Stock Trading Tools For Beginners

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As the world of investing evolves, the tools we use to navigate it have undergone a revolutionary transformation. Stock trading, once the preserve of professional brokers on Wall Street, has been democratized by technology. Today, we can tap into the global financial markets from the comfort of our own homes, armed with a myriad of stock trading tools designed to help us make informed decisions and maximize our investment potential.

From comprehensive research platforms offering real-time data and expert analysis to advanced trading software, these tools serve as valuable allies in an investor’s journey. Whether you are a seasoned trader or an investment novice, these resources empower you to make strategic decisions, manage risk, and take control of your financial future.

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of stock trading tools, shedding light on their diverse capabilities and applications. We’ll explore the vital role these tools play in today’s investing landscape and how they can elevate your trading experience, regardless of your level of expertise. Get ready to delve into the critical tools you need to enhance your trading strategy, grow your portfolio, and navigate the ever-dynamic stock market with confidence and precision.



Commission-Free Trades: The most significant advantage of Robinhood is its promise of free trades. The platform does not charge any commission for buying or selling stocks, options, or cryptocurrencies. This fee structure has upended traditional brokerage models and is particularly beneficial for smaller investors, who can’t easily absorb trading costs. By eliminating commission costs, Robinhood has made investing more accessible to a broader demographic.

Ease of Use: Robinhood’s user interface is simple, clean, and intuitive. It has been designed with novice investors in mind. The sign-up and investment process is straightforward, and you can start trading within minutes of creating an account. The app also offers a variety of easy-to-understand educational resources, making it an excellent tool for beginner investors who are still learning about the market.

Fractional Shares: Robinhood allows users to buy fractional shares, which means investors can purchase stocks that they might not otherwise afford. This feature democratizes the stock market, allowing novice or small investors to participate in the financial success of high-priced companies like Amazon or Google.

Extended Trading Hours: Robinhood provides extended trading hours to its customers. They can trade during the standard hours, pre-market from 9:00 am to 9:30 am EST, and after hours from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm EST. This extended access can allow traders to respond more swiftly to news or events that occur outside of standard trading hours.


Customer Service: One significant disadvantage of Robinhood is its lack of robust customer service. The platform primarily relies on email support and has limited phone support, which is not readily available. This lack of real-time, personal assistance can be frustrating for traders, particularly in volatile markets when issues or questions arise.

Limited Investment Products: Robinhood offers a limited range of investment products. For instance, you can’t trade foreign stocks directly, and there’s no option for mutual funds or bonds. If you’re an investor looking for a wide range of investment opportunities, Robinhood might not meet your needs.

Lack of Robust Tools and Research: While Robinhood’s simplicity is an advantage for new investors, it can be a disadvantage for more experienced traders. The platform lacks advanced trading tools and in-depth research options found in more established platforms. It doesn’t offer complex order types, like trailing stop loss orders. Also, the analysis and research options are relatively basic, making it less suitable for advanced investors.

Outages and Technical Issues: Robinhood has been subject to several prominent outages and technical issues. During times of high market volatility, the platform has previously crashed, preventing users from making trades. This unreliability can be a significant issue for traders, particularly those trading time-sensitive options or during market volatility.

Regulatory and Legal Concerns: Robinhood has faced legal and regulatory challenges. It has been accused of not adequately communicating the risks of trading to its users, leading to regulatory scrutiny and lawsuits. These issues may undermine trust in the platform, an essential element for a financial institution.

Payment for Order Flow: Robinhood makes money through a controversial practice known as “payment for order flow,” where it sells its orders to high-speed trading firms. Critics argue this can lead to a conflict of interest and may result in less favorable trade execution for users



Commission-Free Trades: Like Robinhood, Webull offers commission-free trading, allowing users to trade stocks, options, and ETFs without incurring any cost per trade. This business model has disrupted traditional brokerage services, making investing more accessible to the masses.

