Active day traders place much more trades than regular investors, and they need a platform that works with their approach.
A reliable day trading platform will make all of the difference. The best brokers offer helpful tools, resources, and support to make your day trading a more streamlined process.
What should you look out for in the best brokers? And how do you know which one will optimize your trading strategy?
We have compared brokers to come up with a list of the best options for various active traders.
One important element of your success comes down to the brokers that you use. This influences how easily you can trade, what you can trade in, and what type of support you may have along the way.
Best Day Trading Brokerage Accounts
Our analysis of brokers is based on a variety of factors. We have rounded up the best options for active day traders below. These platforms support various investment strategies and are suitable for a wide range of day traders. Broker fees & commissions, security, regulation, tradeable assets and more is taken into account. Here is the list of the top brokers for day trading in 2021.
- IQ Option
- Interactive Brokers
- Ninja Trader
- Tradestation Global
- Charles Schwab
- TD Ameritrade
If you are on the lookout for day trading brokers, then you will certainly have heard of eToro. eToro is one of the most popular trading platforms available, with a massive global user base.
Traders on eToro can enjoy a quality, high-performance app, access to a wide range of trading options, and some great features. This includes the popular social trading function. There are also 0% commission fees on stocks and competitive trading which is appealing to busy day traders.
Offers a wide range of trading options
Some fees are a bit high
No commission fees on stocks and competitive trading
Research and analytics reports could be better
Offers helpful social trading functionality
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
This CFD broker is another popular option for day traders. Trading on Plus500 is commission-free which appeals to bust, active traders. There are opportunities to invest in forex, crypto, and stocks.
You don't get a huge range of trading options, but the app is easy to use and very safe. For day traders, this is an efficient platform.
High leverage available
Limited to CFD trading
No commission fees
Research tools could be improved
Trade CFDs for free stock options
Includes a risk-free demo mode
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76.4% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
AvaTrade is a top consideration for day traders seeking different options. AvaTrade offers a choice of three different platforms: Avatrade Go, AvaTrade Options, and AvaTrade Social.
The platform focuses on forex options through CFDs. All kinds of traders can optimize their strategy by choosing the platform best suited to their needs. Avatrade also offers quality research tools to make trading easier.
Three different trading options available
AvaTrade is a CFD only platform
AvaTrade offers superior research tools
Quality support network
Easy to open an account and get started
IQ Option is one of the best day trading brokers for a versatile investment portfolio. You can trade in forex, stocks, crypto, ETFs, and digital options. There are many good deposit and withdrawal options which is a bonus to active traders.
This platform is easy for getting started on, and it only has a $10 account minimum. IQ Options is also regulated for greater safety.
Exclusive digital options trading
Better suited to non-EU traders
Multiple withdrawal and deposit options
Easy for getting started
A good range of investment opportunities
This trading broker offers low per-share pricing and low margin rates. All kinds of traders can enjoy this broker thanks to their commission-free ETF and stock trading.
Interactive Brokers offer a Trader Workstation as their flagship desktop platform. This is specifically designed for active traders or anyone trading in multiple products. For day traders, this offers a greater level of flexibility and power.
The trader workstation offers a major benefit to active day traders
Inactive traders have to pay high fees
Includes a wide range of investment opportunities
Many mutual funds available with no transaction fees
Good research tools available
This global forex broker is a top choice for day traders focused on CFDs and foreign exchange. The platform has very low fees on forex trades which makes active trading more appealing.
There are also significantly low (mostly free) withdrawal and
Low forex fees
Stock CFD fees are higher
Free withdrawals and deposits
The trading options are fairly limited
A very user-friendly platform
XM is a broker that offers forex and CFD trading on stocks, stock indices, oil, and gold on MT4 and MT5. This platform is appealing thanks to its low stock CFD withdrawal fees.
The platform is very user-friendly and easy to trade on. Opening an account is also simple. Some bonus features include educational webinars and a free demo account which is suitable for new traders.
Low withdrawal fees
Limited to mainly CFDs and forex
Excellent educational tools
Fast to get started and easy to use
When it comes to futures and forex trading, NinjaTrader is one of the best options. This platform offers good tools, charts, and resources to help you trade.
Users can get used to NinjaTrader for free before starting to trade live. This can be very helpful for beginners. The app is easy to navigate and offers low trading fees.
Very low futures trading fees
No mobile app available
NinjaTrader has excellent tools and research available
Trading options are limited to futures and forex
It can connect to an external brokerage account
We have chosen TradeStation Global as one of the best brokers thanks to its low fees and wide-ranging product portfolio. Active traders can access excellent stock exchange options which are great for day trading.
While TradeStation has a wide range of options and low stock and ETF fees, it is best suited for more experienced traders. The account minimum is a high $1000, and opening a new account is a difficult process.
