Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (2024)

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Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (1)

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Dori Zinn

Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (2)

Dori Zinn

Contributor

Dori Zinn is a personal finance journalist with more than a decade of experience covering credit, debt, investing, budgeting, saving, retirement, college affordability, jobs and careers, and more. She loves helping people learn about money.

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Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (3)

Reviewed By

Robert Thorpe

Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (4)

Robert Thorpe

Senior Editor

Robert is a senior editor at Newsweek, specializing in a range of personal finance topics, including credit cards, loans and banking. Prior to Newsweek, he worked at Bankrate as the lead editor for small business loans and as a credit cards writer and editor. He has also written and edited for CreditCards.com, The Points Guy and The Motley Fool Ascent.

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Updated January 26, 2024 at 11:13 am

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

The best day trading platform has the latest research and data, low fees and easy access to making trades wherever you are.

Day trading is a popular strategy where investors buy and sell securities quickly within a day. But this strategy requires a lot of work and attention, and a previous study by the University of California, Berkeley suggests only 13% of day traders were successful.

If you want to succeed at day trading, the right brokerage or online trading platform can help. The best day trading platforms offer low commissions and fees and top-of-the-line features Whether you’re a current day trader or looking to become one, here are a few of the best trading platforms for day trading.

Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (5) Our Methodology

Our research is designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of personal finance services and products that best suit your needs. To help you in the decision-making process, our expert contributors compare common preferences and potential pain points, such as affordability, accessibility, and credibility.

Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (6) Our Picks for the Best Day Trading Platforms of 2024

  • Best Overall: Interactive Brokers
  • Best for platform options: Charles Schwab
  • Best for promos: SoFi investing
  • Best for commission-free trading: Fidelity
  • Best mobile app: E*TRADE
  • Best basic beginners: Ally Invest
  • Best bank pairing: Merrill Edge

Best Cash Advance Apps of 2024

Best Overall: Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers

Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (7)

Interactive Brokers

See Details

Vault Verified

Fees

$0 and up*

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

$200*

Why We Chose It

Why we chose it: With low rates, two service tiers to choose from and advanced trading tools and insight, Interactive Brokers offers a wealth of features for new and advanced day traders.

Pros

  • Customizable dashboard
  • Discounts for large volumes
  • Low per-share pricing
  • Lots of tradable assets and securities, including crypto

Cons

  • Big learning curve for new day traders
  • Pricing tiers can be hard to understand
  • Some features only available on certain tiers

Additional Information*

Fees

  • Cost per stock: $0.005 per share for IBKR Pro, $0 for IBKR Lite
  • Cost per options: $0.65 per contract

Promotion

  • Earn $200 for each referral. Restrictions apply

Best for Platform Options: Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab

Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (8)

Fees

$0 and up*

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $1,000*

Why We Chose It

Why we chose it: You get to pick between multiple trading platforms with few or no fees, and Schwab’s Day Trade Buying Power feature helps you avoid triggering a margin call. And with an impressive list of educational resources, Schwab makes it easy to move from novice to advanced day trader.

Pros

  • Desktop and mobile platforms for different levels of day traders
  • Detailed research and education data
  • Large selection of funds to trade

Cons

  • No crypto trading available
  • Limited fractional shares available

Additional Information*

Fees

  • $0 for stocks and ETFs; $0.65 per-contract fee for options; $2.25 per contract for futures

Promotion

  • Get up to $1,000 when referred and become a new Schwab client. Referral code required.

Best for Promos: SoFi Investing

SoFi

Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (9)

SoFi

See Details

Vault Verified

Fees

$0 per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $1,000*

Why We Chose It

Why we chose it: SoFi is one of the best active investing apps for beginners thanks to commission-free trades, fractional shares and free financial planning. It also offer discounts and promotions on investing and other financial products.