Robust Trading Tools: Webull offers a robust suite of tools and features for a free platform. The app includes real-time market data, technical indicators, an economic calendar, and advanced charting capabilities. These tools are handy for both new and seasoned traders, providing insights that can inform trading strategies.

Extended Trading Hours: Webull provides an extended trading window, allowing users to trade pre-market from 4:00 am to 9:30 am EST, and after-hours from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm EST. This extended window gives traders more flexibility and the ability to respond to market-moving news outside the standard trading hours.

Educational Resources: Webull offers a variety of educational materials and a trading simulator, allowing users to practice trading with virtual money. This feature is an excellent tool for beginners who want to learn about investing without risking their capital.

IRA Accounts: Unlike many of its competitors, Webull offers Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). You can open a traditional, Roth, or rollover IRA on the platform, providing more investment options and the potential for tax advantages.


Complex Interface: Webull’s advanced features can be a double-edged sword. The platform’s interface is more complex than that of some of its competitors, like Robinhood. The wealth of features and information might be overwhelming to beginner investors.

Customer Service: Similar to many online brokerages, Webull has received criticism for its customer service. While they offer 24/7 support through email, live chat, and phone, some users report slow response times and inadequate assistance.

No Fractional Shares: Unlike some of its competitors, Webull does not currently offer fractional shares. This limitation means you need to purchase whole shares, which can be a barrier to entry for smaller investors interested in high-priced stocks.

Limited Investment Products: Although Webull offers a wider range of investment products than some competitors, it still has limitations. For example, it does not offer mutual funds or bonds. Furthermore, its options trading is less robust than some more established brokerages.

Desktop Platform Instability: Some users have reported issues with Webull’s desktop platform, including glitches and occasional crashes. While the mobile app generally receives high marks, the instability of the desktop platform can be a potential downside for those who prefer trading on a larger screen.

Payment for Order Flow: Like Robinhood, Webull makes money through “payment for order flow,” a practice in which it sells its orders to third-party high-speed trading firms. Critics argue this could lead to a conflict of interest and potentially result in less favorable trade execution for customers.

TD Ameritrade:

TD Ameritrade is a large, well-established brokerage firm that offers a wide array of investment options. The company provides a comprehensive suite of tools, resources, and services that cater to a variety of investment strategies. However, like all trading platforms, it has its strengths and weaknesses. This essay will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using TD Ameritrade for trading.


Wide Array of Investment Options: One of the most significant advantages of TD Ameritrade is its extensive range of investment options. In addition to stocks, ETFs, and options, the platform offers futures, forex, mutual funds, bonds, and IPOs. This wide array of choices caters to diverse investing strategies and can enable sophisticated portfolio construction.

Comprehensive Research and Tools: TD Ameritrade offers a wealth of research resources and trading tools. Users have access to independent third-party research from companies like Morningstar and CFRA, in addition to the firm’s in-house analysis. The platform also provides robust charting capabilities, screeners, and advanced order types. For options traders, the thinkorswim platform offers advanced analytical tools.

Educational Resources: TD Ameritrade’s educational offerings are among the best in the industry. The platform provides comprehensive resources for learning about investing, including articles, videos, webcasts, and even virtual investment workshops. These resources can help both beginner and advanced traders refine their strategies and improve their knowledge.

No-Commission Trades: Following the trend set by Robinhood and Webull, TD Ameritrade now offers commission-free trading on stocks, ETFs, and options (though a per-contract fee applies to options). This change has made the platform more competitive for frequent traders who are cost-conscious.

Strong Customer Service: TD Ameritrade is known for its strong customer service. The firm offers 24/7 phone support, and clients can also seek help via email, live chat, and even in-person at one of the firm’s local branches.


Platform Complexity: While TD Ameritrade’s wealth of tools and features is a benefit for advanced traders, it can be overwhelming for beginners. The thinkorswim platform, in particular, has a steep learning curve. New investors might find the platform’s complexity daunting and difficult to navigate.

