Learning how to day trade was the hardest thing I ever tried to do. It took me years before I found any success. One of the things I now realize, looking back, is that my learning curve took 2x longer than needed because I was using the wrong tools.
I wasn’t using a broker designed for day trading, I didn’t have the right scanners to find stocks, and I didn’t use good charting software. As a result, I was trading at a serious disadvantage.
Access to the Best Trading Tools
The challenge with access to the best trading tools is that what is best for one trader may not be best for another. Additionally, we have to measure the costs associated with trading tools because the best tools may not be cost effective for a beginner trader. A few of the tools I consider to be a MUST are Trade-Ideas, TC2000 or eSignal for charting, and a fantastic broker.
Throughout the years I have actively traded with Suretrader. When I first traded there the commissions were 4.95 per trade up to 10k shares, and they allowed direct access routing to ARCA, EDGX and other market makers. This gave them a competitive advantage against many brokers that only allowed smart routing.
As you can see from the pricing table below, Suretrader has the highest commissions out of all the brokers we’ve reviewed when trading more than 2000 shares. I personally trade with average share size between 5k-10k, but for people who trade with less than 2000 shares the increased commission may not be as much of a factor.
Interactive Brokers offers a similar per share pricing structure, but it’s 50% less, and they only require a $1.00 min per trade if you trade small size like 100 shares. However, Interactive Brokers requires $25k to day trade.
What do high commissions mean for traders? If your commissions are high, you have to be extremely selective about the stocks you are willing to trade. You can’t over trade, or commissions could easily exceed your profits.
However, one of the things we say to all of our students is “trade the best, leave the rest”. So that strategy works well with a broker that has high commissions, even though we’d all prefer to have lower commissions and more money in our pockets.
Disabling Direct Access Routing
An additional change at Suretrader was the decision to remove direct access routing. This means traders can no longer send order directly to the market makers. I traded there during times of Direct Access Routing, and during times of “Smart” routing only. I was profitable in both instances, but I strongly prefer the ability to choose the direct access route to send my order.
Direct access routing becomes more important as you scale your strategy to 5k, 10k, and 15k shares. For smaller share size, it’s not as much of a factor.
I requested that they enable direct access routing on my account, but my request was denied. I have heard anecdotally that they will enable direct access routing for some traders, but I can’t confirm if that is indeed the case.
SureTrader mobile app comes with powerful level II trading technology which allows traders and investors to place trades while on the go. To access stocks you currently own, tap “Portfolio”. Thanks to its intuitive interface, the mobile app displays the symbol’s name, account and number of shares among others.
As the best trading app, it provides access to all orders available on the order book. Just tap on the “Order” icon and you are good to go. As said earlier, it has an intuitive interface where data is organized under symbol, quantity and status among other variables. This makes it easy for you to trade while on the move.
This is one of the most amazing features available with the SureTrader’s mobile app. It allows traders and investors to quickly search for a stock and make different configurations thanks to available hot keys.
For starters, you can make changes to the quantity and price using the hot keys. Since the mobile app is designed with power level II trading technology, you can switch between the following orders – limit, stop and market. As a result, traders and investors can get in and out of trades very fast.
You can now monitor your account while on the move and access your profile data as created using either SureTrader web or desktop apps. Any changes made will be immediately accessible on all versions of SureTrader.
Trading is never complete without charting tools. The SureTrader mobile app offers bare bone charting tools. Using the chart tools, traders and investors can implement different trading strategies and profit.
Get the latest news on all symbols you desire. To get started, search the symbol you want and voila! News related to the symbol will be displayed immediately.
Mobile App Pros
- Has an intuitive interface
- Easy to learn
- Compatible with iOS and Android mobile devices
- Allows you to get in and out of trades quickly and easily
- Convenient for traders on the go
Mobile App Cons
- You may need to zoom in and out of the chart window due to its minimalist size
- Access to your SureTrader account can be prevented if you lack Wi-Fi connectivity
As a result of the changes at Suretrader in regards to commission pricing and direct access routing, the competitive advantage they once enjoyed is now gone, in our opinion.
For that reason, I won’t trade there. However, for traders who are below the $25k PDT level, they remain the only option, which means they will continue to enjoy a steady flow of traders. For traders who use smaller size, direct access routing and per share commission may not be as much of a factor.
Despite the higher commissions, if a trader is confident in their skill, it will not stop them from being profitable, it just makes it more difficult because they have to overcome the higher cost of overhead due to commissions.
Since moving away from Suretrader, we have worked closely with Lightspeed Financial and TradeZero to develop promotional discounts to Warrior Trading Students. Both of these brokers offer reasonable commissions and direct access routing, making them a more favorable option for a true day trader, and for our students.
We will reiterate that using the best tools will give you an advantage, which makes it extremely important to carefully select your broker.