The 3 Best Trading Platforms On The Market Today
Passive money management and index investing are currently hot topics. A lot of investments firms are restructuring how they run their businesses, so as keep their operational costs as low as possible. The aim of this is to keep their investor’s costs as low as possible for as long as possible.
However, it can be hard to achieve perfection when it comes to index funds. The creators of this vehicle also acknowledge this fact. A lot of people are more drawn towards strategic investing or trading stocks, given the low-interest rates of index funds and a global growth rate that is not growing as fast as expected.
For the last ten years, I have been involved in trading of EFTs, stocks and options. Due to advancement in technology and the fact that there are multiple tools and low-costs to deal with as a result of high competition, barriers to entry in this industry have been greatly lowered. The key thing is to choose the right platform to trade on.
Not All Trading Platforms Are the Same
Newbie investors and investors who prefer to buy their stock and hold, as they wait to see what happens have differing needs from more advanced and sophisticated investors.
There are people who are day traders and they do this as their full-time job and not just as a hobby. These are traders who find excitement in trading and actually enjoy the risks involved. If you are a day trader, then you need a competent platform that will enable you to work well. You do not just need a flashy platform that will just connect you to the markets. You need more than this.
The kind of trading software that would be suitable for you is one that enables you to make money fast. Forget about diversification and tax efficiency for now. When looking for the best trading platforms, you can skip all the unnecessary details that you do not want, such as educational resources or asset allocation calculators.
As much as costs matters, it is not all that is to be considered. For example, if you are a carpenter, you simply wouldn’t just go for the cheapest tool. You will have to find the best tool that can do a great job. The same scenario also applies to day traders.
Important Features Of A Good Trading Platform:
Speed – This is when it comes to executing orders and doing research.
Affordable Fees – There are many promotional offers for new users. These offers can last for a month or two then after this the prices get upped. For instance, Scottrade, TD Ameritrade and E*Trade all have zero fees for the first two months of use. After the offer is over, you might get charged as much as $10 per trade. The key is for you to find an online brokerage account that has affordable fees even after their initial promotional offers are over.
Access – It will be best if the platform that you choose deals with more than just stocks. They might offer other things, such as futures and options.
Flexibility-The more tools and programs that you are able to use with the platform, the easier your work will be.
The main objective of trading software is to enable the users to trade financial products. This includes things like currency and stock. These programs are usually made available to clients by brokerage firms, so as to allow customers to manage their own accounts and trade financial products. However, not all online brokerage accounts are the same. They differ as each company has their own unique platform. The key things that make these platforms different are how the interface looks like and how to search for information. In addition, a brokerage firm might prefer to purchase a program from a third party, so as to add on to what they already have.
The rise in popularity of electronic communication networks or ECNs has led to the growth of trading platforms. This has completely transformed the way business is done in the stock market. Instead of transactions being done at the stock exchange, transactions can now be done online. This has significantly driven down the cost of trading. This has made it possible for many brokerage firms to provide online trading software that their clients can use free of charge or at a low cost.
There are several factors that should be considered when you are looking for the best trading platforms. This includes the cost of using the software, plus if many people like to use it. Other factors that you can easily overlook but you shouldn’t include ease of navigation, stability and how secure the platform is.
A Breakdown of the Best Trading Platforms
Lightspeed Trading – Best Customizable Trading Platform
This is a classic platform that can be personalized. By just pushing a button, you will be able to make accurate and tactical trades on this platform.
The major advantaged of the Lightspeed platform is that it is fast and it is also possible for you to customize the platform as you want. The windows are not fixed. They can be collapsed and moved around. This platform is for more experienced traders and not newbies.
You can move the modules around as you see fit. For example, you can carry out research on one window without necessarily closing down another window that you are using. You can even have charts on one window and have your personal details and orders on a different window. It is also possible for you to use keyboard shortcuts to execute trades fast.
How much you are charged will depend on your own personal experience with the platform. The more active you are on the platform, the more you will be charged.