Fees for Some Services: Although TD Ameritrade offers no-commission trades for stocks, ETFs, and options, it does charge fees for some services. For instance, trading mutual funds outside the no-transaction-fee program will cost you. Also, the platform charges a per-contract fee for options trading, which can add up for high-volume traders.

No Fractional Shares: Unlike some newer brokerage platforms, TD Ameritrade does not currently offer the ability to buy fractional shares. This limitation could be a barrier for investors with smaller portfolios who want to invest in high-priced stocks.

Forex and Futures Trading Costs: For investors interested in forex and futures trading, TD Ameritrade’s fees are higher compared to some specialized brokers.


Fidelity Investments is one of the most prominent and well-established brokerage firms in the world. With an extensive suite of services and tools, it offers a comprehensive trading experience to its users. This essay will examine the benefits and drawbacks of using Fidelity for trading.


Comprehensive Research and Analysis: Fidelity provides extensive research resources, including both proprietary and third-party insights. Their research tools include advanced charting, expert analysis, stock screening, and access to a wide array of research firms like Reuters and Ned Davis. These resources can empower traders to make informed investment decisions.

Diverse Investment Options: Fidelity offers a broad range of investment options, including stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options, and more. This diversity provides the flexibility for investors to construct a well-rounded portfolio tailored to their specific goals and risk tolerance.

High-Quality Customer Service: Fidelity is renowned for its excellent customer service. Users can get help 24/7 via phone, email, or live chat. Additionally, Fidelity operates a network of local branches where customers can get in-person assistance.

Commission-Free Trades and Low Fees: Fidelity offers commission-free trading for stocks, ETFs, and options. They also have an extensive list of no-transaction-fee mutual funds. For options, there is no base commission, but a small per-contract fee applies. Overall, Fidelity’s pricing structure is quite competitive.

Fractional Shares: Fidelity allows users to purchase fractional shares of stocks and ETFs. This feature makes it possible for small investors to invest in high-priced stocks with as little as $1.

Robust Trading Platforms: Fidelity offers a range of trading platforms suited to different types of traders. Active Trader Pro, their desktop platform, offers advanced features like customizable charting, advanced order types, and real-time analytics. The Fidelity mobile app, while less advanced, is user-friendly and offers a good range of features for trading on the go.


Complex User Interface: Fidelity’s wealth of features and data can lead to a steep learning curve, particularly for beginners. The user interface, especially on the Active Trader Pro platform, can be complex and overwhelming to navigate.

Limited Global Trading: While Fidelity does offer access to international stocks, the options are more limited compared to some other platforms. For example, direct investments in emerging markets are generally not available.

Higher Margin Rates: For traders interested in borrowing to invest, Fidelity’s margin rates can be higher than some competitors. While this won’t affect all traders, those looking to use margin should carefully compare rates.

Inactivity Fees for Some Accounts: Certain types of Fidelity accounts, such as their Full View service, can come with inactivity fees. These fees don’t apply to most standard brokerage accounts but could be a downside for some users.

Limited Cryptocurrency Options: As of my knowledge cut-off in September 2021, Fidelity does not offer cryptocurrency trading. If you’re interested in trading crypto, you’ll need to use a different platform.

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab is one of the largest and most reputable brokerage firms in the United States. The platform offers a range of services and resources to meet the needs of diverse investors. In the following essay, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of using Charles Schwab for trading


Extensive Range of Investment Options: Charles Schwab offers a wide variety of investment options. Users can trade stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, futures, options, and more. This breadth of options allows investors to build diversified portfolios and explore different investment strategies.

Robust Research Tools: Charles Schwab provides a wealth of research resources to support informed investment decisions. These include proprietary research, third-party reports, and a comprehensive suite of analytical tools. Traders also have access to Schwab’s Stock Screener and ETF Screener, which can assist in identifying potential investment opportunities.

No-Commission Trades and Low Fees: Charles Schwab offers commission-free trading on stocks, ETFs, and options. They also have an extensive list of no-transaction-fee mutual funds. For options, there is no base commission, but a nominal per-contract fee applies.

