Day Trading, which is buying and selling shares during the same trading session, exploded in popularity back in the booming stock market of the 1990s. Everyone was trying to get in and out of securities and make a profit on an intraday basis. After the dot-com market crash in 2000, the SEC and FINRA established the “Pattern Day Trader” rule in 2001, which increased the requirements to day trade in an effort to better protect consumers.
To day trade today, you have at least $25,000 to comply with the Pattern Day Trader rule. Traders must also meet margin requirements. The government put these laws into place to protect investors. Bottom line: day trading is risky.
To day trade effectively, you need to choose a day trading platform. As a day trader, you need a combination of low-cost trades coupled with a feature-rich trading platform and great trading tools. Price isn’t everything; therefore, many day traders are willing to pay more to get the tools they need to trade more efficiently.
Best Trading Platforms
Here’s a breakdown of some of the best online brokers for day trading.
- TradeStation – Best platform technology
- Market-24×365 – Best Mobile/desktop platform
- Interactive Brokers – Best for professionals
- Fidelity – Best order execution
- E*TRADE – Best web-based platform