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 in 2018 to set you on your way. Stock market trading software for home users has come a long way and if you know what you’re doing, you can make good money from the comfort of your Mac. The days are long gone when you needed a stock broker to do the trading for you with platforms such as XM even enabling you to use MT4 on Mac and “social trading” style platforms such as eToro making it easy enough for anyone to get into stock trading. Here then is our list of the best stock trading software for Mac users in order of ranking.
If you can trade it, then it’s probably on the XM Trading platform which is one of many reasons why it’s the best trading platform out there. While many platforms limit the range of instruments you can trade, XM allows you to trade pretty much anything including Forex, CFDs on Stock Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Metals, Energies and Cryptocurrencies. XM is regulated by the FCA in the UK, ASIC in Australia and CySEC in Cyprus so it’s also one of the most highly regulated trading platforms you can use. Combined with some of the most lowest spreads available, a professional interface and excellent customer service, XM is an extremely good trading platform.
The other big plus with XM for Mac users is that it allows you to use Metatrader on Mac. MT4 and MT5 are not actually available for macOS although there are ways to get MT4 on Mac. XM has adapted MT4 to work on Mac desktops including on High Sierra. XM gives you unlimited access to MT4 and MT5 plus works with Expert Advisors too.
XM offers 3 types of account: Micro, Standard and Zero accounts. The XM platform is available in most major languages with multilingual support staff if you need help.
You can sign-up for an XM demo account with $100,000 of virtual currency to see what you think before trading for real. If you sign-up for a real account, you also get a $30 free trading bonus to set you on your way.
eToro is one of the biggest stock trading platforms out there with an estimated 5 million users and covers just about every major trading asset including Currencies, Indices and Commodities (CFDs). What makes eToro different to most stock trading platforms is that it focuses on connecting traders in order to harness collective experiences and knowledge in stock trading. eToro could therefore be described as a “social network stock trading tool” which aims to pool the experience of traders so that everyone wins. If you imagine what would happen if you mixed Facebook with a stock trading platform, then you get a good idea of what eToro is like.
eToro is a secure trading platforms as it is European based and therefore subject to strict European banking laws with all funds kept in European banks. This doesn’t mean you have to be based in Europe to use it though – you can sign-up in any region although due to SEC regulations on CFD (Contract For Difference) trading, eToro is not available in the USA.
eToro is built around the eToro 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. Note that you can only use a maximum of 40% of your capital on copy trades but you can set limits on when to stop copying if losses exceed a certain amount. 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.
This may all sound like money for nothing but it’s not that straightforward. You must be very careful when selecting a trader to copy on eToro however as some may appear more successful than they actually are or are using very little capital in the hope that others will copy them and they’ll earn commission off it. Many of the traders on eToro appear to be quite high risk traders which carries with it high potential returns but obvious risks too. Also look for “verified traders” as those traders use their real identities ad verified by eToro and therefore you reduce the risk of following “fake” profiles.
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 can open an account with as little as $50 although this can vary from region to region. eToro used to offer a welcome bonus of up to $4000 “trading credits” although eToro no longer offers welcome bonuses or trading credits. The best thing to do is sign up for a free eToro demo account which allows you to paper trade with fake currency in order to see if it’s for you or not.
For a more in-depth look at eToro we recommended reading our full eToro review.
Although AvaTrade is mainly specialized in Forex trading and CFDs, it does it really well indeed. While some trading platforms try to be jack-of-all-trades, AvaTrade’s bread and butter is Forex and it manages to find a perfect balance between being accessible to newcomers to Forex while featuring enough advanced analysis and tools to keep professional traders happy. AvaTrade includes some of the most comprehensive and easy to follow Forex trading tutorials and material you’ll find anywhere. This material is not only aimed at beginners however, it’s constantly updated with the latest trends and developments in Forex trading to help seasoned professionals be better Forex traders. The Sharp Trader part of the platform makes trading accessible with a good mix of materials for both beginners and market analysis for professional traders.
The minimum deposit to open an AvaTrade account is $100 and you can get up to $10,000 in welcome bonus for large deposits. AvaTrade also has some of the most competitive swap rates on the market and up to 400:1 leverage. While most online stock trading platforms provide a wrapped version of MetaTrader for Mac, AvaTrade provides it’s own online version of MetaTrader 4 which looks a lot better than an emulated version on Mac. The web interface is by far a better option and provides everything you need to trade Forex on OS X and macOS. There’s also a dedicated MT4 iOS app too.
