Best Automated Trading Software

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Contributor, Benzinga
September 12, 2023

What if you could take the psychological element out of trading? What if you could trade without becoming a victim of your own emotions? The best automated trading software makes this possible.

Computers give traders the power to automate their moves and take all the emotion out of the deal. By using automated trading software, you can set parameters for potential trades, allocate capital and open or close positions all while you sleep or watch TV.

But automated trading doesn’t guarantee automatic profits. There’s still plenty of risk involved, even when computers do all the work.

Quick Look at the Best Automated Trading Software:

Best Automated Trading Software

Benzinga has selected the best platforms for automated trading based on specific types of securities. Different categories include stocks, options, currencies and binary options.

No matter your trading style, be sure to research and understand what you’re buying. As previously mentioned, automated trading isn’t a golden ticket. You can make money while you sleep, but your platform still requires maintenance. As you select the best platform for your portfolio, remember that you can spread your investments out depending on the performance you prefer, and you might also shift your portfolio to a platform that you feel is doing the best work with your money.

1. Best for All Skill Levels: 3Commas

When you register with 3Commas, you access a crypto trading platform that works for everyone from a novice who doesn’t understand the market to an expert who needs a simpler place to manage their portfolio. The range of tools is massive, and you can learn on the go while trading. 

Those who are experienced can register and connect with as many exchanges as they like, try as many bots as they like and set up a portfolio that serves their chosen strategy. The dashboard is easy to navigate, and you can reach out to the customer service team if you have questions about their tools, resources or bots. It might take a little longer to register, but you can also invest using the mobile app if you’re traveling or just too busy to sit down and “trade” like everyone else.

Pros

  • Because you can start as a beginner or expert, there’s a place for everyone, especially if you’re setting up an account for yourself and a partner or friend
  • With a range of trading bots, you can choose, change and adjust as the market changes

Cons

  • It may take a bit to sign up and get your account going

2. Best for High-Volume Investors: Pionex

Pionex is a massive crypto trading platform that offers 18 unique bots and free registration along with the greatest variety of strategies and results. Each bot takes a different approach to your investment, allowing you to plan for the future, hold over a shorter period of time or turn a quick profit.

The trading fee is the lowest compared to most of the major exchanges. The trading fee is 0.05% for makers and takers.

Low fees at Pionex keep your overhead costs as low as possible. You can email or live chat with the Pionex team, or you can use the mobile app to take your trading on the road. The platform is helpful for aggressive, high-volume traders as well as low-risk, low-volume traders. Best of all, it’s free to join!

Pros

  • Because it’s free to join, it’s much easier to research the app before committing your funds to investing
  • The low trader fee for makers and takers is helpful for every type of investor
  • The customer service team is much easier to reach than other platforms

Cons

  • Some investors may find it difficult to choose the appropriate bot for their investment goals

3. Best for Stocks and ETFs: Interactive Brokers API

  • Securely through Interactive Brokers’ website
    Securely through Interactive Brokers’ website
    Best For:
    Active and Global Traders
    Rating:
    Read Review

New traders will find plenty of educational materials about different products, markets and strategies through its Traders University. Experienced traders can play around with automated systems using Interactive Brokers’ API solutions.

Interactive Brokers API allows users to build their own automated trading systems using popular programming languages like Java, Python and C++. You can connect your program right into Trader Workstation.

For even more sophistication, the FIX CTCI solutions enable super-fast trading by leveraging Interactive Brokers’ high-speed order routing. Trades are executed at the best possible prices, but you’ll pay extra for this service. Required commission minimums for FIX CTCI are $1,500 per month.

Pros

  • Super-fast trading makes it far easier to maintain volume trading strategies
  • Trades are optimized at the best possible prices so that you can save money

Cons

  • While the option to build your own bots is substantial, that may not be optimal for all investors
  • The required commissions for FIX CTCI may seem a bit high

4. Best for Auto Trading: StreetBeat

  • securely through Streetbeat's website
    securely through Streetbeat's website
    Best For:
    Auto Trading
    Rating:

Streetbeat is a fintech firm that is looking to make it easier to invest by mixing fintech innovations and software. Located in Palo Alto, the firm has a mobile app that offers self-trading services and auto trading. 

