The best day traders know how to use different tools to efficiently find and seize opportunities. The two most essential things I need for day trading are a powerful computer and fast internet access, but I would be lying if I said that’s all. In fact, I use a multitude of software tools to trade smartly.
If you want to know what kind of software you need for efficient day trading and which of the available options are worth investing in, this post is for you. I am going to show you how to choose the best software for day trading with ten recommendations, starting with Tradervue, the top-rated online trading journal.
For the sake of clarity, I’m going to divide my recommendations into software categories. Each category serves a specific purpose in trading and includes one or two recommendations.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
Trading Journal Software
The first software you need to equip yourself with is an online trading journal. Every successful trader will tell you they keep a journal of their trades. I use my journal to review my activity to understand my mistakes, capitalize on my wins, hone my self-discipline, and overall improve my trading strategies.
I use Tradervue, our top-rated online trading journal. Specifically, here is what I do with Tradervue:
- Import existing trades and keep a journal
- Make notes and reminders
- Analyze my performance with several tools and reports
- Share trades and notes with other users to exchange insights
Why You Should Use Tradervue
- Keep a record of your trades
- Run P&L charts for intraday trades
- Hone your trading mindset
- Glean insights from other users and your mentor(s)
- Consistently improve your trading skills and results
Traders – both beginner and advanced – have been using Tradervue from their browsers since 2011. In fact, Mike Bellafiore, Co-founder of SMB Capital, has recommended using Tradervue as a trading journal.
Stock Scanning Software
2. Trade Ideas
I use stock scanning software to scan through thousands of stocks and come up with a narrowed-down list of stocks that match the criteria I want.
I have tried many stock scanners and Trade Ideas is definitely one of the best. In addition to scanning the markets for me, this powerful software uses AI to run trading scenarios and give me recommendations. While Trade Ideas takes some time to learn, it will become an invaluable tool for you as it does the heavy lifting and brings up the stocks that are worth looking into.
Why You Should Use Trade Ideas
- AI-powered stock screener
- No coding knowledge needed
- You can use different AIs for different interpretations
- The Gap Scanner helps you execute gap-trading strategies
- Live trading room
- Free educational resources
I use Trade Ideas on my browser, but you can use it as a desktop application as well (there is no mobile version currently). In short, the lightning-fast scanning ability of Trade Ideas, coupled with the AI recommendations, makes it one of the best software for day trading.
Stock Charting Software
As a day trader, I use charting software to analyze price movements and volume as well as compare stocks in small intraday time frames like 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, etc.
There are many free and paid charting solutions. I recommend using StockCharts in particular because it’s user-friendly, customizable, and gives me access to both historical and real-time intraday data, so I’m sure it’ll be a great choice for your charting needs.
Why You Should Use StockCharts
- Extensive range of charts (candlestick, line, Renko, etc.)
- Access to real-time intraday data
- Real-time streaming
- Customizable multi-chart layouts
- Technical alerts
- Educational resources
On top of all that, StockCharts is very affordable; in fact, the highest plan costs only $39.95 per month. This tool will help you perform your analysis with timely data and insightful charts to seize short-term opportunities.
If you are an advanced day trader who is looking for a charting platform with extensive capabilities, I recommend you try eSignal instead.
eSignal is the oldest charting platform still in service today – it was founded in 1983. I have used it to access real-time intraday data as well as historical market data. The data is really accurate, the charts are easy to read and scale, and orders are executed quickly.
Furthermore, I find the UI really intuitive, the stock screener immensely useful, and the coding possibilities virtually limitless.
While eSignal is not a brokerage platform, it integrates with 50+ partner brokers, making it easy for you to trade at the right time.
Why You Should Use eSignal
- User-friendly UI
- Access to real-time data
- Access to historical intraday data
- Drawing tools
- Freedom to edit and code your own charts
- Extensive customization features
- Access to 50+ brokerage firms
- Trading resources and stellar support
eSignal is somewhat expensive, but if you want charting software that gives you in-depth data and is freely customizable, it’s your best option.
Breaking News Provider
Like any day trader, I need reliable sources of timely information to find opportunities and make decisions. I’ve tried quite a few breaking news providers and Benzinga stood out to me as the best.
Benzinga is a financial news and research platform for traders and investors. I browse it for stock market headlines and content. After upgrading to Benzinga Pro, I gained access to real-time news which I can filter by source, category, watchlists, etc. Convenient, right?
