Best Day Trading Software for Beginner to Advanced Traders in 2023 • Benzinga

Day trading can be an exciting way to make money in the stock market. It’s open to anyone, but there are some basic requirements you need to maintain. To trade effectively, you need reliable trading software with the most up-to-date prices to allow you to quickly execute trades at a moment’s notice. Learn more about day trading now, and find our recommendations for the best day trading software.

Want to jump straight to the best? Our readers love CenterPoint Securities for day trading + Benzinga Pro for fast news.

BZ

A Quick Look at the Best Day Trading Software:

Best Day Trading Software

While you can technically trade frequently enough to be a day trader with any stock trading software, some offer better tools and resources than others for fast-paced trading. 

Here’s our list of the best day trading software for beginner to advanced traders:

Best for Advanced Charting: CenterPoint Securities

CenterPoint Securities is a great place to trade because it offers direct access to all the assets you could want. The platform offers several helpful features like:

  • Advanced charting
  • Level 2 order routing
  • Short inventory access
  • Capacity for advanced and high-volume traders
  • Pro, Web and Mobile account types
  • Built-in scanners
  • Custom alerts
  • Advanced order entry

The customer service team is very responsive, and you can be sure that all your orders are routed quickly so that you have complete control of your portfolio.

  • securely through CenterPoint Securities’s website

Best for Stock Trading: Webull

With $0 commissions and low margin rates, Webull is a great pick for investors looking for low-cost trading. In addition to low-cost trading, day traders gain access to pre-market and after-hours trading, charts with 25 technical indicators, advanced quotes and the latest news. 

The broker strives to be your all-in-one platform for day trading by combining fast, low-cost trades with all the market research you could possibly need in a single place. The only thing day traders might miss is the lack of forex trading capabilities.

  • Best For

    Intermediate Traders and Investors

Best for News: Benzinga Pro

A day trader is only as good as the information they can access. To spot opportunities early, you need to stay on top of market trends, the latest earnings reports and other market news that can influence stock performance. 

With Benzinga Pro, you get exclusive access to breaking news fresh off the BZ wire, and real-time alerts the second a headline that matters to your portfolio pops up. You can set custom filters and sentiment indicators for quickly scanning your news feed. 

While you can’t trade directly on the platform, it’s a powerful weapon to have in your day trading arsenal.

  • Best For

    All Trading Levels

Best for Advanced Day Traders: NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader offers some of the best charting, backtesting and automation tools available to retail investors. For more advanced traders looking for full customizability of charts and the ability to leverage thousands of indicators, this platform is hard to beat. 

You also get backtesting and simulation tools all in the same platform, so you can continue refining your strategy in the same place you do your actual trading. 

With access to stocks, forex, futures, options and contracts for differences (CFD), day traders can also leverage custom trading strategies in almost any market they choose. 

The main drawback is the lack of educational resources. Beginners might feel lost in the platform and struggle to use the full suite of tools available. 

  • Promotion

    No current promotions

Best for Stock Screening: Stock Rover

With thousands of securities to choose from, it’s impossible to sift through the market and find the best day trade opportunities without a screener to help you. That screener should be Stock Rover. With over 650 financial metrics, charting tools, and historical financial data, it’s among the best platforms for quickly finding day trading opportunities.

Even with so much data, Stock Rover’s platform is intuitive enough for beginners to navigate and learn how to use the screening tools. The key drawback is that it does not offer brokerage accounts, so you have to do your trading on a separate platform.

  • Best For

    Professional Investors

Best for Beginners: Robinhood

Robinhood strives to make financial markets accessible to everyone by providing an intuitive platform and tons of educational tools for new traders to learn the ropes. With real-time quotes and a responsive platform, you can reliably execute trades based on the most up-to-date pricing data.

Traders of all skill levels will also appreciate the $0 commission fees and low margin rates that make frequent day trading cost-effective. 