You can invest in a range of assets like stocks and ETFs, but you can also invest in crypto, allowing the platform to do much of the work for you. The client-focused approach from the firm makes it more palatable for most investors, and it also offers:

  • Functionality for investors of all skill levels
  • Auto trading innovations
  • No trading commissions
  • You can start with as little as $1
  • Generous bonuses
  • Low management fees

Remember, though, as useful as this platform is, your management fees could rise depending on the size of your portfolio. Either way, you get the support you need and can enhance your portfolio without doing all the math on your own.

Pros

  • The bonus programs set up by the platform help you add to your portfolio even more than normal
  • There are no trading commissions, making it far simpler for you to make investing choices and save money
  • The platform uses proprietary, automated investing technology

Cons

  • Management fees could begin to mount as your portfolio gets larger and larger

5. Best for Mobile Users: Plus500

Plus500 is a derivatives broker based in Europe that offers futures trading for a host of traders, especially those who are looking for a better mobile experience. Those who are experienced will find this to be a delightful place to trade, where you can easily buy and sell easily while only paying the spread on each new transaction. 

There may not be as many educational tools as some would prefer, but this is a good place to move your portfolio or start in the futures market after quite a lot of practice and research. And yes, you can use a demo account to get used to the platform without spending your own money.

Pros

  • Futures can be helpful for experts who want to diversify their portfolios
  • The platform makes it easier for advanced traders to hit the ground running

Cons

  • Investors that get deep into futures might find that some are more complex and even riskier than others

6. Best for Automating TradingView and TrendSpider Strategies: TradersPost

TradersPost is an innovative automated trading platform that helps traders automate their stock, options and futures trading strategies from popular charting software like TradingView and TrendSpider. 

Using TradersPost traders can easily connect their strategies to their brokers using webhooks for sending signals, notifications for keeping track of strategies and the ability to trade IRA accounts with automated strategies. 

The platform is also mobile-friendly and has a unified trading UI that makes managing all your trading activities across multiple accounts easy.

Pros

  • You can connect to as many brokers as you need
  • The dashboard is much more unified and makes it easier for you to use a mobile device to trade
  • You can trade in IRAs to enhance your retirement savings

Cons

  • TradersPost might find it difficult to use Webhooks to get signals

7. Best for Swing Traders: Zen Trading Strategies

Zen Trading Strategies offers access to premium Tradingview strategies and indicators. You can try any strategy FREE for 1 week when you sign up on its website.

All of Zen's Tradingview strategies allow you to backtest different ideas on Tradingview, so you can take a look at how your trading idea did over historical data in the past.

Try different trading ideas and customize settings for trend detection, mean reversion, volume, breakouts, momentum and more. You can also set stop losses, take profit, and add additional filters for how and when your trades should enter and exit.

You can see the results visually on your Tradingview chart. You can also see where trades enter and exit, how they do it, how much profit they make, how much money they lose and all kinds of other performance statistics.

Pros

  • There are several more performance statistics available for investors
  • You can look through quite a lot of historical data for each asset
  • Pairing with TradingView gives you better charts, quality information and bright visuals

Cons

  • The free trial may seem short when you are testing out trading strategies

8. Best for Scalping: TradeZero

  • securely through TradeZero's website
    securely through TradeZero's website
    Best For:
    Overall Global Broker for Short Selling
    Rating:
    Read Review

Mobile and desktop trading are easier when you use TradeZero. You can download the app for free or log in using the website. In addition to trading for low or no fees, you can chart and complete technical analysis for any asset you please.

If you want more powerful trading tools, you can step up to a Pro account for $59 per month. You can set automated trades using limits and other parameters that help you hedge against losses. While automated trading is not the primary service at TradeZero, you can automate a few trades as needed.

In addition to powerful trading options, you can reach out to the customer support team 24/7 for assistance with your account.

