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Best Day Trading Platforms & Apps

Compare brokerage accounts that lets you day trade. Just keep in mind the pattern day trading rule. If you’ve been marked as a pattern day trader and fail to maintain a minimum account balance of $25,000, you won’t be able to day trade.

4.4 ★★★★★
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4.2 ★★★★★
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Get up to $10,000 cash

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3.1 ★★★★★
verified_user FDIC Insured
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Earn up to $300

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4.4 ★★★★★
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Get a free stock

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4.2 ★★★★★
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Get up to $10,000 and transfer fees covered

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5 best day trading apps & platforms of 2024

We analyzed 18 brokers and put together a list of the best platforms for day trading to help you figure out which broker might be right for you as you look to capitalize on intraday market movements. From traditional brokers to mobile-first trading apps, here are the best day trading platforms for beginners, trading crypto and more.

Best overall

Interactive Brokers

4.7
★★★★★

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With its combination of investment choices, low costs and powerful trading tools, Interactive Brokers stands out as the best day trading platform overall. Trade everything from stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to options, futures, currencies, bonds and crypto, with access to some of the lowest margin rates in the industry. Its desktop platform, Trader Workstation, is available to both IBKR Pro and IBKR Lite users and offers traders the flexibility to customize their trading strategies and pinpoint buying opportunities — event calendars, alerts, watchlists and over 100 order types and algorithms. Other advanced trading tools include IBKR's fundamentals explorer, a multi-leg options strategy builder, a real-time risk navigator and a paper trading account. IBKR also stands out as one of the best forex day trading platforms for its dedicated currency trading tools and access to over 100 currency pairs.

Best for day trading options

Tastytrade

4.4
★★★★★

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Designed primarily for derivatives trading, tastytrade boasts an impressive collection of trading products and some of the best pricing on options and futures contracts in the industry. Stocks and ETFs are commission-free, options have no closing commissions and its trading platforms are equipped with an impressive array of advanced trading and analysis tools — customizable alerts, a follow feed to see trade activity from other tastytrade users, profit and loss visualizations and a quick roll feature to roll your option position into the future, to name a few.

Best for day trading practice

TradeStation

4.2
★★★★★

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Suitable for day trading stocks, ETFs, crypto, futures and options, TradeStation stands out for its trading simulator, where traders can back-test trading strategies and practice advanced tactics without the risk of losing real money. Practice trading stocks, options and futures, with unlimited simulated dollars and access to real-time market data. Plus, access TradeStation's trading simulator on desktop, web and mobile devices, so you can practice your trading on your platform of choice.

Best mobile app for day trading

Moomoo

4.3
★★★★★

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Get 8.1% APY for 3 months on idle cash and up to 15 free stocks with qualified deposits. T&Cs apply.
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Moomoo's one of the most capable trading apps on the market, offering advanced, customizable charting and free access to pro-grade tools such as analyst ratings, real-time Level 2 market data and short sale analysis. Track market capital flow to help time transactions, view position cost distribution and other technical indicators and use Moomoo's Indicator Sentiment for a quick view of the overall status of all technical indicators. Choose from over 63 indicators and 38 drawing tools or customize technical indicators with over 190 pre-set functions, all on Moomoo's user-friendly mobile app. You'll also find a dedicated desktop trading platform and paper trading so you can practice and test your strategies before going live.

Best for day trading information

Charles Schwab

4.5
★★★★★

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With its acquisition of TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab now boasts the popular Thinkorswim trading platform, making it a standout broker for day trading. Available for web, desktop and mobile, the powerful Thinkorswim trading platform offers highly customizable charts with over 400 technical studies and 20 drawings, live news, scanner tools, screeners and watchlists and complex trading instruments — such as multi-leg options. In-platform gadgets like Trade Flash displays third-party analyst up/downgrades, block trades, trade imbalances, trading floor events and more, and a paper trading account with $100,000 of virtual currency is available to practice and refine your trading strategies.

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Finder is not an advisor or brokerage service. Information on this page is for educational purposes only and not a recommendation to invest with any one company, trade specific stocks or fund specific investments. All editorial opinions are our own.

We update our best picks as products change, disappear or emerge in the market. We also regularly review and revise our selections to ensure our best provider lists reflect the most competitive available.

Brokers we review are: SoFi Invest®, Robinhood, eToro, tastytrade, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing, Public, E*TRADE, Vanguard, Interactive Brokers, Charles Schwab, Fidelity Investments, Webull, TradeStation, Axos Bank Self-Directed Trading, Cash App Investing, Zacks Trade, Moomoo and Acorns.

Day trading risks and rewards

Similar to any form of trading, day trading comes with unique risks and rewards. Here are a few to consider before starting.

