Day trading is a type of stock trading where you buy and sell securities in short periods of time. Day traders donâ€™t care if the overall market moves up or down. As long as the stock market experiences volatility, a day trader can make money by purchasing assets when they dip in price and sell them off when they rise in value.
Learn more about day trading and find the best day trading apps with our guide.
- Best for Mobile Apps: TD Ameritrade
- Best for Execution: E*TRADE
- Best for Beginners: Robinhood
- Best for Active Traders: Webull
- Best for Novice Traders: Moomoo
- Best for Advanced Traders: TradeStation
- Best for Algo Traders: Zen Trading Strategies
Many day traders value the freedom that comes along with their profession but being stuck at a computer for hours on end can be limiting. With the spread of smartphones, a number of day trading apps have popped up to help execute on-the-go trades from the worldâ€™s most prominent brokers.
What Do You Need to Start Day Trading?
Put a handful of things in your back pocket before you start trading. Check out our list.
Youâ€™ll need capital in your accounts to buy your 1st set of stocks. Though most brokers with account minimums allow traders to start buying and selling assets with as little as $250, youâ€™ll need more capital to see significant profits once you consider the costs associated with commissions.
Most professional day traders recommend that new users start with a small $1,000 deposit to test your trading strategy â€” you can always put up more later on if you see success. New day traders should be particularly aware of the SECâ€™s pattern day trading rule; accounts with less than $25,000 at the end of the day are limited to 3 round-trip trades per 5-day period.
Once you exhaust your 3 round-trip trades a week, your broker must cut off your trading privileges until the next 5-day period begins or you make a deposit into your account to bring your account to $25,000. The pattern day trading rule means that itâ€™s important for low-level day traders to be very selective about what you buy and sell because your accounts are limited.
2. A Source for Live Quotes
Unlike long-term investors, day traders buy and sell their stocks quickly. Some traders may even purchase a stock and sell it within
3. Realistic Aspirations
If a day trading course or website claims that stock trading can make you thousands of dollars overnight or that you can follow â€œsimple tricksâ€ to wealth, theyâ€™re probably trying to sell you something.
Successful stock trading takes time. Many professional traders confess that it took them over 6 months to begin to see regular profits, as well as countless hours of practice with a dummy account. Have realistic expectations for the amount of money that youâ€™ll earn and donâ€™t be afraid to make mistakes â€” theyâ€™re an important part of the learning journey.Â
What You Should Look for in a Day Trading App
Ask 100 traders about their favorite feature in a day trading app and you’ll likely come away with dozens of different answers. However, the 3 most prevalent are an intuitive layout, low fees/commissions
1. An Intuitive Layout
No matter how well it works or how many cool research tools it offers, the best day trading app in the world is useless if you canâ€™t figure out how to use it. Check out YouTube app tutorials and demonstrations before committing to an app to ensure that you like an appâ€™s look and feel and that its functions are intuitive and quick to execute.
2. Low Fees and Commissions
Youâ€™ll probably find your day trading app through your stockbroker â€” you should already be familiar with the fees and commission schedule. However, if this is your first venture into stock trading, youâ€™ll want to choose an app provider that offers low fees and commissions in order to maximize your trade profits.
Many brokers also offer deep discounts for professional brokers who execute many trades a month. Want to learn more about low-commission stockbrokers? Check out our guide to find the right choice for you.
3. Full Web Functionality
Some brokers severely limit an appâ€™s functionality, encouraging traders to use their desktop versions. Before you commit to an app, make sure that it offers all of the features and functionality of its desktop counterpart.
The Best Day Trading Apps
Based on the criteria above, we compiled the best day trading apps of the year.
1. Best for Mobile Apps: TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade offers both iPhone and Android apps for enhanced day trading. TD Ameritrade Mobile lets you trade stocks, options, futures
You can manage your positions with helpful tools and features, including more than 300 technical charts and indicators.
24/5 trading lets you trade select securities 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. You can expand your list of securities to international markets and specific sectors.
TDAmeritrade also offers the TD Ameritrade Mobile App, a powerful mobile trading app compatible across all your smart devices. You can track your investments, trade stocks, ETFs
2. Best for Execution: E*TRADE
E*TRADE is 1 of the world’s most well-known pioneers in the world of online trading. E*TRADE is also largely considered to be 1 of the 1st companies to move day trading away from Wall Street and into the hands of everyday consumers.
