Trader Tips
Jan. 21, 202213 min read

Stock Trading Software: 5 Tips to Find What Works for You

Tim BohenAvatar
Written by Tim Bohen

Stock Trading Software: Key Takeaways

  • Don’t understand all the great stock trading software out there? Learn about it all here!
  • Once you learn what’s out there, see how it can help your everyday trading…
  • After nailing that down, learn why StocksToTrade offers the best software available…

Test drive our top-notch stock trading software for 2 weeks here

There’s a ton to learn about in the stock trading world. That’s why StocksToTrade puts so much emphasis on education…

The learning curve is steep, but we’re here to help! Great traders learn to use their time wisely. That means they use stock trading software wisely.

What exactly is stock trading software — and what can it do for you? I lay it all out below…

What Is Online Stock Trading Software?

© StocksToTrade

What is trading software

Think of it as your command center as you go into daily battle in the market. Your trading software platform is your helm, where you make all your tactical decisions.

First, your trading software helps you find and research stocks and potential trades. Once you spot the trades, you can then use the platform to set your entries and exits.

You can execute your trades — enter and exit stocks — all with just a few clicks.

A good trading platform offers easy-to-read charts, news feeds, powerful scanning, and other top tools to help you stay nimble in the market.

Do you really need software? Let’s put it this way: even the super-pro traders wouldn’t dream of trading without a solid platform. It’s that vital.

Ways to Trade Stocks Online

There are two ways to trade stocks online: the amateur way and the professional way.

If you go the amateur route, here’s what your days might look like…

You’ll log into your broker account through an internet browser, then click through a clunky website to find stocks…

Big heads up here: stock data on a broker’s website can be delayed.

When it comes to trading, timing is everything. Also, you may not have access to charts or current stock news.

Not a great way to trade. Meanwhile, you may hear about some massive gainers that are up 20% or 30% on the day.

If you have no process to find the action or market news, you’re definitely an amateur — and your trading capital will ultimately take the hit.

Now let’s take a look at how pros trade.

As a pro trader, you log into your state-of-the-art trading platform in premarket and scan for optimal trading setups. From there, you build a watchlist of your favorite stocks. Bam! You’re ready for the trading day.

Once the market opens, your trading platform alerts you to news on one of your watchlist stocks. You quickly assess the price action and see a great trade setup. With a few clicks, you’re in a trade.

Let’s take this scenario a little further. Maybe you even make the gains you projected in your trading plan. That’s a killer trading day!

When you use professional tools, you’re better equipped to find the market action. Sounds better than the amateur approach, right?

Stock Market Hours

The majority of stock trading in the U.S. happens on two exchanges: the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). 

Both operate year-round, Monday through Friday (except U.S. holidays), with regular daily trading sessions between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern.

The daily session is where most traders focus and where you’ll find the most volume.

Outside these hours, you can still place trades in premarket and after-hours

But be warned! After-hours trading can be tricky. There’s far less liquidity. So it’s harder to get a trade filled without knocking around the price. Know what you’re doing before you venture into the after-hours arena.

5 Ways to Use Stock Trading Software

© StocksToTrade

Now the fun part: how to use your trading platform to find and monitor stocks every day.

Love a list? So do we … Here are five powerful ways to leverage trading software. 

Use these tips to bolster your trading skills and streamline your trading day. Let’s get to it!

#1 Way to Use Stock Trading Software: Use Scans and Charts

Tons of stocks trade every day in the U.S. Your first goal is to find candidates that best fit your trading strategy.

Most active traders base use charts to search for their go-to patterns.

And a stock scanner helps them find trade opportunities based on specific criteria.

Let’s take a closer look at both, starting with scanners.

How to Use Stock Trading Scanners

Unless you’re into making things unnecessarily hard on yourself, use a scanner.

A good scanner allows you to quickly search for a variety of criteria: chart patterns, big percent moves, high-impact news stories, and much more.

After setting your criteria, your scanner returns a list of high-potential stocks. The next step is to dive deep into those stocks and research them thoroughly. Then, pick your favorite candidates (start with a few) to watch closely once the market opens.

How to Use Stock Trading Charts

Never underestimate the power of stock charts!  

Keep your charting process simple … Many top traders often look for super basic patterns and price action.

What do we mean by basic patterns? Simple support and resistance, swing-highs and swing-lows, and clear trends. 

You can maybe even go a tad fancier, with a head-and-shoulders pattern, for example.

Put in the time to find your favorite chart setups. Then study as many charts as you can, looking for those patterns. Analyze and study the patterns until they’re second nature.

Your goal is to be a master of a few setups, not a novice in hundreds of different setups.

#2 Way to Use Stock Trading Software: Monitor the Action

© StocksToTrade

OK, your premarket analysis is complete. You’re ready to focus on a handful of promising stocks thanks to your scanner and charting platform…

Now it’s time to watch the market action in real time.

