Best Online Brokers And Trading Platforms Of April 2024

TD Ameritrade shines in many areas, from education and research to its platform and technology. Beginners can benefit from the platform’s courses that feature progress tracking and gamified elements, rewarding progress with points and badges. Also, TD Ameritrade lets you filter its subject matter according to your level of knowledge (beginner, intermediate and advanced). They provide investors with a range of services, including investment and retirement planning, portfolio construction, tax advice, and research.

direct access trading platform

The main difference between online brokers and direct access brokers lies in the level of market access and the speed of trade execution. Online brokers act as a middleman, while direct access brokers provide a more direct route to the market. When you trade with a traditional brokerage account, you don’t actually access the stock market.

The blurring lines of brokerages

You’d then set parameters for your trade, such as the best price you want to pay, the number of shares you want, and an expiry time for the order. The software will then scour the exchange for a seller and complete the order. All these factors are worth considering before choosing an online broker.

  • Our real-time monitoring system lets you see the current state of your account at any time to give you the edge you need in changing market conditions.
  • This platform combines the direct access trading capabilities of DAS|Pro with an intuitive web-based platform that can be customized to compete with other top-tier online brokerage solutions.
  • Lightspeed might be the best deal for traders who expect to make small trades every month, thanks to a three-month waiver of the platform fee and commissions applied against the platform fee afterward.

Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. Our editorial team evaluated the monthly platform costs, commission structures, and minimum account sizes of brokers that offer DAS Trader Pro to U.S. clients. SpeedTrader is a direct-access broker with reliable customer service, over 25 order routes, and competitive software fees. You pay a commission of $0.0044 per share trading under 250,000 shares per month, or $4.49 per trade when executing under 200 trades per month. The best commission is reached by trading over 3mn shares per month or executing over 3,000 trades per month.

Best online brokerage trading platforms in June 2024:

The article outlines what to look for in a direct access broker, but one factor that’s often overlooked is the type of account you’ll be using. Whether it’s a cash or margin account can significantly impact your trading strategy and the rules you’ll need to follow. For a deep dive into these account types, explore this in-depth guide on cash or margin accounts. Online brokers often have slower trade execution speeds and may not offer advanced charting tools.

direct access trading platform

A buy-and-hold investor doesn’t need detailed stock quotes and lightning fast trade execution. No, you simply buy a few ETFs or mutual funds on your Schwab brokerage account and sit back for a few decades. But day traders need quotes quickly and can’t wait around for a trading desk to funnel out their orders. Direct access is exactly what it sounds like — a live look into the plumbing of the market.

What is a trading platform and how does it work?

Plus, it doesn’t take a lot of options volume for you to secure a discounted rate, one of the best prices in the industry. A top trading platform may also provide streaming news and can even get you a better trade execution, helping you secure the most attractive price possible. The article emphasizes the need for experience when using direct access brokers, but what about the tools these brokers offer? For example, E-Trade is known for its user-friendly interface and robust tools, making it a solid choice for day trading. If you’re an experienced trader looking for a platform that balances complexity with ease of use, read this comprehensive review of E-Trade for day trading. These brokers offer advanced trading platforms equipped with a range of features like charting tools, scanners, and real-time market data.

direct access trading platform

CenterPoint Securities is a quality broker that is perfect for advanced, high-volume and momentum traders along with short sellers. With direct market access, your orders are routed in the most efficient manner possible, and you get real-time information that helps you make wise decisions. Experienced licensed professionals support clients during regular market hours and also during pre-and post-market. You can reach Lightspeed customer support by phone or email, but a live chat is not available.

Direct Access Brokers vs. Brokers Selling Order Flow

Our estimates are based on past market performance, and past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Blain Reinkensmeyer, head of research at, has been investing and trading for over 25 years. After having placed over 2,000 trades in his late teens and early 20s, he became one of the first in digital media to review online brokerages. Blain created the original scoring rubric for and oversees all testing and rating methodologies. Sam Levine, CFA, CMT, the lead writer for, has over 30 years of investing experience and actively trades stocks, ETFs, options, futures, and options on futures.

However, some stocks favored by day traders are not so readily available for short selling. These are often small cap or penny stocks that are attractive in part because they are highly volatile. Sterling Trader® Pro is a multi-purpose front-end trading platform equipped with features specifically designed with the input of experienced professional traders. Sterling Trader® Pro offers direct electronic access to all of the exchanges and ECNs, and is suitable for trading operations of all sizes. The Sterling Trader® System operates on standard computer infrastructure using Microsoft Windows and Intel technology; this product can be easily integrated with an existing in house network.

She aspires to bring the best experience to her clients and to continue to build and improve her business. She employs hardworking individuals, who will use their skills to offer the best products, customer service, and exchange industry expertise in the business. Karen is a strong leader who understands that a well-built foundation and the backing of her dedicated team are essential for success and improvement.

direct access trading platform

The stock and ETF trades pricing begins with $0.0045 per share if less than 249,999 shares are traded per month. A trading volume of over 3mn shares per month unlocks a per-share rate of $0.0020. LS Trader, Sterling Trader Pro, Livevol X, and the Eze EMS (formerly RelaTick Pro) platforms are available for clients.

Research, News and Market Data

Cobra Trading is the best direct access broker and has served equity and option traders since 2004. He aims to provide his clients sophisticated trading platforms, unparalleled support and an excellent pricing commission structure for active traders. Cobra Trading is geared toward the What Is A Cryptocurrency Wallet needs of professional day traders in the equities and options markets. Cobra Trading offers a strong range of platforms, competitive commission rates and reliable customer support. Interactive Brokers stands out by charging substantially lower fees than its rivals in several areas.

Pros & Cons

Since then, the company has enhanced this means of enabling users to learn from and copy other seasoned traders across popular asset classes like stocks, ETFs, futures, and crypto. Currently, eToro is only available in 47 U.S. states, but its 25 million-plus users can also find support in more than 140 countries around the world. In addition to our review of Charles Schwab’s online brokerage platform, we also reviewed the company’s robo-advisor service, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios. In addition to our review of Fidelity’s online brokerage platform, we’ve also reviewed the company’s robo-advisor service, Fidelity Go.