This is one of those amazing features that this platform offers. The possibility of personalizing your own experience by automating hot keys that you can use to perform transactions. This feature can be found on the higher version of LightSpeed software. I also tried out the Lightspeed Trader and liked it a lot. You can set up hot keys that can automate certain transactions, which can normally be done by manually tapping the keyboard. For example, you can have a key which when you tap can order 1, 000 Tesla shares and when you tap another key it can sell 100 shares that you have. You can set up multiple keys to do different orders for the same stock. If you are a serious day trader, then you must seriously consider having this feature.
The more you trade, the more discounts you will rack up. This is because monthly rates on this platform are determined by the volume of your trade. If you are a very active trader, then you can end up saving a lot. For example, $0.0045 is the best rate that you spend per share traded. Now, let’s say that your daily transaction is 10 times in lots of 150, it means that by month end, you will just have spent $135. This is much less than the $7 per trade charged that you will have to pay at a traditional broker that will rack up a monthly charge of $1, 400. However, the deal at Lightspeed can even get better. If you were to trade 100 times in a day, then the cost per transaction drops down to $0.0035 per share. This means that you will end up paying a monthly total fee of $1,050, which is much cheaper than Lightspeed’s usual fee of $1,350 or what you would pay a traditional broker $1,400.
Lightspeed will allow you to use their software for a given amount of time, so that you can experience how it works and see if you like it. This is unlike other platforms. A lot of premium service providers do not allow such access. With Scotttrade, you will only get to see screenshots of its platforms and how its tools function. Charles Schwab has video tutorials. Which you can get after you get a “Guest Pass.” You will have to provide your email address in order to get this pass. However, if you want to have a real experience of using it, then you will have to give them your social security number and personal financial details.
The customization on this platform is great. However, you might not be very familiar with its cost structure and pricing. In a year, you might expect to spend $1, 200 to $3, 300. If you want to access the higher platforms, then you will have to pay a maintenance fee, which I feel is quite worth the experience that you will get. You will get extra features such as being able to trade after hours and being able to customize your orders. If you are planning to be very active on this platform, then you will be able to comfortably cover the fees. That is why it is important that you take advantage of the free demo account, so as to be able to observe your trading habits.
TradeStation – Best Platform for Trading Tools
If you love using lots of tools, then you will definitely like TradeStation. It has various features. This includes backtesting, charting and an app that has tools and plugins that have been developed by 3rd party developers. You can even get a free earnings calendar and a tool that can be used to analyze order flow. This tool costs $29 a month.
Better Bulk Orders
With the TSAlgos app that operates on this platform, no need to carry out small orders anymore. You can now place large orders that are automatically executed through an algorithm that breaks up the order into smaller bits for more efficient execution.
You can use multiple monitors to maximize the various tools that come with this platform. For instance, keeping an eye on stock and chart screens and other visual elements on the platform.
It is possible for you to access this platform through your Apple or Android device and get the same great experience you would get in a desktop computer. This is quite a useful tool for a day trader, who would like to keep an eye on their account even when they are out and about.
Fees on this platform are bracketed. For instance, you will be charged $0.01 for the first 500 shares that you transact. Then you will be charged $0.006 for any other transactions above that. This might be a bit more complicated than the Lightspeed fee structure.
Interactive Brokers – Best Low-Cost Trading Platform
With over 600, 000 trades taking place on this platform on a daily basis, Interactive brokers can afford to offer low cost services to their clients. This is the best platform to use if you want to keep things simple and cheap.
If you would like to save time and energy, then make use of the replicator tool. You will be able to duplicate any favorite mutual fund holdings that you have or EFT and personalize as you want.
If you have an information source that you are already using, such as Bloomberg or S&P Capital IQ, you can sync this with your Interactive Broker account. You can also integrate free services, such as MorningNews and StockTwits social signals.
This is a flexible and responsive software to use. Making a one-click ticker on your portfolio will result in an update of all your fields. This will be done in a mosaic view. For instance, some order forms can get pre-filled and your feed refreshed. However, it cannot be personalized like Lightspeed or easily integrate with other third-party programs like TradeStation.
Not Just for Day Traders
This platform is not just the best for day traders, it can also be used by financial experts and buy and hold investors. There are so many tools on this platform, some of which you might never use.
What Is The Best Trading Software For My Needs
The three platforms discussed above met certain qualifications on my list. This includes speed, affordability and flexibility. Lightspeed provide personalization, TradeStation has a multitude of tools and Interactive Broker is quite cheap.