Fidelity Active Trader Pro vs StreetSmart Edge

Compare StreetSmart Edge vs Active Trader Pro


StreetSmart Edge vs Active Trader Pro which trading platform is better in 2017? Compare Fidelity ATP vs Charles Schwab SSE active trader software.



Overview of StreetSmart Edge and Active Trader Pro


Schwab and Fidelity have recently been advertising their new ultra-low equity commissions. They haven’t been talking very much about their desktop platforms, which naturally accompany stock trading. Schwab offers StreetSmart Edge, while Active Trader Pro is available to Fidelity clients. Let’s take a look at the two programs and see if one is the better software.


Account Minimums


Fidelity (brokerage review) normally requires 3 trades per quarter in order to use Active Trader Pro. However, the broker also offers a demo platform for PC’s. It is available for customers and even traders who don’t have a brokerage account with the firm. Fidelity customers who don’t meet the trading minimum can call the broker and request access to the platform. The broker says it will “gladly enable” it for these clients. New customers who deposit $50,000 or more automatically receive the platform, along with 300 free stock trades that are good for 2 years.

Schwab (brokerage review) used to require a $1,000 account balance to use its desktop software. Customer service says it has done away with this policy. Keep in mind, however, that the broker continues to require a thousand dollars to open a brokerage account.


Launching the Software


StreetSmart Edge and Active Trader Pro are both desktop programs. Each one takes about 10 seconds on a solid state drive to reach the login screen. StreetSmart Edge offers the ability on the login window to choose a paper trading mode instead of live trading. The demo version for Active Trader Pro is a separate program.


Usability and Customization


StreetSmart Edge offers two themes: light and dark. It’s easy to switch between them. Unfortunately, font sizes in the platform cannot be changed. The program can be expanded full screen, and smaller windows display different information, such as account positions or market news. The software offers one pre-defined layout that users can always go back to, while custom-made layouts can be saved.

Active Trader Pro offers blue as a third color theme. Compared to StreetSmart Edge, Fidelity’s platform is more customizable. The font size can be adjusted, and there are many pre-defined layouts to choose from. Order buttons and highlight bars are in the same color as the rest of the platform, while StreetSmart Edge uses different colors, creating a more appealing platform.


TOS vs Fidelity ATP


Charting


Charting in StreetSmart Edge offers some really nice features. Colors of graphs and technical indicators can be easily changed. There are a wide variety of drawing tools and technical indicators. A graph can be printed. A template can also be made from a graph. Right-clicking on a chart produces a large menu with many different options, one of which is the broker’s all-in-one trade ticket. Here, an order can be placed for the security under evaluation, or any option contracts associated with the asset.

Fidelity’s platform also comes with good charting tools. There are over 60 technical studies available, along with several drawing tools, including trend lines, resistance lines, Fibonacci arcs, linear regression lines, and more. Comparisons can be made to stocks or indexes. A chart can be displayed the width of the monitor, as with StreetSmart Edge. However, a graph in Active Trader Pro has fewer color options.





Order Entry


Entering orders on either platform is fairly straightforward. Both programs offer multi-leg orders in addition to the regular single-leg order. Schwab offers five order types: limit, market, stop, stop limit, and trailing stop. Fidelity provides one more: trailing stop limit, in percent terms and also dollar terms. Active Trader Pro can place trades for mutual funds, but StreetSmart Edge cannot.

Schwab’s trading ticket shows tabs for option calls and puts, conditional orders, market depth (similar to Level II quotes), and a trade and probability calculator. Fidelity’s ticket doesn’t offer as many features, but there are conditional orders available. These include OCO (one cancels the other), OTO (one triggers the other), and OTOCO (one trigger an OCO).

Schwab’s conditional orders are a little more difficult to enter. They are triggered by certain market events, such as if IBM’s volume goes past 3 million, buy 100 shares of it.


StreetSmart Edge Highlights


Upon logging into StreetSmart Edge, either in regular mode or paper trading version, the platform displays the same layout that you had the last time you used the software. Schwab’s default setup includes account information, trading, quotes, research, news, stock and option screeners, charting, an order tab, and the ability to create custom tabs.

Live streaming of CNBC is available in full screen, and European and Asian versions can be viewed certain hours of the day. Other helpful tools include an ETF screener, stock analysis from MarketEdge, and technical analysis from Recognia. Market depth on the platform is similar to Nasdaq Level II quotes, except that market depth only displays information from Arca.


Active Trader Pro Highlights


After logging into Active Trader Pro, the program displays a daily dashboard, which is a window that appears in the center of the screen. It shows market indices, the time when markets will close, position and portfolio information, earnings announcements, and the day’s market headlines. Bloomberg business news streams instead of CNBC, and Fidelity restricts it to a small window.

Unlike StreetSmart Edge, Active Trader Pro does not save the most recent layout. Instead, it takes you to the software’s default layout. It’s easy to switch layouts by selecting ‘Layouts’ in the top menu.

Many of the software’s features, such as mutual fund research or funds transfer, produces Fidelity web pages that sit inside the platform. Other features, such as account positions or market news, have their own pre-populated windows.


Active Trader Pro vs StreetSmart Edge - Summary


The two platforms have a lot of similarities. StreetSmart Edge uses a larger variety of colors, so it is more appealing to the eye. Because both brokers charge $4.95 for stock trades, they’re pretty even overall.


Updated on 7/7/2017.




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