Pros

  • Fractional shares available for as little as $5
  • Easy to access, manage and navigate
  • Mobile app for on-the-go trades

Cons

  • No mutual funds
  • No tax-loss harvesting available

Additional Information*

Promotion

  • Get up to $1,000 in free stock when you sign up for a new account and download the mobile app; referral bonus; discounts on other SoFi products as a member

Best for Commission-Free Trading: Fidelity

Fidelity

Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (10)

Fidelity

See Details

Vault Verified

Fees

$0*

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

Why We Chose It

Why we chose it: For low costs and extensive research tools, Fidelity is one of the best trading platforms for day traders. It also offers stellar customer support, minimal or no fees and gives you a mountain of options through its mobile app.

Pros

  • Offers extensive mutual funds trading
  • Fractional shares available
  • Desktop and mobile app platforms
  • International investing available

Cons

  • Offers crypto trading separately
  • No futures or forex options
  • High fees if you get broker assistance

Additional Information*

Fees

  • Cost per stock trades: $0
  • Cost per options trade: $0.65 per contract

Best for Mobile App: E*TRADE

E*TRADE

Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (11)

E*TRADE

See Details

Vault Verified

Fees

$0*

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $1,000*

Why We Chose It

Why we chose it: E*TRADE’s two mobile apps feature powerful tools that can help any type of investor. Features include streaming quotes and news. It also offers access to financial consultants and deep research.

Pros

  • Individual, joint and custodial accounts available
  • No commissions for stocks, options, ETFs and mutual funds
  • Easy-to-use mobile apps

Cons

  • Limited fractional share options
  • No forex trading
  • Crypto investing separate option

Additional Information*

Fees

  • $0 for stocks, options, mutual funds and ETFs; $0.65 for options contracts, $1 for bonds and $1.50 futures contracts

Promotion

  • Open a new brokerage account and get $100 to $1,000, depending on your deposit amount

Best for Basic Beginners: Ally Invest

Ally

Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (12)

Ally

See Details

Vault Verified

Fees

$0*

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

Why We Chose It

Why we chose it: Ally has expanded its online-only options from more than just savings accounts and loans. Now with Ally Invest, beginners can get started with low trading costs and 24/7 customer service.

Pros

  • Low-cost trading
  • Rich research and data available
  • Can move uninvested cash into high-yield savings account

Cons

  • No fractional shares
  • No interest earned on uninvested cash

Additional Information*

Fees

  • $0 for stocks, ETFs and mutual funds; $0.50 per options contract;;0.75-0.85% annual advisory fee

Best Bank Pairing: Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge

Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (13)

Merrill Edge

See Details

Vault Verified

Fees

$0*

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Preferred rewards program available for current Bank of America customers

Why We Chose It

Why we chose it: Merrill Edge offers plenty of robust features, including research tools from Morningstar and CFRA. Plus Bank of America customers can enjoy quick money transfers and view all eligible account balances for both.

Pros

  • Seamless integration with Bank of America
  • Quick trade feature lets you make a trade from nearly anywhere
  • Plenty of research and educational tools

Cons

  • No fractional shares
  • No interest earned on uninvested cash
  • No IPO access

Additional Information*

Fees

  • $0 for stocks and ETFs; $0.65 per-contract for options

Promotion

  • Preferred rewards program available for current Bank of America customers; guided investing free 6-months with fee waiver

What Risks Should You Consider With Trading Platforms?

If you want to get into day trading or you’re looking to move your money from one broker to another, make sure you’re aware of the risks.

While the rewards for day trading can be significantly higher than other investments, it comes with a lot of risk. Some day trading platforms have a high minimum account balance requirement—upwards of $25,000 and more, depending on the broker—which not everyone has.

Aside from balance requirements and market conditions, also be mindful of the trading platforms themselves. For instance, you’re at the mercy of machines. So there’s bound to be technical difficulties or failures. You might also run into security breaches. Check to see what security measures potential brokers are taking to make sure your money is safe when using their platforms.

