Best Brokers For Auto Trading

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  • Binarium
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  • Binomo
    Binomo

    2nd in our ranking!

9 Best Online Trading Platforms for Day Trading

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

If you’re an active trader looking to try your hand at beating the market, you probably have a good idea of what you want in a brokerage: low costs, premium research, innovative strategy tools and a comprehensive trading platform. Below, we’ve selected the best online brokers in a variety of categories so you can choose one based on your personal priorities.

One note before you begin: Pattern day traders — as defined by the SEC — must have at least $25,000 in equity in their accounts and be approved for margin trading, regardless of whether their broker’s account minimum is lower.

» New to this world? Learn the basics with our guide to how day trading works.

on Interactive Brokers’s website

Interactive Brokers IBKR Pro

0.25% reduction on margin loans. Tiers apply

on Interactive Brokers’s website

0.25% reduction on margin loans. Tiers apply

Large investment selection.

Extensive tools for active traders.

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  • Binarium
    Binarium

    Best Binary Options Broker 2020!
    Good Choice for Beginners!
    Free Trading Education, Free Demo Account!
    Get a Sign-Up Bonus Now!

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    2nd in our ranking!

Powerful trading platform.

NerdWallet users who sign up get a 0.25 percentage point discount on margin rates.

Complex pricing on some investments.

Website is difficult to navigate.

on TD Ameritrade’s website

TD Ameritrade

cash credit with qualifying deposit

on TD Ameritrade’s website

cash credit with qualifying deposit

Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.

High-quality trading platforms.

No account minimum.

Good customer support.

Large investment selection.

Costly broker-assisted trades.

on TradeStation’s website

TradeStation

cash credit with a qualifying deposit

on TradeStation’s website

cash credit with a qualifying deposit

High-quality trading platforms.

Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.

Active trader community.

Free trading on advanced platform requires TS Select.

No transaction-fee-free mutual funds.

Plans and pricing can be confusing.

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

Summary of Best Online Trading Platforms for Day Trading

on E*TRADE’s website

cash credit with a qualifying deposit or transfer

on E*TRADE’s website

Interactive Brokers IBKR Pro

on Interactive Brokers’s website

0.25% reduction on margin loans. Tiers apply

on Interactive Brokers’s website

on TD Ameritrade’s website

cash credit with qualifying deposit

on TD Ameritrade’s website

on TradeStation’s website

cash credit with a qualifying deposit

on TradeStation’s website

in Transfer Fee Rebates

cash credit with qualifying deposit

in cash bonus with qualifying deposit.

No promotion available at this time

No promotion at this time

Last updated on April 1, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet’s ratings for brokers and robo-advisors are weighted averages of several categories, including investment selection, customer support, account fees, account minimum, trading costs and more. Our survey of brokers and robo-advisors includes the largest U.S. providers by assets under management, plus notable and/or emerging players in the industry. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include advisory fees, branch access, user-facing technology, customer service and mobile features. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

To recap our selections.

NerdWallet’s Best Online Trading Platforms for Day Trading

Frequently asked questions

We’d recommend starting with our guide for how to day trade — it covers a lot of the day trading basics you need to know. But then, practice makes perfect — or as close to it as you can get, as you’ll quickly learn there is no perfect in day trading, and even the pros lose money sometimes.

The best way to practice: With a stock market simulator or paper-trading account. Many brokers offer these virtual trading platforms, and they essentially allow you to play the stock market with Monopoly money. Not only do you get to familiarize yourself with trading platforms and how they work, but you also get to test various trading strategies without losing real money. The link above has a list of brokers that offer these play platforms.

In short: You could lose money, potentially lots of it.

Day trading is exactly what it sounds like: Buying and selling — trading — a stock, or many stocks, inside of a day. It’s all about making predictions and timing the market, with the goal of making a small profit on each trade. In an ideal world, those small profits add up to a big return.

But research has shown that only 1% of day traders consistently earn money; many, many lose it. It’s essentially a full-time job, because you need to constantly be watching — and timing — the market, waiting for your next move. It isn’t for beginner, or casual, investors.

If you’re interested in day trading, our recommendation is to allocate a small portion of your overall portfolio to the strategy – no more than 5% or 10%, tops. That way, if you lose money — as you are likely to do, at least at first — those losses are at least capped. The rest of your portfolio should be invested in long-term, diversified investments like low-cost index funds .

Day trading is risky, but it isn’t illegal. However, the Securities and Exchange Commission imposes specific regulations on pattern day traders.

