Day trading takes a special kind of broker. Not all online brokers cater to the active day trader. As a former day trader myself (now ex), I’ve had accounts at multiple brokers. Some suck. Some are great.
My Top Day Trading Brokers
- OptionsXpress (for options day trading)
- TD Ameritrade
Trade Execution Is Key Factor
Trade execution refers to how quickly your trade is filled from the moment you click, “buy” to when your trade is actually executed. When day trading, sometimes just a few seconds can mean the difference between a winning or losing trade. Speed is key.
Trade Speed Winner: TradeKing
TradeKing was built for the active trader. Trade execution is fast. You won’t see much lag between order and execution.
If you place a high number of trades, commissions (the price you pay the broker to execute the trade) can eat into your profits.
If you can swing a $25,000 account (which should be the minimum if you are day trading!), you can get 10 free trades a month at Zecco. Granted, that only saves you $45 (Zecco trades are $4.50 a trade after that), but hey $45 is $45, right?
Trades at TradeKing are $4.95 a trade.
Low Cost Day Trading Winner: Zecco
Rated the best broker for Customer Service (by SmartMoney), TradeKing wins the customer service battle here. It’s not that the others are bad, they are just a bit slower in response times (at least in my experience with Zecco, OptionsXpress, and TD Ameritrade).
Customer Service Winner:
Day Trading Options
Day trading options is a whole different animal than day trading stocks. And that animal requires a different broker. While Zecco and TradeKing are decent brokers for Options, no broker can compare to OptionsXpress when it comes to options day trading.
I did quite a bit of options trading back in my heyday, and I loved OptionsXpress. Mostly for their specialized tools. Their whole platform is built around options trading. Their tools are the easiest to use. The other brokers have similar prices for options trades, but if you’re trading options professionally, go with OptionsXpress.
Options Trading Winner: OptionsXpress
Overall Best Day Trading Broker
Overall, when it comes to speed, pricing, and customer service, the overall winner is TradeKing. From my experience they are the best broker for day traders.