Whenever I am asked what is the best stock trading software, I always give the same answer, which is simply whatever you feel comfortable with and enjoy using. Ask ten traders and you will probably get ten different answers, and all with have a personal favourite of which some will be proprietary, and others not – it simply depends on your trading style, and what the online platform you are comfortable using. Many trading platforms are based around Metatrader MT4 and MT5, whilst others use Tradestation, and having used both I prefer the Metatrader platform myself, which I also use in my forex trading account. So whichever you use, make sure that you trial it first using the virtual account, which will also give you a good feel for the execution and trading tools we looked at earlier.

Finally to round off this section on online stock trading, I thought it might be helpful to provide a list of the best online stock brokers as judged by industry, and these are as follows in order of preference:

Best UK stock brokers

Iweb

  • All real-time UK trades £10 commission
    International share dealing £15 commission
    No inactivity or management fees
    Access to 7 world markets and choose from thousands of investment options

TD Waterhouse

  • Commissions from £9.95 per trade for all online trades, UK and International.
  • Direct access to 17 International markets (15 of which are online and include 5 North American, 7 major European exchanges and 3 from Asia/Pacific) at no extra costs.
  • Fast and flexible trading using our Personal Trading Limits (subject to status) and Extended Settlement.
  • Free access to a wealth of information and research as well as a variety of investment tools provided by Morningstar®.

Saga ( over 50′s only!!)

  • No fees for account management
  • No fees for inactivity
  • Competitive dealing rates and even lower rates for frequent traders (trade from as little as £9.75 per online trade when you conduct 10 or more trades per quarter)
  • Access to over 700 funds with a maximum initial charge of just 0.5%
  • UK only call centres
  • Access to our Online Education Centre to help you understand the stock market
  • Free ‘stop’ and ‘limit’ order facilities giving you complete control over your investments
  • Stocks and Shares ISA a tax efficient Individual Savings Account allowing you to invest up to £10,200 each tax year
  • Deal in UK shares, gilts, bonds, ETFs and funds.

Barclays Stockbrokers

  • Low online trading rates – from £6.95 per online trade when you trade 25 times or more in a calendar month, and £9.95 for between 15 and 24 trades; otherwise it’s £12.95.
  • Our Research Centre – access real-time news and analysis through Digital Look with proprietary research from Barclays Wealth in-house research team including daily market and equity news, model portfolio analysis and economic forecasts via the ‘Signpost’ research suite, stock-specific insight and more.
  • Advanced order types – free access to a full range of flexible order types from Quote and Deal and Limits to Stop Orders and our award-winning Trailing Stop Orders to get the most from your trading.
  • Barclays Stockbrokers Price Improver®
  • Level 2 data – get access to Level 2 data for more transparency of the market with subscription to BARXdirect, our institutionally inspired trading platform.

Best US Stock Brokers

Optionshouse

Tradeking

Zecco

Scottrade

Etrade

Thinkorswim

MB Trading

Interactive Brokers

OptionsXpress