While we can’t promise to turn you into the Wolf Of Wall Street, we can show you the best stock trading software for Mac to set you on your way. Stock market trading software for home users has come a long way in a short time and if you know what you’re doing, you can make good money from the comfort of your Mac desktop on stock broker sites such as OptionsHouse, eToro and SureTrader. The days are long gone when you needed a stock broker to do the trading for you but the right trading software to help you analyze market trends and movements can make the difference between success and failure. To do things right though, you need stock charting software for Mac and there are now some excellent applications for OS X that are easy to use and aren’t expensive. If you’re a home trader or a serious investor wanting to trade or do technical analysis of stocks, options, bonds and Fore
- 1 Mac Trading Software v Online Trading
- 2 Watch Out For Java
- 3 All In One Multi-Asset Solutions For Mac
- 4 Trade With Caution
- 5 Best Online Trading Brokers
- 6 Best Stock Trading Software For Mac
- 6.1 TradingView (Free/Pro $9.95+ per month)
- 6.2 Tradable (Free but requires in-app purchases)
- 6.3 Mastock ($64.99 Mac App Store)
- 6.4 StockMarketEye For Mac ($99.95)
- 6.5 ProTA ($99 1 Year / $299 4 Years)
- 6.6 StockSpy (Free Mac App Store. $19.99 StockSpy Pro)
- 6.7 TC2000
- 6.8 SystemTrader ($149 but discontinued)
- 6.9 Trendsetter Software
- 7 Conclusion
Mac Trading Software v Online Trading
Stock trading software that you can use on Mac falls into two types – those that install as standalone applications on your Mac and those that are cloud based or online and work in your browser. Most stock trading software for Mac doesn’t actually allow you to trade online – it’s simply to help you analyze market data and make better trades. You need to sign-up with an online trading broker such as OptionsHouse, eToro or SureTrader in order to actually trade which we’ll look at in more detail shortly. These brokers set commissions for trades and prices vary. Most offer bigger discounts the more you trade and some like OptionsHouse even allow you to trade free for 60 days to help you test the water first. Alternatively, you can open a margin account with some traders which allows you to borrow from the broker. The lower the margin rate, the better and you’ll find that this rate will decrease the more you borrow.
We’ve focused here by looking at the best stock trading software applications that are designed for Mac or have Mac clients. However, we have also included some of the biggest and most popular online trading platforms at the end of this article. Although such online trading software usually offers more features and variation in what you can trade, they usually don’t offer a very “Mac-like” experience (although Tradeable is the notable exception to this). There are some online trading platforms such as Forex On The Go that offer a browser extension for Safari but they are still web-based trading systems with no Mac desktop program.
The advantage of desktop trading software is that it’s usually much easier to customize for your specific needs whereas online trading software is configured by the provider in terms of what information you can import or export, interface layout, tab locations etc. Trading software on Mac also doesn’t require a browser of course but you’ll still need to be online in order to connect to real-time market data.
Watch Out For Java
Be warned that there are a lot of trading platforms out there that claim to be “for mac” but in reality are web or Java apps (more on this below). Some trading software such as Thinkorswim by Ameritrade claim to be “for Mac” but is actually based on Java and we don’t recommend any apps that are based on Java for several reasons. The main one is that Java is a notoriously unstable and unsafe platform on Mac and you should only install it if you really have to. Apple is increasingly distancing itself from Java until eventually, it probably won’t be supported on Mac at all. It can also be a horrible platform to use with frequent crashes, unresponsiveness and is generally a pain to use. Finally, Java can never be fully installed from a Mac because it installs deep in OS X so think twice before installing trading software based on Java. We have made an exception to this rule for Tradable because the desktop client is not Java based but some of the plugins for it are.
All In One Multi-Asset Solutions For Mac
Currently there is no multi-asset stock trading software designed specifically for Macs as such software requires a lot of investment and development time and the relatively small Mac market doesn’t merit it yet. So if you want software that covers stocks, options, bonds and Forex all in one application on Mac, you won’t find it and you may be better to go for an online based stock trading app such as OptionsHouse or SureTrader. However, if you just need something that can handle Forex, Metals, Commodities and Indices, all the stock trading software featured here support these on Mac.
Trade With Caution
Most online trading platforms display clear warnings that you should only trade with funds you can afford to lose. We’ve noticed that such warnings are less common with stock trading software but it goes without saying that you should always trade with caution. Don’t get caught into the trap of chasing losses or opening margins that are larger than you can afford. The best trading software for Macs and online allow you to configure stop-loss limits that automatically stop or block trades once the market has reached a certain level. We strongly recommend using these limits as chasing your losses can be a very rapid downward spiral which can quickly get out of hand as infamous British trader Nick Leeson found out to his cost when chasing losses on the futures market brought down an entire bank.
