Day Trading Brokerage Firms
This page on day trading brokerage firms is a resource for the best brokers specifically for day trading stocks as opposed to retail brokers that the average investor might use to place trades.
Brokerage firms for trading futures, forex, currencies, etc. will not be covered, although all the companies below allow trading of other instruments other than stocks.
All of the day trading brokerage companies listed below offer direct access trading through various ECN's as well as 'smart' or intelligent' order routing to the NYSE and NASDAQ.
QUESTIONS TO ASK
If you've never opened a stock trading account before, here are some questions you should know the answers to before proceeding with a day trading broker:
- Do they accept new accounts from your country?
- Do they allow trading in the markets that you are interested in trading? Here in the USA we take it for granted that all day trading brokerages allow NYSE and NASDAQ trading.
That might not be the case for the market you want to trade. If you're having trouble with this you might want to check out Interactive Brokers (IB). They allow access to exchanges all over the world.
- Can you access different markets through one universal account? Some of you might want to trade not only stocks on different exchanges, but also stock index futures such the emini S&P 500 (ES). Convenience and buying power matter here.
- Do they have minimum income and/or trading experience requirements?
- How much are their commission fees? Do they offer different commission structures? Some brokers offer a bundled option. This means the broker's commissions and the exchange fees are bundled into one flat fee.
Another option could be having the commissions and exchange fees charged separately. For a beginner trader, bundled is better, since it's easier to understand.
- How much is their market data fee? In most cases this fee is waived if you generate a enough trades and commissions during the previous month. If day trading, this shouldn't be an issue.
- Does the day trading brokerage provide a trading platform? If so, is there a fee to use it? As with market data, usually if there is a platform fee it will be waived if you've made enough trades during the previous month.
- Does their day trading platform and/or charting software meet your needs?
If not, does their platform allow connection to third-party 'front-end' software?
- Would you prefer to have one seamless integrated brokerage platform like TradeStation versus using a separate broker with a various assortment of day trading software and data providers?
Which one is better? It all depends on the individual's situation, strategies and trading requirements. There is no perfect combination for every trader.
- How reliable is the broker's customer service? How fast can they be contacted during market hours in case you've got a problem with a trade? How will they treat you if you've got questions or have issues that need attention?
For this question to be answered, you've got to do your own research. All brokers have their share of issues and complaints. A great source of information on day trading brokers are day trading forums. Read reviews and ask questions.
- What is the reputation and size of the broker? You want a trading firm that is stable, well capitalized, and been around for years. Not some small start-up company.
Here's a list of the best stock day trading brokerage firms for you to check out: