There is no such thing as a part-time day trader. At least, there aren’t any who can make a living off of day trading. Professional day traders often quit their day jobs and fully dedicate themselves to the market. In addition to a speedy, reliable internet connection, their computers need to be equipped with the best day trading software available. We’ve searched high and low for the best, and what we found will lead you to success.
Why do I need day trading software?
Compared to investing, day trading can be as hectic as the Wild West. From the minute you wake up, you’ll have to track every minute change in stock indicators and act as soon as the opportunity for profit strikes. Sometimes, changes happen so fast that we aren’t humanly capable of making a profitable trade.
While there are variations in the functions of specific day trading software, there are certain features each software will have. Day trading software should be able to act according to a trading strategy and limits that you assign. It can act according to news, patterns, and other indicators. Any day trading software should be able to automatically place orders, and can provide in-depth analyses of any market developments, in addition to holdings you may currently have.
Here are our top 3 day trading software picks.
When you start day trading, it’s recommended to have $30,000 to $50,000 in capital. Most programs reflect this suggestion by requiring an account minimum of at least $10,000. OptionsHouse stands out among the rest by only requiring $1,000. Their fees are comparatively low as well; competitors usually charge a $9.99 commission on each trade, whereas OptionsHouse only charges $4.95 per trade, no matter what. You can use a variety of accounts, including several types of IRAs. Although the interface is fairly user-friendly and they provide a virtual trading platform for you to play with, there is little information for new traders. If you need a tutorial-heavy platform, look elsewhere.
Interactive Brokers requires a $10,000 initial deposit but makes up for the steep account minimum by having amazing commission rates. Compared to OptionsHouse, which charges $4.95 per trade, their rates range from $0.005 per share and don’t exceed 0.5% per order. Interactive Brokers has two different, customizable interfaces: the web-based WebTrader, which is strictly for trading, and the robust downloadable software called Trader Workstation. New traders might find the hefty initial deposit and intense learning curve intimidating.
TD Ameritrade has some of the best customer support around; they have a 24/7 customer service line and several tutorials for new traders. And unlike OptionsHouse or Interactive Brokers, you can open an account without any initial deposit. As expected from a brand with name recognition, TD Ameritrade has a powerful day trading software, but the highest commission prices on our list. Each trade comes with a $9.99 fee, plus an additional $0.75 fee for trading options. Fees aside, their software is highly customizable, allowing traders to follow market news, analyses, and everything else they want to know. Traders on-the-go will be delighted to download the TD Ameritrade mobile app, available on iPhone and Android. Users can see their investments, orders, and keep up with the market news.