AvaTrade offers over 250 trading instruments including currency pairs, vanilla options and CFDs on commodities, stocks and indices. It also includes some of the most comprehensive Cryptocurrency trading including Bitcoin and Ethereum but also the latest cryptocurrencies to emerge such as Ripple, Dash and Litecoin. There are special welcome bonuses for trading crypto starting at $35 for up to $299 investment and $14,000 if you invest $40,000+.
As an introduction to Forex trading, spread betting, stock CFD trading and social trading (although eToro does that better as you’ll see in the review below), AvaTrade is a an excellent trading platform. You can sign-up for AvaTrade for free to try it for yourself first.
ETrade is one of the biggest names in online trading and is powerful online stocks, options and futures trading platform that offers one of the most complete platforms for online traders. In 2016, ETrade bought online trading platform OptionsHouse in an attempt to compete better in derivatives trading but the company has pretty much maintained most of the original OptionsHouse features and interface. The main selling point of the OptionsHouse platform on ETrade is that it covers a huge range of stock trading areas, it’s well presented and designed and is easy to use for beginners. However, one of the big attractions of OptionsHouse was that it offered some of the most competitive trading rates on the market with a flat fee of $4.95 per trade and Options at just 50 cents per contract. ETrade has increased these prices a little to $6.95 per trade although if you make more than 30 trades per Quarter, you will only be charged $4.95 per month like the old OptionsHouse rates. The same goes for Contracts which cost 75 cents per trade or 50 cents per trade for more than 30 trades per Quarter.
The range of trading possible with OptionsHouse ETrade is impressive covering Stocks, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs and Bonds. It also includes 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 also has a dedicated iOS app for iPad and iPhone that’s recently been revamped. The new app is clearer and better organized than the old one and is still probably the best mobile stock trading app we’ve tried. The OptionsHouse iPhone and iPad apps allow you to do pretty much everything you can do on your Mac desktop and includes streaming data for quotes, charts and news. After the purchase by ETrade, some features seem to have disappeared such as the ability to place option orders based on quote price. The only thing to be careful with is it can get very addictive checking market movements when everything is being streamed to your iPhone or iPad in real time. However, it is extremely slick and useful for making last minute trades.
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 to judge whether it’s the right trading software for you. Depending on how much you invest from the start, you can also get up to $2500 in welcome bonus although for that you’ll need to invest a cool $1,000,000. If you open an Individual, Joint, or IRA account with a minimum of $5,000, you can also get $1000 in commission free trades.
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.
Once you’ve signed-up with one of the above stock trading sites, you can then start looking at the best stock app for Mac to help you make better trading decisions. This selection of the best stock analysis software for Mac will help you make smarter trades on the online trading software platforms featured above.
Here’s our lowdown on the best stock technical analysis tools for Mac to help you identify stock trends and movements.
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.
If you’re looking for an elegantly designed yet easy to use stock tracking app made specifically for Mac, then Stockfolio ticks all the right boxes. Stockfolio not only supports tracking of stocks but also one of the only trading apps for Mac that features decent support for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum. Stockfolio looks and feels like it’s made for OS X and provides real time tracking of equities and stocks including Twitter, Coindesk and other news feeds. The main interface presents a convenient customized list of stocks along the left hand margin, trading chart in the middle and news feeds along the right hand margin. Stockfolio does this tastefully and without making the screen look cluttered or overwhelming with data.
Stockfolio also gives a crystal clear overview of your portfolio and its progress including Market Value, Acquisition Value and Unrealized Gain.
You can create useful watchlists by sector to monitor industry specific stocks such as Automotive, Health, Auto, Crypto etc.
And you don’t even have to keep the application open to monitor stocks – you can access essential stock movements directly from the Menu Bar:
We also like the fact that Stockfolio is bang up to date for the latest Touch Bar MacBooks allowing you to navigate between watchlists and your portfolio even more easily. This isn’t essential but shows that the developer is committed to ensuring that the app is always compatible with the latest Macs and versions of OS X. Stockfolio is regularly updated by a responsive developer which is always a good sign.
