First off, let me be very clear about this…
There is no holy grail or magic pill when it comes to the tools you are using.
I am not trying to imply that any of the following “is the secret” to trading success.
If you want to know the secret to success in trading, here’s a hint… it’s between your ears.
In the spirit of being honest and transparent, some of the links below are affiliate links.
I’ve broken down the tools into two categories: What I Use and Quality Alternatives
If you want to be able to trade or invest cost effectively, you need an online broker.
If you have a smaller amount of money or are simply looking to get started with investing, this is my number 1 choice. They sound too good to be true, but they are not. Not only do they offer $0 commissions, but they also allow you to buy partial shares (which is huge). On top of this, they offer tax-friendly accounts which others (such as Robinhood) do not offer. Over the long term, tax-friendly structures add up in big positive ways! CLICK HERE to sign up and you get $10!
Note: while I do have an MI Finance account, my main investing is through Merrill Edge (Bank of America). I get 100 free trades per month because I qualify for their Platinum Honors program.
Trailing right behind Lightspeed in terms of commissions, Interactive Brokers offers options commissions starting at $0.70. They offer fast and responsive customer support, a wide variety of platforms to execute through, and many powerful tools in the platform.
For Options Trading:
A broker that opens the door for many of you traders who will be starting with a smaller amount of capital. With no minimum funding requirements for a cash account and only $2,000 for a margin account, you really can’t go that wrong. While the charting features may not be complex, they have every indicator that most of us in the ClayTrader community use including moving averages and various oscillators. The platform is also extremely lightweight for those of you on older computers or laptop users. Learn More
Technical stock charts play a massive role in my trading strategies and are the single most important factor in eliminating stress and emotions from my trading. If you want to add clarity and confidence to your trading strategy, you need to learn how to not only read a chart, but also how to properly apply it.
With this being said, finding a “chart provider” is an extremely important area for you as a trader.
The first place you should check is with your broker. Most brokers will offer technical charts with their trading platform, but in some cases, the charts may not meet your personal preference. Take me for example; I do not like Lightspeed’s charts that are provided, so I use a 3rd party provider.
At the end of the day, it is up to you to weigh the pros and cons of each broker in combination with the quality of the stock charts they provide. For me, it is worth paying extra for chart data because my brokerage has so many other pros relative to their chart data.
This is another great source for charts. The very impressive aspect about this site is their charts are streaming, meaning, you can watch the chart be “created” in real time. They are definitely a site that should be considered as a lower priced alternative. Learn More
Trading with Level 2 data is not a “please consider” type tool; it is literally a “must have” tool if you are planning on day trading or doing penny stocks.
If you are not using Level 2 in your trading, you might as well tie a blindfold around your eyes. That is essentially what you are doing to yourself in regard to accessing all the possible information you can receive for making a well informed and clarified decision.
The best place to go for Level 2 data is with your online brokerage. I don’t know of any broker that does not offer Level 2 as a choice. If your broker does not offer Level 2, then run away…. fast!
Usually the difference between brokers is whether you need to pay extra for it. Some brokers will give it to you for free if you make a certain number of trades each month or keep a minimum amount of money in your account, others will charge you extra no matter what.
Level 2’s may look different from various providers (colors, format, etc.), however, at the end of the day, they are all showing you the same information… it just boils down to personal preference of what you feel most comfortable using.
I use the Level 2 data provided by Lightspeed, my broker, and pay a small extra fee each month.
If you don’t have the tools to “find something to trade” … well…. you will not last very long as a trader.
I’m not trying to insult your intelligence, but you can’t be a trader if you can’t find stuff to trade. In other words, a scanner (or some call them screeners) is an extremely important tool.
There is nothing better than a scanner that is a living breathing organism. When you combine a group of traders together and everyone shares information as to what they are seeing across the market, it creates a scanner and tool that no computer can match.
To be fair, there are other chat rooms out there that are free; however, from my experience (and why I created my own chat room) they are filled with people just looking to pump and dump their stocks on top of you. Or, they are so chaotic with clutter and randomness they actually work against the trader and are completely counterproductive in regard to “providing clarity”.
When it comes to my private “living breathing organism” scanner known as The Inner Circle the thought process you need to use…
$99 For 3 Month Membership
3 Months = 12 Weeks
$99 / 12 Weeks = $8.25
Which brings up the key question – can the $99 investment to use this living breathing scanner make me more than $8.25 per week?
I’m self admittedly biased, but the math speaks for itself. I’m very confident you can make more than $8.25 each week, and there is plenty of reviews to back that up. Here is just a couple of many more (which you can see HERE).
I’ve used this scanner in the past, and they’re really solid. I stopped using them because The Inner Circle replaced them. As already said, it is very hard to beat a scanner that is made up of other humans compared with software. With that being said, I have nothing to bad to say about them. Their monthly fees compared to The Inner Circle are much… much… much higher, but that’ll be a choice you need to make.
Some members of our community I know use both, so it truly is up to you as a trader.
Trade-Ideas is a streaming scanner, meaning, it runs scans in real time and alerts you immediately when a piece of scan criteria is met. The amount of scan criteria at your fingertips is extremely impressive.
This site offers an excellent free scanner with many options. Whether you’re looking for fundamental or technical criteria to screen for, odds are, this scanner will be able to accommodate you. Learn More
As a trader, you need to keep up-to-date on what is going around throughout the world and markets. While I’m not saying you should be spending hours upon hours with this sort of stuff, a quick browsing of the headlines is a great way to stay informed with dynamics that may influence the markets and your trade ideas. Here are some of the sites I use to browse headlines and news.
Check out all of my technology guides here.
All the books I recommend have nothing to do with “trading strategies”. When I was first getting started, I bought numerous books and, to be blunt, they all sucked! This is one of the reasons why I decided to make stock trading training courses as I feel there was a huge “gap” out there in the education space. Nonetheless, the books below are great for motivation and teaching you about psychology and how to deal with the tough times.
I’m a sucker for a good movie or documentary that revolves around the financial markets. Needing some Friday night entertainment? Consider the below…
If you are looking to take control of your finances and/or life in general, give it a look. Whether you want to pay off debt or create new streams of income (such as real estate investing for example), I want to assist you with this.
The sign of true wealth is being able to sleep like a baby at night. When you take control of your money, you eliminate stress and can begin building your legacy. At it’s peak, I had $163,000 of debt in my life, but I am proud and relieved to say I am now 100% debt free! How did I get this done in an efficient manner? What steps did I take? I go over all of this in great detail so you can get to the freeing feeling of being debt free as fast as possible! Click HERE to learn more.
Trading is not my only revenue stream. In order to diversify my wealth building streams of income, I have been involved in real estate investing for many years. I’ve learned, through down-and-dirty experience, of what “to do” and what NOT to do. I will not only show you all I have learned but also share with you the exact systems and strategies I have developed and use that keep me on track and prevent me from becoming distracted with dynamics that lead to financial pain and heartache. If you already have your personal finances under control but are now looking to diversify and add more income streams to your wealth building goals, real estate investing is a great way to do it (assuming you are strategic about it). Click HERE to learn more.
Join me as I talk about all things wealth. To me wealth is about more than money, it’s about living your life in a way that gives you maximum peace of mind. Let’s focus on a lifestyle that will lower stress and raise the overall quality of life. Look it up on any podcast player or simply click HERE to listen via the site itself.