Best Broker for Shorting Stocks
TD Ameritrade is one of the largest brokerage houses in the country. It is also one of best online brokers for shorting stocks: great
availability of shortable stocks, no requirements on price of stock to be shorted (though shorting of OTC BB or Pink Sheet type stocks is not allowed),
and no strange account margin calculations.
Read full TD Ameritrade Review.
Best Trading Platform for Shorting Stocks
As an investor, it’s extremely important to have the right trading tools available to receive information quickly and make informed decisions. We have been using TD Ameritrade’s
Trade Architect platform to assist with investing needs over the past several years and we must say that is has been a very good experience. The features that the software offers
are quite dynamic while still being easy to use even for a novice investor.
For starters, the Trade Architect platform is available to all TD Ameritrade brokerage customers simply for having an account with the firm. This is a noted benefit right
away, as some brokerages we’ve used have charged fees or had certain minimum criteria that customers needed to meet in order to access a more advanced trading platform. Once your account is open, all you need is to have Adobe Flash Player installed on your computer in order to run the system and you are ready to begin.
To get going, when you log into your TDA brokerage account, the link to the Trade Architect platform is easily found under the Trading Tools tab at the top of the page.
Once selected, this will launch a separate pop out window on your desktop that transforms into your very own virtual trading desk. From there you will have access to a
number of specific features including real time streaming quotes, order entry, and trading ideas just to name a few. The tabs at the top of the page clearly display the options available and are quite easy to navigate.
On the Trading tab is where a customer can enter in stock, mutual fund, or option symbols to obtain more information and/or place a trade. Once the symbol is
entered, you will instantly have access to research, news, charting, and level II quote information along with a display of the current bid/ask and price of the last
trade. We have found this to be extremely convenient as it allows us to get an in depth snapshot of several critical pieces of information for our due diligence.
Once we are ready to buy or sell, we can simply click the appropriate buttons on the page and an order entry window appears where we can complete the details of our
transaction. You may also change the appearance of the page itself by adjusting the layout and placement of certain functions. Having all of these features readily
available is very important, especially when you are looking to complete a trade quickly.
For an investor looking to keep an eye on his or her favorite stocks, the Watchlist tab is where you can save all of the symbols for the companies you are
following. When accessing this page during market hours, this will display real time streaming quotes, which includes the current bid/ask, price of the last trade,
volume, and even a quote trend graph to help an investor get a feel for which direction the investment has been trading. Any investor knows how important it is to
have as much real time data as possible, and the information provided in this workspace makes it simple to keep track of several different companies all at once.
This page can also be customized to save many different watchlists that are accessible through this tab with just a couple clicks of the mouse. This has been extremely
useful as we like to look at various companies throughout the day in search of possible trading opportunities.
With regard to trading opportunities, this is actually something the platform will also put together for you. On the Ideas tab you can locate a number of different stocks that the system provides based on certain criteria such as volume, trading percentage, etc. For traders, having this type of stock screener can be invaluable as it not only saves time, but can hone in on specific trends to take some of the guesswork out of finding your next possible investment. This may be considered more of an advanced feature along with a number of other functions available including; a heat map to identify trends in specific stocks or sectors, option strategies with profit/loss target capabilities, alert triggers, and custom charting analysis which also has its own tab. Having some of these tools available has actually encouraged us to expand our knowledge and learn how to become better in using these resources when we evaluate an investment.
Lastly, one feature we have particularly enjoyed while navigating our account on the platform is the Live feed to CNBC. By clicking play in the designated area, this will actually stream the visual and audio from what is currently being shown on TV. When we are making trades during the day, this really helps us feel like we get a better pulse of the market. We have found that having some financial chatter going on while we’re researching and trading stocks makes us feel more engaged, almost like having a little bit of Wallstreet right there in our living room.
All TD Ameritrade Commissions and Fees
|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|
|Fees||TD Ameritrade fees|
- No surcharges on penny stocks, large orders, or after-hours trading
- Large and well-known company with 126 local branches
- Two excellent trading platforms: Thinkorswim and Trade Architect
- Users can practice trading without risking real money using PaperMoney virtual trading
- No-fee IRA accounts
- No account maintenance or inactivity fees
- Rich selection of independent, third-party research from 12 firms (Standard & Poor's, Morningstar, Jaywalk, TheStreet, etc.)
- Large number of mutual funds - over 13,000 available; 2,500 NTF (no-transaction fee) funds
- Free DRIP (dividend reinvestment plan)
This article was updated on 2/20/2015.