Best Brokers For Day Trading

2016 review of the best brokerage firms for day trading account for active traders on stocks, options, and futures markets.

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 a trader 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 tools and lowest costs will be in different companies.

We believe that 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 2016 best brokerages for day-trading. All of these firms are offering fast trade executions.

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

- Optionshouse for cheap flat-rate trades: $4.95 per trade, regardless of the number of shares;

- TD Ameritrade for fantastic set of trading and research tools: learn more in TD Ameritrade thinkorswim review.

It takes 10-15 minutes to open a 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'll decide to start daytrading, any brokerage firm will require at least $25,000 account balance.

Optionshouse: Best Broker For Day Trading With Flat Pricing

Stocks and ETFs $4.95
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $29.95
Options$4.95 + $0.50 per contract
Mutual funds $20
Futures $1.50 per contract

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, futures, 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 low, $4.95 stock commission and $4.95 plus $0.50 per contract options charge, OptionsHouse is one of the best brokers for day traders and active investors looking for a flat rate pricing plan 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 Broker For Options Traders in 2016.

Detailed OptionsHouse Review

OptionsHouse Review

OptionsHouse Promotion Offer

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

TradeStation: Best Broker For Day Trading With Per Share Plan

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, 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 (or 50 options contracts a month; or 10 round-turn futures or futures option contracts; or 50 round-turn single stock futures). That fee also doesn't apply for accounts with $100,000+ balance. Usually, it does not make sense to open account at the firm unless trader can avoid that fee.

Thanks in part to fast trade executions, TradeStation got the highest score in Best for Frequent Traders and Best for International Traders categories in Barron's magazine online broker survey. In 2016 we rated the firm Best for Futures Traders and Best for Day Traders for the third year in a row.

Detailed TradeStation Review

TradeStation Review

TradeStation Promotion Offer

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

TD Ameritrade: Broker With Best Day Trader Platform

Stocks and ETFs $9.99
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $49.99
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 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 the pricing is negotiable for active traders. What we really like about the firm is TD Ameritrade's Thinkorswim trading platform, that allows trading stocks, options, forex and futures from the same place. The platform is the best in the industry for day traders, and it is free of charge. Thinkorswim provides instant trade executions, and it is a must-try for any day trader.

Because of Thinkorswim, TD Ameritrade has been rated one of the top brokers for active intraday traders by Barron's for the last few years. Read complete Thinkorswim review here.

Detailed TD Ameritrade Review

TD Ameritrade Review

TD Ameritrade Promotion Offer

Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

Updated on 5/26/2016.

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