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Tools of the Trade

I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that is always available to you. A place where you can come for all your stock trading needs. I plan for this page to always be evolving with new links, so to ensure you are kept up-to-date with it, I recommend bookmarking it for your reference and convenience. Enjoy!

Brokers

If you want to be able to trade stocks cost effectively, you need an online broker. This is probably the biggest headache in all of stock trading. Not because it is difficult to be approved for an account, nor is the sign up process difficult. The biggest pain is figuring out “whom to choose” given the vast amount of choices now available in this day and age.

LightSpeed Trading

Lightspeed Trading:

This is the broker I personally use. I use their direct access platform; however, they offer different choices depending on your account size. Click here to see a breakdown of all the different choices along with accompanying fees and commissions. I love their customer service and the ease/speed at which I can place and cancel stock orders. This broker is geared more towards someone who trades a high volume.

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers:

Trailing right behind Lightspeed in terms of commissions, Interactive Brokers offers options commissions starting at .70c . A much more established broker compared to MB trading but they do require a much larger minimum deposit. 10,000+ is required for those over the age of 25 but only 3,000+ if you are 25 and under. They offer fast and responsive customer support, a wide variety of platforms to execute through, and many powerful tools in the platforms similar to Thinkorswim.

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade/TOS:

The nice thing about ThinkOrSwim (ToS) is that the platform is free. Yes, you have to go through the hassle of signing up for the broker; however, they do not “make you” deposit any cash into your account. The cool thing is they still give you access to their platform which has solid charts and an amazing array of option tools. They also offer competitive commission rates if you sign up though THIS LINK. Learn more about ThinkOrSwim and how to setup the platform for trading with this FREE video series.

Apex Futures

Apex Futures:

While I have no personal experiance with Apex Futures they are a very popular choice within our community for those trading futures. If you are interested in trading futures be sure to check out my Complete Futures Guide.

Robinhood Trading

Robinhood:

The big attraction here is there are $0 commissions. Does that mean they are right for you though? Maybe. Maybe not. It truly does depend. I go through an in-depth review here.

Need help choosing a broker? I have a guide to help you choose the broker that will best fit you trading goals strategy, check it out here.

Stock Chart Providers

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. 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 my broker’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.

eSignal

eSignal:

I have been using them since 2008 and unless they drastically change something, I don’t foresee myself ever getting rid of them. They are pretty pricey, but you get what you pay for. The charts that you see in my live trade videos are provided by eSignal.

StockCharts.com

StockCharts:

This is a great resource for free charts. The free package is limited in regards to the amount of indicators you can add to the chart, but in regards to getting a nice clean looking chart, it’s hard to do any better. I use these charts in my weekly Power Profit Scan newsletter.

Trading View

TradingView:

This is another great source for free 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. Their paid package gives you more choices of course, but as far as free packages go, they are solid.

Free Stock Charts

FreeStockCharts:

This is another provider that has free streaming charts. I can’t say I have much experience with them; however, I’ve heard good things from people, and they’re free, so they're worth at least giving a try.

Level 2 Data Providers

Mastering Level 2

Trading with Level 2 data is not a “please consider” type tool; it is literally a “must have” tool. 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 regards to accessing all the possible information you can receive for a stock.

Like with the stock charts, the first place to start for Level 2 data is with your brokerage. I don’t know of any broker that does not offer Level 2 as a choice, but usually the difference is whether or not you need to pay extra for it. Some brokers will give it to you for free as long as you make a certain amount of trades each month, 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 and pay a small extra fee each month.

If you are interested in learning more about Level 2 check out my course: Trading with Level 2.

Stock Scanners and Screeners

Once again, the first place you should start is with your broker (notice a trend?). Each and every broker I’ve ever encountered had at least some type of scanner/screener. Are they good? Well, that’s too broad of a question for me to answer because I don’t know what your strategies and goals are. One type of scanner might be called “bad” by one trader, but another trade may think that very same scanner is “great”.

The good news is that along with your broker’s scanner, there are many 3rd party sites that offer some type of free package for scanning (or of course if you want more data, they offer paid packages).

ClayTrader

ClayTrader Inner Circle:

Am I biased when it comes to this? Absolutely. With that being said, 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 in regards 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. While my chatroom is not free, when you consider the price (less than $2 per week), I believe I offer a very fair price for membership. Don’t take my word for it though (I am biased – remember?), visit claytrader.com/testimonials/ to read some 3rd party testimonials.

Trade Ideas

Trade-Ideas:

This is the scanner I use. It is a streaming scanner, meaning, it runs scans in real time and alerts me immediately when a piece of my scan criteria is met. The amount of scan criteria at your fingertips is mind boggling.

StockCharts.com

Stockcharts:

Besides offering free stock charts, they also have some predefined scans that I find pretty useful for a starting point. In the past I’ve used their paid service which allows for custom scans, so depending on what you are trying to accomplish, this may be a great option for you.

Finviz Stock Scanner

Finviz:

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.

Stock Fetcher

StockFetcher:

I’ve also used the paid service for this site in the past. Their free package is very nice with all types of search criteria; however, they only show you a very limited number of results. If you want to see all of the scan results… you need to pay.

Equity Feed

EquityFeed:

This is an excellent streaming scanner. If you are an active trader, give this one a try, especially if you like to trade penny stocks.

Trader Information Sources

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.

Business/Market News

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) News

Technology

Check out all of my technology guides here.

Comfort

Books

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.

Movies / Documentaries

I'm a sucker for a good movie or documentary that revolves around the financial markets. Needing some Friday night entertainment? Consider the below...

Let Me Help You Get Started

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