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Trading Apps & Brokerage Referrals

by rich • Mar 6, 2022 • 30
edited by rich on May 24, 2024

If you are just starting out and ask "I'm new, which trading app should I use?" we have put together a list of our most recommended brokerages. In the future we'll post some reviews with pros/cons of some for each of these, but you'll find plenty of those already from other sources that post quality content.

New traders should always start with a paper account which uses virtual or play money with a zero risk/reward that provides a way for your to practice executing orders and getting used to a new app. Not all apps support paper accounts or some types of trades with them- but don't let that deter you from picking one over the other, there are plenty of standalone apps that you can use to paper trade for learning the basics.

Now let's jump right in, to receive the sign up bonus you'll need to use the referral link provided and meet whatever requirements (if any) to be eligible.

 

Our Top Picks

Moomoo - Best for margin accounts

Moomoo offers zero-commission trading, free level 2 market data, and has a powerful platform for charting
that includesa built-in screener, and a quant strategy builder.
Get up to 15 free stocks just for signing up and more for making a deposit.

Moomoo Brokerage Referral & Sign Up Bonus

 

 

Webull - Best for cash accounts

Webull offers zero-commission trading and a powerful platform supporting both margin & cash accounts.
Get up to 24 free stocks just for signing up & making a deposit.

Webull Brokerage Referral & Sign Up Bonus

 

 

 

Other Great Picks

thinkorswim® (TDAmeritrade) - $100-$1000
TradeStation - $10 crypto & up to $200-$2500 cash/crypto
tastyworks - $200-$500

 

Beginners Picks

Aries (Powered by TradeStation) - $100

 

Others

Charles Schwab - $100-$1000
Fidelity - None
IBKR - $1-$1000
Firstrade - 2 Free Stocks
E-Trade - $50-$3500
Robinhood - 1 Free Stock (Not Recommended)

 

Non-US Residents

IBKR - $1-$1000 (referral doesn't work for some countries, if you don't see yours then use this link.)
TradeStation - $10 crypto & up to $200-2500 cash/crypto (not available to ALL countries, but most)
Aries - $100
tastyworks - $200-$500
Firstrade - 2 Free Stocks
eToro - $50 (Not recommended)

Canadians can look into MogoTrade & Questrade

For the majority of these referrals, to get your signup bonus you will need to meet requirements. For example; Webull offers 1 free stock ($2.50 - $200 value) just for signing up, then additionals ($8-1600) for depositing a minimum amount into your account. TDA & Schwab require $25k-$500k for their $100-1000 bonus. When signing up for any of these brokerages, read their terms.



Additional educational content & useful tools

We'll leave these here for now until we post more in-depth material.

 

Cash vs Margin accounts

Most brokerages (besides Moomoo) offer 2 types of accounts, cash and margin. There are some major differences between these two and we'll highlight the key points and the pros vs cons. 

Cash Account: With a cash account, you're trading only with the amount of you have in your account balance. After a trade is completed, it takes 2 days for those funds to be "settled" and able to be used again for the next trade, which is called 'buying power'. After you close a trade, you may not be able to open a new one even though you have enough in your balance to cover it, because some of your funds haven't been settled- and will need to wait 2 days before being able to use the funds again. With a cash account, you can trade an unlimited amount of times- so long you have enough buying power to execute the trades. Short selling cannot occur on cash accounts, because they require borrowing the underlying asset to be able to sell, which is only offered on margin accounts.

PROS:
- Unlimited number of trades. PDT (Pattern Day Trader) rule does not apply to cash accounts.

CONS:
- Takes 2 days for funds to be settled and able to use for future trades, after a trade has been closed.
- Can't borrow or short sell stocks. (Short selling options can still be done if you own 100 shares of the underlying stock per contract being traded. Long puts, long calls, covered calls, & cash-secure puts only)
- If you sell a position you purchased with unsettled funds, you will incur a GFV (Good Faith Violation). For example; your account has $180 and you buy stock ABC for $180. It goes up to $200 and you sell it. You take that $200 and use it to buy stock XYZ. If you wanted to sell XYZ before your funds settle you can still do so, but will be hit with a GFV or Good Faith Violation.

Margin Account: Margin accounts offer leverage or borrowing, but carry risks. (read the margin rules/terms for your broker). With margin, you can have up to 4x the buying power, and do not need to wait for funds to settle like with a cash account- because you are essentially borrowing this buying power. If you're account is $3,000 you could use up to $12,000 to day trade, and hold up to $5,000 in positions overnight. Margin accounts requrie a minimum of $2,000 of cash and/or marginable equity to access this leverage. Margin accounts offer the ability to short sell positions. PDT rules apply to margin accounts, meaning you can't trade more than 3 day trades in a period of 5 business days- the PDT rule is not applied to traders who have an account value of $25,000 or more. See more about the PDT rule here (Webull) or here (Moomoo)

PROS:
- Can short sell positions.
- Don't need to wait for funds to settle to be able to trade.
- Can leverage or borrow to trade with more than your account balance.
- All option trading strategies are allowed. (Naked or uncovered calls & puts)

CONS
- Limited to only 3 trades in 5 days if your account is less than $25,000. And will be flagged as a pattern day trader if exceeded.
- Leveraging has risk, can lose much more than you initially invested.
- Margin calls- if not covered, broker can sell securities you own to meet this, with no notification.


How to read (candlestick) stock charts

 

What are options? Calls & puts explained
Our most recommended options for beginners video


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Charts & Indicators
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