A great range of investment opportunities
High account minimum
Excellent customer service
The platform is set up for efficient use by experienced traders
eOption provides a great day trade solution thanks to its easy-to-use platform, simple account opening process, and decent fees and commissions. eOption is focused on options trading, so you will need to make sure that this fits your strategy.
If you are looking for a bit more security, eOptionis a good choice as it is a dependable form of hedge with less financial dependence.
High percentage returns
Requires a $500 account minimum
User-friendly mobile app
High non-trading fees
Good customer support
Offers a superior solution for options trading
Charles Schwab offers a trading platform that is perfect for busy day traders. Beyond the fact that the mobile app is really easy to navigate, this brokerage offers three platforms with no minimum or fees.
Traders can make use of commission-free stock, ETF, and options trades. There is also a large fund selection, and good research tools available.
Commission-free trading available
Low default cash sweep rate
Offers a wide selection of investment options
Plenty of research tools
User-friendly app for day trade
When it comes to day trading platforms, TD Ameritrade is a versatile option for all types of investors. This broker offers common stocks, preferred stocks, exchange-traded funds, futures contracts, margin lending, fixed-income investments, and more. Day trades can also enjoy a lack of commissions through this broker.
No account minimum
The day trading platform is only suitable for US residents
Commission-free trading available
A great system of customer support available
e*Trade appeals to new day traders thanks to its easy-to-use platform. The broker offers excellent guidance and tools to help new investors get set up.
You can trade in a wide range of different products through e*Trade. This includes common stocks, preferred stocks, futures contracts, exchange-traded funds, options, mutual funds, and fixed-income investments.
ETF and stock trading is free
Not great withdrawal and deposit options
A wide range of investments is available
Only trades in US markets
Great resources for beginners
Easy to start trading on
Tradespoon focuses on providing an incredibly easy-to-use platform for all types of traders. The platform has great analysis tools with quick price forecasts that can be incredibly helpful to day traders.
Forecasting covers bitcoin, forex, and futures. You also get an excellent array of trading tools available.
Superior analytics tools available
No mobile app
The subscription prices are high
7-day free trial
Various subscription plans available
Fidelity is certainly one of the best out there. This brokerage offers stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, and more. There are commission-free trades available, as well as great fractional share trading.
Fidelity offers an Active Trader Pro option for experienced day traders. This provides you with more powerful trading tools, real-time insights, and useful visual snapshots for monitoring your investments.
The Active Trader Pro feature is ideal for day trading
A tricky day trading platform for inexperienced traders
Low fees and commissions
Offers a wide-ranging investment portfolio
Includes useful decision-making technology
Lightspeed offers low trading costs and is a perfect choice for active day traders. This broker is specifically designed for high-velocity stock and options trading and is not particularly suitable for beginners.
Lightspeed has a large $10,000 account minimum, and it offers no commissions. Lightspeed offers various benefits through its active day trading services, as well as superior technology and speeds.
Specially set up for dedicated frequent traders
Particularly high account minimums
Traders can route their orders
Not suitable for beginner traders
An extremely fast trading platform
Great customer service
Tastyworks appeals to frequent traders thanks to its low rates and commissions. This is a pretty broad trading platform that can work well for various trading strategies. The research tools and information available is a major bonus to using this platform.
An easy platform to get started on
The investment portfolio options could be better
Low trading fees
Limited withdrawal and deposit options
Useful research tools and information available
What Is Day Trading?
Day trading is when investors buy and sell on the market throughout the day, closing all of their transactions by the end of the day. For example, day traders will buy a share of a stock when the market opens and sell those same shares before the market closes that day.
The general idea behind day trading is to start the day with no transactions open, and trade quickly throughout the day.
Day traders make far more trades than regular investors. This is not a long-term investment strategy, but a fast reaction to the daily markets. Day trading requires a platform that supports this style of fast, active trading.
What are Day Trading Platforms?
Day trading brokers offer platforms for users to directly trade through. These platforms present various investment opportunities, such as stocks, forex, crypto, commodities, and so on.
With a day trading platform, you can access the market directly with real-time prices. These platforms provide a single interface where you can open, close, and manage all of your trades.
The best platforms will need to have a few unique features. They should offer low trading fees, accommodate active trades, and present the right array of trading opportunities.
How to Pick a Broker?
Interested in getting started with day trading? Your success all starts with the right broker. With all of the different brokers and mobile apps available, this can be a tricky process. We have outlined a few of the essential considerations for choosing a broker below.
Fees & Commissions
Day trading involves frequent transactions. If the fees on these are high, you can end up losing a significant amount of money. PAy close attention to the fees and commissions that the platform offers before making your choice. This needs to align with your investment strategy to be worthwhile.