E*TRADE’s award-winning Mobile app lets you invest in stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options. You can manage cash with Transfer Money, check deposit and Bill Pay.
E*TRADE’s Power E*TRADE app is built with easy-to-use tools and features. You can execute trades for stocks, ETFs, options
3. Best for Beginners: Robinhood
Robinhood allows traders to buy and sell stocks without commission charges. In addition to no-fee trading and a $0 minimum deposit, Robinhood also offers an easy-to-use mobile app that’s as responsive as it is intuitive.
Robinhood cuts most of the frills that come along with other brokers but it’s impossible to beat the app’s free trading platform. Users can buy and sell stocks with a few clicks, and the app’s mobile-native platform means nothing gets lost in translation from the website to the phone or tablet. New users can even get a free share of a major company, though the actual share they receive is selected at random.
More seasoned stock traders may be put off by Robinhood’s lack of resources and analysis tools but for new traders worried about fees and commissions, the app’s design and easy-to-use format is a must-see.
Intermediate Traders and Investors
- Active traders
- Intermediate traders
- Advanced traders
Open an account securely through Webull’s app
4. Best for Active Traders: Webull
Webull, founded in 2017, is a mobile app-based brokerage that features commission-free stock and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading. Itâ€™s regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Webull offers active traders technical indicators, economic calendars, ratings from research agencies, margin trading and short-selling. Webullâ€™s trading platform is designed for intermediate and experienced traders, although beginning traders can also benefit.
Webull is widely considered one of the best Robinhood alternatives.
5. Best for Novice Traders: Moomoo
Moomoo is a commission-free mobile trading app available on Apple, Google and Windows devices. Moomoo is another great alternative for Robinhood. This is an outstanding trading platform if you want to dive deep into smart trading.
It offers impressive trading tools and opportunities for both new and advanced traders, including advanced charting, pre and post-market trading, international trading, research and analysis tools, and most popular of all, free Level 2 quotes.
Get started right away by downloading Moomoo to your phone, tablet or another mobile device.
6. Best for Advanced Traders: TradeStation
TradeStationâ€™s platform used to only be best for professional traders who needed a highly technical platform. Not anymore.
TradeStationâ€™s TS GO account option offers novice traders access to professional-grade stock screeners and extensive educational and development tools.
TradeStation’s feature-rich mobile app syncs to your online account so you can trade stocks, options
You can get:
- Streaming quotes in real time
- Options spread strategies
- In-depth market monitoring
- Mobile price alerts and mobile swing alerts
- Chart analysis with indicators
- Split-second precision
7. Best for Algo Traders: Zen Trading Strategies
Zen Trading Strategies was developed by a team of quantitative algorithmic tradersâ€”that is, traders who use an algorithm programmed with their own custom buy and sell triggers to automatically execute trades.
It offers pre-tested and ready-to-use strategies for day trading and other styles of investing so that investors using the platform can dive right in, even if they arenâ€™t experts.
You can use the strategies as is, tweak them to better fit your needs or develop fully-customized strategies based on your preferred indicators. This is a great option for investors interested in automating day trading activity so they can sit back while an algorithm handles the leg work.
And since the strategies and indicators are all built to be compatible with TradingViewâ€™s charts, you are able to use them via the TradingView mobile app. That app is reliable and fully synced to your desktop dashboard so you can see all your charts, with your Zen Trading Strategies, no matter where you areâ€”even if youâ€™re using the basic, free version of the platform.
Related content: BEST TRADING COMPUTERS
Find a Day Trading App Today
Many traders are drawn to day trading by the possibility of earning huge payouts, but with the possibility of reward comes proportionate risks.
Traders can minimize risks by learning as much as possible about the market and order execution
before you begin trading using real money. Check out 1 of ourÂ favorite low-cost courses on trading to get started.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many trades does a day trader average on a daily, weekly and monthly basis?
A day trader averages 5 trades a day, 20 per week and 100 a month.
What is the minimum account value to start day trading?
The average account size is $25,000. But the minimum account requirement differs from broker to broker.
Related link: Best Day Trading Platforms