Pros

  • You can easily switch between devices so that you can invest on the move
  • There are several indicators and analysis tools available to investors
  • You can automate trades as needed

Cons

  • Some investors may not want to pay the $59 monthly fee for a Pro account

What is Automated Trading Software?

Automated trading software is a sophisticated trading platform that uses computer algorithms to monitor markets for certain conditions. A stock market trader using an automated platform can set some initial guidelines for equities, such as volatile small-cap stocks with prices that recently crossed over their 50-day moving average.

Traders also set entry and exit points for their potential positions and then let the computers take over. The automated software can screen for stocks that fit the criteria and execute trades based on the pre-established parameters.

Some of the benefits of automated trading are obvious. Human beings are limited in the number of stocks or currencies they can monitor at a given moment. We only have two eyes, right?

On the other hand, computers can look through different markets and securities with a speed incomprehensible to flesh-and-blood traders. Algorithms can spot a trend reversal and execute a new trade in a fraction of a second.

Automated strategies only work in specific market conditions — they aren’t universal and you’ll need to understand when to deploy them. Additionally, many automated strategies become over-optimized and fail to account for real-world market conditions. Remember, all the backtesting in the world can’t make any one strategy foolproof.

Pros of Automated Trading

Automated trading has a massive upside—it does most of the work for you. If you’re considering using an automated trading platform, these benefits will likely pique your interest.

  • Fast trade execution
  • Sticks to a predetermined strategy and doesn’t deviate
  • Removes stress and emotion
  • Lower transaction costs

Cons of Automated Trading

While automated trading can be highly beneficial as an investment tool, it is not without its faults. Weigh these drawbacks against the benefits of an automated trading system before taking the plunge.

  • Lack of control is difficult for some traders to accept
  • Successful strategies in backtests may falter in real life
  • Easy to over-optimize your strategy
  • Many robots or expert advisors have questionable success rates

What to Look for in Automated Trading Software

The best-automated trading platforms all share a few common characteristics. Keep these features in mind as you choose.

Access to your preferred markets. Automated software doesn’t mean you’ll have access to all markets. For example, MetaTrader 4 can only be used to trade forex products. Make sure you can trade your preferred securities.

Reduced latency. When you use an automated trading platform, there could be a lag between your price quote, the transaction and the completion of that transaction. A proper automated trading system should reduce latency as much as possible, protecting your investments and giving you the same access to the market a floor trader has.

Functional interface. Yes, the computers do much of the heavy lifting, but automated platforms still need to be managed (and adjusted when needed). Choose software with a navigable interface so you can make changes on the fly.

Industry-standard programming language. If you really want a unique strategy, you’ll need to program it yourself. Programming language use varies from platform to platform. In the case of MetaTrader 4, some languages are only used on specific software.

Detailed price histories for backtesting. Charts are critical to performing backtests, so make sure your platform has detailed backtesting that can be used across multiple timeframes.

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Choose the Best Automated Trading Software Today

Automated trading software can simplify your life in a number of ways, but it’s still critical to learn and understand why trades are being made. Even the most sophisticated automated system will need maintenance and tweaking during certain market conditions. As you make your choice, be sure you keep your investment goals in mind.

What types of securities are you comfortable trading? How much capital can you invest in an automated system? The computers might do the trading for you, but you’ll be the one who feels pain if things go awry. Do your research, choose tools that are just right for you and prepare for the future with an automated trading platform.

Q

Does automated trading make money?

A

No form of investing is guaranteed to make money, but automated strategies are designed to enhance the performance of your portfolio.

Q

Do you need to know how to code to set up automated trading software?

A

No, you don’t need to know how to code to set up automated trading. However, there are automated trading platforms that allow you to create custom strategies that may require coding.

Q

What automated trading software should I use?

A

You should choose automated trading software that fits your needs. Check out the list above for Benzinga’s recommendations.

About Dan Schmidt

Dan has written about a wide range of topics including stocks and investing, cryptocurrencies, banking, student loans, and credit cards.