What Can You Day Trade on These Platforms?
Different brokers offer different portfolio options. Make sure that you choose a platform that allows you to trade in an area you want to focus on.
Investment options include things like stocks, ETFs, equities, crypto, options, and so on. Some platforms only offer a few investment options, so be aware of this when choosing your trading app.
Any safe trading platform needs to be well regulated. Brokers are regulated to make sure that they are safe, secure, and transparent. All of the brokers listed above are properly regulated.
Types of Trading Platforms, Tools, Functionality, Ease-of-use
Every trading platform is different in the way it operates. Some platforms offer mobile apps that are incredibly easy to navigate, while others have loads of complex information.
Different platforms also offer unique tools and functions for more streamlined trading. Make sure that your platform has a good level of functionality and trading tools to match your needs.
Can you trade through a mobile app or is the platform only available on a desktop? This is important for active day traders on the move.
Order Types Available
You can get market orders, trailing stop, limit orders, and more. These different order types change with each day trading platform. Make sure that you choose a broker that offers the right order types for your strategy.
What type of account can you open? How can you implement your investment strategy? Are you an active day trader o a long-term investor? These are necessary considerations when choosing the best platform.
Do They Offer Real-Time Data?
Real-time data is essential for busy traders. The platform should keep day traders updated with real-time pricing and reports for accurate and fast decision-making.
Without real-time data, users can make wrong decisions that affect their transactions. The data can include things like quotes, news, real-time execution, slippage, and so on.
Leveraging is when traders open positions that are greater than the capital that they have available. If leverage is important to your trading strategy, then make sure that your platform will support it and to the right extent.
A margin rate is an interest that brokers charge when traders buy certain financial assets and hold them overnight, past a business day. Low margin rates are important for busy traders.
This is something to look out for when finding the right broker. Also, consider the different types of margins. You get real-time margins, rates, and so on.
How much money you need to open an account and start trading can influence your decision on a platform. This can range anywhere between $0 to $25,000. Make sure that the account minimum is suitable for your budget.
Research Tools Available
The success of your trading app can often be measured by its research tools available. This will help you to make more informed investment decisions, something that can be particularly important for active traders.
Research tools include things like technical analysis, trading volume, historical data, fundamental data, news, etc.
Some of the best day trading platforms have powerful education tools to keep traders informed. This can include things like news, webinars, investment data, and helpful guides. This is particularly important for beginner traders.
Any great platform will need to have a good level of customer service. Day trading is volatile, with plenty of risk and money involved. Having a strong support network behind the platform is essential for a good user experience.
Day traders are fast, and their brokers should keep up with this. The best brokers offer fast order execution for greater efficiency while trading.
Who Regulates Brokers?
Various bodies are set up to regulate brokers. Generally, this depends on the country the broker is based, or where they are trading. Some major regulators include FCA, ASIC, CySEC, BaFin, SEC, CFTC, SMA, Finanstilsynet, and more.
Types of Brokers
There are four main types of brokers. These are forex brokers, stockbrokers, discount brokers, and full-service brokers. They need to be chosen depending on your investment methods and strategy.
Day Trading Market Hours
Day trading is done between the opening of the London markets at 08:00 GMT, and the closing of the US markets at 22:00 GMT. Between 1pm – 4pm, GMT is when the markets overlap. This is the busiest trading time.
Day Trading Taxation
Day trading taxation depends on which tax systems remit you fall under. For example, CFDs and forex are classified as “speculative” in the UK and they don’t have capital gains taxes on them. This changes with different locations.
Anyone trading for a living will be required to pay income tax on day trading profits. This is a general rule that applies across the board for day trading taxation.
Yes, day trading is completely legal. Just make sure you use an accredited, properly regulated broker.
There are many reasons why a day trader may fail. Generally, it comes down to a lack of knowledge. Some traders also limit themselves with unnecessary financial rules and restrictions. Avoiding risk can also limit day trading success.
This is when day traders follow through with at least four-day trades over five business days. This is all done using a margin account, where the day trades must make up more than 6% of this margin.
Yes, depending on your broker’s account minimum you can certainly day trade at much less than this. However, day traders usually work with larger amounts of capital which results in higher returns.
Yes, day trading can be a lucrative profession if done properly. Just make sure that you are properly equipped and qualified to do this. Successful day trading takes a great deal of knowledge.
There is no straightforward answer to this. It depends on your knowledge of the market and the amount of capital you are trading with. Day trading is a risky business with plenty of room for loss, but there can also be some excellent returns for successful traders.
Day trading is risky. Depending on how you manage and prepare for risk, each day can be a rollercoaster. Day trading is generally made up of high highs and low lows. Traders are expected to be prepared for losses.