Risks

  • Loss of money. You can lose significant amounts of money if you make a losing trade.
  • Time commitment. Successful day traders invest large amounts of time practicing, watching market movements and keeping sight of the news.
  • Minimum balance requirements. Pattern day traders must maintain a minimum of $25,000 in equity in their margin account when they day trade.
  • Most day traders fail. Studies have shown that less than 1% of day traders are profitable, while over 97% of day traders lose money.

Rewards

  • No overnight risks. Since you aren’t carrying any open positions into the following day, you won’t have to worry about overnight price movements.
  • Work for yourself. Many successful day traders are self-employed and may have more flexibility with their time.
  • Potential for significant gains. Although rare, those who succeed at day trading can make significant profits by capitalizing on short-term market movements.

How to lower your risk while day trading

Christopher Liew, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), tells Finder, “Day traders can employ a common risk-management strategy called the 1% rule wherein traders don’t invest beyond 1% of their entire trading account in a single trade to manage possible losses.”

The 1% rule isn’t unlike the core-and-explore strategy — a strategy that allocates a majority of portfolio funds to low-cost diversified funds and leaves the rest for higher-risk, potentially higher-reward investments like growth stocks or even day trades. Core and explore might reserve 10% for riskier trades instead of 1% — but your number depends on the amount of risk you can afford to take.

Michael Shea, certified financial planner (CFP) and IRS enrolled agent, offers a similar approach:

“If you want to day trade, set aside an amount of money you’re 100% okay with losing. Make sure your retirement portfolio and savings are taken care of first, and if you have money left over to gamble on day trading, then have at it.”

What’s the pattern day trading rule?

The pattern day trading rule applies to day traders who execute at least four day trades within five business days. The rule was established by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), is governed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and applies to all US brokerages. Pattern day trading isn’t illegal — but the pattern day trading rule limits who can execute day trades and when.

Your broker may deem you a pattern day trader if your day trading activity accounts for more than 6% of your total trading activity in five days. At this point, you’re required to bring your account balance above $25,000 to continue trading.

If you’ve been marked as a pattern day trader and fail to maintain a minimum account balance of $25,000, you won’t be able to day trade.

Can I day trade using a cash account?

Some brokers will let you day trade in a cash account — but only using settled funds. Cash accounts must use settled funds to cover trades to avoid freeriding, which is the act of buying and selling securities from a cash account without having the capital to cover the trade. Stock and ETF transactions take three days to settle, while mutual funds and options settle in one day.
Freeriding is illegal and prohibited by the SEC. Traders who engage in freeriding will have their accounts suspended for 90 days. The freeriding rule makes it very difficult to day trade using a cash account.

Trading on margin

Margin trading is trading with borrowed money. When you trade on margin, you borrow funds from your broker to execute a trade. You’ll be asked to pay back what you owe with interest and your account serves as collateral for the loan.
So long as the trade moves in your favor, trading on margin can be a lucrative practice: You increase your buying power by borrowing funds, execute a profitable trade, pay back what you owe and pocket the profit.
The problem with margin trading is that the potential to compound the results of a trade swings both ways: you may increase your profit — but you may also multiply your losses. Stop-loss orders may help cushion the impact, but margin trading remains an inherently risky strategy best reserved for those with extensive trading experience.

What to look for in a day trading broker

The right broker can make or break your day trading experience. Here’s what to look for in a broker:

  • Reliability. The last thing you want to worry about when executing a sizable trade is a service outage. Unfortunately, outages do happen, and some brokers are more prone to them than others.
  • Speed. Day trading is a time-sensitive activity, so your broker’s fill times will factor into successful trade execution. Look for slow fill time complaints on trading message boards to find out which brokers have a reputation for delayed executions.
  • Reputation. Your ideal day trading broker should maintain a positive online reputation. Review trader feedback on the Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot and Reddit to find out what investors think of the platform.
  • Research tools. Many day traders rely on up-to-date market news and research tools — like advanced stock screeners and charts — to pull off profitable day trades. Find out what research and analytics tools your broker offers and whether they’re sufficient to support your trading strategy.

Analytical tools

Sophisticated analytical software can help inform day trading decisions and may include any of the following:

  • Automated pattern recognition. This software is capable of detecting technical patterns like flags, channels and Elliot Wave patterns.
  • Neural network applications. These programs utilize neural networks to detect predictable patterns in price movement.We add
  • Backtesting. This program lets traders backtest trading strategies to analyze how they would have performed in the past.

Most beginner to intermediate traders don’t require these tools to execute trades, so don’t be surprised if you find platforms like Robinhood and Public lacking. That said, platforms that cater to advanced traders, like Interactive Brokers (IBKR) Interactive Brokers and may be better equipped.

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