4 Best Day Trading Brokers for 2021

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Affiliate Disclosure DailyForex.com adheres to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the reviews and content we feature on this site are supported by affiliate partnerships from which this website may receive money. This may impact how, where and which companies / services we review and write about. Our team of experts work to continually re-evaluate the reviews and information we provide on all the top Forex / CFD brokerages featured here. Our research focuses heavily on the broker’s custody of client deposits and the breadth of its client offering. Safety is evaluated by quality and length of the broker's track record, plus the scope of regulatory standing. Major factors in determining the quality of a broker’s offer include the cost of trading, the range of instruments available to trade, and general ease of use regarding execution and market information.

Day trading is a short-term trading strategy where traders open & close all trades before the end of the trading day. Below, you'll find our favorite day trading brokers, following a thorough examination done by our analysts.

1
FXTM
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Best all around broker
High floating leverage + fast execution
2
AvaTrade
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
High level regulation in multiple jurisdictions
Impressive range of tradeable assets including vanilla options and gold options
3
FP Markets
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
ECN-style trading
Daily market research and Autochartist access
4
Markets.com
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Marketsi strategy builder helps traders trade smarter
Competitive trade execution with low slippage

FXTM
5.0/5 in this category
In Summary
Best all-around: high floating leverage + fast execution

We have made FXTM our top-rated broker because in addition to its lengthy track record, it enjoys a very high level of regulation and reputation, and it offers a highly competitive fee structure which tends to keep down the cost of trading.

Unique Features

Regulation

CySEC, FCA, FSC, CMA

Minimum Deposit

$50

Type of Platform

MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5

FXTM, or “ForexTime”, has been around for a long time: they were founded in 2011. Recent years have seen them continue to steadily expand their business, and they are well- regulated by the U.K., Cyprus, Mauritius, and South Africa. The brand is owned by private companies incorporated in the U.K., Cyprus, and Mauritius. Customers of FXTM have access to more than 57 Forex currency pairs and crosses, precious metals, the major energies, equity indices, big cryptocurrencies, and a few individual American stocks. Talking of stocks, FXTM are quite unique in the area of trading stocks, as they enable direct trading through real legal ownership, not just wrapped as CFDs like almost every other similar brokerage offers.

FXTM offers traders a choice between two of the most popular execution models: customers may open either an ECN-type account, or one that trades by “straight-through processing”. Clients have a straight choice between two trading platforms, with both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 on offer.

Through their Mauritius regulator, FXTM offer leverage as high as 1000 to 1. In the U.K. and Cyprus, they are limited by law from offering more than 30 to 1.

If you are looking for a broker with a good copy trading program, it is worth taking a serious look at FXTM’s “FXTM Invest” copy trading program.

FXTM Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Excellent client deposit protection

  • Low minimum deposit

  • Free MT4 add-ons and VPS hosting

  • Good educational tools

Disadvantages

  • No cryptocurrencies or exotic currencies

  • Low leverage for retail traders

  • Internal withdrawal fees and an inactivity fee

AvaTrade
4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
Highly regulated, choice of fixed or floating spreads

AvaTrade was founded in 2006 in Dublin, Ireland. They are one of the largest and most famous Forex / CFD brokers in the world and became well-known for offering their clients a choice of fixed or floating spread cost of trading models. They enjoy an extremely high and strong level of regulation, making them a favorite for traders who are extremely nervous about the security of their deposit, which in Ireland can be protected by a strong investor deposit protection provision. AvaTrade is directly regulated in Ireland (and by extension, the European Union), Australia, Japan, South Africa, and the British Virgin Islands. Outside the European Union, Ava’s maximum leverage offered runs as high as 400 to 1.

Unique Features

Minimum Deposit

$100

Type of Platform

MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, Proprietary platform, Web-based

In addition to their longevity and safe reputation, clients know that through AvaTrade they have access to a broad range of asset classes through which diversification can be achieved successfully: AvaTrade offers trading in over 55 different Forex currency pairs, 17 commodities, 20 equity indices, 14 cryptocurrencies, plus 66 individual stocks and shares. Even better, and unusually, 2 bonds and 6 ETFs are also on the menu. The diversity offered here stands out.

Whether you are located within the European Union or not, all branches of AvaTrade will offer you negative balance protection, above and beyond what is mandated by the law. This means that under no circumstances will any client of AvaTrade ever be held liable by the firm for an amount larger than their deposit.