Why You Should Use Benzinga
- Real-time news feed and alerts
- Desktop and email alerts
- Original content published regularly
- Daily audio streams
Technical Analysis Software
When I want to perform in-depth technical analysis, I turn to online platforms that focus on this.
In my experience, TradingView is the best platform for extensive technical analysis. It’s a charting platform that provides real-time market data for financial instruments from stocks to indices, futures, currencies, cryptocurrencies, and more.
TradingView comes with a plethora of analysis tools like fundamental fields and ratios, financial statements, valuation analysis, and historical data to mention a few.
Furthermore, TradingView is an excellent tool for stock screening and networking with other traders. So if you are interested in exchanging insights with traders around the world, this is the place where you want to be.
Why You Should Use TradingView
- Extensive charts
- Chat with other traders in real-time
- More than 50 drawing tools
- Unique programming language – Pine Script – for trading
- Alerts on price, indicators, and strategies
- Live streaming
- Best financial mobile app
- Affordable pricing
The Elliott Wave Theory is a method of technical analysis which claims that crowd psychology generates cyclical trends in the market. These patterns take the form of waves that go up and down. Traders can hence use them to predict short-term price changes.
To learn more about Elliott Wave patterns, read this article.
MotiveWave is a trading and financial research platform that was initially developed to provide an Elliott Wave analysis tool. As such, it has various Elliott Wave tools that can help you forecast intraday patterns. While MotiveWave is the most advanced Elliott Wave software, it’s also a very reliable platform for charting and trading. You can use it to scan stocks, perform technical analysis, and place orders.
Why You Should Use MotiveWave
- The most powerful and comprehensive Elliott Wave software
- Harmonic Trading (learn more here)
- 290+ built-in studies and indicators
- High-quality charting
- Stock scanning
- Native multiple monitor support
8. Interactive Brokers
You need a trading platform that caters to day traders by offering plenty of analytical tools, fast execution orders, and affordable commissions.
However, choosing the right online broker can be tricky since there are so many options available. To make this easier for you, I recommend using Interactive Brokers, one of the top online brokerages.
Why You Should Use Interactive Brokers
- Access to a large number of markets and assets
- Powerful trading technology
- Sophisticated trading tools you can use both on desktop or mobile device
- Fast and reliable order execution
- Low commissions
- Lowest margin loan interest rates
As listed above, Interactive Brokers has a lot going for it. Having used it, I can confidently say it’s one of the best broker platforms for day traders.
TC2000 is similar to TradingView in many ways (like the focus on charting), but has more features suited for day trading:
- The EasyScan lets you find the best-performing stocks right now
- The Data Box lets you click on any point on a chart to see returns and other data
- The Relative Strength compares the performance of a security against another
Why You Should Use TC2000
- Excellent charting software
- 100+ indicators
- 100,000+ stocks, options, and funds
- Many features for effective day trading
- Test strategies with simulated trading accounts
- Affordable pricing
TradeZero is the best free day trading platform for several reasons. First, you can day trade for free on a state-of-the-art platform. Second, TradeZero is commission-free. And third, if you live outside the US, you can trade with as little as $500 whereas most other brokerages require a minimum of $25,000.
ZeroFree, the free version, includes the features you need in a day trading platform like charting, indicators, real-time news, and more. The paid versions, ZeroWeb and ZeroPro, unlock more tools like stock screening, top lists, and alerts. Plus, you can use ZeroMobile, the free mobile version, to keep day trading wherever you go.
Why You Should Use TradeZero
- Commission-free stock orders
- Free limit orders
- Low account minimums
- No pattern day trading restriction
- 6 to 1 leverage
- Customizable layouts
- 24×7 customer support
- Available in four versions: free web-based, paid web-based, desktop app, and free mobile app
I have used every day trading software in this post and each of them has helped me in its own way to seize short-term opportunities.
But at the end of the day, the results I get depend on my personal trading abilities which I have developed over time. And the same goes for you.
Successful day traders share a number of traits such as self-discipline, patience, control over emotions, and a sharp analytical mind. The best tool to develop these traits is a trading journal. Tradervue is built specifically for that purpose and is also the easiest trading software to get started with. So sign up for a free account today, import your trades in minutes, and start journaling your activity to achieve day trading success.