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Top 5 Best Trading Platform of 2017

Updated on September 22, 2017

Most, if not all of us have traded at one point in our lives. The act of exchanging money for food, clothes and electronics may also be considered as trading. How does trading work in the world wide web? Is there such a thing as online trading?

Online Trading and You

Financial trading was, for the longest time made only via electronic transfers between financial institutions and banks. What this meant was not anyone can start trading in the financial market. But due to the proliferation of high speed internet and the boom of websites and e-commerce, anyone who had an internet connection could begin the trading of goods.

The basics of trading was that one item is exchanged for another. In financial settings, trading meant buying commodities at a desirable price, then selling it for a higher price to make profit. It goes the other way- you can sell a commodity for a price and stand to gain profit by buying the same commodity for a much lower price.

Commodities aren't the only goods you can trade online. You can trade stocks, world currencies and just about any physical or digital goods you can think of. If a thing is in demand, then chances are it can be traded. It's worthy to note that the Forex market is currently one of the biggest online trading platforms out there.

The value of shares go up and down depending on a number of factors. It can be affected by the simple law of supply and demand- the more "in demand" a commodity is, the more likely people will be willing to pay a higher price to acquire it. For example, X company is enjoying great success and has had a climb in market shares. People will naturally gravitate towards that and they will want to buy X company's shares. The increased demand will drive the price of the share upwards.

How To Earn With Online Trading

The best way to start online trading is to find a reputable trading website and register for an account. It might be a good idea to create an account for more than one online trading platform because you can test the waters and find the trading platform that suits you best.

Practice makes perfect. It's of the utmost importance to gain a sense of online trading before taking the plunge and start betting with real money. Practice trading. Go out and get a feel for online trading and its many nuances and strategies. Virtual trading platforms are a no-risk medium that can show you what kinds of decisions you can make and the methods you can use to gain profits.

Now that you've signed up and put in money, it's time to start trading smart. Choose at first the most reliable stocks you can find. You'll want to invest in companies that are leaders in their niches. A global brand, an emerging technology or something that's consistently in demand are all good choices. Start investing and purchasing your first stocks. Get a small number of them laid out on your portfolio. The amount will naturally depend on your budget, but a good starting point is two stocks.

You should only invest in money that's disposable. In the same vein, trade small and monitor the online trading platform each day. The Cardinal Rule is as follows- Buy Low and Sell High. When you see your stock has risen significantly, you'll want to come to a decision whether to start trading your stock and reinvest in potential great buys or sell them outright for profits.

As time goes by you'll want to consider investing in mutual funds. Mutual funds are a diverse selection of stocks managed by professional fund managers. The stocks being traded usually include various stock options from different industries, including foreign companies, energy, financial, technological and retail.

It's always a wise move to reinvest your growing money. When you constantly sell your stocks at a higher price than what you bought it for, then the next thing you should do is to roll the money in the purchase of new stocks. Online trading platforms are great mediums in self-directed investments.

How To Find The Best Online Stock Trading Platform For Your Investments

Online trading websites will each have their own rules, regulations and features, some of which may or may not be appealing to you. The first thing you should do is to look for a stock trading website that supports your investment style and preference. Once you have a short list, it's time to narrow them down further to the best ones.

As a rule, the best online trading platforms have low entry fees, are intuitive and easy to use, and specialize in the kind of securities you're interested in. You might love trading currencies, options, bonds or futures more than the others. In fact, we have compiled a "Best of the Best" list of online trading platforms that provide top-notch features and excellent services.

What Do Active Traders and Experienced Investors Look For In An Online Stock Trading Platform?

Price Per Trade. One of the biggest factors in deciding whether an online stock trading platform is worth investing in or not. In simple terms, price per trade is how much you pay whenever you decide to do online transactions (buy/sell) bonds, futures, options, stocks and other financial products.

Low Monthly Fees. An online trading platform featuring $0 inactivity fee or those who have minimal service fees are usually the better options on the web. Reviewers of top stock trading websites will have more access and write better reviews if they can easily enter an online trading platform without paying extra fees.

Fast Execution. Trading platforms that tout quick trading executions should be the one to look out for. Investors and top online traders consider this an important make-or-break element in online trading. We all know how the market can be very volatile at times; a few seconds of delay can lead to a loss in the thousands or making big money.

Added Value. Last but not the least, you'll want to shop for online trading platforms that give "bonuses" and "perks" to their clients. It's certainly more appealing to gain $1000 in value promotions just by signing up on their platform than having none at all. Other positive values may include free research tools, 24/7 customer service or advanced trading platform technology; anything that can give you that edge to make profits in online trading.

