Best Online Broker Trading Platforms in January 2022

If you are looking to actively trade the markets, you will probably want to pay more attention to your broker’s trading platform. Unlike buy-and-hold investors who don’t need to get the best price every time, active or short-term traders live and die by their ability to get a low price. This is why finding a broker with a top trading platform can be so important.

The best trading platforms offer traders a quick and intuitive way to place trades, follow a watchlist of stocks and funds, receive alerts for stocks that may be interesting trades, offer tools to analyze complex options trades and much more. A top trading platform can also provide continuous information and can even give you better trade execution, helping you get the most attractive price possible.

Best Online Broker Trading Platforms in January 2022

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab is a complete and solid choice for any investor, especially novice investors, but he is also a solid choice for active traders. The broker’s entry-level trading platform can provide you with a company’s financial data, analyze trends, and maintain watchlists. But upgrade to its StreetSmart Edge platform for the flagship experience: a highly customizable platform that offers filters for trading ideas, news feeds, live CNBC coverage, advanced charting, and a trading ticket. all-in-one trading. StreetSmart Edge is available in web and desktop versions. All this and you’ll benefit from Schwab’s excellent customer service and its multitude of other great features.

  • Cost per share/ETF transaction: $0
  • Cost per option trade: $0.65 per contract

Interactive brokers

Interactive Brokers has long been popular with active traders, due to its good trade execution and ability to trade in almost any market. The broker’s main platform does the job if you just need to make a quick trade, but traders will likely find the broker’s Trader Workstation to be a real workhorse. This comprehensive platform seems to do it all: customizable charts, real-time data, streaming news, options analysis, and more. Interactive Brokers offers a Pro level with per-share pricing and a Lite level with commission-free trading. In any case, you have access to its best trading platform and you will also get discounts if you trade a large volume.

  • Cost per share/ETF transaction: $0.0005 per share, with a minimum of $1, or free on the Lite platform
  • Cost per option trade: $0.65 per contract


With volume discounts and powerful trading platforms, TradeStation should be on the shortlist of potential brokers. The flagship desktop app offers a top-notch experience, with built-in chart indicators, over 180 technical and fundamental indicators, the ability to create your own indicators, and decades of historical data for backtesting strategies. If this platform is attractive, you will want to opt for the broker’s TS SELECT pricing plan. Although if you don’t quite need all that power but still want a high-performing application, you can opt for the broker’s web-based platform with streaming real-time quotes, dozens technical studies, watchlists and more. This platform is available on the TS SELECT and TS GO tariff plans. And if you’re looking to trade cryptocurrency, TradeStation offers great commissions.

  • Cost per share/ETF transaction: $0 (on TS SELECT or TS GO plans)
  • Cost per option trade: $0.50 per contract (TS GO) or $0.60 per contract (TS SELECT)

Robin Hood

Robinhood might not be your first guess when it comes to brokers with a solid trading platform, but it does offer a nifty mobile app that gets you in the game quickly, and for that reason this worth including here. It’s a streamlined and easy-to-navigate experience and you can go from watchlist to stock to trading in seconds. You will get a newsfeed and a summary of analyst rankings. By upgrading to Robinhood Gold, you’ll also get access to Morningstar research reports and margin lending. Robinhood offers commission-free trading in stocks, ETFs, options, and a handful of cryptocurrencies. If you want to place trades quickly and easily, Robinhood does it.

  • Cost per share/ETF transaction: $0
  • Cost per option trade: $0 per contract

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade has long been a favorite of active traders, and the broker brings two trading platforms to the fight. Its classic web-based platform handles all the basics, including streaming news, third-party searches, and watchlists. TD is upping its game with its thinkorswim platform, which is available in web, desktop and mobile versions. This comprehensive platform gives you access not only to basic securities (stocks, bonds, ETFs, options and mutual funds) but also to more advanced ones (futures, forex and futures options). You’ll have some 400 technical studies and plenty of charting tools and analysis to help you figure it all out.

(Charles Schwab bought TD Ameritrade and will integrate the two companies in 2022 or 2023.)

  • Cost per share/ETF transaction: $0
  • Cost per option trade: $0.65 per contract


Power E-Trade lives up to its name, with a powerful feature set for active traders. The broker’s flagship trading platform is web-based and offers over 100 technical studies and dozens of drawing tools to help traders analyze the markets. You’ll be able to overlay technical patterns on charts to assess where security may go in the future, calculate risk-reward and break-even on options trades, and look for unusual activity that could lead to a interesting opportunity. You will be able to visually see the risk-reward on options trades and the trading platform brings Bloomberg TV right to your browser. Plus, you don’t need a lot of options to get a discounted rate, one of the best prices in the industry.

  • Cost per share/ETF transaction: $0
  • Cost per option trade: $0.65 per contract or $0.50 for more than 30 trades per quarter

Loyalty investments

Fidelity offers Active Trader Pro, a trading platform that integrates a number of its other tools and features. You can create stock charts, analyze the stock with dozens of technical indicators, place multiple trades at once, and stream Bloomberg TV right to your desktop. You’ll also get real-time news, earnings reports, and other economic insights, so you can stay on top of the market. Additionally, you will have immediate access to tools such as Real-time Analytics, which offers trading signals when a security crosses key technical levels, and Trade Armor, which visualizes your trading opportunities. Everything comes in a customizable layout, or you can opt for one of the pre-made layouts. And you’ll also benefit from Fidelity’s helpful and responsive customer service.

  • Cost per share/ETF transaction: $0
  • Cost per option trade: $0.65 per contract

Edge Merrill

Merrill’s high-featured trading platform is called MarketPro and offers a ton of features that active traders can enjoy. The platform’s dashboard is highly customizable, allowing you to configure everything to play to your strengths with an easy drag and drop interface. Other features include access to Nasdaq Level II quotes, over 100 technical studies to help you analyze trading action, and charting tools that use streaming data. Of course, with Merrill’s offering, you can set trade alerts, create watchlists, and access all other basic platform features. Combine that with Merrill’s solid research and you have a winning combo.

  • Cost per share/ETF transaction: $0
  • Cost per option trade: $0.65 per contract

Speed ​​of light

Lightspeed is a favorite for active traders and offers a number of trading platforms, although most require a monthly subscription. The broker’s core platform is available for free in both web and mobile versions, and it’s solid on fundamentals, with watchlists, customizable charts, and technical studies. Those looking to upgrade to an even more powerful platform have at least four other options, including LS Trader, Sterling Trader Pro, Livevol X, and Eze EMS. Each offers streaming Nasdaq Level II quotes, watchlists, advanced charts and technical studies. Some of the platforms include search, customizable order routing, and market scanners to find where the action is. Monthly prices range from $130 to $325, although the cheapest option (LS Trader) allows you to fully offset the cost of the subscription with at least $130 in commissions the previous month. Truly active traders can quickly lower their commission fees with volume-based pricing.

  • Cost per share/ETF transaction: $0.0045 per share, with a minimum of $1
  • Cost per option trade: $0.60 per contract, with a minimum of $1

At the end of the line

Although active traders may focus primarily on a broker’s trading platform, that is of course not the only consideration. Traders should also consider the other types of value a broker can provide, including fundamental or technical research, costs, including volume-based rebates, and most importantly, customer support, which can help resolve issues. any tricky issues along the way.

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