As a day trader, you need to have a healthy appreciation for and serious understanding of the tools available to you. Knowing what platforms are available to you as an investor and trader is important, but even more important is being able to grasp all that a particular platform has to offer you as a day trader. Etrade is a big name, and works well for casual investors, but how does it perform for day traders?
One big point in Etrade’s favor is that fact that it has a robust investor education section. How-to videos, literature on investing and trade and the chance to ask pro brokers a question are all included. That can be a great thing for casual investors, but it may not be what aspiring day traders are after. Day traders have different priorities than the typical cubicle jockeys that like to check their portfolio every day and make the occasional trade.
If you are making more than 30 trades per quarter, you are going to be automatically upgraded to the Etrade Pro platform. This is where you can find watch list tools that you can customize and you can even start trading in pre-market hours at 7 am. That is best accessed by more experienced traders. The fees can be steep, though. Regular trades clock in at $6.95, while at the active trader level, you can get discounted down to $4.95 per trade. It still can eat into your profits if you are not careful.
The research is provided in a user-friendly manner, with easy-to-decipher charts and even tax advice, which can be valuable when you are calculating your overall take from a trade or a month. Take care to limit what stocks you want to target in Etrade. The ability to trade penny stocks is rather limited for you.
Etrade offers more services that not every day trading platform does. It is also an actual bank. You can open a checking account and be able to keep walking around money in your brokerage, to keep some spending separate from your regular, every day banking. That can be valuable when you are trying budget and control your spending.
Being smart financially is a good thing, whether you are a trader or not. But as an aspiring day trader, it is especially important because it keeps your overhead low and allows you to grow at a reasonable rate. Starting any business with low overhead is smart and it is especially smart when it comes to being a day trader.
Even with familiarity with the platform and tools, you need a healthy day trading education to get you to the next level of profitability. You need to be part of a day trading education site that offers good online classes, a solid chat room with ways to share tips and war stories with other traders and a paper trading platform. Paper trading gives you a chance to test out strategies and work within a platform with virtual currency so you can learn how to do this without risking real, cold, hard cash.