The Top 5 Best Trading Platforms

1. OptionsHouse

Every investor and online trader worth their salt should know OptionsHouse. It is, after all one of the best trading sites that feature advanced trading technology and a low entrance fee. The company has been around since 2005 and tout high ranking reviews from prestigious sites such as Barron's, one of the most respected industry reviewers around.

OptionsHouse has won the title of Top Broker in 2016 and have also garnered Best Option For Traders 6 years in a row now. Being in the online trading industry has lent them the experience and prestige of winning awards constantly. You should take this in consideration when choosing the best online trading platform.

In terms of feature, OptionsHouse is great in almost all of them. It's primarily a high-quality, online-based platform that's easy to use, speedy and offers some of the best tools for traders to succeed. You can opt for both regular and online trading here. Newer investors should pick OptionsHouse due to its beginner-friendly interface and trading options. Checking quotes is simple and easy. You can put in personal notes on each trade you make.

Account minimum is not necessary to start online trading with OptionsHouse. Unlike other online trading sites, OptionsHouse doesn't charge inactivity fees or maintenance fees for accounts that are left unused for a long time.

2. Betterment

Back in 2010, Betterment creators Eli and Jon wanted an online trading platform that was both easy to use and allowed their traders to make smart decisions with the available tools at hand. Betterment was the result of that idea- an online platform that's the intersection of technology and trading.

As such, beginner online traders will want to check out Betterment and their popular, intuitive platform. Betterment portfolios are automatically optimized for higher-yield returns, which becomes handy if you're the DIY type of person. There's no minimum account balance to speak of. Betterment does charge a low set of fees depending on the investment percentage and your automatic deposits.

3. E*Trade

The online trading platform E*Trade caters to investors and traders who are independent, confident and are not afraid to learn or ask questions when needed. E*Trade is one of the best online trading platforms for good reasons. Though it's not the cheapest trading option online, this website offers some of the best value and customer satisfaction than any of its trading peers. The well-rounded offering found in E*Trade offsets some of the charges customers face when they decide to trade online.

E*Trade has boasted that they are the first and foremost company to complete an electronic trade online, about 3 decades ago. There's one more thing E*Trade may have that no other online trading platform can provide- a physical branch! The company has 30 branch locations spread out across the United States.

You get to have more options than a strictly online based trading platform. Aside from online trading conveniences, you can also meet up in person with an E*Trade employee and discuss investment and financial options. The good thing about E*Trade is that they know each stock portfolio is unique, and therefore customizes the said portfolio according to the investor's preference. This makes E*Trade one of the most beginner-friendly trading options in the market today.

A minimum of $500 is needed to open a brokerage account. A set minimum starting balance isn't required. E*Trade calculates their fees depending on the trades you make.

4. TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade provides their clients a wide range of useful trading tools and research systems that cater to their experience levels. These tools are a great help when doing research for options, ETF and stock commodities. The site also offers some webinars and seminars to get you started in the exciting world of online trading. In it, you can learn in-depth about investment products, taxes, online trading account types and how to plan financially for life events such as college or retirement.

This online trading company is great for individuals who want a Wall Street-like analytics tools. TD Ameritrade offers standard trading tools such as strategy rollers, back testing, streaming market charts or commentaries, screeners and a fully customizable workspace.

How about the extra features? Aside from the research tools provided, you get 24/7 customer service. TD Ameritrade has some physical locations spread out across the US. All you need to start trading with TD Ameritrade is to create an account- there's a $0 minimum balance. Furthermore, this online trading platform is great if you want to trade solely in American stocks. The fees are acceptable, but they do need a $2000 deposit for you to be able to access options and margin privileges.

5. TradeKing

TradeKing was founded in 2005 and is known for two things- stellar customer service and appealing low commissions. The online trading platform is similar to OptionsHouse, TD Ameritrade and E*Trade in terms of research tools and technology. It has risen in ranks during the past few years and have garnered awards and high review ratings.

The online trading platform offers $4.95 for ETF and stock trades, and $4.95 and 65 cents for each contract you want to trade options with. It all starts with the TradeKing Live Software which is a browser-based system that sends you quotes and trading information wherever you are and no matter what device you're using. All you need is an internet connection and a compatible mobile device.

TradeKing works best with experienced and serious investors who would like to invest big money in online trading platforms. The lower price per trade and advanced trading capabilities can appeal to beginners and casual online traders as well. You'll be happy to know that there's no minimum balance required, and that their customer service is among the best in the world.

It would be wise to consider more than the price when choosing the best online trading platforms available. Other significant factors such as available educational tools and resources, technology, response time and customer service can give you what you truly need in such an important financial endeavor.

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