Stock trading software is a set of computer programs that facilitate trading in financial instruments such as stocks and currencies. But it can also help improve you stock-picking decisions through fundamental and technical analysis features. Some software also allows transaction processing.
Brokerages offer the trading software either for free or for discounted pricing. Sometimes it is offered as an incentive to elicit a certain quantity of trading volumes. Independent vendors also supply software to assist traders.
Start with our guide to compare stock trading software programs and find a platform to work for you.
A Quick Look at the Best Stock Trading Software:
Table of Contents [Show]
Best Stock Trading Software
The best stock trading software doesn’t stop with in-depth research tools, analysis, screeners and spreads. Traders also need the best-performing online stock brokerages in order to make the best possible trades.
1. CenterPoint Securities
When you use CenterPoint Securities, you gain direct access to the markets and powerful trading software for advanced, high-volume, momentum and short traders. The platform has a quality customer service team, and it offers advanced charting, advanced order routing, level 2 order management, built-in scanners and custom alerts.
As you manage a large portfolio, you can see the information you need along with a full look at your portfolio. Using CenterPoint Securities also ensures that you have access to a massive short inventory so that you can invest in as many ways as you like.
E*TRADE isn’t just a stock trading platform. It ranks among some of Benzinga’s favorite stock trading brokerages for a number of reasons, namely its access to real-time data, research and analysis in its brokerage platform.
After all, nothing is more powerful than historical and real-time data that empowers you to act on the best stock trades possible. E*TRADE also offers an array of educational resources: webinars, blog posts and news.
The brokerage isn’t the cheapest, but its commissions aren’t the steepest, either. Stocks trade start at .95 with volume discount available, options start at Stocks trade start at .95 with volume discount available, options start at Stocks trade start at $6.95 with volume discount available, options start at $0.50 per contract, and the brokerage even offers hundreds of commission-free ETFs.50 per contract, and the brokerage even offers hundreds of commission-free ETFs.50 per contract, and the brokerage even offers hundreds of commission-free ETFs.
3. TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade is beloved by beginner and seasoned traders alike for one reason: It has absolutely everything you need to trade stocks with success. The brokerage offers traders real-time quotes, 3rd-party research, Yahoo! Finance news streaming, social sentiment tracking and planning tools on its web platform.
Outside of its web platform, thinkorswim packs a mighty punch. It gives traders access to advanced tools like market scans, thinkManual and tutorials to make sure you get the most out of the platform.
You don’t even have to pay for another subscription service for thinkorswim model. And no, it’s not another freemium model masquerading as a free service, it’s absolutely free for account holders. You might consider TD Ameritrade‘s stock trading costs as steep — a flat $6.95 per stock trade with 0 volume discounts.
Streetbeat is a fintech firm that is looking to make it easier to invest by mixing fintech innovations and software. Located in Palo Alto, the firm has a mobile app that offers self-trading services and auto trading.
You can invest in a range of assets like stocks and ETFs, but you can also invest in crypto, allowing the platform to do much of the work for you. The client-focused approach from the firm makes it more palatable for most investors, and it also offers:
- Functionality for investors of all skill levels
- Auto trading innovations
- No trading commissions
- You can start with as little as $1
- Generous bonuses
- Low management fees
Remember, though, as useful as this platform is, your management fees could rise depending on the size of your portfolio. Either way, you get the support you need and can enhance your portfolio without doing all the math on your own.
RoboForex is a global multi-asset trading platform that runs on MT4 and MT5. It operates in 191 countries and claims more than 10,000 users. Traders can trade forex and contracts for difference (CFDs) — and do so in 13 languages. The platform was started in 2009 and is located in Cyprus, Greece. It is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
Best for: Users who want a straightforward platform
- Demo account
- $1 minimum trade
- 35 forex pairs offered, including exotic pairs
- 100 instruments offered
- No commission on CFDs
- No deposit fees
- No inactivity fees
- Withdrawal fee depends on payment method
- Multiple industry awards
- Payments held in Tier-1 segregated bank accounts
Best for CFDs
Webull is a brokerage that is accessed through its mobile app. It features commission-free stock and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading.
The broker is tailored towards intermediate and experienced self-directed investors and traders. It is most well-known for its commission-free structure which allows active traders to save a considerable amount on commissions compared to others.
Webull’s platform allows you to analyze recommendations, revenue and historical earnings per share data. You can also access key statistics, insider trades, stock information such as earnings, dividends and stock splits and news feeds.
