If you want to trade stocks from the comfort of your Mac, we’ve looked at the best stock trading platforms for Mac of 2020 to help you succeed.
Buying stocks in major companies like Apple, Uber, Spotify and more has never been easier and although there’s more trading platforms aimed at Windows users, Macs are excellent for trading.
The cost of trading is also now a fraction of what it used to be with many platforms offering low or zero commission trades on US stocks.
After many hours of research, we ranked IQ Option the best stock trading platform for Mac users due to its excellent Mac desktop client, ease of use, powerful technical analysis tools and competitive rates.
Stock Trading Platforms vs Stock Trading Software
It’s important to be aware that there’s a difference between stock trading software and stock trading platforms.
Stock trading software is slightly different as it mainly concerns technical analysis tools and screeners that help you analyze stocks or trends to make better trading decisions.
However, there are exceptions to the rule such as TradingView (FREE) which even allows you to trade from your Mac by linking it to some of the top broker platforms reviewed here.
Alternatively, if you want to use a stock trading tool with a Mac desktop app that connects to online brokers for trading, take a look at the excellent MotiveWave for Mac.
Stock Trading Platforms: The Small Print
There’s a few useful things to be aware of before you sign-up with any trading platform.
- Almost all online stock brokers are free to sign-up for but require a minimum deposit before you can trade. This is usually anything from around $50 upwards. Some may periodically offer incentives of free trades if you open an account with large deposits although since 2018, platforms based in the EU are now prohibited from offering bonus incentives to open accounts. This is because of MiFID legislation (known as Directive 2014) which is aimed at creating more transparency and protection for traders.
- Online trading platforms make money either by setting commissions for trades or more commonly via what’s known as the spread. If a broker claims to offer “commission free trades”, they’re usually making money by widening the spread on trades. Some online brokers also allow you to open a margin account 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.
- Most broker platforms offer demo accounts where you can trade virtual currency in a stock trading simulator on your Mac before trading with real cash. We recommend using these paper trading accounts to get to grips with a platform before trading for real.
- Trading platforms based outside of the USA are not available to users in the USA due to strict laws on CFDs (Contract For Difference) and the Dodd-Frank Act. We have clearly indicated in these reviews which platforms are not available to users based in North America.
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With these things in mind, here are the best trading platforms for Mac in order of ranking.
Not Available In The USA
IQ Option finds a perfect balance between feeling professional but also being extremely easy to use and intuitive.
IQ Option has been in the trading game since 2013 and now allows you to trade in over 400 assets including forex, stocks via CFDs (Contract For Differences) and cryptocurrencies.
IQ Option can be accessed online via your browser but the Mac desktop client is faster and more convenient.
The interface on IQ Option is clean and logical providing time-history data and important technical indicators such as RSI and Bollinger bands.
IQ Option is relatively easy for newcomers to learn and there’s a very active community of professional, knowledgeable traders that you can chat directly with and share trading tips.
The online platform is updated on a regular basis although it’s not clear if all updates are applied to the Mac desktop app as well.
IQ Option only requires a minimum deposit of $10 to get started which is less than most other trading platforms and you can trade with a minimum of $1.
The maximum deposit possible is $1,000,000 per day and the maximum investment you can make in a trade is $20,000.
There’s no minimum withdrawal requirement although if you deposit through a credit card, you can only withdraw the same amount that that you invested via the card. However, you can also use an eWallet for withdrawals for which there are no limits.
There’s also an IQ Option mobile app for both iOS and Android. Unfortunately, Options are not available on the iOS app but they are on Android.
If you have any problems with withdrawing funds or technical problems with the platform itself, support is available 24/7.
We also like the fact that there’s no hard sell with IQ Option like there is with some platforms.
It’s quite common to find that when you open an account with a trading platform but don’t deposit anything, you receive cold calls asking why.
This doesn’t seem to be the policy with IQ Option which is a refreshing change and maybe a sign of a company that believes in a product that sells itself.
You can open a free $10,000 demo account with IQ Option to find out for yourself.
You can also check out our full IQ Option review for more.
Available In The USA
What we like about Tastyworks is that not only is it fresh and original, but it’s one of the only trading platforms that allows you to download a Mac desktop client.
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 Tastytrade directly in your browser without downloading and installing the client.
Tastyworks is also known for its extremely competitive pricing and its own lively rolling news network.
The pricing system for Tastyworks 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 Tastyworks interface different to most stock trading software is that it’s integrated with the rolling news Tastytrade network. Although this is not essential, it is a bit more lively and entertaining than just ticker feeds and graphs.
There’s a rich supply of straight talking stock market analysis and we also like the Tastytrade blog which provides some accessible analysis of the latest stock market movements such as this on the floating of Snapchat.
There’s also a Tastytrade iPhone app for trading on the go.
Tastytrade is overall a very accessible trading platform 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.
Available In The USA
ETrade is one of the biggest names in online trading and is a powerful online stocks, options and futures trading platform.
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 but renamed it Power ETrade.
The main selling point of the Power ETrade platform 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 the original OptionsHouse platform 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 in Power ETrade 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 Power ETrade is still 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.
Power ETrade 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 Power ETrade 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.
Power ETrade 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, Power ETrade’s analytical tools offer real-time market data, speedy executions of trades but most importantly, allows you to identify opportunities that you would otherwise miss.
Power ETrade can also evaluate risk vs reward, show you different outcomes based on different market scenarios and alert you to potential profitable trades.