 

AvaTrade Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Well-regulated globally, with the Bank of Ireland, the primary regulator

  • Low minimum deposit and in-depth educational tools

  • Wide asset choice across seven sectors

  • Superior mobile trading platform

Disadvantages

  • Low leverage for retail traders

  • High quarterly inactivity fee

  • Unacceptable cost for AvaProtect

FP Markets
4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
ECN trading with leverage up to 1:500

fpmarkets is an Australian brokerage which launched in 2005. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia’s financial capitol, they have carved out a solid niche for themselves as the best Forex / CFD broker enjoying ASIC regulation. Australian regulators are much more relaxed about leverage than their counterparts in the U.S.A., U.K., and the E.U. and so fpmarkets can offer a maximum leverage as high as 500 to 1.

For most traders, the standout unique selling point of this broker lies in the incredibly wide range of tradable assets offered, providing an opportunity to trade over ten thousand individual stocks and shares. These go beyond the typical U.S.A. and U.K. companies and include a good selection of publicly traded shares on the Hong Kong and Sydney exchanges, as you might expect from an Australasian-facing broker like fpmarkets. Also, over 60 Forex pairs and crosses, 11 equity indices, the major commodities, and 5 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin are also on the menu here.

Unique Features

Regulation

CySEC, ASIC

Minimum Deposit

$100

Type of Platform

MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, Web-based, IRESS

They offer an unusual hybrid ECN/STP execution model which means that their clients can choose between ECN style of execution giving a very high level of speed, and a “straight through processing” execution style which allows for more “natural” spreads.

Traders can scalp and hedge at this broker, whose fast ECN execution speed makes it a natural home for scalpers. Clients may choose between the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms, and shares can be traded through the IRESS trading platform which includes access to level 2 exchange data.

FP Markets Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Choice of trading platforms and auxiliary trading tools

  • Very competitive cost structure and excellent asset selection

  • Low minimum deposit requirement and leverage of up to 1:500

  • Well-regulated and trustworthy

Disadvantages

  • Availability of Iress geographically restricted

FP Markets is an Australian multi-asset broker with more than $1 billion in daily trading volume, serving clients from 80+ countries. Founded in 2005 in Australia, FP Markets grew into a trusted brand over the past 15+ years with more than 100 employees. The upgraded MT4/MT5 trading platforms, via the Trader Tools consisting of twelve plug-ins, present clients with a competitive edge. We have conducted an in-depth review of this CFD broker to provide traders with a complete overview of the trading environment at FP Markets.

Markets.com
4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
Excellent educational offerings

Markets.com, part of UK-publicly listed and FTSE 250 constituent Playtech PLC, offers traders one of the most trusted, secure, and competitive brokers. It operates four subsidiaries regulated in the UK, Cyprus, Australia, and the British Virgin Islands, with the latter two presenting the best trading conditions. Markets.com serves traders via Marketsx and investors through Marketsi. Besides its proprietary trading platform, Markets.com deploys the MT4 and MT5 trading platforms. Traders also have access to fourteen quality trading tools, consisting of sentiment, technical, and fundamental indicators. They provide clients of Markets.com with a notable competitive advantage.

Unique Features

Regulation

CySEC, FCA, ASIC, FSCA

Minimum Deposit

$100

Another benefit at Markets.com remains its asset selection. Forex traders have a choice of 67 currency pairs and 25 cryptocurrency pairs. Equity traders get access to 2,027 equity CFDs, 60 ETFs, and 40 index CFDs. Completing the selection are 28 commodities, 23 in-house created blends (in-house thematic portfolios), and four bonds. Markets.com also provides Forex traders with one of the best commission-free cost structures starting from 0.6 pips on the EUR/USD currency pair. It translates into $6.00 per lot or $12 per round lot. Equity traders pay a fixed commission of $10 or a currency equivalent per side for a total cost of $20 per trade. Other noteworthy advantages include the personalized financial live-stream service XRay, its Investment Strategy Builder, its outstanding order execution statistics, and its transparency.

 

Markets Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Very Competitive Forex Fees

  • Very Wide Choice of Assets

  • Choice of Trading Platforms

  • Excellent Customer Support

Disadvantages

  • Commodities and Indices Fees Higher than Forex Fees

Top Day-Trading Brokers

FXTM Best all-around: high floating leverage + fast execution.
AvaTrade Highly regulated, choice of fixed or floating spreads.
FP Markets ECN trading with leverage up to 1:500.
Markets.com Excellent educational offerings.

What is Day Trading? 

