So, you want to get started with day trading. You’re not the only one.
Day trading is the starting point for basically everyone who has ever gotten into stocks.
So, you want to get started with day trading. You’re not the only one.
Day trading is the starting point for basically everyone who has ever gotten into stocks, and marks a perfect entry point for new investors.
Rich or poor, successful or not, making money to pay the bills or just looking to set up a retirement fund, day trading is the fundamental stock experience.
But just why is that? And what is day trading? How is it so core to how trading is done?
Part of the reason why people get into day trading is that it is more simple and accessible – especially when compared to more complex types of trade. Simple as it is, however, simple as it is, you still need to know the answers to these questions to really begin.
Table of Contents:
What is Day Trading?
Simply put, Day trading is when you buy a stock and sell a stock in the same day. There is more to it than that in practice, but in theory you can make a stable income off by learning how to day-trade – without having to master any other trading skills. It is not enough to just know what day trading is, however. If you want to make money, you have to know how it works.
How it Works
The reason day trading works is because the value of stocks fluctuates throughout the day. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of day traders: Those who make their money off of stocks that fluctuate normally throughout the day, and those who make their money off of highly volatile stocks.
It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between a volatile stock and a stable stock. The trick is not looking at the amount by which it changes value. A stock is not volatile because it changes value every five minutes. But it is volatile if it “reverses” every five minutes.
That means the stock gets more valuable, then less valuable, and then more valuable again. A stock like that is volatile because while it provides more opportunities to make more money, it also provides opportunities to lose money. For many traders, this risk is what makes it appealing.
Why is Day Trading Important?
If you ask any professional stockbroker where to start with the stock market, they are going to tell you to start with day trading.
But why is that? Why is it considered to be the starting point for trade?
The simple answer to that question is that it is day trading offers a solution that anyone can understand, and this is because it is the least involved in terminology, calculations, and other data points that might confuse the issue as to how it works.
Essentially, day trading allows you to choose your own level of immersion, and dictate how far into the detail you want to go. For instance, you can look at an industry and try to predict how much the industry will be worth, day by day, for the next month. By doing this, you can figure out when to buy and sell stocks of that company.
Alternatively, you can also choose to not do that, and instead, trade totally on impulse – and the freedom to choose is 100% yours.
Contrast this with something like a mutual fund, which is a method of trading that takes place over a longer period of time. In that case, you really have to do some studying to make good investments.
Day trading on trading platforms can also be done with any type of security. Stocks, CFDs, bonds, options, ETFs, futures, if it can be traded then it can be traded quickly. That means the skill of day trading transfers between securities.
How is Day Trading Done?
In the early days of the stock market, trading was done exclusively in-person on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. But when telecommunications boomed, that changed.
Suddenly, people were negotiating deals with other people on the other side of the country. Then the other side of the continent. Then the whole other side of the planet. And now trading can be done not just on the phone, but with the phone, using apps like Robinhood and eToro.
So, how is day trading done? Through trading platforms. But every trading platform is different. We have looked at quite a few over the course of our research, and have put together the best day trading platforms for your consideration – with our handy guide, you will be able to get started with day trading in no time., and now we are going to show you some of the best day trading platforms.
10 Best Day Trading Platforms in the UK 🇬🇧️
|*1. eToro||★★★★★||Open Account|
|2. XTB Online Trading||★★★★★||Open Account|
|3. Interactive Brokers||★★★★★||Open Account|
|4. TD Ameritrade||★★★★★||Open Account|
|5. TradeStation||★★★★★||Open Account|
|6. ZacksTrade||★★★★★||Open Account|
|7. Fidelity||★★★★★||Open Account|
|8. eTrade||★★★★★||Open Account|
|9. Webull||★★★★★||Open Account|
|10. Ally||★★★★★||Open Account|
* eToro disclaimer: eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
1. eToro – Best Overall Day Trading Platform
It is hard to go wrong with eToro – this is a platform with a strong reputation for success, and has long been cited as a great options for newbies.
