How to Choose the Best Day Trading Platform

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The best day trading platform must offer speed, functionality, and cost efficiency, while aligning with each trader’s individual trading style, capital and risk tolerance. For example, scalpers and high-frequency traders value speedy execution to take advantage of market movements, while swing traders prefer a broader array of tradable assets and robust research tools.

While day trading is a potentially lucrative endeavor, it comes with significant risks. Traders should take the time to learn about order execution and strategies, and practice with a demo account before investing real money. They should also carefully consider a broker’s mobile app and features, as many are limited in functionality and may have a steep learning curve.

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TD Ameritrade, for instance, offers free mobile apps with a full suite of features. The brokerage is one of the few that allows its clients to link their accounts with TradingView, a popular charting platform and market data provider. Its mobile apps also feature competitive margin rates and extended trading hours.

Traders should also consider a broker’s fees and commissions before selecting the best day trading platform. Interactive Brokers leads the industry in low-cost trading, with a flat $0.005 per share fee on US-based equities, including OTCBB and penny stocks. Its IBKR Pro platform offers a variety of benefits for day traders, such as SmartRouting and a customizable interface, while its thinkorswim program is renowned among professionals for its advanced technology and educational resources. Schwab, which acquired TD Ameritrade in 2020, will continue to offer access to thinkorswim for its existing traders until 2023.