The US and Canada are the only countries requiring day traders to have a minimum balance of $25,000 if they place more than four day-trades per five-day period in the same asset. There are no restrictions on day trading outside the US, and all market participants have access to this high-frequency trading strategy. It can be highly profitable, but traders must also understand the risks involved. Day traders require high leverage and excellent execution, both provided by the best day trading brokers that we have identified below. Day trading was initially available only to financial institutions. The revolution of online trading opened one of the most exciting strategies to all traders unless they trade inside the US or Canadian regulatory frameworks, the least competitive one in the developed world.

Before searching for the best online brokers for day trading, one must determine if this high-stress approach is suitable for them. Most successful day traders use automated trading systems, gaining an edge in today’s high-speed and information-driven financial markets. Scalping, high-frequency trading, news trading, and range trading strategies remain among the most used approaches. Day traders must have realistic profit expectations, and one of the most defining aspects of profitable day trading is timing. It also requires more in-depth market knowledge and a high degree of discipline. Traders must understand that losses are part of day trading. Day traders are not exposed to overnight trading risks and do not face swap rates on leveraged overnight positions.

Day trading is a strategy where traders open and close all their trades before the end of the trading session. The first and last hour of trading is where many day traders are most active. It is a short-term trading approach that requires in-depth market knowledge, precision timing, and one of the top day trading brokers that maintains the technology to deliver an edge to high-volume traders. Many successful day traders use sophisticated automated trading solutions and high leverage with smart risk management profiles. Day trading is a high-stress trading strategy and not suitable for most traders.

How Much Money Do I Need to Day Trade? 

There is no minimum requirement placed by regulators or brokers, except in the US, where it is $25,000. Day trading with insufficient capital usually results in losses, and we recommend no less than $5,000 for Forex day trading and $10,000 for equity day trading.

How Day Traders Use Their Online Broker 

Day traders require tight spreads, usually in a competitive commission-based trading environment and preferably with a volume-based cashback program. High leverage, full support for automated trading solutions, multi-chart capabilities, and real-time trading information are other services day traders require. Access to deep liquidity and cutting-edge technology with excellent execution statistics will deliver an additional edge.

How Do I Choose a Day Trading Platform?

A competitive day trading platform must support automated trading solutions and allow third-party solutions to connect. It should offer an excellent charting package, and the broker should have no restrictions on trading strategies or high leverage.

Which Brokers Offer Market Rebates for Adding Liquidity?

Brokers with a prime brokerage unit and those acting as liquidity providers to other brokers usually offer market rebates for adding liquidity. Some well-established market makers with a hybrid ECN execution model and pure ECN brokers also maintain volume-based rebates.

Comparing Day Trading Brokers

Trading with one of the best brokers for day trading will ensure that traders manage their portfolios from a platform that caters to their success. While we have identified some of the best online brokers for day trading, we recommend those who wish to conduct their due diligence to consider the below aspects.

Fees & Commission

Fees consist of direct and indirect trading costs like currency conversion costs, market data charges, and swap rates on leveraged overnight positions. Some brokers charge an unacceptable internal withdrawal fee, while traders must also consider third-party payment processor costs. Commissions are direct trading costs and, together with spreads, have a significant impact on profitability. Day traders must select a broker with a competitive trading cost structure.

Margin Rates 

Low margin rates are another defining tool for successful day traders. It results in higher leverage, and the best day trading brokers provide above 1:100. Many traders, including professional ones, and most regulators confuse low margins or high leverage with risk. This incorrect assessment resulted in uncompetitive trading environments, with the US and the EU leading the way. The absence of risk management results in losses, not the use of leverage. For example, if a trader places the maximum acceptable loss per trade at 2%, a 1:1 or 1:500 leveraged account does not alter this level. It impacts the number of points a trader can be incorrect before the necessity to close a position at a loss.

Minimum Deposit 

Some day trading brokers require a higher minimum deposit, but traders should select one with low to no requirements. It offers greater flexibility to deploy a suitable portfolio building strategy, a vital component for all successful traders.

Daily Trading Limit 

A day trading limit is the maximum price fluctuation of an asset during the trading sessions. It establishes a lower and upper range and primarily applies to options and futures trading. The intention is to protect traders from extreme volatility and price manipulation in illiquid markets.

Account Types 

Traders with a portfolio above $10,000 can trade in a standard account, where most brokers provide all their products and services. It also comes with reduced leverage, but the best brokers for day trading will offer at least 1:100. Traders with less than $10,000 should consider a mini account, which provides better conditions to execute strategies.

