As a certified technical analyst, investor, and trader with a degree in finance, I take rating investing and trading services seriously. Having poured thousands of hours into using, testing, rating, and reviewing, I have developed our standard scoring methodology.
Different services have different rating factors; for example, an AI trading platform will have different features than a stock screener or a stock picking advisory service. When we conduct a comparison review for software in a niche, we compare only the features for the specific use cases.
Understanding Our 5-Star Rating System
We rate services from 1 to 5 stars to keep our methodology simple.
|[Average of Ratings Below)
|Exceptional score for unique functionality and industry-leading benefits for the user.
|An excellent score demonstrates a great service benefiting many users.
|Average score: functionality exists but is not better than that of competitors.
|Below average rating. The tested functionality requires improvement to be useful.
|Non-existent service or very poor implementation of a concept.
Now, we understand the star rating system. Let’s move on to scoring for individual use cases.
Over the years, we have discovered pricing to be extremely subjective. Rating value for money is in the eye of the beholder. An investor with a high net worth will not worry about spending $250/mo on an auto-trading AI service from Trade Ideas. Comparatively, a beginner investor with $500 might find $7.99 too much for a subscription to Stock Rover. Therefore, our pricing scoring system is based on value for money. Value is the trading advantage, time saved, and unique insights provided versus the subscription cost. Two services may have a similar price point, but if one offers outstanding customer benefits, it has greater value for money.
Our software rating refers to the elegance and power of the platform. Is the software visually stimulating? Is it intuitively designed? Here, we focus on the workflow for the user. Does it fit into the investor’s research and trading process? We assess charting capabilities, customization, data sources, features, and integrations.
This is important. Some investors want to be able to trade directly from stock charts. Our trading score is based on broker integration and direct live trading. Firstly, is direct trading offered through the platform, e.g., can you click on a chart and select buy and place a buy or sell order? If no live trading is available, does the platform integrate with your existing broker to provide profit and loss reporting and portfolio management?
The screening rating factor is specifically for stock selection. A high screening rating will be achieved if the service provides a broad array of screening criteria. For day trading software, the scanning criteria are usually real-time volume, pricing, and indicator screening. For investing software, the screening score is the breadth of financial metrics and the historical data available for backtesting strategies.
News is important for traders and investors. This score factor is based on the quality and speed of news sources provided within the platform. The best platforms provide high-quality real-time financial news, company updates, and analyst rating changes, which will warrant a 5-star rating. Some software will aggregate and categorize delayed news, which is still beneficial. Some services offer no news service whatsoever, which will score low.
The ability to perform serious stock research, in-depth screening, and implement portfolio management techniques is the target of this scoring system. Platforms that provide superior growth, dividend, and value investing screening, research, and analyst reports will score well here. Portfolio management, balancing, and tax loss harvesting will take it to 5 stars.
Social trading and the wisdom of crowds is a growing feature among trading services. TradingView offers a huge social trading community, and Tickeron, for example, polls its users on their sentiments. Other platforms like Finviz offer zero social aspects to their service, essentially offering no community.
The breadth and intelligence of indicators, patterns, and chart types define our charting and analysis ratings. In the past few years, the power of machine learning has started to enhance and automate technical analysis. This means services like TradingView and TrendSpider can provide integrated candlesticks, chart patterns, and trendline recognition. TrendSpider even offers trendlines and indicators on multiple timeframes mapped to a single chart. TradingView can map news stories onto charts, and TrendSpider maps analyst ratings and block trades onto charts. These are incredible developments that affect our ratings.
Pattern recognition is a new rating for cutting-edge trading services. Our research has shown that different chart patterns, candlestick patterns, and indicators have different reliability and success outcomes. So, using machine learning inside your trading software is a distinct advantage. If the pattern recognition category shows up for a platform, this is a good sign; if it is highly rated, you should seriously consider this software.
