Affordable stock software offers you a way to manage and develop your investment portfolio through an online trading platform. This type of personal investment software is developed to meet the needs of people investing for personal gain and not as a profession. Stock tracking software allows you to design your trade platform to your preferences. You can also set watch lists and alerts, as well as view streaming quotes and live quotes.
The best stock software, including OptionsHouse, TradeKing and optionsXpress offer flat rate fees and a variety of investment options, so you can concentrate on building your portfolio and managing your investments. Learn more about choosing a personal stock software by reading our articles on investment software.
The investment software that we reviewed all provide trading through their online platforms. The biggest variation in the services is found in the fees charged for trading, the tools the platform provides and the help and support available. Use these criteria to evaluate which personal stock software is right for you.
Fees & Commissions
The amount an investment software charges is an important feature when determining which software is best for you because fees can add up quickly, particularly if you are a frequent trader. Most of the stock trading software options we reviewed have comparable fees, though the ways these fees are charged can vary from software to software. Some offer flat rate fees that range from $5 to $10, with the average being around $7. These flat rates do not shift no matter how frequently you are trading. Other software packages offer sliding scales that go down the more frequently you trade. Most charge additional fees for broker-assisted trades, with prices ranging from around $15 and up to $50. The best software offers broker-assisted trades under $25.
Trading & Research Tools
Since you will be making your trades online and managing your investments through your personal stock software's online trading platform, it is imperative that the software you choose offers a well-designed and easy-to-use trade platform. All investment software trade platforms should offer alerts and watch lists. The best stock software allows you to customize your trade platform to your liking, so you view only the data that is important to you and your investments.
The investments your personal stock software provides allow you to diversify your portfolio. All investment software provides you the opportunity to trade stocks, option, bonds, mutual funds and IRAs. Some also provide access to riskier investments, such as forex, futures and access to the international stock exchange.
Each piece of software we reviewed provides you with ability to trade on the go through a mobile platform. This access is available through apps that you can download onto your mobile device. While every program we reviewed has mobile access, the best have apps for iOS and Android operating systems so that you can manage your account no matter what kind of device you have. The applications have a variety of features. All allow you to track your portfolio and monitor the stock market, and the best allow you to make deposits from your mobile devices and offer barcode-scanning abilities.
Support & Customer Service
Each of the stock trading software options we reviewed provides support over the telephone and through email. Most also offer a live chat feature, available for getting quick answers. The best services are available to you 24/7 over the telephone or through live chat. Because the investment industry is constantly in flux, most software manufacturers provide a fully equipped education center with articles, videos and webinars discussing a range of investment topics. Some even provide live events and seminars where you can receive investment education in person.
No matter your level of experience or trading style, you should look for an investment software program that provides an easy-to-use platform and low-trade fees. The best investment software provides you access to education centers that offer a variety of resources to help you educate yourself on investment topics and develop your trading style.