As a rule of thumb, stocks and retirement funds are generally less risky than options, futures and Forex because the latter are based on speculation of future performance rather than current face value. Of course, the payoff is also higher with such trades because the risk is much greater.
Best Online Trading Brokers
As stated earlier, the trading software for Mac featured in this article is mainly for analyzing market trends to help you in your trading decisions. To actually start trading in stocks and shares, you’ll need to sign-up with an online brokerage platform first. These platforms allow you to trade in real-time and make their money from commissions they charge on trades. Most offer a free trial or demo account to before you actually start trading with real money. There are literally hundreds of online trading platforms out there but here are 5 of the best. After this overview of the best online stock trading sites, we’ll look at the best stock trading software for Mac to help you get the most out of them.
OptionsHouse is a slick and powerful online stocks, options and futures trading platform that offers one of the most complete platforms for online traders. The main selling point of OptionsHouse is that it covers a huge range of stock trading areas, it’s well presented and designed, easy to use for beginners and it offers very competitive trading rates compared to most online trading software. For example, Stock trades are charged at a flat fee of $4.95 per trade and Options at just 50 cents per contract which is one of the cheapest on the market. As a result of its popularity and pricing, OptionsHouse has been consistently voted by Barrons as one of the best platforms for options traders.
The range of trading possible with OptionsHouse is impressive covering Stocks, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs and Bonds. Most recently, it has also added Futures trading with the ability to see Futures contract prices in real-time, see depth of market and working orders.
Whichever area you choose to trade in, you can trade, cancel or modify orders easily and see your current position, gains, losses and cost basis clearly at all times. The main dashboard is quite well organized with charted movement in the middle and market symbols along the right hand side. Positions, gains and losses are clearly displayed down the left-hand side of the interface.
OptionsHouse certainly has some very powerful market analysis tools to help you trade but it definitely helps if you have some experience in stocks and options trading to understand and get the most out of. However, if you can master it, OptionsHouse analytical tools offer real-time market data, speedy executions of trades but most importantly, allow you to identify opportunities that you would otherwise miss. OptionsHouse can also evaluate risk v reward, show you different outcomes based on different market scenarios and alert you to potential profitable trades.
If you’re willing to invest a bit of time, OptionsHouse is an extremely powerful trading tool. You can try OptionsHouse commission free for 60 days and get $1000 of commission free trades when you open a new account to judge whether it’s the right trading software for you.
eToro is a unique stock trading platform which uses a “CopyTrader” system that allows you to copy the trades of expert traders. It’s an excellent starting point for anyone new to trading as you effectively earn and learn at the same time. You can copy just individual trades or entire portfolios of the most successful traders. This social trading network doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to make money but it does mean that your trades are more likely to succeed and provides a guiding hand for beginners. A bonus is that you also earn commission on traders that copy you through the Popular Investor Program – hence the incentive to be one of the most successful traders on the network. eToro allows you to trade in Currencies, Indices and Commodities (CFDs). eToro is based in Cyprus and claims to have around 4.5 million traders and is regulated under European law with all funds kept in European banks.
eToro is certainly one of the best trading software for beginners on Mac, the social aspect to eToro makes it very suitable for trading novices. Trading costs for eToro vary on a daily basis and you can check the latest rates on the Spreads and Fees here. You also get a sign-up welcome bonus of up to $1000 depending on how much you invest with.
Plus500 is a Cypriot web-based trading platform which like markets.com offers trading on Forex, Stocks, Shares, Commodities, Indices, CFDs and ETFs. Although there is a Windows desktop application, Mac users can use the web app. There’s also a Plus500 Android app which has been downloaded between 1-5 million timed according to the Google Play store with an average rating of 4.2 out of 5. However, such ratings and figures should be taken with a pinch of salt as pointed out by the Financial Times when it looked at the methods online stock trading sites use to promote themselves. Plus500 allows you to trade with a free demo account until you are comfortable trading. Plus500 is also the official sponsor of Atletico Madrid in Spain’s La Liga.
