The obvious stock trading tools are things like your broker trading platform and your stock charting software. Let’s talk about some of the less obvious things that you need to swing trade successfully.
Written Trading Plan
The first, and perhaps the most important, is your written trading plan. Your trading plan will be the basis for many of the other stock trading tools you will select. For example, if you plan on trading stock options frequently then your broker platform should have all the tools you need to evaluate an options position. Not just things like implied volatility, delta and the other greeks, but what is the midpoint of the bid-ask of your debit or credit spread ? What is the maximum possible loss on this options position? What is the break-even stock price?
Your trading method will have a lot to say about the stock trading software that you choose. Broker platforms and third-party software have lots and lots of technical indicators, overlays and other technical analysis charting tools. The key is can you get all of the things you need together in one place quickly and easily when you want to evaluate a possible swing trading position?
Trading Watch Lists
Two stock trading tools that work hand-in-glove are scanning tools and watch lists. I use TD Ameritrade has my broker platform and I do some charting with it too. Think or Swim is first class charting software but I go to stockcharts.com for scanning. After I get my scan results I can export them so I can copy the symbols and paste them into watch lists for trading analysis in SwingMaster Chartist.
I keep dozens of watchlists in text format on my hard disk for easy copy and pasting into Swing Master Chartist. I have watch lists for liquid stocks in different sectors and industries, by inverse and leveraged ETFs, by international exchanges, by physical commodities and so forth.
One other less obvious stock trading tool is a correlation calculator. Let us say that your chart analysis suggests that it’s a good time too short the 10-year bond ETF (IEF) while you are also considering a trade in euro dollars (FXE). What is the correlation between these two symbols? This is something that you have to know. Otherwise you could have different positions working against each other, or have two positions with nearly exactly the same trade risk. Maybe that is not something that you really wanted to do because of restrictions you placed on trading size in your written trading plan.
Every swing trader needs a stock trading tool that lets them make a reasonable projection for stock target prices over an expected holding period of say 10 to 20 days. Some people use Fibonacci retracements or expansions, and they can be useful, but they are not actual target price projections. You need a tool that does the mathematics for you using either historical or implied volatility metrics to get an objective stock price projection. Market makers and clearing firms use the same mathematics to monitor and evaluate risk.
Stock trading tools means more than your broker platforms and some charting software. You need organizational tools, calculators and other mathematical tools, and data miners or scanning tools to help you sort through the thousands of tradable symbols to find the good swing trading candidates.