of virtual simulators and assess it for yourself so you can really get a feel of how it will work for you, personally.

Platform Independence

Unless you plan on running a seriously complex algorithm for your day trading, then we advise you go with web-based software. This will be better for connecting from wherever you are, it won’t require any installation, and there are not maintenance costs. However, if you are planning on using a more complex algorithm then look into getting a computer-based software. Bear in mind, it won’t be cheap.

Additional Features

Day trading strategies that work with short term price movements are mostly driven by news, among other things. Will your strategy be reliant on real-time news, data feeds, or charts? If your answer is yes then make sure you will have access to them within the software you choose, it may require you to connect to it from third party sources, which would increase your costs.

Analytical Features 

Work out what analytical features are included in the software. Here are some possibilities: 

  • Technical Indicators: Traders hoping to predict future price levels and directions will require technical indicators. Once you lock in what technical indicator you will follow, make sure the day trading software can back up the automation process that will be needed for the trades.
  • Arbitrage Opportunities Recognition: This  is what you will need for the arbitrage strategy example we used above. It buys and sells the share on both markets with the stated price differential, enabling you to make a quick profit. For this, you will need to be connected to both markets, in addition to being able to check price differences in real time.
  • Mathematical strategies: Some strategies are back on mathematical models – a delta-neutral strategy for example – which allows the trading of options and the underlying security, where trades work to offset positive and negative deltas to maintain a portfolio at zero. The day trading software should be able to asset the holdings, confirm market prices and execute the trades as required.

Other Considerations: Fees & More 

As we can see, there are limitless opportunities when it comes to day trading software. Everything can be automated these days, not to mention customized.

Aside from finding the best day trading software, you should test the strategies you are considering on historical data, work out the profit potential, calculating in the costs of the day-trading software, and go from there. 

Here are some other aspects to take into consideration when looking for the best day trading software for your needs.

Price of the Software

Some software comes as a part of the brokerage account while others charge additional fees for the use of day trading software. Do a cost analysis, and assess different versions and features. While most software will come free, it may not have all the features you need to optimize your trading.

Price Accuracy

Make sure to check out whether the day trading software supports the national best bid and offer (NBBO). Choosing a broker that is an NBBO participant ensures that your trades will be executed at the best bid and ask price available. However, this will depend on the country-specific regulations.

Protective Features

Although the thoughts of having a software that can earn you a profit is exciting, protection is of prime importance.

As technology has advanced, “sniffing algorithms & software” has also become available which aims to pinpoint other side orders. These are created to enable owners to sense the orders on the other side. This is worth taking into consideration.

The Bottom Line

Exploring the best day trading software and computer programs can take you down a myriad of horizons. Don’t let the thoughts of making money at the click of a button cloud your judgement, you will still need to fully understand the software you are using, what it is capable of, and what it is potentially missing.

Evaluating day trading software fully and thoroughly, with a good understanding of your trading strategy, will put you on the right path to benefit from day trading.

All reviews, research, news and assessments of any kind on The Tokenist are compiled using a strict editorial review process by our editorial team. Neither our writers nor our editors receive direct compensation of any kind to publish information on TheTokenist.io. Our company, Tokenist Media LLC, is community supported and may receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through links on our website. Click here for a full list of our partners and an in-depth explanation on how we get paid.

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