Best brokerage for day traders

Best Brokers For Day Traders

A lot is needed to make a living out of day trading on the markets: knowledge, experience, and right trading tools are the major factors. It is also imperative to minimize the cost of trading as it might eat out large portion of profits. In an ideal world, there is a brokerage firm that offers both the lowest possible pricing and the best trading platform and research tools for active traders. Unfortunately, in a reality the best combination of these will come from more than one firm.

We believe that now a successful day trader needs three brokerage accounts. First account should be with a company offering very low per-share pricing plan to make small size trades of up to 1,000 shares. Second account should be with a firm that provides low flat-rate pricing plan for making larger trades (1,000 shares or more) that will be too expensive with the pay-per-share plan. And, finally, the third account will provide access to the best trading, research and charting tools which are usually found in more expensive brokerage houses.

Below we list our picks for 2015 best brokerages for day-trading:

- TradeStation for low per-share pricing: first 500 shares $0.01 per share, $0.006 per share thereafter, $1 minimum per trade;

- Optionshouse for cheap flat-rate trades: $4.95 per trade;

- TD Ameritrade for fantastic set of trading and research tools: Thinkorswim review.

It takes 10-15 minutes to open day-trading account at OptionsHouse ($0 minimum opening deposit) or TD Ameritrade ($0 minimum opening deposit), and a couple of days at TradeStation ($5,000 minimum opening deposit). If you want to daytrade, all brokerage firms require at least $25,000 account balance.

Optionshouse Review

Stocks and ETFs $4.95
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $29.95
Options$4.95 + $0.50 per contract
Mutual funds $20

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, ETFs
Optionshouse minimum deposit to open account $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
FeesOptionshouse fees
Promotion and login linksOptionshouse login, Optionshouse promotions and Optionshouse referral

With only $4.95 flat-rate stock commission and $4.95 plus $0.50 per contract in options commission, OptionsHouse is one of the best brokers for day traders and active investors looking for flat rate commission account to make larger trades that will be too expensive with pay-per-share plan.

After its merger with TradeMonster, OptionsHouse now offers an impressive, award-winning suite of trading tools that only a day trader will truly appreciate. The firm has been rated Best For Options Traders in 2015.

Detailed OptionsHouse Review

OptionsHouse Review

OptionsHouse Promotion Offer

Trade Free For 60 Days when you Open a New OptionsHouse Account

TradeStation review 2015

Stocks and ETFs flat-rate plan $9.99 (1 to 9 trades/month); $7.99 (10 to 29 trades/month); $6.99 (30 to 99 trades/month); $5.99 (100 to 199 trades/month); $4.99 (200 or more)
Stocks and ETFs per-share plan $0.01 per share first 500 shares, $0.006 per share after that; $1.00 minimum per trade
Options per contract plan $1.00, no base or ticket charge, market or limit orders
Options per trade plan $9.99 + $0.70 per contract (1 to 9 trades/month); $7.99 + $0.50 per contract (10 to 29 trades/month); $6.99 + $0.40 per contract (30 to 99 trades/month); $5.99 + $0.30 per contract (100 to 199 trades/month); $4.99 + $0.20 per contract (200 or more)
Futures $0.25 - $1.20 per side, per contract + exchange, regulatory & overnight fees
Mutual funds $14.95
Bonds $14.95 + $5 per bond
Forexcommission-free with tight spreads and fractional pips
OTCBB $9.99 (100,000 share position maximum)
Pink Sheet Stocks $9.99 (100,000 share position maximum)

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, futures, T-Bills, OTCBB, Pink Sheet Stocks, Forex, ETFs
Tradestation minimum deposit to open account $5,000 for non-daytraders, futures and forex accounts, $5,500 for futures and forex IRA accounts, and $30,000 for daytraders
FeesTradestation fees
Promotion linkTradestation promotions

TradeStation offers one of the lowest commissions among discount online brokers: it charges just $0.01 per share for the first 500 shares, $0.006 per share thereafter, with $1 minimum per trade. With that rate all stock trades of up to 100 shares will cost you just $1!

Unfortunately, there is a serious disadvantage with this broker: $99.95 fee will be charged to use their trading platform if customer did not trade at least 5,000 shares in previous month. With this fee it does not make sense to open account at the firm unless you can meet this requirement.

In 2015 TradeStation got the highest score in Best for Frequent Traders and Best for International Traders categories. We rated the firm Best for Futures Traders and Best for Day Traders in 2015.

Detailed TradeStation Review

TradeStation Review

TradeStation Promotion Offer

Get up to $500 - trade commission free for 90 days.

TDAmeritrade review
TD Ameritrade

Stocks and ETFs $9.99
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $49.99
Stocks and ETFs interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system $34.99
Options $9.99 + $0.75 per contract
No-load mutual funds $49.99
Treasuries at auction $25
All other bonds and CMOs, CDs on a net yield basis
Futures $2.25 per contract (plus exchange & regulatory fees)
Forex Non-commission currency pairs trade in increments of 10,000 units (and do not contain a "#" symbol suffix). There are no additional fees or charges.

Investments stocks, mutual funds, options, ETFs, bonds, CDs, UITs, futures, and forex
TD Ameritrade\TDA minimum deposit to open account $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
FeesTD Ameritrade fees
Promotion and login linksTD Ameritrade login, TD Ameritrade promotions and TD Ameritrade referral

TD Ameritrade commissions are high - $9.99 per trade. But these are negotiable for active traders. What we really like is TD Ameritrade's Thinkorswim trading software, that allows trading stocks, options, forex and futures from the same platform. This software is the best in the industry, free of charge, and a must-try for any day trader. Because of Thinkorswim, TD Ameritrade has been rated one of the top brokers for active traders by major investment magazines for the last few years. Read Thinkorswim review.

Detailed TD Ameritrade Review

TD Ameritrade Review

TD Ameritrade Promotion Offer

Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.
Updated on 11/16/2015.

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