Technical analysis requires drawing lines connecting points on a chart to form patterns, and Trendline Recognition is the killer feature that automates this process. Having software to map trendlines for you can reduce the time spent doing manual analysis and increase accuracy. This is why we rate this category so high in our rating system.
There are hundreds of candlestick patterns that are difficult to memorize and identify on charts. Each candlestick has a specific probability of success. The ability to automate candlestick recognition and have defined targets for specific candlestick patterns is a huge benefit for traders, which will be rated accordingly.
Backtesting and automation are becoming ever more important, especially given the rise of algorithmic trading. Platforms such as TrendSpider, Trade Ideas, and TrendSpider enable users to develop, test, and deploy automated strategies based on a wide range of indicators and market data. These platforms score well in our ratings for traders wanting to learn how to backtest strategies or code an automated strategy from scratch. Our analysis looks at the capabilities of these platforms both in terms of access to data sources and ease of use when it comes to development tools.
Many trading platforms have backtesting built in, which is a benefit. However, most software like MetaStock or TradingView only allows backtesting using code or script. This is extremely unproductive. New platforms like TrendSpider, Stock Rover, and Portfolio 123 allow users to point and click to create incredibly advanced strategy testing that rivals institutional investors. The code-free backtesting score will rate this feature accordingly.
This score measures the ability of a platform to generate buy and sell signals. Buy and sell signals are rated based on their accuracy and, if possible, the ability to provide a probability of success. For example, Trade Ideas is the king of trade signals, providing real-time day trading signals with pinpoint accuracy. Other platforms like TradingView offer solid signals but not with a probability of success prediction. We also consider how this feature works with backtesting tools, which allows investors to evaluate the efficacy of these signals accurately.
Trading Bots and automated trade execution are becoming the new normal for investors of all levels. This score measures the ability of an online platform to execute trades fast. For example, Trade Ideas has a robotic trade execution feature that requires no manual intervention from the investor. Still, other platforms like TradingView and TrendSpider offer flexible Bot execution through webhooks. We also examine how these bots work with pre-existing strategies and whether they can be tailored.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing investing with the ability to analyze vast amounts of data and learn from it. AI algorithms can identify patterns and make predictions that human traders cannot. Our scoring takes into account a platform’s AI strategies and algorithms, as well as their effectiveness in generating profitable trades.
Traders rely on price action and portfolio alerts to make timely trading decisions. Therefore, we assess how well a platform triggers and delivers relevant alerts. We analyze the types of alerts and how they are delivered: in-app, SMS, and email.
Fees can significantly impact an investor’s profits, especially for those who make frequent trades. We compare the trading fees and commissions across different platforms to help investors choose the most cost-effective option.
When we perform comparison reviews, it is important to understand the key features a service has. These features may be common to other platforms in the same category, but it is helpful for the customer that they are explicitly noted.
In a comparison review, we have the exceptional features listed. This notes the outstanding features that separate the service from its competitors. Exceptional features are those industry-leading innovations worth paying for. For example, Trade Idea’s auto-bot execution, TrendSpider’s Multi-timeframe analysis, or TreadingView’s global exchange data and community.
Usability covers the overall user experience of using the website or app. Does it have a modern look and feel? Is it intuitive and easy to navigate? How fast do pages and charts load? Do you need to spend countless hours learning how the system works, or does it feel simple? Do you need to configure external data sources and constantly worry about data feeds? All these things matter when we evaluate how usable a platform is.
Customer service is important when you are investing your hard-earned capital. How quickly do they respond to customer inquiries? Do they offer support via chat or phone? What about their online knowledgebase resources and tutorial videos? The answers to these questions will affect our overall score for support.
News innovations, features, and benefits are being added to trading software at a breakneck speed. We must keep up with the latest changes and evaluate each platform every six months. Our team is committed to finding the perfect trading software for you. Our clear scoring system makes it simple to find the best platform that suits your needs. Let us help you take control of your investments today!
We look forward to helping you invest with confidence! 📈 🤩
Happy Trading! ✨🚀
Liberated Stock Trader Team 💪🎉