Ameritrade For Active Traders: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Using the right tools as a day trader could mean the difference between just breaking even and actually being profitable. If you want to make your way to financial freedom, you need to learn the proper ways to be good a day trading, so you need to learn the ins and outs of trading with different platforms. Ameritrade is one of the best known online brokers for investing and trading, but it is it right for high frequency traders?

Ameritrade has been around for a long time. It has been facilitating online trading for people around the United States and the world since the mid 1990s. That long experience in Internet trading gives the company the institutional knowledge and authority to be a leader in the industry. It is just that the company is best suited for casual investors rather than day traders.

The Thinkorswim platform, which Ameritrade owns and supports for traders is a valuable piece of online real estate. High frequency traders can use the customizable interface to add hotkeys and help speed up the execution of trades, giving the platform the sheen of being excellent for traders. But the cost of commissions can be prohibitive for traders that make moves multiple time per day. With each trader costing $6.95, many active traders see the platform’s fees eat into their profits. Still others see it as money well spend, because Thinkorswim has such great research to offer its traders, no matter the account size or trading volume.

Part of that research and data package is the real-time streaming of prices and financial news, along with advanced technical charting that can feed an active trader need for information. Plus, the Thinkorswim feature that may be the best for novice traders is the On Demand feature that allows for real-time paper trading. That means that traders can test out strategies in real time and without the risk of actually making the trades.

The stock scanners that Ameritrade offers can be extremely valuable to active traders. Being able to search for hot stocks without leaving your platform is a great advantage for plugged in traders. Day trading is all about timing. You need to be able to capitalize on stocks that are spiking quickly, without missing a beat.

There is also an active trading community that allows traders of all levels and experience to mingle in chat rooms and work their way through advice and tips. Traders share watch lists and dissect the financial news of the day, in time building relationships that can be beneficial to everyone’s bottom line. Traders on the go can use the Thinkorswim mobile platform to access almost all of the features that the desktop program has. That allows traders with family responsibilities or other jobs to be on the network at all times and stay on top of their positions.

The bottom line is Ameritrade can be better than most online platforms, but with the expensive commissions cannot measure up to the best day trading platforms on the market.