There’s no denying that Stockfolio is aimed at those fairly new to stock trading and professional stock traders may find the lack of advanced technical analysis tools such as basic trend lines, RSI and MACD frustrating. You calso can’t connect Stockfolio to a broker as yet although this is something the developer is working on and along with other additions to the app, will eventually be rolled-out. Despite these limitations, there’s no doubt that if you know how to use it properly, Stockfolio provides everything you need to be successful at online trading on Mac.
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 but note that it doesn’t work on High Sierra.
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 only and best Forex trading platforms 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 is a powerful accounting software for Mac created by a small French developer but now only works up to OS X 10.10 Yosemite. It’s therefore 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 trading apps on 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.
MotiveWave is a professional trading software that works with multiple brokers and data services. MotiveWave is a multi-asset platform and is integrated with selected major brokers such as Oanda, TD Ameritrade and Forex.com. The good thing about MotiveWave is it has a native Mac desktop client that you can try free for 14 days (although you need to create a MotiveWave profile first).
MotiveWave is extremely powerful and can analyze massive amounts of market data to reveal trends, issues and other things that you might ordinarily miss. For example, MotiveWave looks for complex patterns such as Elliott Wave Patterns and Gartley Harmonic Shapes in order to identify trading opportunities. It’s backed by powerful algorithms that you can even modify to customize according to your own needs. Other advanced features include Replay Mode, Advanced Alerts based on multiple market signals, Component Alerts and Multiple Monitor Support.
MotiveWave is firmly aimed at professionals and those with considerable experience in stock trading. The desktop client is one of the best you’ll find on Mac with the latest version optimized for High Resolution 4K displays. If you know what you’re doing when it comes to stock trading and are looking for a professional trading tool, then MotiveWave is definitely a contender. MotiveWave pricing starts at $99 for the basic Charts plan going up to $1595 for the Ultimate version. However, until 27th March 2017 you can get 20% off all MotiveWave products.
We suggest checking out the overview of the MotiveWave Console below to get an idea of how complex but powerful MotiveWave can be. You can also check out these MotiveWave tutorial videos to see what else it can do and sign-up for a 14 day free trial of MotiveWave.
Latinum is a new professional trading and technical analysis software for Mac and PC. If you’re going to be trading Forex and CFDs (Contract for Difference) then Latinum is a good choice as it support streaming quotes for Forex and and CFDs. If you’re not planning on trading either of these, then i won’t be much use to you as it’s heavily focused on these two trading areas. Latinum is designed for discretionary (non-automated) traders and quickly enables you to determine risk, make orders quickly via a Mini Order Ticket feature and more easily manage order and positions with a Mini Blotter.
Note that at the moment, Latinum only works with FXCM Trading Station/Marketscope accounts and OANDA fxTrade Practice accounts. However, it also has it’s own trading simulator which you can practice paper trades on. Although Latinum is quite pricey at $99 from the Mac App Store, a useful tip is you can download the Latinum beta version for free. You can use the fully functional Beta to decide whether Latinum is for you before buying the official version from the App Store which is still well worth the money for professional Forex traders. For more on Latinum, check out our guide the Best Forex Trading Platform For Mac.
Tastyworks is a Chicago based online brokerage firm from the makers of the Tastytrade stock market news network and has both a Mac and Windows desktop client. Tatsyworks is mainly known for it’s extremely competitive pricing and it’s rolling news network. Tastytrade covers stocks, options, ETFs, and futures The pricing system for Tastytrade is refreshingly simple and very cheap. There is are no closing commission charges – you only get charged a flat fee for opening trades i.e. $1.00 for options, $5.00 for stocks and $2.50 for futures contracts (although there are extra opening and closing fees on contracts). What also makes the Tastytrade interface different to most stock trading software is that it’s integrated with the rolling news Tastytrade network which although not essential, is a bit more lively and entertaining than ticker feeds and graphs.
The Tastytrade news network provides a rich supply of straight talking stock market analysis and we like the Tastytrade blog which provides some informative but accessible analysis of the latest stock market trends such as the recent floating of Snapchat.
You can download the Mac client for free although you need to sign-up for a Tastyworks account before you can use it. Alternatively, you can also use it directly in your browser without downloading and installing the client. There’s also a Tastytrade iPhone app for trading on the go.
