Much like shopping, do it yourself investing has skyrocketed these days as more of the world’s trading and investing happens to be online. On the one hand, it’s great for opening the markets to a variety of people, but the inexperience to any new investors can lead to costly mistakes. Take a peek at these five tools that are commonly used to help trading junkies stay on top of the markets.
One of the best ways to test your current theories is through setting up paper trades on a broker’s platform that allows them. Major brokers like TD Ameritrade and TradeStation allow traders to make paper trades with real market data to test their theories. TD Ameritrade offers $100K paper accounts for testing your current trade ideas using virtual money. Once you’re ready to make those trades a reality when conditions are right, you can use the platform to execute real trades.
A stock screener is a valuable asset to any trader as it lets you sort through the daily chaff to find stocks that meet your investment criteria. One of the most popular stock screeners available on the web is Finviz. The free version has a few limitations like data that is delayed by five minutes. The subscription version of Finviz offers real-time data and stock screeners for finding those quick trading opportunities.
There are hundreds of online trading platforms that are suited to long-term, short-term, day and swing traders. Finding the platform that offers lower commission fees and access to a wide variety of stocks and options should be the primary goal of any trader. Robinhood and Ally Invest are both services that are well suited to beginners, while platforms like Interactive Brokers and TD Ameritrade are suited to advanced traders who are familiar with the ins and outs of the market.
Serious traders know they need to have access to the market no matter where they are, which is why a robust mobile platform is so important. Trading on a small smartphone screen is different than having multiple screens in front of you, so the experience should be tailored to keep that in mind. Major brokers like Etrade and TD Ameritrade have robust mobile platforms to make on-the-go trading as easy as possible.
Idea Generation Tools
As a stock trader, you should have a goal behind every trade you make. That goal is set by looking at seasonal stock trends, news, and analysis to determine the trades you want to make. Fundamental analysis can help you around earnings season to make the right plays on companies that appear to be growing. Fidelity is one platform that offers in-house research to those who use its trading platform. If not having to look up new ideas for your trading sessions seems valuable in planning your trades, you might consider using this platform for trades. Briefing.com is another popular destination for live market updates and IPO previews to identify emerging stock opportunities.