It offers trading on more than 5,000 U.S. stocks and ETFs in the United States. However, Webull doesn’t support stock options, over-the-counter stocks, mutual funds, bonds or cryptocurrencies, which is somewhat limiting.
7. Zen Trading
From proven, prebuilt strategies and indicators to professional consulting for advanced traders who build their own trading scripts, Zen Trading Strategies offers services for algo traders of all skill levels. With free trials, tiered pricing options, and a wide variety of plans, this company aims to offer something that fits every budget and every trading style.
For algorithmic trading or any kind of high-frequency trading, having a solid, backtested trading strategy, complete with entry and exit signals and a risk management framework, is key to success. Most traders spend years learning the markets and learning how to build trading scripts—and lose a bunch of money in the process—before finding one that works consistently.
With Zen Trading, investors can make use of professionally developed strategies, built by a quantitative algorithmic fund that’s successfully trading the markets with those same strategies. Zen Trading does all the leg work for you, so you can simply customize it to the timeframe and assets you trade.
TradeZero is an online trading platform that allows you to use the app or your desktop, offers 24/7 customer service and valuable account options. You can use the platform for free, or you can step up to ZeroPro for a reasonable monthly payment of just $59.
With the help of TradeZero, you can invest in any asset you like from stocks to options, futures and much more. Trading fees are laid out beautifully, affordable and easy to understand. Plus, the platform works just like the powerful trading software employed by professionals and day traders.
9. 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. 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, designed for the back testing, scanning, and alerting you need when managing a stock portfolio
- TradeMachine Pro, including back testing, the Pro Scanner, intra-day alerts, the trade discovery model and technical signals.
- CML Pro, focusing on “world-changing trends” that help you make better investment decisions
- Pattern Finder, helping 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.
What to Look for in Trading Software
Not sure where to start? Take a look at our must-have criteria for the best stock trading software.
- Historical and real-time data. Real-time data is data and information instantaneously provided or with a short delay from the time of dissemination of information. Although many websites promise free real-time quotes, they invariably might be delayed by up to 20 minutes.
Real-time data is important for traders, as even a small variance between the quote and the actual price of the security may lead to profit trimming or even a loss. Historical quotes are also important, as the price of a security moves in identifiable patterns and trends which tend to repeat over time.
- Analytical methods and strategies. In active trading, as opposed to a long-term buy-and-hold strategy, traders use several strategies, including day trading and swing trading. In day trading, the position is closed out within the same day. Swing trading involves holding a security for one to several days in a bid to profit on the swings or price changes.
Usually, swing traders use some set rules drawn up based on fundamental or technical analysis, or both. Trading software offers traders the power to control and manage open positions. Some of the order types are market order (buy/sell at current price) or pending order (where transaction goes through at a predetermined price). A pending order can be a buy limit, buy stop, sell limit or sell stop. A trader can also attach a stop loss or take profit order to a pending order.
- Live and breaking news. The market is fickle and it moves on a host of developments, including economics, geopolitics and corporate news. Since stocks are highly volatile, so profit-making requires traders to react instantaneously to market-moving news through a live news source.
- Stock screener. Stock screeners are tools used by traders to filter stocks based on some user-defined criteria.
- Backtesting software. This allows testing of a given trading strategy using historical data, which serves as a method for verifying the effectiveness of the strategy. It is simulating the trading strategy over a specific period of time and then analyzing the results from the perspective of return and risk.
Before You Create an Account
Specific trading needs require you to answer a few questions about yourself. Are you a long- or short term investing/day trader? A swing trader/quantitative trader or scalper using automated trading software? For the most part, some things remain consistent:
- Features that are easy to locate
- Functionalities that are sufficient for your trading needs
- Stability of the platform (ensuring that it works on your computer without crashing)
- Ease of use
- Good support from the software vendor
Find Your Stock Trading Software Now
Determine your trading priorities, and use our guide to compare stock trading software options. The market offers a platform to fit every need. Start with our top picks to find your stock trading software today to boost your investment strategies.
You might also consider trying TradeStation because the platform makes it easy to open an account, begin trading and gain access to the platforms that you need to be successful. You can trade in stocks, yes, but you can also trade ETFs, futures, options, mutual funds and much more. You can look through all the information you need, trade in a style with which you’re comfortable and maintain your account with confidence.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there good trading software for beginners?
There are several, including etrade and TD Ameritrade.
Is there trading software professionals use?
Professionals are using Benzinga Pro, TradeStation and TD Ameritrade.
What is the best free trading software?
TDAmeritrade is considered one of the best free trading softwares.