You can try Power ETrade 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 $3000 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.
Available In The USA
TD Ameritrade is one of the biggest US-based stock brokerage sites with no trade minimums and a fixed charge of $9.99 per online stock trade.
TD Ameritrade features useful tools such as a Heat Map to pinpoint market strengths and weaknesses, Stock Watch Lists, Independent Market Research, CNBC integration and even an idea generation tool to help you come-up with new trade inspiration.
Although there’s no desktop client, one thing we really like about Ameritrade is that the web interface is surprisingly customizable for a Cloud based tool.
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.
These are the best trading platforms for Mac users. As we’ve seen, there are very few that cater specifically for Mac users but there are clearly some that try more than others.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions regarding the apps featured here, let us know in the comments below.
Cryptocurrency Trading Available In The USA But Not Stocks
eToro has rapidly become 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).
eToro has been available in Europe since 2007 but the good news is that eToro USA has just been rolled out.
Unfortunately, the US version is only available for cryptocurrency trading but a full roll-out of all stock trading is planned for 2020.
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 platform as it is European based and therefore subject to strict European banking laws with all funds kept in European banks.
eToro’s biggest selling point is 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.
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.
Although professional traders may look at eToro and think it too lightweight, there’s something in it for them too. Successful traders can also earn commission on the profits of other users that copy them through the Popular Investor Program.
While this may all sound like money for nothing but it’s not that straightforward.
You must also be 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.
Another tip is to 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 however still arguably the best trading platform for beginners as the CopyTrader system makes it very suitable for trading novices.
Trading costs for eToro vary on a daily basis and depend on what type of asset you’re trading.
You can open an account with as little as $50 although this can vary from region to region.
The best thing to do is sign up for a free eToro demo account which allows you to paper trade with $100,000 in order to see if it’s for you or not.
For a more in-depth look we recommended reading our full eToro review.
Users in the USA should check our eToro USA review.
Not Available In The USA
76.4% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Plus500UK Ltd is authorized & regulated by the FCA (#509909).
Plus500 is an incredibly popular web-based CFD trading platform which allows you to trade Contract For Difference (CFDs) on underlying instruments such as forex, stocks, commodities, options and indices.
CFDs are more complex than Binary Options and so Plus500 will appeal more to those that have trading experience but it offers some of the tightest spreads in the industry.
It’s also extremely well regulated as Plus500 is not only registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK but also CySEC, ASIC, FSCA, FMA, MAS and the ISA. This covers the UK, Cyprus, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and Israel.
In the UK, there is the additional guarantee that if Plus500 went bankrupt, funds of up to £50,000 may be protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Although there is only a desktop app for Windows, the web version looks great on Macs and is very responsive.
There’s an iOS and Android app for trading on the go and the Android app has been downloaded over 5 million times according to the Google Play store with an average rating of 4.1 out of 5.
If you’re looking for a CFD trading platform that’s strongly regulated with very competitive spreads, Plus500 is arguably the best way to trade CFDs on Mac.
Plus500 allows you to trade with a free demo account until you are comfortable trading and if you’re new to CFDs, we strongly recommend trying this first.
You can also check our full Plus500 review for more.
Not Available In The USA
FXTM is a well organized and easy to use day trading software that specializes in Forex trading and CFDs.
Some of the highlights of FXTM include tight spreads, fast trade executions, lots of forex trading tools and lots of in-depth market analysis.
FXTM is particularly good for beginners to forex and CFD trading as it hosts several webinars and training seminars
FXTM has it’s own version of MetaTrader which you can download on your Mac although like all broker versions of MetaTrader, it doesn’t work on macOS Catalina due to the lack of 32 bit support in macOS Catalina (more on this issue here).
There are also mobile apps for iOS and Android to trade from.
FXTM offers leveraged trading depending on your experience and there are three types of account: Standard for general trading, Cent account for smaller trade sizes and an ECN Zero account with no commissions, no re-quotes and tighter spreads.
Note that FXTM is not available in the USA, Mauritius, Japan, Canada, Haiti, Suriname, the Democratic Republic of Korea, Puerto Rico and the Occupied Area of Cyprus.
You can sign-up for a free FXTM demo account to try it for yourself.
Not Available In The USA
If you can trade it, then it’s probably on the XM Trading platform.
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.
Although XM doesn’t have a dedicated Mac client, what we do like is that it has created its own standalone version of MetaTrader for Mac. although it only works on macOS Mojave or below.
The reason is because macOS Catalina only supports 64 bit applications but there is still another way to install MetaTrader on Mac including on Catalina.
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.
XM also offers some of the most lowest spreads available, a professional interface and excellent customer service.
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.
Not Available In The USA
Although AvaTrade is mainly specialized in Forex trading and CFDs, it does it really well indeed and boasts a reputation as the world’s most regulated broker.
What we like is that although AvaTrade also doesn’t have a Mac desktop client, it allows Mac users to use an online version of MetaTrader although as stated earlier, it doesn’t work on macOS Catalina so we recommend this way of running MetaTrader on a Mac.
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.
AvaTrade manages to find a good balance between being accessible to beginners but also features enough advanced technical analysis tools for professional traders.
Especially for Forex, AvaTrade includes some of the most comprehensive and easy to follow trading tutorials 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.
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, AvaTrade is a an excellent trading platform.
You can sign-up for AvaTrade for free to try it for yourself.