Word to the wise: once the market opens, things can move at a rapid and hectic pace. Be prepared.

Here are two powerful ways to use your trading platform throughout the day…

Keep an Eye on News

When a stock makes a sudden move, it’s likely due to what’s called a catalyst. That can be a company announcement, new government regulations, or economic news. Learn more about catalysts here.

This is why you need to stay on top of news alerts. Sudden moves can lead to trading opportunities or tank promising trades.

See how this StocksToTrade feature can alert you to the hottest stock news FAST.

Opt for Real-Time Data

When you get stock price quotes for free, you often get delayed data. And prices can move a lot in that lag time, which can be up to 15–20 minutes. 

If you’re day trading, you need to know where the price is always. You need real-time data.

That’s how you can enter and exit trades the second you see your setup. Without real-time prices, you can miss trades. No one wants that. 

Choose a trading platform that includes live stock data before you place your first trade.

#3 Way to Use Stock Trading Software: Get Into Great Chat Rooms

Sitting at a computer all day, watching tickers, and wading through emotional highs and lows … Trading can feel lonely, but it doesn’t have to be that way!

Join a trading chat room to get with traders who know and live the same experience every day.

There’s no shortage of chat rooms, so find one with serious traders who trade similar stocks and strategies as you. 

For instance, if you’re trading penny stocks, veteran trader and teacher Tim Sykes runs a chat room that might feel like home to you.

There’s also StocksToTrade’s Breakouts and Breakdowns and Small Cap Rockets rooms to check out!

A well-rounded chat room should be part education and part support network. Find one to suit your trading style. It can help make the trading journey more educational and far less lonely.

#4 Way to Use Stock Trading Software: Attend Stock Trading Webinars

The great thing about StocksToTrade is that our traders constantly host trading webinars…

Some are live trading sessions where you get up close and personal with top traders. You get to see the WHY behind their decisions.

Other times, our traders discuss bigger-picture ideas. This could be about the markets in general or better trading.

There are a lot of stock trading services out there that will help you learn how to trade. But I believe that StocksToTrade does it better than anyone — both through free resources and paid services.

#5 Way to Use Stock Trading Software: Use Paper Trading Software

Maybe you want to trade, but you lack confidence. Good news: you can gain real-time experience by paper trading!

Paper trading is where you go through all the motions of trading, without risking capital. It’s a great way to test and evaluate your trading strategies. 

You make the same buying and selling decisions and record everything that happens, but you don’t actually make the trade.

Once you feel comfortable with your paper trading experience, start the transition to making live trades.

How to Use Stock Trading Simulators

Here’s the thing with paper trading … You want it to feel like you’re really trading. So when you start trading live, your actions and decisions will feel familiar.

You need to experience the process of paper trading several times. Once you have a decent sample, the next step is to analyze your trades.

Look for trends in your losing and winning trades. 

Your goal is to maximize your strengths and cut your losses. Take what you learn and build it into your strategy. Paper trading is all about developing your skills, refining your strategy, and getting better.

And just because it’s called paper trading doesn’t mean you have to do it on paper…

The StocksToTrade platform includes paper trading. You click the same “buy” and “sell” buttons and look at the same charts and tickers as if you were trading live. Grab a 14-day trial of StocksToTrade today!

Algorithmic Trading

Using a scanner is the first step in having the computer do the heavy lifting for you. If you’re ready to ramp it up with more computing power, check out algorithmic trading.

On the StocksToTrade platform, we offer members our Oracle algorithm. Oracle displays potential long and short trading opportunities in real time with key levels. This is a powerful tool for any trader who’s short on time but wants to be active in the markets.

See how you can harness the high-tech trading power of Oracle here.

Take Advantage of StocksToTrade Features

© StocksToTrade

Yes, the markets are highly competitive, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for traders of all experience levels. Keep up with the competition and use great technology like StocksToTrade.

Here’s a small sample of the robust features you’ll find:

  • Highly customizable charting for a clean view of market action.
  • A massive and growing library of technical indicators.
  • Real-time scanning for news, SEC filings, Twitter buzz, and more.
  • The ability to view nearly every stock traded in the U.S., including OTCs.
  • And more premium features to help you find the best potential stocks to trade.

All these features come in a simple, easy-to-use package to help make your trading day streamlined. Check out the platform now to see for yourself!


Using trading software intelligently is one of the most fundamental and straightforward steps on your trading trek…

There are seemingly endless functions you can run on a trading platform — it can be overwhelming. 

But stick with it and give it time. Practice, practice, practice. Never stop learning.

And if you want additional guidance, join me in the SteadyTrade Team! Now it’s time to load up your trading platform and make it happen.

How do you use trading software in your trades? Leave a comment and let us know!