TD Ameritrade is one of the biggest US-based stock brokerage sites with no trade minimums and a charge of $9.99 per online stock trade (which is roughly double that of OptionsHouse). Ameritrade features useful tools such as a Heat Map to pinpoint market strengths and weaknesses, Stock Watch Lists, Independent Market Research, CNBC integration and idea generation tool to help you come-up with new ideas for trades. One thing we like about Ameritrade is that it’s surprisingly customizable for an online trading platform. The “My Dock” feature allows you to add 4 columns of streaming data that stay with you as you navigate the site, and to a certain extend, you can structure the interface to your liking. Ameritrade is a highly accomplished trading platform that also offers a 60 day commission free trial.
SureTrader is a Bahamas-based online stock trading platform that’s a division of Swiss America Securities Ltd and more limited than both Markets.com and Plus500. Sure Trader charges $4.95 per trade of 1000 shares and $1 on options trade contracts but you can get $50 of free trades when you sign-up for a new account although the minimum deposit is $500. You can also get 6:1 intraday and 2:1 overnight leverage on marginal securities. Alternatively you can try a free $100,000 demo account although the download link they send you is for the Windows client so Mac users have to use SureTrader ActiveWeb which is the web interface and works on all platforms.
Markets.com is another Cypriot based online trading platform which supports trading in Shares, Forex, Stocks and Commodity CFCDs. Markets.com is know for its in-depth charts and technical analysis tools and it also allows you to trade for free with a demo account until you feel comfortable trading. Markets.com offers 3 types of account: Classic ($100 minimum deposit), Standard ($2500 minimum deposit) and Premium ($20,000 minimum deposit). All accounts feature daily market analysis, webinars and tutorials and offer both desktop and mobile trading (via the web app). Standard includes a dedicated account manager, premium daily analysis and SMS alerts. Premium features all of the above plus Premium 24/7 customer support. Market.com includes useful features such as stop-loss, take profit, entry limit plus entry stop orders. There is no commission charged on transfers or withdrawals from your account. Markets.com is also an official sponsor of Arsenal Football Club.
Best Stock Trading Software For Mac
Once you’ve signed-up with one of the above stock trading sites, you can then start looking at stock trading software to help you make better trading decisions. Here’s our lowdown on the best stock trading software for Mac users.
TradingView is a community driven and powerful web based charting software that’s also used by Tradeable.com (see review below) for charting stock markets on both Mac and PC. TradingView is a mix of social networking and stock trading which makes it extremely accessible for beginners to stock charting on Mac. TradingView has risen from just a few thousand users in 2012 to over one million users today and is a very visual based stock tracking platform which is all about charts, charts and more charts. The charts however are generated by its many users thus harnessing the knowledge and experience of hundreds of thousands of traders to help other users get greater insights into market trends and developments.
TradingView is very much about connecting traders and allows users to message each other and exchange ideas on trades and market movements. TradingView is highly respected and utilized across the stock trading industry illustrated by the fact that sites such as Tradeable.com and Investopedia integrate it into their services. As a result, it’s user-base is probably significantly higher than the one million plus direct subscribers it already has.
The impressive thing is that the majority of TradingView is free to use. You simply sign-up for full access to the TradingView community and its charts. There are Pro, Pro+ and Premium plans starting at $9.95 per month which remove all ads and provide faster data, more real-time features, more intraday reports and more charts per tab but most users will be get most of what they need in the free version. Feeds for NASDAQ, NYSE and NYMEX also cost a bit extra per month.
Tradable (Free but requires in-app purchases)
Tradable is actually a web-based trading software that has been built to work on both Mac and PC but it’s clear from the crisp interface and feel that it’s designed with Mac users in mind. Tradable has been called “the iTunes of trading software” and it’s clear why because although it’s free to use, you add elements to it by purchasing them from a plugin store similar to the Mac App Store. Note however that some of these plugins are Java based and so you’ll require Java to install them which as stated earlier, we don’t recommend unless you really have to on Mac. Tradable looks as good as any stock market software available for Mac and harnesses the power of other trading tools to enhance its use.
There is a lot of both sub-standard and downright dodgy trading software on the Mac App Store and it’s generally not the best place to find decent trading software for Mac. Mastock however is an exception to that and is easily the most popular Mac day trading software and is suitable for both beginners and serious traders. Mastock costs a bit more upfront than most trading apps on Mac but you get a hell of a lot for that. With most charting software, you’re required to purchase add-ons to connect it to external data and sources such as Yahoo end of day data in order to retrieve the specific financial information you want but Mastrock allows you to do all of this for free plus it will update data feeds for free and as frequently as you ask it to.