Tastytrade is overall a very accessible trading platform and broker that’s ideal for those new to trading because of its lack of jargon. If you’re looking to get started in stock trading, don’t want the hassle of a separate broker and trading platform and want both a transparent pricing policy with a native Mac client, Tastytrade is definitely worth checking out.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4 or MT5 as the latest version is more commonly known) is a very popular stock trading software for Windows users. As mentioned earlier, it’s not available for Mac but UK based brokers Admiral Markets have wrapped it in a Windows emulator to use on Mac via their own service. This is a common practice among online stock trading platforms which you can read more about here in our guide on how to run MetaTrader on Mac. Admiral Markets is one of the few that allows you to install not only MT4 but also MT5 on Mac.
Running MetaTrader on Mac allows you to enjoy things such as Live Quotes, 1-Click Trading, Unlimited Charts and more. However, note that auto trading such as via Expert Advisors may not work well with custom indicators and robot traders and add-ons such as MetraTrader Market do not work.
To install MT4 on your Mac, you simply download MT4 for Mac from Admiral Markets and drag the app to your Applications folder. Note that it’s quite a big download at 200MB so it might take some time to download.
Since the app is not downloaded from the Mac App Store, you’ll also have to change the setting on Gatekeeper to allow apps from anywhere to install MT4 on your Mac. Gatekeeper is designed to protect your Mac from malicious software or malware on Mac. We advise changing it back to “Mac App Store and identified developers” after you’ve installed MT4 on your Mac.The functionality of automated trading or Expert Advisors differs depending on the EA you want to use but you can install EAs on Mac by doing the following. To install scripts or EAs you need to right-click on the MT4 application icon and select “Show Package Contents”:
Double-click on “Drive_C” to reveal the MetaTrader file structure. You can them simply drag and drop your scripts, robot traders and other EAs but be sure to check whether they work effectively.
One issue you may notice is that the fonts don’t display properly or don’t look right in MT4 on your Mac. You can fix this by downloading the fonts from Admiral Markets and running the installer. As mentioned earlier, auto trading via MT4 on Mac is not guaranteed to work well and if you intend to use MT4 in auto trading mode, you’re far better installing Parallels on Mac which will allow you to run the Windows version as we explain here.
If you’re a Windows user that’s recently switched to Mac and want to use MT5, Admiral Markets is a good option. There’s also an MT5 iPhone app for trading on the go plus apps for Windows phones and Android. In general, Admiral Markets pricing is also pretty competitive and you can open a free demo account with $10,000 to paper trade first.
Thinkorswim is a popular trading platform from TD Ameritrade, one of the biggest online trading brokers out there. Considering how big Ameritrade is however, it’s a shame that it hasn’t developed a better Mac client by now. We don’t recommend Thinkorswim for Mac simply because it’s based on Java which is notoriously problematic on Mac. Apple no longer officially supports Java on Mac due to frequent security and compatible problems with OS X. The performance of Java is generally unreliable on Mac and even Thinkorswim has to issue advice to Mac users how to stop the desktop app lagging. It’s also almost impossible to uninstall Java from Mac once it’s on there so for various reasons, it’s just not a good idea to install it.
Note that if you do download it, the client is extremely slow to download even though it’s around 60MB. If you do try to install it, you’ll also get a warning that the installer has not been signed by Apple although you can still install it if you turn off Gatekeeper on your Mac (which we don’t recommend).
Stock Trading Software vs Trading Platforms
Whether you’re a serious investor wanting to do technical analysis of stocks, options, bonds and Forex as you really need the best technical analysis software for Mac in order to get the most out of signing-up with an online stock broker. If you’re intending on specifically trading Forex, we recommend reading our guide to Forex trading software on Mac.as Forex and stock trading are quite different.
First a few important things to bear in mind when choosing the best stock software for Mac.
Stock trading software that you can use on Mac falls into two types. There are stock trading platforms that allow you to actually trade online i.e. stock brokers and there is stock technical analysis software that you can use to analyze stock movements to make better trading decisions. Both of these types of software can be Cloud based or installed as standalone desktop applications on your Mac although as you’ll see from these reviews, the vast majority are Cloud apps and work online in your browser.
