Whether a beginner or a trading expert, choosing one platform to use can be a daunting task as there are thousands of options in the market. Luckily, we have done the legwork and selected the top six trading platforms at the time of writing. Continue reading for our insights.
So what makes a trading platform good and how did we go about selecting these five? There are several characteristics we look for in each platform.
- The platform should be easy to use, for beginners and experts alike.
- There should be access to educational materials and market research so users can make informed decisions.
- The platform should offer features like webinars and interactive learning sessions where users can learn more and hone their skills.
- Accessibility: it is useful if a platform is available on a mobile device as easily as it is on a PC.
Considering the above, we have come up with these trading platforms with these features and more.
On Plus500, users can trade on cryptocurrency options, commodities, and forex markets. The company has been around since 2008 with a wealth of experience and resources to help new traders and expert traders. They offer software that works on PC, mobiles, and even on smartwatches.
Their platform is easy to use and they have some of the lowest account management fees. Plus500 doesn’t offer a meta trader suite, so users can’t access meta trader 4 or 5 on their platform.
According to Investopedia, CMC has the best range of offerings including forex brokers. There is no mandatory account minimum balance, which is appealing to users, but fees such as charges for guaranteed stops, inactivity fees, and overnight financing fees are expected. There is also a mobile platform and a downloadable MT4 platform where users can access their meta trader suite.
CMC Markets has over 30 years of experience and has service offerings designed for both beginners and professional traders. People can trade in government bonds, commodities, forex, and at least 12 cryptocurrencies. CMC unfortunately does not accept U.S. clients due to certain regulatory constraints.
Fidelity Investments is great for novices, as it offers competitive fees and commissions. They even offer a youth account users can set up for youngsters aiding in their success among customers.
The vast resources in their educational material research library is unmatched and they have one of the most responsive customer contact centres. Customer service should be superior for these companies.
The platform is functional and has simple layouts. They also offer ETFs which are less risky, making it great for new traders as they can invest small amounts of money while learning about the different stocks available. Or better yet, set up a simulated portfolio that doesn’t require real funds (“paper trading”) and learn the ropes without any of the risks.
While Fidelity is ideal for novice traders, it may be too simplistic in setup for professional or retail traders.
The only critique we have for Fidelity is that they don’t have a separate downloadable trading app, which is strange considering part of their target market is youth. Hopefully this will be improved upon later this year.
Questrade has been open since 1999 and is still growing. They offer extensive educational tools to make a smarter trader. It’s important to note users must be Canadian to open an account at QuestTrade or at least have a residential address in Canada if currently not living there.
QuestTrade has low commissions because they don’t charge opening fees or annual account fees. Users can for free, allowing more to trade with.
E*Trade is one of the top-performing trading platforms available on the market, off the bat we need to say first off that this platform does not support crypto trading and forex trading. They offer futures, stocks, options, and bonds, but users cannot buy fractional shares on this platform.
Before readers start wondering what is good about this platform, there is plenty of greatness on this platform. Their investor education packages are above average, navigation is simple and easy to use, and the menu is easily customizable to suit any needs.
They have a partnership with Morgan Stanley which means they can provide superior research options and educational packages. There is no minimum deposit amount, but if users want real-time data, account balances must be a minimum of $1000. E*Trade does charge for penny stocks up to an amount of $6.95, so those traders looking to start small should be wary of this.
If for nothing else, choose TD Ameritrade for its excellent education. Their webinars are incredible and comprehensive with qualified presenters. Of course, the platform offers other services but their education is unrivaled and if one’s a beginner, this is a platform worth considering.
Like E*Trade, TD Ameritrade also does not offer fractional buying or crypto trading. We are well aware that TD Ameritrade was purchased by Charles Schwab in 2020 to merge Charles Schwab Corporation and TD Ameritrade. This review is based solely on TD Ameritrade. Trade in stocks, futures, and forex, or take advantage of their retirement services. There are no fees for ETF or stock trades, and penny stocks have a $6.95 fee
We didn’t mention that a platform has a mobile app because that is the expectation with all trading platforms. But TD has two mobile apps, TD Ameritrade Mobile the one for casual investors while thinkorswim Mobile is geared toward professional traders. It’s great because these apps fulfill specific requirements for their users. TD is well-suited for every kind of investor and trader.
Trading in stocks, commodities, and even forex may look exciting and seem lucrative, but remember it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. Trading requires certain expertise and skills people can only acquire through research and experience. So, gather all the information needed before investing. When choosing a platform, ensure users pick one that will provide all the tools needed.