The other thing about Mastock is that it’s generally easy to use which certainly isn’t a true for a lot of trading software on Mac although there is a certain learning curve with any trading software. You can customize the interface to look exactly how you want and there’s an extensive user guide and video tutorials if you get stuck at any stage. There are several different charts, overlays and graphs to monitor data and you can also create customized indicators for specific things you want Mastock to monitor. By all accounts, the developer is also very responsive to any problems or issues that users have which again, isn’t always the case with financial software on Mac. For instant tracking of stocks, shares and indices, Mastock is definitely one the best TA charting software for Mac available.
At $64.99, it’s the most expensive charting app for Mac but you should find you’ll soon make more money by improving your Stock Trading and reducing your risk by using Mastock to create strategies for entry and exits. If you’re not sure whether to take the plunge with Mastock you can also download a free demo. There’s also a Lite version of Mastock which costs $24.99 from the Mac App Store but lacks support for things such as Investments, Put/Calls, Multi Currency Portfolios and Custom Indicators. If you’re intending on trading seriously, you’ll need the full version to get the best out of Mastock.
StockMarketEye is an impressive portfolio tracking tool that uses dynamic price charts to help you gain a better perspective on market movements. Note that StockMarketEye is not designed for day traders because it does not provide real time integrated trading but it’s certainly an excellent tool for getting a holistic overview of the market and then using other software to actually trade with. StockMarketEye is cross-platform so it has a Mac, iOS, PC and Linux desktop client and like most good trading apps, StockMarketEye supports visualization in Line Charts, Mountain Charts, Candlestick Charts and OHLC Charts. You can choose EOD (End-of-Date) charts for a longer term perspective or 1 & 5 day intra-day charts for a shorter term perspective.
StockMarketEye is one of the better Forex trading software available for Mac as it supports tracking of stocks, ETFs and mutual funds on all of the world’s major exchanges. The interface is modern, uncluttered and generally very easy to use with a simple and clear user guide. There are also instructions how to import portfolios from different brokerages such as Etrade, Vanguard and several others. You can receive alerts for stock and portfolio tracking, can connect to your bank account and is also integrated with the iPad and iPhone version of StockMarketEye.
For small time traders, StockMarketEye is an excellent and easy to use tracking and technical analysis application. StockMarketEye used to be available from the Mac App Store for $59.99 but the developer has now removed it from the store and you can only buy StockMarketEye from the developer for $99.95 with which you get a 30 day money back guarantee and fast updates. You can also try a 30 day free trial of StockMarketEye. Note that there is a separate download for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.
ProTA is one of the most established stock market software for Mac and technical analysis software packages for Mac having been around for over 20 years. ProTA is designed specifically for Mac and it shows because it’s certainly has one of the best looking interfaces of any trading software for OS X. ProTA is aimed at both beginners and seasoned traders and among the many features are more than 100 indicators, line studies, smartlists, chart templates and trading systems. You can also customize ProTA using something called ProTAscript which allows you to create your own customized screens, analytics and trading systems. Like Mastock, ProTA uses Yahoo Finance to extract end of day financial data and continuously updates data automatically to make sure you’re making trading decisions based on the latest figures. You can import your own Excel data, drill-down tickers to analyze market data and create your own rules for data tracking although you’ll need to read the 200 page ProTA user guide to get a grip on how ProTA’s own formula based programming language works. You can download a free trial of ProTA which is unlimited in use but is limited to a certain number of tickers but you can unlock everything by upgrading to a full one year license for $99 or $299 for a four-year license. A lot of thought has gone into both the design and features of ProTA and it’s a trading software that will definitely appeal to those that like their software fully tailored for OS X without skimping on power and features.
StockSpy is a free stock tracking tool for Mac that’s designed for technical analysis of stock movements and trends. It’s not actually a stock trading platform but it’s a useful tool to aid you in decision-making. You can’t expect much from a free trading software on Mac but nevertheless StockSpy is particularly good at tracking the connection between news events and stock movements. It allows you to import and link RSS feeds related to the stocks you trade-in and follow. StockSpy has a NewsChart feature which shows the historical link between stocks and news events. As long as the news site of your choice has an RSS feed – which is pretty much every site nowadays – you can import it into StockSpy and observe which news events drive stocks. Note that there is sometimes a delay in when stocks update with StockSpy which can be quite annoying. It can also be quite unstable when clicking on news links as we found it tends to crash sometimes when trying to open a news feed. We recommend trying the free version of StockSpy first and then upgrading to StockSpy Pro for $19.99 if you’re happy with it.
There’s also a StockSpy iPhone app which syncs with the Mac version which costs an extra $9.99 and allows you to track and monitor stocks and news on the move.