However, Robinhood offers limited indicators, so mobile day traders or more advanced traders who need better charting tools and indicators may find the platform lacking.

  • Promotion

    Refer friends and get FREE stock

Best for Full-Time Day Traders: moomoo

Offering high-quality executions, extended hours, and high-volume order capabilities, moomoo is a great app for the serious day trader. The platform offers commission-free trading, $0 options contracts, and a wide range of market analysis tools. 

You can use over 50 indicators, access level 2 market data, and find the latest news on all your positions, all in the same platform where you do your actual trading. The best part is all of this is available at no extra cost when you open an account. 

However, it is missing backtesting and automation tools that might make it feel incomplete for some traders. 

Best for Algo Trading: Zen Trading Strategies

Zen Trading Strategies was developed by a team of quantitative algorithmic traders—that is, traders who use an algorithm programmed with their own custom buy and sell triggers to automatically execute trades. 

It offers pre-tested and ready-to-use strategies for day trading and other styles of investing so that investors using the platform can dive right in, even if they aren’t experts. 

You can use the strategies as is, tweak them to better fit your needs or develop fully-customized strategies based on your preferred indicators. This is a great option for investors interested in automating day trading activity so they can sit back while an algorithm handles the leg work.

Rad more: Best Day Trading Platforms

  • securely through Zen Trading Strategy Indicators’s website

Interactive Brokers

At Interactive Brokers, there are a few software options that make trading easier for retail or institutional investors. IBKR offers:

  • The client portal, a web application that allows you to invest within your portfolio
  • The trader workstation where you can trade actively
  • The IBKR mobile app
  • IBKR APIs that allow you to add IBKR to your website or platform

Other items included with the platform are:

  • OptionTrader
  • Probability Lab
  • FXTrader
  • Mutual Fund/ETF Replicator
  • IB Risk Navigator

As a publicly-traded company, IBKR has the resources to provide traders with all the services they need, ensuring that you can build wealth and manage your portfolio appropriately.

  • Promotion

    $200 refer-a-friend bonus

    securely through Interactive Brokers’s website

Best for Trading Information: Capital Markets Laboratories

When you use Capital Markets Laboratories to learn about your investments, you gain a massive amount of high-level information that you can use for any investment in the stock market, futures markets and more. While this platform doesn’t allow you to make trades, it tells you everything you need to know.

Services from the CML website include:

  • TradeMachine Stock, is designed for the backtesting, scanning, and alerting you need when managing a stock portfolio
  • TradeMachine Pro, including backtesting, the Pro Scanner, intra-day alerts, the trade discovery model and technical signals.
  • CML Pro, focuses on “world-changing trends” that help you make better investment decisions
  • Pattern Finder, helps you uncover advantageous entries and exits

You can demo the service you need for 30 days, and the TradeMachine Pro is only $199 per month, helping you maximize profits and point your portfolio in the right direction at all times. You can also tap into the large community that’s grown up around the site to learn more about the markets, ask questions and share insights.

Best for Risk Managers: Seasonax

Seasonal investing is an oft-overlooked technique that can bring diversity, vitality and value to your portfolio. However, it can be difficult to leverage all that data to determine when and if stocks or assets will rise or fall in value.

With Seasonax, you get:

  • Access to seasonal trading signals for around 20,000 assets
  • An easy-to-use dashboard
  • Seasonal charts going back 125 years
  • Customizable tools
  • Newsletters, video tutorials
  • Advanced filtering
  • Detailed statistics
  • Seasonality screener and more

After a 3-day trial, the subscription sits at just under $50 per month, allowing you access to all the data you need to become a seasonal trader and add layers of insight to your investment portfolio and overall net worth.

What is Day Trading?

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) official definition of a day trader is an investor who executes 4 or more day trades within a 5 business day period. A day trade is any trade that you open and close inside of 24 hours. 