How Much Do You Need To Start Day Trading?

Many online brokers have minimum deposit amounts as low as $0. But there are some key differences in regular trades and pattern day trading (PDT), which can impact how much you need to get started with day trading.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a pattern day trader is someone who makes four or more day trades within five business days. Pattern day traders must have at least $25,000 and maintain that minimum equity amount in their margin account on any day trades are made.

If you’re just making trades, there’s no minimum set requirement for all brokerages to follow. So it varies based on where you plan to open your account and move your money around.

Why Would You Need a Trading Platform for Day Trading?

An online trading platform makes day trading easy for a few reasons. You can check out detailed history on a particular investment as well as research companies you want to trade. Some platforms make it easy to invest in alternative investments, fractional shares and international exchanges.

Before trading platforms, you’d have to call a broker to make and manage trades. This removes the broker as the middleman and you can initiate trades almost instantaneously. It also saves you from losing money, since you don’t have to pay a stockbroker to make the trades, and you’re not waiting on another person to initiate the trade for you.

How to Choose the Best Day Trading Platform for You

Everyone has different standards and expectations from trading platforms. Day traders are typically experienced in the market and it’s an extremely risky endeavor. So if you don’t know what you’re doing or you don’t have the right tools available, it could also become a very expensive experience.

Speed

Day traders act fast. You’ll need fast internet yourself but you’re also at the mercy of another company to trust that it’s trying to act as swiftly as possible on your behalf. Executing quick transactions is paramount to making sure your order goes through as fast as possible.

Tradable Assets

The more options you have, the more trades you can execute. That comes down to how many choices you have in individual stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options and more. For most folks, the more choices, the better.

Educational Tools and Resources

Day traders want to explore the history of companies and stocks before making their decision. The more robust the platform is, the more educated they become on potential trades. Look for a day trading platform with robust educational resources. Data and charts can make a world of difference between a good platform and a bad one, so easy-to-navigate educational data is important.

Day Trading Platforms vs. Trading Platforms for Investing

Some folks are active day traders while others are casual traders. So the platform you use matters. Here are some comparisons to regular trading platforms.

Charles Schwab vs. Fidelity

These are two of the most popular brokerages right now that are good for most investors. Schwab offers more no-fee mutual funds but doesn’t offer forex. Fidelity doesn’t offer crypto investing or futures, but charges less for mutual funds that aren’t on the no-fee list than Schwab. With more international trading opportunities, day traders might be more inclined to go with Charles Schwab, while regular, active traders may go with Fidelity.

SoFi vs. Ally

Ally and SoFi have about the same amount of investment options and are great options for novice active investors. But both are more suited for regular trading platforms rather than day trading. Ally might be better than SoFi for research and product opportunities.

E*TRADE vs. Merrill Edge

Merrill makes it easier to open and manage an account and has better customer service than E*TRADE. But E*TRADE has more research and educational data than Merrill, which is a win for active traders.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Trading Platform Do Most Day Traders Use?

The type of trading platform most folks use depends on the type of trader they are. While Interactive Brokers might be one of the best options for day traders, other types of traders may like the variety of Charles Schwab or the versatility of Fidelity. New traders may appreciate Ally Invest or SoFi Investing. The right one for you may not be the right one for others.

What Type Of Trading Is Best For Day Trading?

While you can also trade bonds, mutual funds, and even exchange-traded funds (ETFs), stocks are still a big favorite among day traders.

How Much Do The Top 1% Of Day Traders Make?

The average annual salary of a day trader is almost $97,000, according to ZipRecruitier. The very top earners are getting upwards of around $185,000 a year while others traders may earn anywhere from $56,000 to $105,000.

Related Articles

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  • Stock Market Basics: Trading for Beginners

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (14)

Dori Zinn

Contributor

Dori Zinn is a personal finance journalist with more than a decade of experience covering credit, debt, investing, budgeting, saving, retirement, college affordability, jobs and careers, and more. She loves helping people learn about money.

