5 Best Penny Stock Trading Platforms, Brokers & Apps (OTC Stocks)

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Penny stocks are a notoriously unpredictable corner of the trading world.

Which is why I love them.

Penny stocks are known for their extreme volatility – each trade you take can lead to quick profits or even quicker losses.

You need to be skilled, patient, and opportunistic to make money trading penny stocks.

You also need the right tools.

When I started trading penny stocks I was using a bad broker. It was unreliable and, unbeknownst to me, occasionally delayed.

Seconds matter, especially when trading penny stocks. Seconds are the difference between making and losing money.

I don’t want you to lose money on trades when you should be making it, just because you’re using the wrong broker. That’s why I put together this list of my favorite apps for penny stocks.

Tip: Penny stock traders under the PDT ($25,000 margin account minimum that U.S. regulators require for day trading) are restricted to 3 day trades or less per 5-day span. You can open accounts at multiple brokerages to increase your number of trades.

The 5 Best Penny Stock Trading Platforms in 2022

A penny stock is any stock which trades for under $5.

All major trading platforms will give you access to some penny stocks, so please note my highlighted characteristics to help you find the best penny stock trading platforms for your trading style.

1. eToro – The Best Listed Penny Stock Trading Platform

Overall rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Stocks available: NYSE and Nasdaq-listed stocks

Commissions/Fees: None – they actually pay the regulatory fees for traders!

Minimum deposit: $10 in the U.S. and U.K.

Advantages:

    • Commission-free trading
    • Supports international accounts
    • CopyTrader
    • Social investing
    • eToro Academy educational platform
    • Paper trading

Disadvantages:

    • No access to OTC penny stocks
etoro nkla chart

About eToro

Penny stocks move based on market sentiment, not underlying value. And, given how small these companies are, market sentiment can result in massive price swings.

Penny stocks rise and fall based on hype and trading volume. In addition to knowing how to chart and taking only the most opportunistic setups, trading penny stocks requires you to know the buzz around particular stocks.

The best penny stock traders have a “feel” for how a stock will trade – they have a finger on the pulse and know when a big move is coming. This “feel” puts successful penny stock traders in a league of their own.

While reading the news can be helpful, most articles about penny stock companies are paid placements – the stories are made up. You can’t rely on that information to trade.

What can you rely on?

Other traders.

That’s where eToro’s vast social network comes in.

There are over 27 million users in 140 countries using eToro – it’s one of the largest user bases in the world. And unlike every other platform, you don’t need to trade alone.

eToro’s Social Trading features allows you to connect with, learn from, and trade alongside other traders. It’s almost impossible to not stay on top of the current market sentiment.

Want even more market input?

CopyTrader lets you see what experienced traders have in their portfolios and copy their trades for free.

eToro’s social trading element gives traders an almost unfair advantage.

And if you want to test a new strategy on a real market, simply toggle into your Demo Account – your $100,000 virtual portfolio on eToro’s paper trading platform.

You can track your favorite stocks’ day-to-day moves on eToro’s easy-to-use platform and place trades directly from its charts.

As of December 9, 2022, eToro is offering a bonus of up to $240* for U.S. residents who open and fund a new account.

*8-12% bonus, depending on deposit size. Only available to U.S. residents. Additional terms and conditions apply.

eToro does not give traders access to OTC stocks.

But TradeStation does…

2. TradeStation – The Best OTC Penny Stock Trading Platform

Overall rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Stocks available: Major exchanges worldwide, OTC stocks

Commissions/Fees: None up to 10,000 shares, $0.005 for each share in addition

Minimum deposit: None

Advantages:

    • Commission-free trading
    • Supports international accounts
    • TradingView integration
    • YouCanTrade educational platform
    • Paper trading

Disadvantages:

    • Inactivity fee if account doesn’t meet the minimum balance or activity level
    • Level I and Level II real-time data costs extra for OTC stocks
tradestation chart

About TradeStation

TradeStation is the best broker for trading OTC stocks (and our #1 choice for best day trading platform). It’s fast, reliable, powerful, and cheap.