It requires a clear strategy and strong discipline to avoid impulsive or emotional decision-making. Anyone interested in day trading should take a day trading course and do plenty of research to develop a solid strategy before they dive into this fast-paced mode of trading.

If you trade frequently enough to fit the SEC’s criteria, you have to meet and maintain certain requirements in order to continue day trading:

  • Maintain a minimum balance of $25,000. If the account’s value drops below that minimum on any given day, your broker will block day trading activity until you make a deposit to bring it back above $25,000.
  • Don’t trade more than 4x the maintenance margin excess. Maintenance margin excess is anything above the $25,000 minimum. If you have a balance of $40,000, that’s $15,000 above the minimum. You can trade up to $60,000 (4 x $15,000) on margin. If you trade more, your broker will issue a margin call that you must meet within 5 business days.

Keep in mind that some brokers might impose even stricter requirements than these SEC rules, especially if you’re trading on margin.

Pros and Cons of Day Trading

Day trading can be both fun and profitable, but it does come with risks. Here’s a breakdown of the major pros and cons:

Pros Cons
If you stick to your strategy, you can make a living from day trading. More transactions mean more transaction fees.
Fast-pace trading is exciting. The more often you sell, the more taxes you pay.
You set your own pace and strategy. The stocks you trade are generally high risk.
Day trading allows you to profit off of volatile markets. Day traders are subject to more restrictions and limitations than long-term traders.
If you’re good at it, you can work with a large institution and gain access to proprietary software and special trading privileges. For steady gains, you need to stick to a strategy and avoid impulse decisions.

Best Features of the Best Day Trading Software

Your skill level and trading strategy will determine what specific features you want in your day trading software. 

However, some of the most important features that all-day traders need include:

  • $0 commissions and fees: Commission fees add up if you do multiple transactions per day. 
  • Great order execution quality: Execution quality means trades execute quickly and with minimal spread.
  • User-friendly: If the desktop or mobile app is hard to navigate or regularly experiences delays while you’re in the middle of executing trades, you could end up losing money or missing opportunities. 
  • Real-time quotes: When you need to enter and exit trades in a matter of hours, you need access to the most up-to-date pricing data.
  • Charts: Look for charts with lots of indicators so you can customize them to show the technical details you use in your strategy.
  • Backtesting: When developing a strategy, one of the first steps is to backtest it by simulating how your strategy would have performed in the past. Some software includes backtesting tools so you can do everything in one platform.

Find the Best Day Trading Software for You

When choosing day trading software, cost management is key. Look for low transaction fees and fast trade execution. 

For beginners, software that offers educational resources can help develop your skill into the advanced day-trading veteran you’ve always dreamed of becoming. Beginners and advanced traders alike can benefit from software that also has built-in screening and technical analysis tools. 

Review our picks for the best day trading software to find your fit today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Q. Can I day trade with $100?

A

There are 3 ways you can trade with $100. 

The first is to keep a $25,000 portfolio and then only risk $100 in any given trade. This is a great way to dip your toes in without exposing too much of your portfolio to high-risk trades.

Option 2 is to trade less frequently. Avoid triggering minimum requirements by doing just 3 day trades per 5 day window. Infrequent day trading is a good option for beginners because you have time for post-trade analysis to learn what is and isn’t working.

Your third option is to trade currency only. Minimum account requirements don’t apply to currency markets so you can trade as often as you want with as little starting capital as you’re comfortable with.

Q

Q. How do day traders pay taxes?

A

You have to pay taxes on any sale of securities during the year. Calculating that tax bill is tricky because the IRS makes a distinction between investors and traders. Whether your trading activity qualifies you as a “trader” instead of an investor depends on how much you trade, how often, and the time you devote to it. 

The key difference, from a tax perspective, is that a trader’s earnings are taxed as business income while an investor’s earnings are taxed as capital gains. 

Q

Where can I find good day trading software?

A

To find the best day trading software, see the list above.

Related content: Interactive Brokers vs. Merrill Edge

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