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How do I Choose the Best Brokerage Software?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2016
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Despite the proliferation of many similar competitive features and protections in brokerage software, some products include more useful features for the average investor. Investors should look for brokerage software with the most competitive features in order to get the most out of their investments, and to avoid some potential problems. Finding the best brokerage financial software will often allow a trader to make more money on each trade, and to generally have a healthier knowledge of his or her portfolio at any given time.

In looking at the best options for an online brokerage or other software product, investors should closely consider security. Brokerage companies should provide proof of data protection and antitheft security. Investors should have access to good customer service agents, who can explain the use of security features and other details as needed.

The best kinds of brokerage software offer clear options for trades. One of these options is a limit order as opposed to a general market order. The limit order can be extremely important as it sets an upper or lower boundary for a trade. In a market order, the trader will be forced to accept a deal at any theoretical price, if the price of a stock or security shifts radically during the time that the order is filled. With a limit order, if the price changes significantly in a way the trader didn’t foresee, his or her order may be canceled instead.

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Another very important part of getting good brokerage software is attention to the cost basis of investments. Not every investor understands that when they buy or sell assets, stocks or securities, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service will require cost basis information in order to levy taxes on the results. The best brokerage companies offer software that tracks cost basis clearly and effectively, in order to help tax preparers and others present the right information to federal, state, and local tax departments.

Other features of a brokerage financial software package may also apply to the search for the best products and services. Traders may need to make sure that intraday trading is supported, so that they can trade “in real time” during open trading, as opposed to only at the market’s close each day. Investors might also look for the best “per-share cost” for long positions that change over time as the investor adds or subtracts shares. All of the above items are critical for the best chance at success in trading through volatile markets.

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