Trading Platforms

For any of my readers who are traders/investors, I am throwing this out there to you …

I am inquiring about the different trading platforms that are available and I would like to hear from users of different solutions what your perspectives are on the different systems. 

I currently use E*Trade, and am overall happy with the system.  However, as with any software or online solution, you always wonder if there is something that could meet your needs better.  When I first started trading back in college, I used TD Ameritrade – actually is Datek at the time, which was acquired by Ameritrade, which ultimately merged with TD Waterhouse to become what it is today.  I looked back at that system and while there were some small changes and updates, I didn’t notice anything new and/or different from what it was back in 2001/2002. 

In my opinion, E*Trade appears to be the most professional platform for individual traders, without moving up to a more robust system, but I am always wondering if this is actually the case.  Also, I know this industry ebbs and flows like any other one, so there will be times when one solution appears more advanced than others, only to be over-ran by another system that is catching up. 

One provider that I am very interested in learning more about is Interactive Brokers.  I have researched them a lot, and at this point, I think their offering is probably a little too large for my level of investing.  Also, I am always looking for bottom dollar on trade and options commissions, and that is a question I have yet to resolve with IB. 

I also know Schwab has made a number of upgrades over the years, but when I look at their system, I get the feeling that its more for investors who just want a place to deposit their money and watch it, but aren’t actively trading.  I’m sure I could be wrong, but that’s just the impression I get.

And finally, another question I am looking into is third-party software that can assist in market analysis.  I am interested in learning more about solutions that are available for assisting with options analysis, technical analysis (charting) and just general market scanning (for a lack of better terms). 

Your input is appreciated, so feel free to send me an email, or post a comment below. 

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