Read more articles by Dori Zinn

As a seasoned expert in personal finance and investing, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. With years of experience covering credit, debt, investing, budgeting, saving, retirement, and more, I have a deep understanding of the financial landscape. My expertise is grounded in practical insights, and I am dedicated to helping individuals navigate the complexities of managing their money effectively.

Now, delving into the provided article on the "7 Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024" by Dori Zinn and reviewed by Robert Thorpe, let's break down the key concepts discussed:

  1. Introduction to Day Trading:

    • Day trading involves buying and selling securities within a single day.
    • A study by the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that only 13% of day traders are successful, highlighting the challenges of this strategy.
  2. Importance of a Good Trading Platform:

    • The article emphasizes that the right brokerage or online trading platform is crucial for success in day trading.
    • Criteria for selecting the best platforms include low fees, easy access, and top-of-the-line features.
  3. List of Best Day Trading Platforms (February 2024):

    • Interactive Brokers (Best Overall):

      • Customizable dashboard, low rates, and advanced trading tools.
      • Offers two service tiers (IBKR Pro and IBKR Lite) with different fee structures.
      • Tradable assets include crypto.
    • Charles Schwab (Best for Platform Options):

      • Multiple trading platforms with few or no fees.
      • Day Trade Buying Power feature to avoid margin calls.
      • Impressive educational resources.
    • SoFi Investing (Best for Promos):

      • Commission-free trades, fractional shares, and free financial planning.
      • Promotions and discounts on various financial products.
    • Fidelity (Best for Commission-Free Trading):

      • Low costs, extensive research tools, and stellar customer support.
      • Offers international investing.
    • *ETRADE (Best Mobile App):**

      • Powerful mobile apps with streaming quotes and news.
      • Access to financial consultants and deep research.
    • Ally Invest (Best Basic Beginners):

      • Low trading costs and 24/7 customer service.
      • Ally Invest expanded its offerings to cater to beginners.
    • Merrill Edge (Best Bank Pairing):

      • Robust features, research tools from Morningstar and CFRA.
      • Seamless integration with Bank of America for quick money transfers.
  4. Risks Associated with Trading Platforms:

    • High minimum account balance requirements (upwards of $25,000).
    • Market conditions and risks associated with trading platforms, including technical difficulties and security breaches.
  5. Minimum Deposit for Day Trading:

    • Some online brokers have minimum deposit amounts as low as $0.
    • Distinction between regular trades and pattern day trading (PDT), requiring a minimum of $25,000 for pattern day traders, as per FINRA.
  6. Role of Trading Platforms in Day Trading:

    • Online trading platforms facilitate day trading by providing detailed history on investments, research capabilities, and easy execution of trades.
    • Eliminates the need for a stockbroker as an intermediary.
  7. Considerations for Choosing a Day Trading Platform:

    • Speed, tradable assets, educational tools, and resources are crucial factors.
    • Day traders need fast platforms with a wide range of options and robust educational resources.
  8. Comparison with Regular Trading Platforms:

    • Brief comparisons are made between popular brokerages for different types of traders, such as Charles Schwab vs. Fidelity, SoFi vs. Ally, and E*TRADE vs. Merrill Edge.
  9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    • Answers to common questions, including the types of trading platforms used by day traders and the earnings of the top 1% of day traders.
  10. Author Bios and Editorial Note:

    • Brief biographies of the authors, Dori Zinn and Robert Thorpe, and an editorial note emphasizing that opinions expressed are the authors' own.

In conclusion, the article provides a comprehensive guide to choosing the best trading platform for day trading in February 2024, considering various factors and potential risks associated with the practice. The information is presented in a structured manner, making it accessible for both experienced day traders and those looking to enter the field.

Best Trading Platforms for Day Trading of February 2024 – Newsweek Vault (2024)

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