In short, eToro offers you three things that help to set it apart from the other day trading platforms:
- A huge market to buy and sell different securities.
- A great knowledge base to learn about the different markets, industries, and trading methods.
- A community that is willing to teach, organize, and communicate about the market.
The huge market might seem self-explanatory. But one of the best things about eToro is that, due to its size, even if you have been around the block a couple of times as far as trading goes, it still has some ways of surprising you. In short, it trades just about every kind of security, even hard to find securities.
The knowledge base operates on two fronts: The first is the teaching tools for people who are new to day trading, while the other is research and analysis tools for those who are more experienced.
Finally, the community ensures that even should you find a trade that eToro does not support, you can still make the trade by discussing it on a personal level with the people you want to trade with. You can also learn a lot from asking community members questions and get trades from answering questions.
While eToro is generally acknowledged as being the gold standard of day trading apps due to its size and versatility, that same size and versatility can actually scare some people off, as this is a dense and complex platform. Even with all the interface conveniences it has, it is still going to be hard to navigate for a new day trader.
2. XTB Online Trading - Best Tools
Day trading opens up the realm of possibilities to be active in the market.
You need a platform that can help you execute trades quickly, access resources, and even be able to place markers, chart, and track along the way.
One advantage of XTB is that you will not be charged commissions unless you trade more than £100,000 in a month. At its point, there will be trade commissions, but these are relatively low, giving you a lot of flexibility for your trading needs. The low costs across the board are one of the top-loved things about this online platform.
XTB is also known to have some of the quickest execution speeds out there, which is substantially important when you are day trading, and speed has to be on your side.
Good Range of Assets
XTB has a wide array of asset choices to work with. Most day traders utilize stocks more than anything, but it’s good to know that you can also access forex indices, ETFs, CFDs, commodities, metals, and even cryptos too. They are said to have more than 2100 assets available, and they continue to build.
Great Customer Service
One of the most solid characteristics XTB should be proud of is their customer service, and this is a must. While we hope you never need customer support for anything major, it’s nice to know they make customers a priority in this capacity, too.
On the downside of this really great day trading platform is the fact that you will have some relatively high foreign exchange fees. If you are day trading in the market you are in, it’s not an issue, but when you want to invest in the global market, this could get pricy.
For example, a European customer who wants to purchase US stock, using USD, is going to pay a .5% conversion fee. That could add up really quickly, especially if you are to make a lot of trades. It may not affect you, but it’s certainly something to be aware of.
The other drawback in terms of day trading is they don’t have any guaranteed stop loss. This can often help mitigate your risks, but it’s simply not available here.
3. Interactive Brokers – Best Cash Integration
Convenience is a key factor in selecting the best day trading platform, and Interactive Brokers are at the top of our list when it comes to making your life easier.
What Interactive Brokers offers is an integration between your banking account and your trading account. This integration can work with practically all banks, meaning that you can easily transfer money between the two accounts – and there is no need to hold a bank account with that specific bank in order to integrate it with your trading account.
You can take loans, transfer money, and buy all manner of securities on the daily, all with the same account that you use to pay rent.
Low Interest Rates
This is a convenience feature, though. How much will it really impact things? Well, consider that one of the most popular ways of day trading is trading on margin. That means using a loan to buy and sell stock and using the money you make to make payments on the loan.
Because your trading account is linked to your bank account, there is a layer of insurance to the loan that other platforms do not have. This contributes to Interactive Brokers having extremely low interest rates.
Interactive Brokers might have some niche features that other platforms do not, but as we said earlier, its biggest draw is essentially a convenience feature. No one who is firmly entrenched in another platform for day trading is going to view it as an adequate reason to switch over.
There is also a lack of in-depth analytics compared to other trading platforms, and this can be frustrating for experienced traders well-versed in online brokers, looking to level up their performance.
