Best brokerage for day traders

Best Brokers For Day Traders

A lot is needed to make a living out of day trading: knowledge, experience, and right trading tools. It is also imperative to minimize the cost of trading as it might eat out all potential profits.

We believe that a successful day trader needs three brokerage accounts. First account should be with company offering very low per-share pricing plan to make small size trades of up to 1,000 shares. Second account should be with firm that provides low flat-rate pricing plan for making larger trades (1,000 shares or more) that will be too expensive with the per-share plan. 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: TD Ameritrade TOS 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 firms require at least $25,000 account balance.

Optionshouse Review

Stocks and ETFs $4.95
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $4.95
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
Optionshouse login, Optionshouse promotions

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 per-share plan.

Optionshouse offers lots of trading tools: Risk Viewer, Stock Screener, The Trade Generator, streaming charts and news, volatility charts, Spread Investigators and much more. All of them are customizable, fast and easy to use.

Volatility Charts - tracks changes in both implied and historic volatility to help you analyze volatility trends. This is huge for options traders as these charts help tell you if the option has a high or low premium attached to it. We love using this tool to find good options candidates to sell naked puts and calls on and keep the cash. The current, 52 week high and 52 week low of each volatility measurement is also given which is really helpful data to have.

The Probability Calculator - enables you to enter price targets for a given symbol and find the probability of an underlying symbol reaching these targets on a future date. One of the most important things in options trading is to make sure you’re right 70-80% of the time. This tool really takes the guess work out of it.

Risk Viewer - using proprietary algorithms, the Risk Viewer can help you better understand and estimate the potential risk in your portfolio.

Trade Generator - the proprietary technology in the Trade Generator scours the market for options trades and finds new trade ideas that match up with your inputs and sentiment. This is like having a personal assistant that hands you trade ideas that fit your strategy, only it’s free.

The firm's iPhone, iPad, Android and Kindle Fire Apps allow customers to access and manage their account in real time, regardless of where they are. The company revamped its browser-based platform, which now provides almost as much versatility and customization as a stand-alone application. Additionally, OptionsHouse offers virtual accounts where users can trade and practice strategies before they use their real money.

Full 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
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
Tradestation 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.

Full 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
TD Ameritrade login, TD Ameritrade promotions and TD Ameritrade referral

TD Ameritrade commissions are high - $9.99 per trade. But they are negotiable for active traders. What we really like is Thinkorswim trading software, that allows trading stocks, options, forex and futures from the same platform. This software is the best in the industry and a must-try for any day-trader. Read Thinkorswim review.

TD Ameritrade is also rated one of the top brokers for active traders by major investment magazines for the last few years.

Full TD Ameritrade Review

TD Ameritrade Review

TD Ameritrade Promotion Offer

Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.
This article was updated on 2/23/2015.

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The stock brokerage firm you select is solely responsible for its services to you, the user. shall not be liable for any damages or costs of any type arising out of or in any way connected with your use of a brokerage house's services. has partner relationships with other companies. As a partner, we often provide reviews of products and services based on our personal opinions. We are not compensated for positive reviews. While we strive to make sure that the information we present here is true and accurate upon publication, the rates and offers that we share with you may change without notice, so please visit the sites we reference for more up to date information.