Trading Platform Features

A cutting-edge trading platform with full support for automated trading solutions forms the core for all successful traders. The MT4 trading platform enjoys a distinct leadership position but requires third-party updates. Regrettably, most brokers only provide the sub-standard out-of-the-box version. Given its upgrade potential, versatility, and availability, it remains the best one for most traders. cTrader and ProRealTime are excellent alternatives. Traders who prefer another option should consider the below attributes.

  • Order Execution Speed will offer traders price stability and improved order placement. It will also ensure access to deep liquidity pools.
  • Research & Analysis Tools are more relevant for manual traders and an indicator for an excellent trading platform. The best brokers for day trading will offer in-house research, third-party alternatives, and competitive analysis tools inside the trading platform. Traders should seek in-depth technical indicators, multi-charts, and streaming news.
  • User-Friendly trading functions and interface allow day traders a more efficient trading approach. Given the high-stress nature of day trading, it makes a difference.
  • Mobile Platform trading is popular among millennial traders, but successful traders do not engage in it. A mobile platform is suitable to monitor portfolios on the go, but not for trading purposes.
  • Access to Current & Historical Data is necessary to analyze and improve the day trading strategy. It also assists in tweaking the approach and modifying the entry and exit points of trades. Current data will present trading opportunities, and the historic one allows traders to back test trading strategies.
  • Charting Aids offer manual traders the tools to identify trading opportunities and automated traders to develop their strategy. Traders should place significance on technical indicators, drawing tools and linked multi-charts.
  • Automated Trading became a necessity for most profitable traders. The best day trading brokers offer a platform that fully supports advanced solutions, grants VPS hosting, and has an API that allows third-party systems to connect to their infrastructure for trade placement.
  • Broker Independence is an optional feature for traders who wish to switch brokers with ease. The MT4, cTrader, and ProRealTime trading platforms allow traders to change brokers with ease or diversify across multiple brokers and deploy their automated strategies with ease.

Customer Service 

Most traders rarely require customer service, if at all, but should always seek a broker with an excellent support team. Unexpected events can happen, like a server outage, a liquidity event, or a security issue. Day trading is stressful even without interruptions and having a responsive customer service desk will smooth over unexpected developments.

Dealing Desk 

Day traders should consider a broker with a dealing desk that can place market orders or close open positions per request. It comes at an additional cost but offers an extra security layer if a trader loses market access during volatile markets.

Customer Service Quality 

It is not enough to provide customer service, the quality counts. A quick response time and multiple ways to connect remains essential. The best online brokers for day trading offer 24/5 or 24/7 multilingual customer service and answer queries in a matter of minutes.

Extra Offerings 

Extra offerings separate the best brokers from good ones. It can consist of deposit bonuses, free trades, VPS hosting at no additional cost, and third-party trading tools that provide an edge to traders. Offering value-added services confirms the commitment of brokers to clients.

Account Levels 

Some brokers offer a multi-tiered account approach. Traders get access to improved trading conditions as they ascend the levels, with VIP clients receiving non-trading perks like invites to trendy events. A growing number of brokers dropped this approach. They provide all clients with equal access to services.

Returns on Cash

A few brokers pay interest on free capital, which can offer a nice passive income stream in the negative, zero, and near-zero interest rate environment of today.

Trading Strategy 

Day traders need to select a broker without restrictions on trading strategies. Full support for automated trading strategies and no restrictions on scalping and high-frequency trading is a requirement. Social trading remains optional.

Managed Trading Accounts 

Several brokers offer managed trading account to clients, and a growing number cater to retail account management via MAM/PAMM accounts or proprietary alternatives. It provides traders the choice to commit capital to an account manager who will bear responsibilities for all trading operations. Managers receive compensation through a performance fee or a profit-sharing agreement. A minimum deposit into a strategy usually applies, higher for a professionally managed account and lower at MAM/PAMM alternatives. Traders may receive an investor password to check the portfolio in retail account management services, depending on the broker and account management system.

Pooled Funds 

Pooled funds are the most common professionally managed trading accounts. The returns of the portfolio remain divided among investors according to their share of the capital. Brokers with managed funds usually maintain numerous ones, catering to varying degrees of risk and investment goals.

Individual Accounts 

An individually managed account is often the most expensive alternative and comes with the highest minimum capital requirements but provides the most attention to individual trading needs and expectations.