4. TD Ameritrade – Best Support System
No one is going to get far in the world of day trading without help. It is tempting to indulge in the fantasy of the entrepreneur. This is the notion that anyone can get rich in the free market as long as they have the grit, determination, and ability to grow and learn from their mistakes.
While this is not wholly untrue, it is a viewpoint of the market that will make things a lot harder for you.
TD Ameritrade provides huge markets and lots of different securities that can be traded very rapidly. But the main thing it provides to make sure you can actually trade these things effectively is support.
What does support mean? It means that you are not trading in the dark. There is a knowledge base to teach you the basics, as well as research and analysis articles. While these are common on many day trading platforms, TD Ameritrade offer another benefit: a financial support team to help guide you through stock trading, from the basics to high level analysis.
This is all on top of TD Ameritrade’s lack of commission or account fees. This is an important note for two reasons: The first is that some people will look a gift horse in the mouth. They do not trust the financial advice of someone that they are paying, as it is possible for that advice to be self-serving.
The second is that it means that you can trade frequently, as day traders often do, and not incur a steep commission cost from that. This means it is cheaper to iterate on your strategy on this platform.
The main complaint that many traders have with the platform is that it tends to prohibit riskier investments, and this can be frustrating for experienced traders.
The issue here is that the more risky an investment is, the more tempting of a prize it usually is. While those investments are still available on the platform, it can feel like you need the platform’s permission in order to access them. For someone looking to trade in exactly those risky securities, that is a problem.
5. TradeStation – Best Learning Tools
TradeStation’s biggest claim to fame is its multimedia learning network. What does this mean? Well, it means that it relies on neither one method nor one voice to communicate its information.
Range of Tools
There are a range of tools to help teach, and this includes articles and graphs, as well as videos to help demonstrate things visually. And interactive tools to help you learn by actually taking action rather than just watching. And of course, there are podcasts.
TradeStation provides all these tools in the interest of reducing the number of barriers between you and learning. The best part is that these tools are not limited to learning the basics. Far from it – there are as many, if not more, videos and podcasts focusing on advanced skills as there are those focusing on basics.
Range of Options
The extra education is useful, as TradeStation does not shy away from more complex securities. Whether you want to trade CFDs, options, futures, bonds, or something really complicated like ETFs, you have the option to trade those things, and the tools to learn about them at all levels.
The issue with TradeStation is obvious to day traders: It has commission fees. In fact, it has a lot of curious pricing going on with it. It is worth noting, however, that TradeStation lists every single one of its fees on its site. That means you are not going to get bitten in the butt by hidden fees, but you will have to navigate fees that are not hidden to make a profit.
6. ZacksTrade – Best International Trading
If you want to trade globally, you have to connect with a huge range of markets, including Asia, America, and Australia.
Range of Markets
ZacksTrade connects the stock markets of 19 different countries, including the New York, London, and Sydney stock exchanges. It is also regulated by the regulatory bodies of all those countries.
This means that there are few platforms that are going to be as reliable in their business as ZacksTrade. It also means that ZacksTrade will have more resources on tax information, loan policies, and other financial rules and laws for those other countries.
That kind of connectivity is what the internet was built for, and it also allows you to engage in financial exploits that were impossible ten to twenty years ago. Before the internet, getting a loan from a bank in another country was considered the exclusive domain of sovereign governments and organized crime.
But with platforms like ZacksTrade, you can get loans from an American bank to buy stocks from a Japanese company using an index on the Australian stock exchange. It is not recommended that you do this, as you can easily mix yourself up with which country owns what money, but it is an option.
Range of Securities
Of course, ZacksTrade also gives you access to tons of different securities. It would be weird if it didn’t, given the different markets you can trade in. They also have low margin rates for their own loans, which is good considering the strange places the loan money might end up.
ZacksTrade is definitely not a beginner’s trading platform. While there are some tutorials there, ZacksTrade definitely has a weaker knowledge base, focused more on using their exclusive tools than actually learning how to trade. It also has commission fees, but they are relatively low.
