How to Choose a Broker for Day Trading

Tyler Stokes

Choosing a broker is going to be your first action step when it comes to day trading.

But I know what you’re thinking:

There are so many to choose from, how do I actually pick one?

Are they compatible with the other tools and software I need to day trade?

Don’t get overwhelmed.

Before you know it you’ll be signed up and trading in your paper account. Just take this one step at a time, and realize that people are trading successfully on many platforms. You will find yours very soon.

Here I want to highlight 5 important considerations when choosing a broker, and reveal the broker I’m personally going with and the reasons why.

But first let’s just quickly talk about what a broker is and why you need one.

What is a Broker?

Your brokerage firm act as the middleman between you and the stock market, and other markets, helping you make your transactions. In return they get a fee or commission.

Your brokerage account is how you will access the markets.

These accounts became really popular in the late 90s and early 2000s when the internet made it possible to trade stocks from the comfort of your own home.

It was like a financial revolution, where people suddenly realized they didn’t need to rely on a financial firm to buy stocks, and could instead do it themselves. The rise of online brokerages made it easy for anyone with a computer and an internet connection to enter the stock market.

So we need to choose a brokerage firm and open an account. This will allow us to buy and sell securities across a bunch of financial markets.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Broker

  1. Choosing the Right Broker is Crucial: It’s difficult to switch brokers once you’re accustomed to one, due to the comfort level developed with their platform and the inconvenience of moving funds and learning a new interface. This decision is significant because it affects your daily trading activities.
  2. Avoid Mobile-Only Brokers: Mobile-only platforms, such as Robinhood, are not ideal for day trading. If you want to be serious about this profession you will want to use a brokerage firm with a proper desktop platform.
  3. Desktop Platforms are Preferred: A broker that offers a robust desktop trading platform is recommended.
  4. Research and Features are Key: It’s important to choose a broker that meets current and future needs, avoiding those that might become limiting as one’s trading experience grows. Essential features include the ability to paper trade with real-time data to practice without financial risk.
  5. Consider Fees: Trading involves various fees, and even if you break even on trades, fees can significantly impact net profits. It’s advised to make a careful comparison of fees among brokers.

List of Popular Day Trading Platforms

  • Interactive Brokers
  • ThinkorSwim (TD Ameritrade)
  • TradeStation
  • Fidelity
  • eTrade
  • WeBull
  • Questrade (Canada)
  • Wealthsimple (Canada)

Why I’m Going With Interactive Brokers

After doing a bunch of research, Interactive Brokers keeps getting recommended, especially for Canadians.

I currently have a Questrade account, however I don’t want to day trade with it. I’m going to keep that as my long term investing account.

Plus when I compared the fees between Questrade, Wealthsimple and Interactive Brokers, Interactive Brokers was the best, especially for day trading. There seems to be way more serious traders using Interactive Brokers, which is also ideal for finding tutorials online. This platform will allow you to trade options and futures which is key.

If you live in Europe, Interactive Brokers seems to be a top recommendation as well.

For US residents, ThinkorSwim from TD Ameritrade is also highly recommended, especially with the RealDayTrading group on reddit.

Final Verdict

I’ll be using Interactive Brokers and all my tutorials will be with this platform.

If you live in the US and you don’t want to go with Interactive Brokers, you should also review the fees and requirements for ThinkorSwin, as they get a lot of good reviews as well.

Both of these platforms allow you to paper trade with real time data, which is an absolute must.


Interactive Brokers –

ThinkorSwim –

About the author

Hi I'm Tyler Stokes. I started my day trading journey in 2024. As a pure beginner I decided to document everything on this website. I plan to share all the ups and downs of becoming a day trader on this website and through social media.