TC2000 is a multi platform real-time charting software for Mac which includes an OS X desktop client, although it’s not very easy to find. The first thing to be aware of is that TC2000 requires Microsoft Silverlight plugin which isn’t as bad as Java but can be notoriously unreliable on Mac as many Netflix users have found to their cost. You first need to click on this link, then accept the Silverlight plugin prompt and then from the login screen, select the button that says “Install to my Mac” at the bottom. There are some advantages to installing the desktop version although it’s questionable whether they are really worth it as there’s no getting away from the fact that TC2000 is basically a browser-based trading software. You can find full TV2000 install instructions for Mac here.
Because it’s web-based, TC2000 is one of the least good-looking trading apps for Mac but it’s certainly one of the most professional. TC2000 can scan your charts based on any indicator with your parameters although the interface can feel quite overwhelming at first compared to other stock software featured here. TC2000 is packed with charting features including OHLC, HLC, Line, Bar and Candlestick plot styles. You can scan, sort and receive alerts from over 1100 pre configured and automatically updated system lists and indexes and add your own personal watchlists. Scanning is pretty fast and TC2000 is updated very frequently with market data.
There are plenty of tutorials and training videos and you’ll have to spend quite a bit of time studying them before you can get going. You can choose between a Gold and Platinum version costing $29.99 or $89.99 per month respectively or one payment of $299 and $899 per year respectively and comes with a 100% money back guarantee after 30 days. This is pretty steep compared to some of the other software here and TC2000 definitely feels a bit dated but there’s no doubting that any trading software that’s been around for over 20 years can’t be bad.
SystemTrader ($149 but discontinued)
SystemTrader is a powerful accounting software for Mac created by a small French developer. It’s a bit dated nowadays but still has a very complete feature set including support for data retrieval from Yahoo Finance, MSN Money Central and Google Finance. However, SystemTrader doesn’t support futures, options or Forex trading and only support data from stock indices. A lot of work has clearly gone into SystemTrader and the well thought out interactive user guide is easy to follow. The only problem is that as of 25th August 2015, it’s no longer possible to purchase SystemTrader. You can still download a 30 day free trial but until if and when sales are resumed, it’s hard to recommend SystemTrader as a trading software on Mac.
Trendsetter Software develop a range dated stock trading apps for Mac, namely Personal Analyst, Personal Hotline, Pro Analyst and HotlineX. You can see the difference between them all in this comparison table and prices range from free for Personal Analyst to $389 for HotlineX. Trendsetter trading apps have been around for several years now and both the apps and website are quite dated but you can always use Personal Analyst for free and then decide whether you think the other apps are worth upgrading to.
These are the best stock trading software for Mac that are suitable for serious trading. One other app that’s worth an honorable mention however is Stocktouch $4.99 Mac App Store which is great if you only need to keep an eye on stock prices. Stocktouch features over 5,000 stocks, 40,000 charts and 50,000 news stories and visualizes the data in stunning ways. It also looks great on a Mac and if you put in full screen mode, you feel like a real broker as you watch market data unfold in real-time.
These are the best stock trading programs for Mac currently on the market. There is one older trading software for Mac called SpiffyCharts that’s worth a mention because it allows you to develop your own trading software. However, the software is now very dated and it’s quite technical to set up but if you really want your own customized solution, it may be worth checking-out.
As we’ve seen, there is a limited amount of stock market software for Macs but there are a few good ones out there. TradingView is an incredibly powerful and user friendly charting software that combines the best of the trading knowledge of others with powerful charting tool. Mastock is still our favorite due to the sheer choice of features but ProTA is still a reliable choice. However, both need a revamped interface and if it’s something that suits OS X but doesn’t lack features, Tradeable is definitely worth checking-out. When it comes to stock brokers, OptionsHouse is the most complete and competitive platform and the 60 day trade free offer is a good way to test the water with an online stock trading platform.
If none of these meet your trading needs and you want to run a popular PC or Windows-based software such as Ninja Trader or X-TRADER on your Mac instead, your best bet is to install Parallels which allows you to run Windows on Mac simultaneously. This isn’t an ideal solution because it’s very demanding on your Mac’s RAM and it can be a pain having to switch between Windows and OS X constantly but if you can’t live without your Windows trading software, it’s the best solution.
We hope this has helped you find the right trading software for your Mac but if you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments below. And if you enjoyed this article, you might also find our articles on the Best Accounting Software For Mac, our Quicken for Mac 2017 Review and Best Quicken For Mac Alternatives useful too.