The main way that ZacksTrade provides you with information on how to trade is through its research subscriptions. These are nothing, but they are far more dry and academic than most learning tools. They provide the kind of tone and nuance of a textbook, which turns most people off.
In short, this is absolutely not a beginner’s platform. It lets you make use of the full 24-hour day, but that can be as demanding as it is rewarding. Consider this before you open an account, but especially consider this before you make a trade in a time zone on the other side of the planet.
7. Fidelity – Best Non-Income Day Trading
Great for Long-Term Investments
One of the great advantages of is that they are perfect for long-term outlooks; from their account options to their securities to their knowledge base, Fidelity makes a point of helping you commit a portion of your day trading earnings to long term investments. These investments include retirement funds, college funds, trust funds, and much more.
They even offer tax help. This is important since so many of these kinds of funds are tax-deductible.
Easy to Save
In addition, Fidelity offers account options that are directly linked to savings funds. This is a simple matter, as it just means that a portion of your daily earnings goes to a savings account of your choosing.
Range of Securities
Their securities are less simple, but can still help you save while you trade stocks. While it is not their main focus, Fidelity gives you access to far more mutual funds and indexes than most day trading platforms. This allows you to invest in both securities that yield a lot in one day, as well as those that are focused on the long term.
Access to Education
Fidelity also has a knowledge base that helps you understand how to invest for the long term, and this includes different methods of organizing your money and filing your taxes to get the most value. This information is all available in article form, as well as help from a support network of specialists.
As you might expect, doing so much to help people get their long-term finances sorted out means that it can sometimes feel like it is not a day trading platform at all. That is not the case; Fidelity has lots of ways to help day traders plan long term investments. But you definitely have to work to find them.
This barrier is going to prove to be too steep for some people. It is not made any easier by the fact that Fidelity’s user interface is extremely counterintuitive. Being counterintuitive is almost worse than being bad. The difference is that if something is bad, it makes you think that it just does not work.
In the case of an interface being bad, you can at least figure out what does work. But when something is unintuitive, that means it does not work how it seems like it should work. Or even worse, it is inconsistent. This is the problem that Fidelity’s interface has.
But, if you are a day trader that wants tools for long term investment (both in securities and in your own banking) then Fidelity is the place to go.
8. eTrade – Best High Yield Investment
If you are lucky enough to have a large portfolio, this is the platform for you: eTrade offers high-end portfolio management options that are the best in the business. No one else even comes close.
High-End Portfolio Management
But what do high-end portfolio management options mean? Well, a high-end portfolio is any portfolio in excess of £75,600. The reason why this category of portfolio exists is because at that amount of money, you probably are not going to (or at least should not) spend it all in a day while day trading.
Because you cannot possibly access your entire portfolio in a single day, that means that you have an amount of money that is essentially losing value by not gaining value. High-end portfolio management means finding places for that money to go, either at the moment or in the future, and you need a trading platform that can manage this.
Usually that means tying the money up in as many securities as possible. You can still day trade in things like futures, CFDs, and binary options. All of these are securities that are unlikely to pay out the same day you buy them (although they can). But of course, you can spend some of your day buying them.
Access to Support For Day Traders
What eTrade does is that it gives you help, both through bots and actual support agents, that help you manage your cash flow in this manner – just be aware that these accounts will cost extra money, but it is essentially necessary when you are working with enough money.
You have probably already guessed that all this high yield investment stuff is both risky and complicated, and this means that eTrade is a platform for day trading – not only if you have the finances to back it up.
9. Webull – Best Margin Day Trading
Margin is one of the most popular methods of ensuring that you make a profit off of day trading. But what is margin?
We have mentioned it a few times, so let’s define it for anyone who is new.
Margin trading is when you take a loan in order to trade. Imagine that you want to trade but you have no money. There is a stock that you know you can make a profit off of, if only you had £75. You make a pitch to a lender about how certain you are that this stock will yield you a profit. They give you the loan.