The SEC defines day trading as buying and selling or short-selling and buying the same security — often a stock — on the same day. A pattern day trader, according to the SEC, is a trader who:

  • Day-trades four or more times within five business days and
  • Those day trades represent more than 6% of their total trading activity during that five-day period

If you fall into that category, you’re required to maintain at least $25,000 in equity in your account. That equity can be in cash or securities.

Note that once a broker has identified you as a pattern day trader due to the above activity, your account will likely be considered a pattern day trading account going forward, even if you don’t continue to meet the definition. If you decide to stop day trading, you’ll want to contact your brokerage and ask that they remove the minimum equity requirement from your account.

This is a loaded question. The SEC requires that you maintain a minimum of $25,000 in equity to engage in pattern day trading, but that equity can be in cash and eligible securities. That’s the minimum amount you need to maintain in your account; on top of that, you also need the money you’ll use to day trade.

But just as important is setting a limit for how much money you dedicate to day trading. Our recommendation is that those dipping into this kind of active trading should risk only a small portion of their account balance — 5% to 10% of your investable assets, at most.

Margin is essentially a loan from your broker. When you open a brokerage account, you’ll be asked if you want a cash account or a margin account.

A margin account allows you to place trades on borrowed money. Often called leverage, trading on margin can magnify your gains — and, in the worst-case scenario, your losses. To read more about margin, how to use it and the risks involved, read our guide to margin trading .

A few things are non-negotiable in day-trading software:

  • Low or no commissions. You might’ve gathered by now that day traders place a lot of trades. Pay close attention to a broker or day trading platform’s fees and commissions. Many brokers will offer no commissions or volume pricing.
  • Research and strategy tools. Day traders use data to make decisions: You want not only the latest market data, but you also need a platform that lets you quickly create charts, identify price trends and analyze potential trade opportunities.
  • Speed. Time is literally money with day trading, so you want a broker and online trading system that is reliable and offers the fastest order execution. Many platforms will publish information about their execution speeds and how they route orders.

Another feature we’d recommend is a broker or trading platform that offers paper, or virtual, trading, so you can practice with simulated trades before the real thing.

If we knew, we’d be very rich. This is the bit of information that every day trader is after.

That said, we can give you some general guidance. There are a few things that make a stock at least a good candidate for a day trader to consider:

  • Highly liquid, with large trade volume.
  • Relatively volatile. You want frequent price changes, which allows you to make a profit quickly.
  • Known to you. An understanding of the stock’s price history, and how it reacts to various events — earnings reports, economic shifts — is key. Many day traders trade only a few specific stocks, developing expertise in those companies and narrowing their focus. (Here’s some detailed guidance on how to research stocks .)
  • Newsworthy. Coverage of a stock will trigger people to buy or sell it. As a day trader, you’ll want to follow the news to find trade ideas.

You can use your online broker or trading software’s stock screener to look for stocks that seem ripe for day trading.

Best Brokers for Day Trading

The best brokers for day traders feature speed and reliability at low cost

Investopedia is committed to rigorous editorial standards to provide our readers with the best advice and recommendations. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products we reviewed. Learn more about our methodology and review process.

We recognize that we all are living through a particularly volatile time as we deal with this global crisis, and financial markets have also seen unprecedented change, impacting all investors. Our mission has always been to help people make the most informed decisions about how, when and where to invest. Given recent market volatility, and the changes in the online brokerage industry, we are more committed than ever to providing our readers with unbiased and expert reviews of the top investing platforms for investors of all levels, for every kind of market

When choosing an online broker, day traders place a premium on speed, reliability, and low cost. Features designed to appeal to long-term, infrequent traders are unnecessary for day traders, who generally start a trading day with no positions in their portfolios, make a lot of transactions, and end the day having closed all of those trades.

Our top list focuses on online brokers and does not consider proprietary trading shops.

Best Online Brokers for Day Trading in April 2020:

  • Interactive Brokers: Best Online Broker for Day Trading
  • Interactive Brokers: Best Broker for Advanced Day Traders
  • Interactive Brokers: Best Charting Platform for Day Traders
  • Fidelity: Best Low-Cost Day Trading Platform

Best Broker for Day Trading, Best for Advanced Day Traders, and Best Charting Platform for Day Traders: Interactive Brokers

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Fees: Maximum $0.005 per share for Pro platform or 1% of trade value, $0 for IBKR Lite

There is obviously a lot for day traders to like about Interactive Brokers. Interactive Brokers allows day traders to invest in a wide array of instruments on a global scale with access to 125 markets in 31 countries. The broker also offers you the widest array of order types and a wealth of analysis tools to find your next trading opportunity.