Exceptional Customer Service: Charles Schwab is known for its high-quality customer service. The firm offers 24/7 phone support, live chat, email, and has a network of branches throughout the United States for in-person assistance.

Strong Educational Resources: Schwab offers a robust selection of educational materials for investors of all levels. These resources include articles, videos, webinars, and even live workshops, all designed to enhance investor knowledge and understanding.

High-Quality Trading Platforms: Schwab offers several trading platforms, including the user-friendly, the advanced StreetSmart Edge for seasoned traders, and a mobile app for trading on the go. Each platform offers a range of features to support different trading needs.


Platform Complexity: While Schwab’s advanced trading tools and resources are beneficial for experienced traders, they can be overwhelming for beginners. The StreetSmart Edge platform, in particular, has many features that could be challenging for new traders to navigate.

Minimum Investment for Robo-Advisor: Charles Schwab’s robo-advisor, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, requires a minimum investment of $5,000. This threshold could be a barrier for some beginning investors.

Limited Direct International Trading: Although Schwab provides access to international markets, trading non-U.S. stocks directly is limited. For some investors interested in global diversification, this could be a downside.

Fees for Some Services: While many of Schwab’s services are free, there are fees for some features. For instance, broker-assisted trades incur a fee, and there are also charges for trading mutual funds not on the no-transaction-fee list.

No Fractional Shares: Unlike some other brokerages, Charles Schwab does not offer the ability to buy fractional shares. This can make investing in high-priced stocks more difficult for smaller investors.


ETRADE is a well-known online brokerage platform, recognized for its range of investment offerings and robust trading tools. Catering to both the novice investor and the seasoned trader, ETRADE’s various features offer both advantages and disadvantages. This essay will delve into the pros and cons of using E*TRADE for trading


Diverse Investment Options: E*TRADE provides a broad array of investment options, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, futures, and options. This variety provides a significant benefit for those looking to diversify their investment portfolio.

Robust Trading Platforms: ETRADE offers three trading platforms – ETRADE Web, Power ETRADE, and ETRADE Pro. ETRADE Web caters to the needs of everyday investors, providing fundamental features for trading. Power ETRADE, the platform’s browser and mobile-based system, is ideal for options trading, offering advanced charting capabilities. E*TRADE Pro, the desktop platform, is geared toward active traders and offers high-end tools and features.

Commission-Free Trading: E*TRADE follows the industry trend of offering commission-free trading on U.S. stocks, ETFs, and options. For options, there’s a small per-contract fee, but there’s no base commission, making it accessible for frequent traders.

Research and Tools: E*TRADE users have access to comprehensive research from third-party providers, including TipRanks, Moody’s, and Morningstar. Their screening tools for stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds can help investors filter choices based on their specific criteria.

Education and Resources: E*TRADE provides an extensive library of educational resources, including articles, videos, webinars, and tutorials. They also offer a paper trading feature that allows beginners to practice their strategies with virtual money before diving into real trading.


Platform Complexity: ETRADE’s platforms, particularly Power ETRADE and E*TRADE Pro, offer numerous advanced features that can be overwhelming for beginners. While they offer versatility for seasoned traders, the platforms may pose a steep learning curve for novices.

Limited International Trading: E*TRADE allows trading in the U.S. market and a few international markets via American Depository Receipts (ADRs), but it doesn’t offer direct access to international stock exchanges. This limitation could be a disadvantage for those interested in global trading.

Fees for Some Services: Despite its commission-free trading for stocks, ETFs, and options, E*TRADE does charge fees for certain services. For instance, buying mutual funds outside the no-transaction-fee program incurs a fee, and broker-assisted trades also come with a cost.

No Fractional Shares: As of my last update in September 2021, E*TRADE doesn’t offer fractional shares. This could be a disadvantage for those who wish to invest smaller amounts in high-priced stocks.

Customer Service: While E*TRADE offers customer service via phone, email, and live chat, some users have reported long wait times and mixed experiences with the quality of service. Although it isn’t a universal experience, it is worth noting.

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