Now, imagine you make £113 off of that £75 loan. The company you took the loan from will probably want £79 to £94 as payment for the loan. So, you profit somewhere between £19 and £34.
All things considered, not bad considering you started off with £0 and an idea of how to make money. The big thing that you will notice is the massive difference in how much money you make at a high interest rate versus a low interest rate. Interest rates are established based on a few different metrics.
But while credit score and the current state of the economy are both important factors in how much interest is on your loan, the most important is who you are getting the loan from.
Low Interest Rate Loans
Webull makes it easy to get low-interest-rate loans that you can use to day-trade. They offer plenty of securities to trade them on, as well as a suite of analytics to help you make the best trades you can.
Range of Options
Webull is also a great trading platform for those looking for a good range of stocks, EFTs, mutual funds and Options, allowing you to day-trade with ease and build a strong, diverse portfolio.
The issues with Webull are hardly dealbreakers: Firstly, Webull is not that remarkable beyond its loans’ low interest rates. Everything about it is good, but nothing really stands out. Not the markets it is connected to, not its knowledge base, and definitely not the securities it provides.
Those securities are definitely the weakest link, as it lacks things like foreign currency and cryptocurrency. That means that it does a lot to support day traders in the most traditional sense, but while its interface is above average, it is definitely not rocketing its features towards the future.
10. Ally – Best Robo Advisor
You know you are living in the future when the word “robo advisor” actually means something. But just what does it mean in terms of a day trade? It means that Ally is a platform that provides you with an automated trade advisor.
DIY or Done for You
This trade advisor operates in one of two ways: Either according to its default algorithm, or by settings that you input yourself.
The default algorithm assumes you are new until you start making trades, and then it starts giving you advice on how to best maximize your trades.
Alternatively, you can input what sort of trades you want. This will make the robo advisor advise you based on those preferences, rather than trying to figure out what you want. Other trading platforms have robo advisors, but none of them are as accurate or as customizable as Ally’s.
In addition to this, Ally has great interest rates and low commission fees for day traders. They still have commission fees, which will turn off some day traders, but they lack any hidden account fees to make up for it. The best way to think of it is that you are paying a premium for the robo advisor.
Of course, with so much focus being put on the advisor, the platform is going to feel like it holds your hand for advanced traders. It also lacks more risky securities, and has commission fees.
In general, it is a platform that is going to appeal to beginner investors very heavily. It does not feature many of the usual trading platform trappings. Any knowledge base or analytics it has are presented by the bot that guides you through things. This bot also helps with the interface.
Because day trading is defined by buying and selling securities in a single day, you should get into it expecting to make profits and losses in a single day as well.
This is some harsh scrutiny to put on yourself, but it is better to think of it in these terms and be realistic than not – this is the information any day trading brokers will give you, and helps to eliminate any unwanted surprises.
Maximize Your Profits
Money is always losing value to inflation. If you are only breaking even, or even when you are making small profits, the money you are making is essentially shrinking in your hand. While long term investments do exist, day trading is not about them. It is about maximising your profits.
When trying to find the best day trading platform, always evaluate the quality of these platforms by how they help your strategy to seize those profits – at the end of the day, this is the name of the game!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a day trading platform?
A day trading platform is an online service that allows traders to make trades in the stock market. It typically includes tools such as charts and graphs, real-time quotes and news, and other features that can help you make smarter decisions about when to buy or sell stocks.
How do I choose the right day trading platform for me?
Choosing the right day trading platform is important, so it's best to do your research before committing to any one service. Consider factors such as cost, features, and customer support when making your decision. Also, look at reviews from other users to get an idea of how each platform performs.
What features should I look for in a day trading platform?
Look for features such as real-time quotes and news, customizable charts and graphs, technical analysis tools, order types (such as limit orders and stop orders), risk management tools, and customer support. Also consider whether the platform provides mobile access or has educational resources available to help you learn more about day trading.