Regulations & Licensing 

Day traders should always select a regulated broker, fully compliant and with all required licenses. Not all jurisdictions provide a competitive trading environment, which is another factor to consider. The US and the EU rank at the top of uncompetitive trading conditions, while Australia leads competitiveness among tier-one regulators. South Africa, Dubai, and Singapore are among the most innovative ones, together with a dozen offshore jurisdictions. They include the British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Belize, the Marshall Islands, the Cayman Islands, and Vanuatu. St. Vincent and the Grenadines remain the primary location for unregulated brokers.

How Brokers Make Money 

The two primary methods for brokers to make money is via spreads and commissions. Market makers also earn directly from client losses where they act as the counterparty. ECN/STP brokers derive the bulk of revenues from commissions.

Market Makers 

They usually offer commission-free trading environments with higher spreads. Some of the best day trading brokers are market makers with excellent conditions and trading tools, with the more advanced ones offering a hybrid model, including a commission-based ECN/STP model. Several offer traders a choice between fixed and variable spread accounts.

  • Fixed Spreads do not fluctuate and remain constant. They are generally higher to compensate for the lack of profit potential for the broker.
  • Variable Spreads reflect market conditions plus the broker mark-up. They are necessary for scalpers and high-frequency traders.

Over-the-Counter Brokers (OTC)

OTC brokers can offer day traders access to assets not listed on exchanges. They often include penny stocks, which carry a high degree of risk but also enormous profit potential. Some of the best day traders earn their living trading with OTC brokers in the OTC markets. OTC trading takes place via a dealer network and not a centralized exchange.

Broker Payment Methods 

All brokers offer clients bank wires and credit/debit cards as payment methods, but we recommend traders focus on online payment processors. The processing times and costs remain lower, and it allows day traders to keep their trading activities separate from their day-to-day banking needs.

Trading in Different Regions 

Since the bulk of trading is online, most traders, except those in the US, may select an international broker with a better trading environment. Before choosing an offshore broker, traders must consider applicable taxes and regulations.

Tax Considerations

We recommend traders consult a tax expert in their jurisdiction to advise on what taxes apply, how to file them, and to get advice on tax optimization. The best brokers for day trading are often in tax-friendly countries, but traders will have to pay taxes in their home country.

Regulation 

Before traders select an offshore broker, they must ensure that the regulation is sufficient and protects them from malpractice and fraud. Segregation of client deposits from broker funds and negative balance protection must exist.

Methodology

We reviewed over 100 brokers in-depth based on eleven criteria from the perspective of a trader. Each research consisted of over 2,000 words and lasted more than ten hours. We ensured the most comprehensive approach to identify the best copy trading platforms.

The eleven criteria used in our research consist of:

  • Regulation and Security
  • Trading Costs
  • Asset Selection
  • Account Types
  • Trading Platforms
  • Unique Features
  • Research and Education
  • Customer Support
  • Bonuses and Promotions
  • Account Opening Process
  • Deposits & Withdrawals

FAQs

Which broker is best for day trading?

The best broker for day trading will offer an excellent trading platform with support for automated trading solutions, a competitive commission-based cost structure with a volume-based rebate program, and a broad asset selection.

Do I need a broker to day trade?

Yes, a broker connects day traders to financial markets and enables trading.

Can you start day trading with $500?

Outside the US, it is possible to start with $500 but not recommended. Day trading is a more capital-intensive trading strategy.

Can you start day trading with $1000?

It is sufficient for Forex day trading but not enough for equities, where we recommend a minimum of $10,000.

How much money can you make with day trading?

It depends on the size of the portfolio, and traders must have realistic profit expectations. It is a high-stress strategy, and most profitable traders make less than 10% a month. Consistency remains one of the most defining aspects, and traders may also face monthly losses. Traders should consider earning 25% to 40% per year an enormous success.

Huzefa Hamid

I’m a trader and manage my own capital. I trade the major Forex pairs, some Futures contracts, and I rely entirely on Technical Analysis to place my trades. Today, I am also a Senior Analyst for DailyForex.com. I began trading the markets in the early 1990s, at the age of sixteen. I had a few hundred British pounds saved up (I grew up in England), with which I was able to open a small account with some help from my Dad. I started my trading journey by buying UK equities that I had read about in the business sections of newspapers. The 1990s were a bull market, so naturally, I made money. I was fortunate enough in my early twenties to have a friend that recommended a Technical Analysis course run by a British trader who emphasized raw chart analysis without indicators. Having this first-principles approach to charts influences how I trade to this day.

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