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What are some of the top platforms for daytrading equities?
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What are some of the top platforms for daytrading equities?

  #1 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Los Angeles
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
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Favorite Futures: Stocks
 
Posts: 5 since Mar 2012
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What are some of the top platforms for daytrading equities?

Two quick questions...I'm still learning so any help would be appreciated:


1. In your opinion, what are some of the best platforms for daytrading, specifically equities?

2. If I sign up for a platform, do I get to choose my own broker? Or is each platform tied to their own broker? An example would be if I were to sign up for thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade, would I be forced to have TD Ameritrade as my broker?


I'm still learning everyday about trading in general and I haven't started actually trading, but I'd like to know beforehand so I can do some research for the time being.

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  #3 (permalink)
Elite Member
San Diego, CA USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
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GridKing's Avatar
 
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I would suggest spending some time reading before doing anything. JMO

Make sure you are aware of SEC rules and required funds prior to daytrading anything Pattern Day Trader Rule - FINRA Rule 2520 Day Trading Rule


Most discount brokers will offer some form of software to trade, probably the best way to decide is to try them, with a sim or paper account

I'm sure others can offer a better answer with suggestions

TOS is probably most popular for starting out I would guess https://www.thinkorswim.com/tos/client/index.jsp
TOS was bought by TD Ameritrade http://www.stocktradingtogo.com/2009/01/08/td-ameritrade-acquires-thinkorswim/

MBtrading might require a bit more experience to understand the short falls of the software MB Trading - Trading Platforms


http://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/general/about/awards.php
http://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/p.php?f=tws&p1=papertrader

Platforms are software and some work with different data feeds and brokers
QuoteTracker

NinjaTrader stock, futures and forex charting software and online trading platform.

Sierra Chart - Futures, Stocks, Forex Charting and Trading Software Platform

but it won't really matter which broker or software without having some basic knowledge and education first




http://money.howstuffworks.com/day-trading.htm

http://money.howstuffworks.com/electronic-trading.htm

http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/financial-planning/how-to-start-investing3.htm

http://www.investopedia.com/university/td-ameritrade-think-or-swim-broker-review/#axzz1pY4ieTUp

"Successful trading is one long journey, not a destination" Peter Borish Former Head of Research for Paul Tudor Jones speaking on conversations with John F. Carter

Last edited by GridKing; March 19th, 2012 at 05:16 AM.
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Futures Experience: Advanced
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I haven't traded stocks in years (aside from swing and position trading), so my views might be outdated. I don't really understand why anyone would attempt to day trade stocks over futures these days, but I guess that it's still possible to squeeze out a few bucks. Assuming you will be trading manually, of course.

If equities really is what you want to pursue, I would recommend contacting Bright Trading and ECHOtrade. This will require getting a Series 7, but you will get some training and meet some like-minded people.

Lightspeed also used to be a popular option, and, as GridKing mentioned, IB has been the de facto broker for retail traders for years.

Good luck!

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Elite Member
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Futures Experience: Beginner
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make sure your computer can handle the system requirements of the platform and don't run anything else while u are trading. i had a lot of hassles with IB software which turned out to be *in part* caused by my old mac not being up to snuff handling their apparently demented way of streaming tick data. (i know zero about programming but this is what i gather from attempting to fix my problem myself.)

ninja trader is very popular here & i like it pretty well myself & u can hook into any number of brokerage accounts with it.

if u go with IB, u will get good commish, but be forewarned, their customer service is horrible.

Du sublime au ridicule, il n'ya qu'un pas. ~Napoleon Bonaparte
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Money View Post
I'm still learning everyday about trading in general and I haven't started actually trading, but I'd like to know beforehand so I can do some research for the time being.

You're on the right track: Do LOTS of research... as in months to a year or two depending on how many hours a day you can dedicate to studying methods/systems AND practicing your systems using paper/sim trading.

The quickest and cheapest (and best for some) way to get started studying and practicing is to download NinjaTrader and download futures data for Market Replay. You get a high quality professional trading platform enabling you to replay tick data for a futures instrument. I would suggest the ES (E-mini S&P) or 6E (EuroDollar). NinjaTrader supports multiple brokers so you can just "plugin" when you're ready to trade live.

And welcome to the best trading forum on the Internet! View the webinars, use the search engine. Other trading sites can't compete with the knowledge and helpful environment Mike provides here.

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  #7 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Dana Point
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
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Lornz View Post
I don't really understand why anyone would attempt to day trade stocks over futures these days,

I day traded emini futures for years and switched to stocks about 2 years ago. As they say... different strokes...

The first year of day trading stocks I used Lightspeed. Great platform but way too many problems. So I switched to Interactive Brokers. An easy switch because I used IB when trading futures. I'm much happier with IB.

Both have crappy charting so you'll need an outside charting service. I use Ensign but there are other good ones such as Sierra or Multicharts. Another option, as Maisie mentioned, is NinjaTrader. You can use their charts for free with IB data. I'm not sure how well it works because I've never tried it.

Good luck

~Mike

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Market Wizard
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RealTick is one of the better platforms for a full functionality platform for equities.

PM with any questions about optimusfutures (800) 771-6748 (561) 367 8686. THERE IS A SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS IN FUTURES TRADING.
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mRoss21 View Post
I day traded emini futures for years and switched to stocks about 2 years ago. As they say... different strokes...

~Mike

Yes, it was stupid of me to put it that way. Personally, I find futures to provide much better opportunity and execution, and I only use stocks for swing trading now. There certainly were more opportunities in stocks years ago, at least from a manual trader's perspective.

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Trading Apprentice
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Thanks a ton everyone. I'll check out all the links provided. Glad to be a part of this community.

I understand that even having the "best" platform available means nothing if you don't have the knowledge. I've been studying stocks and TA for the past month intensively, and I won't make my first real trade until I feel confident enough. I've graduated college recently, so I have a lot of time to dedicate towards learning. I've been reading multiple books about daytrading, swing trading, and TA. I've been watching trading seminars until my eyes bled. I know how risky it can be to venture into this avenue. One wrong move and you can lose everything (especially with leverage).

I plan to continue learning, and then start paper trading to test out some strategies and find some working ones. I'm guessing this will take about a total of 3-5 months. When I get comfortable enough, I'll start swing trading real equities...and then I hope to move onto daytrading eventually, maybe a year or two later. Afterwards, when I start pulling out profits consistently, I may move to daytrading futures or Forex with the higher leverage advantage, or perhaps trade in two markets (equities and futures/Forex). This is my long-term plan as of now.


Sounds like a good plan? Any suggestions?

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