There are two main ways you can access the stock market. One is the slow and steady process of long-term investing, and the other is the fast-paced process of active trading.
Active trading can be exciting and lucrative but it’s also risky and difficult for beginners to learn. Trading mistakes can lead to losses that add up quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing.
One great way to get your feet wet as a trader is to sign up for signal services and make the trades the pros are making. But what are the best stock trading signal services out there?
The Best Stock Signal Providers for Trading
Our overall best pick for best stock trading signal provider is Benzinga Pro, whose users receive several signals per day that alert them to various types of movement in the market. The price for the service is reasonable when compared to its value, and signals have a high win rate.
Other signal providers on this list earned their positions because they shined in one or two areas, ranging from educational features to complete trading automation.
Best Overall: Benzinga Pro
- Price. Benzinga Pro has a free membership, but if you want signals, you need to sign up for the Essential service for $177 per month or $1,404 annually (a 34% savings).
- Signal Frequency. Tens of signals per day.
- Type of Signals. Computer-generated signals based on factors like price spikes, block trades, and options activity.
Benzinga is one of the most trusted financial outlets online today. It’s no surprise the company’s signal service is our top pick.
Benzinga Pro has one of the highest volumes of signals on the market because you receive notifications based on a wide range of activities. Of course, you can turn off the notifications you’re not interested in. The actions that trigger signals include:
- Price Spikes. You’ll be alerted to any sharp movement that happens in the market in a time frame of under five minutes.
- Options Activity. Options activity generally points to the future direction of stocks. You’ll get a notification when large blocks or options sweeps are traded near the bid or ask, a signal that a big move is coming.
- Block Trades. You’ll be alerted any time an order is placed for shares of a single stock valued at more than $200,000 or for more than 10,000 shares.
- Halts & Resumes. Publicly traded companies are often halted for one reason or another, and massive moves can happen when trading opens back up. You receive an alert every time a trading halt is imposed or lifted.
- Opening Gap. You also get a list of stocks with the biggest gaps from their closing price at the opening bell.
- Highs & Lows. Get alerts when stocks hit their highs and lows. You can customize the alerts to be notified when stocks hit intraday or 52-week highs and lows.
At first glance, $177 per month seems like the right price point for a quality stock signal service, but you get far more than stock signals for your money. Membership gives you access to advanced news feeds and research, a robust real-time scanner, an active chat room, and other tools that will help you become a more successful trader.
Best for AI Signals: Trade Ideas
- Price. Trade Ideas’ services start at $118 per month, but you need a Premium subscription to access stock signals. The membership costs $228 per month or $1,999 annually (save about 26%).
- Signal Frequency. Tens of alerts per day.
- Type of Signals. AI-generated signals based on proprietary algorithms.
Trade Ideas is the brainchild of professional traders with an affinity for technology. The team developed an artificial intelligence named Holly that scans the market for the biggest day trading and swing trading opportunities.
Holly is capable of producing several accurate alerts per hour, bringing your trading performance to the next level.
Like Benzinga Pro, Trade Ideas is much more than a stock signal provider. You get a host of additional features for your money.
- Channel Bar. The platform features a customizable channel bar that provides technical data from various financial markets. You’ll find useful data whether you’re trading stocks, options, futures, or even crypto.
- Learn How to Trade. Trade Ideas is much more than a signal service. The service is centered around teaching people how to be successful traders. As a member, you’ll learn how to analyze price action using technical indicators like moving averages, Bollinger bands, and the relative strength index (RSI). You’ll also learn how to manage your risk as you trade.
- Live Trading Room. If you don’t want to pay for the Premium service, you can access the live trading room with a basic membership for $118 per month. Follow the moves of the pros in the live trading room to get in on some of the best trading opportunities on the market.
Best for Copy Trading: MetaTrader
- Price. The trading platform is free. It costs about $30 per month to subscribe to each signal provider. You only need to subscribe to one to be successful.
- Signal Frequency. Varies based on the provider you choose.
- Type of Signals. Varies based on the provider you choose.
MetaTrader is a popular trading platform among the most active traders. Although the company doesn’t create signals itself, it provides access to them.
MetaTrader (versions 4 and 5) has a copy trading feature that brings the idea of social trading to the next level. You can copy moves made by experienced traders for a small subscription fee — usually about $30 per month. Part of the fee gets paid to the professional trader, called a signal provider, and part of the fee helps support the platform.
Once you subscribe, you can either automatically copy the trades made by the signal provider, or receive them as notifications and decide which signals to act on. Either way you go, if you choose the right provider, the service will result in a profitable trading experience.
- Trade a Wide Range of Assets. MetaTrader supports stock, exchange-traded fund (ETF), options, futures, forex, and cryptocurrency trading, and it has copy trading options for them all.
- Industry-Leading Trading Tools. MetaTrader is a first choice among the most active traders for good reason. The company offers some of the most intuitive trading tools on the market, including interactive charts and all the technical indicators you need to be successful.
- Low Cost. MetaTrader’s copy trading signals are some of the lowest-cost stock trading signals you’ll find.
Best for Position Traders: Motley Fool Stock Advisor
- Price. $99 for your first year and $199 per year thereafter.
- Signal Frequency. Two signals per month.
- Type of Signals. Long-term stock positions.
The Motley Fool Stock Advisor is more of a position trading service than a day trading service. Position trading is a form of long-term investment where long and short positions are taken out in stocks and you patiently await the right time to exit.
As a position trading signal service, Motley Fool Stock Advisor only provides two signals per month, but each one is jam-packed with both technical and fundamental data. Every signal comes with in-depth research explaining why the pros expect profits ahead.
Although there are only a couple of signals per month, the company has a strong track record, one that’s plastered on its sales page for all to see. Since 2002, Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks have produced substantially higher returns than the S&P 500.
