Choosing a broker with a robust trading platform is step one, and it can be a tricky balance: Often, brokers with advanced trading platforms have higher trade commissions or require a minimum number of trades or minimum account balance to access the platform.
There are, however, some clear winners here: TD Ameritrade leads the pack with its thinkorswim and TradeArchitect offerings, both of which are available to all customers (though the broker’s trade commissions are on the high side at $9.99). OptionsHouse also has strong trading tools and charges half the commission at $4.95 per trade. And for advanced traders, Interactive Brokers has a well-regarded platform and low per-share commissions, though the broker does impose monthly trade minimums.
See our round-up of the best brokers to compare more options.