Picking the right day trading platform can make or break your trading career. You should look for a day trading broker that offers a comprehensive platform with great tools, market research and education, low costs, is well regulated, and has great order execution quality.
Day trading is when traders buy and sell shares of a stock within the same trading day, before the market closes. You should pick a day trading platform that offers low costs. This is very important, because day traders place far more traders than the average investor.
We have compared brokers based on a variety of data points to come up with a list of the best online brokers for day traders.
Best Day Trading Brokers 2021
Our analysis of brokers is based on a variety of factors. Broker fees & commissions, security, regulation, tradeable assets and more is taken into account. We have rounded up the best options for active traders below. 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
eToro is one of the most popular brokers available, with a massive global user base. They are a well regulated and safe online broker, offering a wide variety of tradable assets.
Traders on eToro can enjoy a quality, high-performance app, access to a wide range of markets and features. This includes the popular copy trading function. eToro offers 0% commission fees on stocks which is appealing to day traders.
|Offers a wide range of markets||Some fees are a bit high|
|No commission fees on stocks||Research and analytics reports could be better|
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. Plus500 is commission-free which appeals to active traders. Plus500 offers forex, crypto, stocks, options, ETFs, commodities, and indices.
Their platform is great to use and offers fast and reliable execution times.
|High leverage available||Limited to CFDs|
|No commission fees||Research tools could be improved|
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 72% 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 contentender. They offer a choice of three different platforms: Avatrade Go, AvaTrade Options, and AvaTrade Social. They offer CFD trading on bonds, Indices, Stocks, Forex, Cryptocurrencies and more. Avatrade offers quality market research tools and top notch educational resources.
|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 worth considering as a trusted global broker. 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 to get started on, and it 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|
Interactive Brokers offers low per-share pricing and low margin rates. Many traders around the world trust them, thanks to their commission-free ETFs, stocks and top-tier regulation. They offer the lowest margin rates and a great variety of order types.
Interactive Brokers offer a Trader Workstation as their flagship desktop platform. TWS is a popular choice among hedge funds and institutions. It is specifically designed for active traders as it offers a lot of flexibility and power.
|TWS is great for 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 broker is a top choice for traders focused on CFDs and foreign exchange. The platform has very low fees on forex trades.
|Low forex fees||Stock CFD fees are higher|
|Free withdrawals and deposits||Markets are limited|
|A very user-friendly platform|
XM is a broker that offers forex and CFDs 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, 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 fees.
|Very low futures fees||No mobile app available|
|NinjaTrader has excellent tools and research available||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.
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|
|Low fees||Educational resources|
|Excellent customer service|
|The platform is set up for efficient use by experienced traders|
eOption provides a great solution thanks to its easy-to-use platform, simple account opening process, and decent fees and commissions. eOption is focused on options, 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|
Charles Schwab offers a platform that is perfect for active 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||Low default cash sweep rate|
|Offers a wide selection of investment options|
|Plenty of research tools|
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. They offer low fees and commissions.
|No account minimum||Only suitable for US residents|
|A great system of customer support available|
e-Trade is great for beginners 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.
|ETFs and stocks are 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 get started|
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.
Forecasting covers bitcoin, forex, and futures. You also get an excellent array of tools available.
|Superior analytics tools available||No mobile app|
|User-friendly website||The subscription prices are high|
|7-day free trial|
|Various subscription plans available|
Fidelity is 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. This provides you with more powerful tools, real-time insights, and useful visual snapshots for monitoring your investments.
|The Active Trader Pro feature is ideal for day trading||Tricky platform for inexperienced traders|
|Low fees and commissions|
|Offers a wide-ranging investment portfolio|
|Includes useful decision-making technology|
Lightspeed offers low costs and is a perfect choice for active traders. This broker is designed for high-velocity stocks and options. It is not the best 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 platform|
|Great customer service|
Tastyworks appeals to frequent traders thanks to its low rates and commissions. This is a pretty broad platform that can work well for various 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 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, traders 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 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. It requires a platform that supports this style of fast, active trading.
What are Day Trading Platforms?
Brokers offer platforms for users to directly trade through. These platforms offer assets like stocks, forex, crypto, commodities, and more. With a 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 fees, accommodate active trades, and the right kind of markets available.
How to Pick a Broker?
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
Frequent 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 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 Platforms, Tools, Functionality, Ease-of-use
Every 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 tools to match your needs.
Picking a broker with an easy to use mobile trading app is essential. This way you can check on your portfolio on the go and make needed adjustments wherever you are.
Order Types Available
Market orders, trailing stop, limit orders are the basic types. 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 trader or 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 you updated with real-time pricing and reports for accurate and fast decision-making. 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 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 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
Have good research tools is a great way to analyze the markets. This will help you to make more informed investment decisions, which is important for active traders.
Research tools include things like technical analysis, volume, historical data, fundamental data, news, etc.
The best brokers offer comprehensive educational resources. Make sure you pick one that has a variety of tutorials, webinars and more. We found that Avatrade is one of the best in this aspect.
Any great platform will need to have a good level of customer service. Having a strong support network behind the platform is essential for a good user experience.
Fast order execution is essential in order to get your buy and sell orders fulfilled at the right market prices.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 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
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 profits. This is a general rule that applies across the board for taxation.
Yes, day trading is completely legal. Just make sure you use an accredited, properly regulated broker.
There are many reasons why traders 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 you 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.
It depends which jurisdiction you fall under. The limit of $25,000 is mandated by FINRA and all brokers must enforce it in the USA. Depending on your broker’s account minimum you can certainly day trade at much less than this.
Yes, it can be a lucrative profession if done properly. Just make sure that you are properly equipped and qualified to do this. It 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. It is generally made up of high highs and low lows. Traders are expected to be prepared for losses.