Day trading apps make buying and selling stocks, mutual funds or other securities easier than ever. These apps offer convenience and portability since you can manage your investment portfolio from your mobile device or laptop on the go. But which ones are the best right now? SmartAsset has rounded up the best day trading apps of 2019 for tech-savvy investors.
1. Overall Best Day Trading App: TD Ameritrade
- Cost per trade: $6.95
- Account minimum: $0
- Designed for: Intermediate to advanced investors
One of the nation’s top-rated brokerages, TD Ameritrade offers several mobile apps designed for investors, including Mobile Trader. This app allows users to trade a variety of investments, including stocks, options, foreign currency and futures. Mobile Trader is customizable, in that you can generate charts, monitor trends and simulate more complex trading options, based on your risk tolerance, goals and overall investing strategy. The app also offers a vast base of educational tools and resources to help you expand and improve your investing know-how.
2. Best Options Trading App: E*TRADE
- Cost per trade: $6.95 or $4.95 for stocks and ETFs, depending on number of trades; $0.75 for options contracts; $1.50 for futures contracts; $1 for bonds (online secondary trades)
- Account minimum: $500
- Designed for: Beginning to intermediate investors and options traders
E*TRADE is another brokerage powerhouse and the company’s day trading app is streamlined and easy to use. Investors can trade stocks and exchange-traded funds, as well as futures and options. Pricing is competitive and the app comes with a built-in risk assessment tool to help you gauge the potential risk factor associated with specific trade strategies. It’s a solid choice for options traders looking for some of the lowest commissions on the market. As an added bonus, support from E*TRADE Options Specialists is always on tap if you need help executing a trade.
3. Best Free Day Trading App: Robinhood
- Cost per trade: $0 for basic account; $5 for Gold account
- Account minimum: $0
- Designed for: Beginning to intermediate investors
The Robinhood investing app keeps day trading as simple as possible. There is no account minimum required to start investing and you can trade stocks, ETFs, options and even cryptocurrency with no trading or commission fees. The mobile app’s interface is streamlined and easy to use. And it’s designed for the beginning investor in mind. You can easily view your portfolio’s performance at a glance and chart your investment progress over time. A free account could be a great way to ease into stock trading. If you’d like to expand your investment options into margins trading or after-market trades, you can upgrade to a Robinhood Gold account.
4. Best Incremental Investing App: Acorns
- Cost per trade: $1 to $3/month, depending on plan choice
- Account minimum: $5
- Designed for: Beginning investors
The Acorns investing app is geared toward investors who are just starting to build a portfolio and can only do so with smaller amounts of money. This app, which charges a flat monthly fee ranging from $1 to $3, depending on the account type you choose, invests your spare change for you automatically. You create an Acorns account and link it to your bank account. The Acorns app then reviews your spending. Once your spare change totals up to $5, the app will invest it in a portfolio of ETFs. It’s a very simple way to grow your investments over time with smaller amounts of money. The only drawback, however, is that investment options are limited to ETFs. If you’re looking for an app that offers stock trading, you’ll need to consider another day trading app from this list.
5. Best App for Experienced Investors: TradeStation
- Cost per trade: $5 for stocks and ETFs; an additional $0.50 per option contract; $1.50 per futures contract; $14.95 for mutual funds and bonds
- Account minimum: $500 ($5,000 for IRA investors)
- Designed for: Advanced investors
TradeStation is designed with two types of investors in mind: full-time investors who trade for a living and part-time traders who are looking for ways to grow wealth. The TradeStation app allows for trades across stocks, futures, ETFs, mutual funds and bonds, with cryptocurrency trading set to be introduced in the future. This app is designed for the more experienced investor who’s looking for in-depth analytical tools and real-time market monitoring. The IRA option has a slightly lower fee schedule than the brokerage account and you can still trade stocks, ETFs, options and futures.
6. Best App for High Volume Traders: Lightspeed
- Cost per trade: Max $4.50 for stocks and ETFs; $0.60 for options contracts; $1.29 for futures contracts
- Account minimum: $10,000 for the web trading platform, $25,000 for Lightspeed Trader
- Designed for: Advanced investors
So far, the day trading apps included on the list as the best for 2019 have all had relatively low account minimums. Lightspeed is different, setting the minimum bar at $10,000 for web trading accounts. The trade-off, however, is that the more frequently you trade, the lower your commission fees can go. For example, stock traders who trade more than 15 million shares per month pay a per-share fee of $0.0010. Fees also decrease across the board for options and futures trading with higher trading volumes. Aside from that, Lightspeed features powerful data analysis and market monitoring tools to help you make the most informed decisions possible when executing trades.
7. Best FOREX Trading App: Forex.com
- Cost per trade: Commission of 0.2 plus $5 per $100,000; standard accounts feature total trading costs of $10.10 for every $100,000
- Account minimum: $50, but $2,500 is recommended
- Designed for: FOREX traders
Trading foreign currency is an alternative strategy to trading stocks or ETFs. Though it can be a higher risk play, it can also offer higher returns. Forex.com offers mobile FOREX trading through standard, commissions or high volume trade accounts. Mobile trading includes access to advanced charts from TradingView and you can easily check margin requirements before executing a trade. You can also build custom watch lists and set alerts so you don’t miss any market movements that could have a critical impact on your FOREX portfolio.
8. Best App for Buying Fractional Shares: Stockpile
- Cost per trade: $0.99 per trade
- Account minimum: $5
- Designed for: Families
The Stockpile trading app uses a slightly different approach to investing. This app allows you to open an account with as little as $5 and buy fractional shares of thousands of stocks and ETFs, with no monthly minimums. The per-trade fee is just $0.99, and you can invest in any dollar amount you like once your account is open. The reason why it’s great for families is that you can open an account and then gift shares of stock to your children to give them a head start on growing wealth and learning about finance. Kids can track the stocks they own and be part of the decision-making process as you buy and sell shares.
The Bottom Line
These are by no means the only day trading apps around, but they are the best of the best for 2019. When you’re considering which investing app to use, consider the total picture. Review the trading fees and account minimums, range of investment options, level of support that’s available and the app’s usability and tech features. Keep an eye out for apps that offer demo versions, which let you try out the features before committing your dollars to the platform. And consider using a brokerage comparison tool to keep the process simple so you don’t get overwhelmed. Investing money can really be as easy as downloading an app, and it can make a big difference in your financial future.
Day Trading Tips
- Before diving into the world of day trading, be clear about your risk tolerance and objectives. Decide what type of securities you’re most comfortable investing in and evaluate your financial position to determine how much money you have to invest on a regular basis. Also consider how day trading fits within your broader asset allocation strategy.
- Consider working with a financial advisor to discuss the possible financial implications of day trading from a tax perspective. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
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