The majority of companies now offer highly flexible and powerful trading software that individuals can use for their brokerage accounts. The software they provide offers trade, analysis and research functions built-in, and in a world where pips and commissions are so heavily competitive, it is often the trading software that makes the difference in terms of which broker a client decides to use.
Today, it’s almost standard for every broker to provide technical indicators, fundamental analysis information and ways to automate trade and get alerts. These are things that should be a bare minimum – even for a web based client. Here’s a look at some of the best stock trading software on the market.
MetaStock Trader is the gold standard for trading. It offers hundreds of indicators. It has built-in tools for Fibonacci retracement, and it supports many technical indicators. It has its own built in news feed which can be filtered easily to show only the most important data. It makes it easy to stay up to date with global market coverage.
This is another popular system for tracking multiple stocks and other assets. It offers worldwide coverage, and it has an easy to use interface for fundamental coverage. Compared to MetaStock Trader, the technical information is far more limited, but it is still a quality system with a lot to offer.
This platform offers an end-to-end system for order entry and execution, and it sets itself apart from other platforms by having the ability to add plugins, of which there are more than 300 already. It is one of the more popular platforms, and it has more than 100 technical indicators, as well as fundamentals, research tools and charting. It also features a trade simulator, which allows you to do risk-free trade learning.
This is a more sophisticated product that is aimed squarely at experienced traders. It features high-end tools such as artificial intelligence and pattern building. It’s likely overkill for beginner traders, but it’s a powerful tool for those who want something more feature-rich.
This is a tool that is aimed that those who know exactly what fundamentals they want, and that want to drill deep into specific stocks. It does not support automated trading. It’s probably not a tool that you would use by itself. However, if you invest using other platforms and just want to double down on data on a specific platform then this could be an additional resource in your toolkit.
This is a trading and analytics platform that offers support for a large, but limited, set of countries. The countries that it does support benefit from a lot of information and comprehensive coverage, and there are charting tools, real time filters, backtesting, watch lists and other handy additions to make trading that little bit simpler.
There are many other trading platforms to choose from. A lot of brokers have mobile clients that offer basic functionality. These can be useful if you have a day job or are always on the move, and want to still handle basic trading tasks efficiently.
Before you sign up to a broker and fully fund your account, take some time to get to know the trading software that they offer. You can usually do this with a demo account, or by setting up a micro account and funding it with just a small amount of money. Use this account to learn the interface and explore the options. If you are a beginner, then something like MetaStock Trader is probably a good option.
This platform offers a good compromise between ease of use and power. There are more than 300 technical indicators that you can examine, but you are not forced to use them all or even a fraction of them. You can filter the views that you see based on what interests you and once you have gone through the initial pain of setting things up you should find that day to day trading is incredibly simple. Indeed, there are default views that offer pretty much everything that you could ever need as a beginner and that hide the options that might intimidate you, so there’s no need to worry about indicators that you don’t understand.
Fundamentals-focused traders may find it a little harder to find the perfect platform. It can take a long time to put together the perfect set of news sources and to build up feeds that give you everything you need. There are some great fundamentals platforms in the above list, though. Again, try them all until you find the best stock trading software.
Be wary with demo accounts. Often, the timing on them is slower, and the commissions or forex pips are smaller too, which gives you the illusion of being able to make far more money from your trades than you really would. Don’t let success on a demo account lull you into a false sense of security.
Many third party platforms can send trade orders to a large list of brokers, so you are not tied in to a specific broker/platform combination. Some traders use more than one broker depending on the specific trade that they are doing, and some simply like to take their platform – and all of their settings – with them when they move around. If you feel like you are outgrowing the bespoke, browser based app that your broker offers, then take a look at your options and find the best stock trading software for you.