Most stock trading technical analysis software on Mac don’t actually allow you to do any trading – they simply to help you analyze market data and make better trades. However, there are some such as MotiveWave which are integrated with TDAmeritrade, Oanda and a few other online brokers. You’ll need to sign-up with an online trading broker in order to actually trade which we’ll look at in more detail shortly. These online stock trading platforms set commissions for trades and prices and some provide incentives to sign-up with a large investment in the form of welcome bonuses. Alternatively, you can open a margin account with some trading platforms 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 trading platforms for Mac or that have Mac clients. However, we have also reviewed some of the biggest and most popular online trading platforms here too as stock trading software and stock trading platforms go hand-in-hand. You’ll find that online trading software usually offers more features and variation in what you can trade but they usually don’t offer a very “Mac-like” experience, although there a few exceptions to this as we’ll see. There are some online trading platforms such as Forex On The Go that offer a browser extension for Safari specifically for Forex trading on Mac but they are still web-based trading systems with no Mac desktop program.
The advantage of desktop trading software vs online trading platforms 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. Most of the best stock charting software for Mac don’t require a browser of course but you’ll still need to be online in order to connect to real-time market data.
- Java Based Stock Trading Software On Mac
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 “the best stock trading platform for Mac” but are 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 provider. 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. If you just want to trade Forex, we recommend you read our guide to Forex trading software for Mac too.
- MetaTrader For Mac
MetaTrader 4 and 5 or MT4 and MT5 as it is more popularly known is not available on Mac but is one of the most popular desktop trading software for Windows users. However, you’ll find that some trading brokers such as AvaTrade link to MetaTraders instructions about how to install MetaTrader on Mac using either Wine or Playonmac while others such as Admiral Markets provide “wrappers” to download that allow you to run it on Mac. If you’ve just switched from Windows and desperately want to use Metatrader on Mac this is a good compromise. However, it’s important to be aware that running Metatrader on Mac using wrappers provided by brokers or other third party applications can not only be tricky to setup and get working properly, it may also be unreliable and won’t support all features such as the Metatrader Market. If you really want to run Metatrader on Mac, check out our full guide on how to run MetaTrader 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 Stock Trading Brokers For Mac
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 technical analysis apps on macOS to help you get the most out of them.
The best and most comprehensive trading platform for Mac is still XE. It covers ever possible trading instruments and offers everything that professional traders need but is still accessible to beginners. The way it integrates Metatrader with macOS is also the best we’ve seen in any stock trading platform that offers it.
If you’re new to stock market trading however, nothing makes it easier than eToro to learn the ropes. The CopyTrader system is a very effective way to watch, learn and earn from top traders as long as you pick your top traders well.
AvaTrade meanwhile is also incredibly easy to use with a more professional feel platform, superb support for cryptos and lots of tutorials.
ETrade’s OptionsHouse meanwhile is the most professional and competitively priced stock trading platform although unlike eToro, it does not support Forex trading. MotiveWave finally is probably the most complex and advanced stock trading platform there is that has a Mac client and is certainly worth checking out if you’re a power trader.
As we’ve seen, there is a limited amount of actual stock market software for Macs but there are definitely 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. However, Stockfolio is definitely the best looking stock trading application designed specifically for Mac, making it easy to keep essential trading data at your fingertips. Mastock is also still one of 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. Finally, MotiveWave is one of the most complete technical analysis platforms out there and the Mac client is very good.
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 run Windows on your 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.
One final thing to consider – whichever trading software you choose, the most important thing you can do that you take a disciplined approach to day trading. Day trading stocks and shares from the comfort of your Mac might look on the surface like an easy way to make fast money but nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re serious about trading stocks, you need to treat it like any other job with discipline, commitment and patience. For some sound advice and good tips on how to be a better day trader, check out Magnetic Trading’s day trading infographic. Some of the essential tips they recommend include:
- Keeping a journal of why you made certain trades to learn from successes and failures
- Avoid the trap of non-stop trading with mobile devices
- Find a mentor such as with eToro’s copy trader system
- Focus less on the money and more on your trading system
- Take a break and keep fit – you can easily end up chained to your Mac 24/7 day trading which will soon see you burnt-out
If you enjoyed this article, you might also find the following articles useful too:
- Best Forex Trading Software For Mac
- Best Accounting Software For Mac 2017
- Quicken for Mac 2017 Review
- Best Quicken For Mac Alternatives
- How To Install Microsoft Money on Mac
We hope this has helped you find the best trading software for you and your Mac but if you have any questions, suggestions or experiences with any of the services featured here, let us know in the comments below.