The only real weakness is the fact that Interactive Brokers went from one of the lowest cost brokers for day traders to one of the few that still charges fees (albeit still very low) while the rest of the industry has moved to zero. This fact has allowed Fidelity to prevent Interactive Brokers from sweeping the day trading portion of our review. Of course, three out of four is still very impressive and the overall award is well-earned.

Interactive Brokers’ primary platform for day traders, the Traders Workstation (TWS) platform, is excellent across the board. There are a few platforms that can beat it in a particular type of trading, such as options trading, but none offer the overall quality of trading experience across the same number of markets and instruments. TWS is the most customizable platform we reviewed, which comes as a trade-off in terms of a learning curve you have to climb before you can use the software to its full potential.

Interactive Brokers tied with TD Ameritrade in terms of the range and flexibility of the charting tools. These platforms allow you to trade directly from a chart and they allow you to customize your charting views to almost any conceivable specification. Interactive Brokers took this category for day trading based on its overall strength and the fact that there are so many more charts because the overall asset pool is much larger.

Advanced day traders will find that Interactive Brokers’ TWS gets better as you need more from it. Backtesting and all the other tools required to implement multi-layered trades with contingent orders are present and all among the best available. Moreover, TWS shines when it comes to controlling your entry and exit, which is critical to trading success in less liquid markets or assets. In addition to 60 supported order types, Interactive Brokers has third-party algorithms that can further fine tune order selection. The algorithms give you control over how a position is entered or exited so that you can minimize slippage or maximize speed. The algorithms take different approaches ranging from blasting orders to exchanges simultaneously to subtly working them into market close or breaking up a position through an iceberg order.

On top of the rich features, wide range of assets, and extensive order types, Interactive Brokers also offers the lowest margin interest rates of all the brokers we reviewed. While this may not matter to buy and hold investors, this changes some of the cost calculations for advanced traders expecting to utilize margin heavily in their trading. That being said, most day traders will see the cost aspect as secondary once they experience the capabilities of TWS and see the buffet of markets and assets offered by Interactive Brokers.

No broker can match Interactive Brokers in terms of the range of assets you can trade and the number of markets you can trade them in.

TWS is the strongest overall platform for day trading with customizations and tools that will satisfy even the most sophisticated traders.

Interactive Brokers allows fractional share trading – something that many of its direct competitors are still catching up on.

Interactive Brokers still charges nominal fees, meaning that other brokerages can offer an overall lower trading cost.

Day traders can only stream data to one device at a time, which may affect traders with a multi-device workflow.

TWS is very powerful and customizable, but this also means it takes some time to learn and fully unlock the potential.

Fidelity: Best Low-Cost Day Trading Platform

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Fees: $0 for stock/ETF trades, $0 plus $0.65/contract for options trade

Fidelity is not only the best low-cost day trading platform in our review, but it was actually the overall runner-up to Interactive Brokers, coming in just slightly ahead of TD Ameritrade. When we are looking at Fidelity from the day trading perspective, it is all about Active Trader Pro. Active Trader Pro is an excellent free platform for trading that will meet the needs of most traders without missing a beat. That said, it is Fidelity’s pricing that adds the real value for a typical day trader.

Fidelity charges no fees on stocks, ETFs, or OTCBB (penny stock) trades. Although no-fee stocks and ETF trades are now commonplace, no-fee penny stocks are still relatively rare. There are some brokers that match Fidelity in this, but many of them scored lower in terms of trading technology and customizability. Another edge for Fidelity, however, is the firm’s order execution. Over 96% of Fidelity orders take place as a price that is better than the national best bid or offer. This results in cost savings for day traders on almost every trade. If you are primarily trading equities and you want to keep your costs down as low as possible, then Fidelity is the brokerage for you.

Fidelity’s costs are low, its order execution is exceptional, and it sweeps your idle cash to give you a little more return while you are waiting to deploy your money.

Fidelity offers a range of excellent research and screeners.

Active Trader Pro is a flexible and powerful trading platform that is a close competitor with Interactive Brokers’ TWS in terms of functionality.

Fidelity does not offer futures, futures options, or cryptocurrency trading.

Day traders looking for more fundamental research may have to use the web platform in addition to Active Trader Pro.

How Day Traders Use Their Online Broker

Day traders may place their trades manually, often from a chart, or set up an automated system that generates orders on their behalf. Fundamental data is not a concern, but the ability to monitor price volatility, liquidity, trading volume, and breaking news, is key to successful day trading.

Day traders often prefer brokers who charge per share (rather than per trade). Traders also need real-time margin and buying power updates. Each broker ranked here affords their day-trading customers the ability to enter orders quickly by customizing the size of trades and turning off the trade confirmation screen. We sought brokers who allow traders to place multiple orders simultaneously, designate which trading venue will handle the order, and customize trading defaults.

