Not all platforms have a backtesting feature though, so check before you commit to a specific software. 

Secondly, you can leverage assets to magnify your position size and potentially increase your returns. Trading on this platform is very easy, even for those who are new to cryptocurrencies.

NerdWallet’s top online trading platforms for day trading 

Finding the best stock trading account depends largely on your investing needs. NerdWallet's picks for the best online brokers are based on the breadth and quality of offerings that matter most to individual investors.

Independent Trading Platforms An independent trading platform is used for visualising market data and managing your trading, but it needs to connect to one or more brokers to actually place a trade on the market. These professional day trading platforms typically offer a more advanced interface than that of the average brokerage, and help you to find and place trades with one or more brokers of your choosing.

Different platforms have different strengths. NOTE — Not all brokers support this kind of integration with independent platforms, so use our reviews to find ones that do. AlgoTrader AlgoTrader software facilitates the development, automation, and execution of numerous strategies at the same time.

The AlgoTrader download enables automation in forex, futures, options, stocks and commodities markets. It is also one of the first to allow automated trading of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. MetaTrader 4 and 5 MetaTrader is a trading platform that facilitates live access to global trading markets.

It is most commonly used for online trading in the forex, futures, and CFD markets. This page will guide you through the NinjaTrader platform, covering features, indicators, charts, demo accounts, plus compatibility with top brokers. Trading Accounts When choosing between brokers you also need to consider the types of account on offer.

Can you get managed accounts? Do they offer a single standard account or do they offer different account levels? The account that is right for you will depend on several factors, such as your appetite for risk, initial capital and how much time you have to trade. With that said, below is a break down of the different options, including their benefits and drawbacks.

Cash Accounts Most day trading brokers will offer a standard cash account. This is simply when you buy and sell securities with the capital you already have, instead of using borrowed funds or margin. Most brokers will offer a cash account as their standard, default option. Benefits There are several benefits to cash accounts.

Firstly, because there is no margin available, cash accounts are relatively straightforward to open and maintain. Also, you have less risk than margin accounts because the most you can lose is your initial capital. Drawbacks Trading with a cash account also means you have less upside potential because there is no leverage. In addition, you have to wait for funds to settle in a cash account before you can trade again.

At some brokers, this process can take several days. Margin Accounts Most brokers will offer a margin account. Essentially, this allows you to borrow capital to increase your position size. For example, you may only pay half of the value of a purchase and your broker will loan you the rest. Note brokers often apply margin restrictions on certain securities during periods of high volatility and short interest. Firstly, you can choose when you pay back your loan, as long as you stay within maintenance margin requirements.

Secondly, you can leverage assets to magnify your position size and potentially increase your returns. Also, interest rates are normally lower than credit cards or a bank loan. Finally, if you have a concentrated portfolio, you may be able to use existing securities as collateral for a margin loan.

Drawbacks Despite the benefits, there are serious risks. With a cash account you can only lose your initial capital, however, a margin call could see you lose more than your initial deposit. You also have interest charges to factor in. I use Merrill Edge because — quite frankly — I have a large enough account and do enough other business with Merrill and its parent Bank of America that I get a sweetheart deal.

Keep this in mind, because nothing in investing is one size fits all and your specific situation may open other doors for you.

My testing process started with simply cutting out the most expensive platforms for day traders. I ran the numbers for a dozen brokerage platforms, from legacy names like Charles Schwab to low-cost upstarts like Robinhood to traditional discount online brokers like Scottrade. Then I dug into the value each platform provided beyond the simple ability to trade. After cutting the most expensive half of the group based on the trading cost alone, I downloaded platform trials, read fine print about tools and data, and even trolled trading websites to find out what traders are saying about these platforms.

Or would it just confuse me, or add extra costs without adding any extra benefit? You can literally make precise and tactical trades with the push of a button. The Lightspeed Trader platform is all about speed and customization, displaying collapsible and movable windows instead of a fixed experience.

Want to put your charts on one screen and your orders and account info on another? Want to make a keyboard shortcut to execute a trade in the blink of an eye? Heck, even the fees are personal at Lightspeed; the cost structure changes based on your activity level. Hot Keys I was honestly blown away by this feature.

You can even map multiple orders for the same stock — so one key buys 1, new shares of Tesla while another sells shares you already own. This is a must-have for serious day traders. Volume Discounts Rates at Lightspeed are determined by trading volume and incurred monthly. But, it gets better. Scottrade only provides screenshots of how its tools work. Most noteworthy is the maintenance fee for access to its higher-level trading platforms I recommend for the outstanding features like after-hours trading and order customization.

Because of this, you need to know your tendencies and try out a demo before committing. Want to spend hours backtesting ideas? Need a dynamic mobile app to trade and get alerts on the go? Then TradeStation has the tools you want.


The Best Online Stock Trading Sites 

Find out what each broker has to offer and how you can start trading with them.

Open a CFD account with a reputable broker and start trading over 10, global. The Best Online Stock Trading Sites. We tapped into the expertise of a former day trader and a financial commentator (with 20 years of trading experience) to grade 13 of the best online stock trading sites. To find our top picks, we analyzed pricing structures, dug into research and tools, and took every platform for a spin. 

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Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms 2018

TradeStation is the gold standard among active stock, options and futures investors who rely on the broker’s high-octane trading platform, reams . The Best Online Stock Trading Brokers of This is our 10th year reviewing stock trading sites. For this update we spent 80 hours testing the .

Comparison of the best online day trading brokers with full reviews of trading platforms. Find the best broker for day trading with a platform that helps you trade profitably. We also list special offers and essential features for beginners. Finding the best stock trading account depends largely on your investing needs. NerdWallet's picks for the best online brokers are based on the breadth and quality of offerings that matter most to individual investors.

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