- Historical Stock Picks. Dig into the different picks the company’s made throughout its history to get an idea of its performance and how to pick your own.
- Message Boards. Join discussions on message boards to find trading opportunities.
- Stock Screener. Find the types of stocks you’re looking for with Motley Fool’s interactive stock screener.
Best for Swing Traders: Mindful Trader
- Price. $47 per month.
- Signal Frequency. Several signals per week.
- Type of Signals. Swing trading signals produced by Eric Ferguson.
Eric Ferguson created Mindful Trader to help beginner traders become pros by following his moves. Ferguson is a successful swing trader who trades stocks, options, and futures.
His trading strategies have been backtested with 20 years of data and provide a statistical advantage. Because he follows the swing trading style, Ferguson holds his trades for three to five days or even a couple of weeks in some cases.
Ferguson makes his trades between support and resistance levels when trends are in full swing, which helps reduce the risk for beginner traders who follow his signals.
- A Focus on Education. The service is perfect for beginners because it comes with a wide range of educational features. Learn topics like technical and fundamental analysis, how to assess market conditions, and how to manage risk.
- Ease of Use. The signals are provided in a way that makes them easy to understand and follow.
Best for Easy Trading: Pilot Trading
- Price. Free for the first 14 days, then $19.95 per month.
- Signal Frequency. Several signals per day.
- Type of Signals. Psychology-based AI signals.
Pilot Trading produces AI signals based on trader psychology. Where the company really shines is in its ability to bring simplicity to the trading process.
The platform connects with most of the top brokers so you can make in-app trades as soon as you receive alerts. This improves the overall trading experience immensely and gives you the ability to tap into profitable opportunities sooner.
- Built for Active Traders. The platform was built for the most active traders and produces a large number of signals.
- Create Your Own Watchlist. Create a watchlist of stocks you’re interested in trading and get alerts when they present opportunities.
- Pilot Academy. Learn the ins and outs of active trading at the Pilot Academy.
Methodology: How We Select the Best Trading Signal Providers
We used five key metrics when assessing stock trading signal services for this list. In particular, we focused on the value users received for the price of the service, types and volumes of signals provided, ease of use, and customer support. Here’s why we chose the signal services above.
Value for the Price
You’re a trader because you want to make money, not spend it. However, the best tools on the market aren’t usually free. We accepted the fact that you’re going to have to pay something for a quality signal service but assessed the price in terms of the value you receive when you pay.
In some cases, additional services above and beyond trading signals were assessed as part of the overall value. We only included services that we believe will leave our readers feeling like they got what they paid for or more.
Type & Volume of Trading Signals
We looked into the number of trading signals each provider sends as well as the types of signals sent. In most cases, those with more signals were the better options. However, in a few rare cases, like signal services focused on fundamental data and long-term trades, fewer signals are better.
For example, the Motley Fool Stock Advisor only sends two signals per month. However, because it’s focused on position trading and its signals have proven to be effective over the long-term, we found that two signals per month were plenty.
If you’re going to be following someone else’s lead with your money, it’s important to make sure they have the reputation to back their claims. Each of the trading signal services listed above is provided by a well-respected member of the trading community with a strong track record of success.
Ease of Use
We hate signing up for services that are difficult to use, and we’re sure you do too. That’s why we focused on how easy it is to navigate the platforms and understand the signals provided by each service on this list.
If you have questions about the signals you receive or what’s happening with the service, it’s important to have someone to lean on. All options on this list have quality customer support teams that are easy to access when you have questions.
Trading Signal Provider FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Choosing a stock trading signal provider is no simple matter, especially if you haven’t used these types of services before. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about trading signals.
What Does a Stock Trading Signal Look Like?
Trading signals usually look like this:
- Asset. ABC (Stock Ticker)
- Order Type. Buy
- Entry Price. $4.50
- Stop-Loss. $4.45
- Take Profit. $4.75
Each alert will tell you what stock to trade, how to trade it, when to buy, and when to sell.
Are Trading Signals Worth It?
Trading signals will set you back monthly between $20 and a few hundred dollars. However, a quality service is worth the price in most cases. That is, as long as you have the starting capital you need to make meaningful profits — usually $5,000 or more.
The ultimate deciding factor is whether the service pays for itself and then some. All services mentioned above offer accurate signals that can greatly expand your profitability far and above the fees they charge for access.
Can I Lose Money Using Trading Signals?
Whether you’re following trading signals or trading your own strategies, there’s always risk involved in the trading process. That’s why it’s important to make sure the trading signals you follow are provided by reputable members of the trading community.
Are There Any Free Stock Trading Signals?
We found a few providers that offered free stock trading signals. Unfortunately, when we dug into their signals, we found accuracy issues that could result in losses if you follow them.
You can find quality signals for as little as $20 per month, and it’s worth paying for a quality product in this case.
How to Choose the Best Trading Signal Provider
Although Benzinga Pro is our top pick for trading signal providers, it may not be yours. Every trader has unique needs in a signal service and should consider the following when choosing a service to subscribe to:
- Your Capital and the Price of the Service. If you’ve only got $100 to start out with, it doesn’t make sense to pay for a signal service at all. If you’ve got $1,000, you don’t want to spend more than $20 per month to leave plenty of capital for growth. Pay attention to the price of the service in relation to your available capital. The more money you have to trade, the more value you can get from premium signal providers.
- Type of Signals. If you’re a slow and steady trader or you don’t want day trading signals, swing trades and position trades will be best. Consider the type of trading signals you’ll receive before signing up for any service.
- Reputation. You don’t want to follow traders that lose money. Make sure the signal service you sign up for has a strong track record, makes an effort to manage risk, and has a positive reputation in the trading community.