Are You a Day Trader?

A key consideration for day traders is trading platform quality, which can impact things such as execution speed and price quotes. Day traders, especially those who trade using their own algorithms, need flawless data feeds or they risk entering orders based on errors in the data. In an environment where high-frequency traders place transactions in milliseconds, human traders must possess the best tools. Most brokers offer speedy trade executions, but slippage remains a concern. Traders should test for themselves how long a platform takes to execute a trade.

Commissions, margin rates, and other expenses are also top concerns for day traders. Even if a day trader can consistently beat the market, the profit from those positions must exceed the cost of commissions. For a high volume trader, commission costs can easily run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars per day. Traders can check these rates by contacting the broker or checking the broker website, but most offer special rates for highly active day traders.

It is also important for day traders to consider factors such as customer service and the broker’s financial stability. Customer service is vital during times of crisis. A crisis could be a computer crash or other failure when you need to reach support to place a trade. The best brokers offer dedicated account representatives for highly active day traders to assist in this regard.

The financial strength of the firm is also important since small brokerages can and do go out of business, but the main player in whether or not you can recover your assets is the clearing firm. Take a look at FINRA’s BrokerCheck page before signing on with a small firm to make sure they have not had claims filed against them for misdeeds or financial instability.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing investors with unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of online brokers. Our reviews are the result of months of evaluating all aspects of an online broker’s platform, including the user experience, the quality of trade executions, the products available on its platforms, costs and fees, security, the mobile experience and customer service. We established a rating scale based on our criteria, collecting thousands of data points that we weighed into our star-scoring system.

In addition, every broker we surveyed was required to fill out an extensive survey about all aspects of its platform that we used in our testing. Many of the online brokers we evaluated provided us with in-person demonstrations of its platforms at our offices.

When choosing an online broker, day traders place a premium on speed, reliability, and low cost. Features designed to appeal to long-term infrequent traders are unnecessary for day traders, who generally start a trading day with no positions in its portfolios, make a lot of transactions, and end the day with having closed all of those trades. The ability to monitor price volatility, liquidity, trading volume, and breaking news is key to successful day trading. Traders need real-time margin and buying power updates. Each broker ranked here affords its day-trading customers the ability to enter orders quickly by customizing the size of trades and turning off the trade confirmation screen. We sought brokers who allow traders to place multiple orders simultaneously, designate which trading venue will handle the order, and customize trading defaults.

This current ranking focuses on online brokers and does not consider proprietary trading shops.

Our team of industry experts, led by Theresa W. Carey, conducted our reviews and developed this best-in-industry methodology for ranking online investing platforms for users at all levels. Click here to read our full methodology.

Top 5 Auto Trading Sites and Services 2020

Autotrading is a form of trading where significant part of the trade – the analysis, execution or both – are carried out by an automated system. Ideally, trading forex, stocks, and crypto involves spending long hours analyzing the markets or individual companies, coming up with actionable trade signals, and executing them.

Autotrading, also known as algorithmic trading, seeks to simplify this process by automating different aspects (or the entirety) of this process. This form of trading remains one of the most revolutionary innovations in the money and stock markets that made it possible to earn passively from the industry.

On this Page:

How does it work?

Referred to as expert advisers, the automated trading systems work by following particular preset rules when entering and exiting trades. It will also trail and analyze the news, economic calendars, and major announcements and come up with informed trading signals that it can then execute automatically or with your approval. One of the most interesting things about autotrading is that once programmed, the system will independently and automatically monitor the market and execute trades 24/7. The effectiveness of autotrading and auto trade systems can be confirmed by the fact that over 80% of all shares and stocks trades executed daily in the United States are initiated by the autotrading systems. But why would you consider autotrading your investments and using an expert adviser?

Why use autotrading software?

    Wholly passive incomes:

Autotrading reduces the amount of time you spend monitoring markets effectively making it one of the most viable passive income earners.

    Outperforms most individual traders:

Autotrading systems are faster in analyzing data and executing trades. This means that they have the highest probability of scoring you maximal profit in a buy order and shield you from unnecessary losses in the case of a market downturn. These, plus the fact that can operate 24/7 makes them more effective and profitable than your average money market trader.

    Highly versatile and supports forex, shares and crypto trades:

Autotrading can be applied in virtually every sector of the money markets. It can be developed for the forex, cryptocurrency and even stock shares industry making it possible to passively trade in any of these sectors without the need of previous industry-specific experience.

