Now, stock traders receive streaming quotes on their smartphones, buy stocks through these phones or advanced trading platforms, and receive company news and updates through Apple Watch Alerts, discussion forums and Twitter.
Bottom line: If you don’t take advantage of stock trading technology, you’re missing out. The following tools can streamline your process, improve your research capabilities, and (possibly) boost your returns.
A solid trading platform
Choosing a broker with a robust trading platform is the first step, and it can be a delicate balance: Often brokers with advanced trading platforms have higher trade commissions or require a minimum number. number of transactions or a minimum account balance to access the platform.
There are clear winners here, however: TD Ameritrade leads the pack with its thinkorswim and TradeArchitect offerings, both of which are available to all clients (although the broker’s trade commissions are rather high at $ 9.99). OptionsHouse also has powerful trading tools and charges half the commission at $ 4.95 per trade. And for advanced traders, Interactive Brokers has a reputable platform and low commissions per share, although the broker imposes monthly trading minimums.
Check out our roundup of the top brokers to compare more options.
A mobile trading application
If you’re serious about trading, you’ll want to be able to do it on the go, which means choosing a broker with a powerful mobile trading app. These apps range from simplicity – the ability to perform basic transactions and display quotes – to nearly mirror images of a web or desktop platform, with advanced features like charting. , complex option transactions and filters.
In our roundup of the best investing apps, we’ve chosen TD Ameritrade and E-Trade as the winners for stock trading – both offer near-desktop trading capabilities on their mobile platforms. But if cost is your main concern, Robinhood and Loyal3 are worth a look. Both services offer commission-free trades, although Loyal3’s selection is limited to around 70 blue chip stocks.
Stock filters take much of the weight off the trader’s plate, allowing you to quickly search for a stock based on criteria you set, such as market cap (in other words, value and size). of the company), dividend yield, industry or stock price.
Most of the trading platforms offered by online brokers include a filter (and some brokers also have filters for exchange traded funds, mutual funds, or options). But many advanced traders recommend Finviz, which has some really in-depth filtering capabilities that can help you seize trading opportunities. The site also offers charts, maps of the US and international market, and quotes. Basic services are free, but Finviz offers an elite subscription that starts at just under $ 25 per month.
Charting is an integral part of any trader who uses technical analysis, which involves evaluating past movements as a means of predicting future performance.
Stock charts aid in this analysis by showing a security’s performance over time, allowing traders to recognize patterns and examine various technical indicators. Users can use charts to delve into a stock’s history and recognize volatility, as well as compare multiple stocks and benchmark performances to indices, such as the S&P 500.
Online brokers offer charting capabilities that vary in depth; External resources include websites like TradingView and StockCharts.com, both of which offer a number of free features as well as enhanced subscriptions. StockCharts.com offers a ChartSchool to familiarize new users with creating charts
There are many ways to come up with business ideas, including subscription services. Briefing.com is one of the most popular, offering everything from live market updates to initial public offering overviews to emerging growth equity opportunities. Another service, Seasonalysis, identifies seasonal trends in inventory.
The other way traders look for a stock is fundamental analysis, which involves delving into financial statements, company news, and external research reports written by professional analysts. When you do this, you get a clear picture of how individual companies and industries are doing, and it can lead to business ideas.
Brokers often provide this information through shooting from third-party sources; the more research available, the better. Fidelity, in particular, is known for the breadth of his research.