    Can be used to perfect a trading strategy:

Autotrading ensures that you don’t need to wait until you perfect a trading strategy to start earning from the money markets. You can choose to invest with an autotrader while you work on your strategy or use its past trading results to enhance your profitability..

The Pros

    Eliminates the often destructive emotions from trading Faster order execution means more profit or minimized losses Autotrading makes it possible to profit 24/7 from such markets as forex and crypto that operate around the clock You don’t need prior trading experience to benefit from autotrading Helps you achieve consistency in your trades

The Pros

    Requires constant updated to maintain profitability System glitches may expose you to above average losses Takes time to create and maintain or capital to acquire and maintain regularly

How to spot the best autotrading systems:

    Trade execution speeds Level of automation, whether full or partial Reliability and the expertise of its developers Analysis accuracy and returns on investments Registration and regulation Quality of customer support given Trading strategies used and their reliability

Best autotrading service providers:

1. Learn 2 Trade – Market Leading Trading Signals

Learn 2 Trade may be one of the most successful forex trading signal providers in the industry with a proven track record of 92% signal success. The British company offers its clients forex trading signals on forex pairs and cryptocurrencies and an online day trading course with unlimited access.

How does Learn 2 Trade work?

Learn 2 trade is an effective market analysis and forex trading signal provider. Once you have completed your purchase and deposited funds into your trading account, you will have full visibility of every trade made by Learn 2 Trade. They will send you 3 Premium signals per day which are delivered via WhatsApp or Telegram and provides you with the most viable entry and exit points as well as stop-loss and trade-profit orders.

How to join Learn 2 Trade

Step 1

  • You may start the registration process by choosing your preferred package. Learn 2 Trade offers three trading signal packages:
  • 1-month package – Costs $25 offering 3 trading signals per day, 89% success rate, live messaging service, and clear SL and TL.
  • 3-month package – Costs $55 offering the same as the 1-month package.
  • 6-month package – Costs $85 offering 3 premium signals per day with an 89% success rate, live messaging service, clear SL and TL.

Step 2

  • After choosing your package, you will be transferred to the cart page. Click on the ‘proceed to checkout’ button in order to complete your registration process

Step3

  • You will get redirected to the billing page where you get to fill your personal details and your preferred payment method – credit card, PayPal, and cryptocurrencies
  • Proven track record of between 89.54 – 93%
  • Learn 2 Trade offers signal delivery via Telegram
  • Learn 2 Trade offers a 30 day, 100% money-back guarantee
  • Learn 2 Trade does not offer brokerage services

2. Centobot – Best overall

Centobot is an automated trading system specially designed to offer autotrading services to the cryptocurrency investors operating in the binary options markets. Started in 2020, Centobot is aimed at helping both experienced and beginner crypto traders earn decent and wholly passive incomes from their crypto industry investments. The crypto autotrader draws its uniqueness from the fact that it exposes crypto traders to over 15 alternative coin pairs and promises to help its investors earn over 300% in revenue

Wide range of autotrading systems

You will also be interested to note that unlike most other crypto autotrading systems that only offer one unified system, Centobot presents you with a choice of close to ten auto traders. These are specially designed to follow specific trade settings and indicators. Simply put, you don’t have to keep adjusting the settings for a single autotrading system to reflect the needs of different cryptocurrencies. Here, you only have to choose the autotrader that best works with your preferred crypto. And this includes Bitcoin Algo V2.1 and Ethereum Rise v1.1 that are specially tuned to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum coins respectively.

Free download and high returns on investment

You also don’t have to pay to acquire either of these bots as they are availed to you free of charge. The fact that these autotrading systems are free doesn’t in any way whatsoever limit the profitability of these bots. These fully automated systems continue leading the binary options markets in helping investors generate the highest returns on investments in the range of 300%. You should, however, note that while the system is free, most brokers demand that you fund your account with at least $250 to activate the autotrading system on their platform.

How to start trading on Centobot:

Step 1:

Create an account with the autotrader by clicking on your most preferred autotrading system. The process is pretty straightforward and only requires your name and email address, plus you get to decide to host your system with one of the three binary options brokers listed on the site.

Step 2:

Fund your account and take the autotrading system live with an initial minimum deposit of $250.

Step 3:

Configure the trade settings. Note that while the trading process may be automated, you can still control when to trade and the number of trades the systems can launch at any given time.

Best Binary Options Brokers 2020:
  • Binarium
    Binarium

    Best Binary Options Broker 2020!
    Good Choice for Beginners!
    Free Trading Education, Free Demo Account!
    Get a Sign-Up Bonus Now!

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    2nd in our ranking!

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