As I mentioned above, fast trade executions are of paramount importance. TradeStation measures theirs at 0.038 seconds, meaning you’ll never miss the perfect entry/exit.

TradeStation‘s mission is to give its traders an edge. Its charts, order tickets, educational material, and other resources were built to unlock your full potential.

One of my favorite features is Window Linking, which allows you to list related tickers in one window, then switch between their charts in another window. This can really help when penny stocks are running in sympathy with the price action of sector leaders or the market in general.

If you keep an account at their brokerage, TradeStation’s penny stocks trading platform is free (you must maintain an account minimum balance or activity level to keep your free penny stock trading app access).

And if you ever want to try trading options, futures, or cryptocurrencies, you will already have access via your TradeStation account.

3. TradeZero – The Best Penny Stock Broker for Short Sellers

Overall rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Stocks available: Major U.S. exchanges, OTC stocks

Commissions/Fees: None for limit orders on listed stocks over $1 (200 share minimum), $0.005 per share for trading OTC stocks under $1 ($0.99 minimum and $7.95 maximum)

Minimum deposit: $2,500 for U.S. accounts, $500 for international accounts. All accounts must maintain an account minimum of $250.

Advantages:

    • Supports international accounts
    • Powerful, low-cost platform
    • Locator service allows users to sell short on hard-to-borrow shares

Disadvantages:

    • Complicated fee structure
    • Level I and Level II real-time data costs extra for OTC stocks
Tradezero chart

About TradeZero

TradeZero’s offerings are a bit more complex than the other best online brokers for penny stocks. Traders used to skipping commissions on listed stocks might be bothered by the complicated fee structure — trades are only free under the following conditions:

    • The ticker is listed on NYSE, Nasdaq, or AMEX
    • It’s over $1 per share
    • The order size is over 200 shares
    • It’s a limit order that isn’t immediately executable

It gets easier to use this powerful platform when you accept the $1 minimum fee on all other transactions. If TradeZero helps you become profitable, you won’t be bothered by the $1 fee anyway.

What TradeZero does have is a well-earned reputation as the best penny stock trading platform for shorting. Its locator service is the best of the online brokers for penny stock shorting – both in terms of availability of hard-to-borrow stocks and visualization. It even has a feature that allows you to sell your short locates to other aspiring short sellers.

Long-biased traders will also enjoy its powerful penny stocks trading platforms, ZeroPro and ZeroWeb. Though they aren’t free, these penny stock trading apps are robust — the 100-plus technical indicators can fit any penny stock trading strategy. At $59 per month, they’re not the most expensive apps for penny stocks out there.

TradeZero is a Bahamas-based exchange that used to be notable for allowing American traders to skirt the PDT. Now that it has an American branch, both PDT and trader-focused safety regulations apply.

4. Webull – The Best App for Penny Stock Trading

Overall rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Stocks available: Major U.S. exchanges, some OTC stocks

Commissions/Fees: None

Minimum deposit: None

Advantages:

    • Commission-free trading
    • No commission options trading
    • Mobile-friendly design
    • Strong trading community
    • Paper trading

Disadvantages:

    • Limited access to OTC stocks
    • Complicated order requirements for penny stocks
Webull chart

About Webull

Webull is the Robinhood rival that’s better in pretty much every category.

Its mobile app pairs user-friendliness with power, especially for traders. It’s the best phone app for penny stock trading for listed penny stocks, and its desktop platform is no slouch either.

Webull’s app has over 50 technical indicators, highly customizable charts, and the ability to place orders directly from the chart. For traders who want to start penny stock trading with minimal fuss, Webull checks all the boxes.

I do have to ding it a bit for its complicated penny stock requirements though. Although it’s free to trade OTC stocks – making Webull an outlier among OTC brokers – it limits its list to about 100 of the most valuable companies. While it’s nice to trade for free, this 100 company limit prevents Webull traders from participating in the out-of-nowhere rallies that unknown OTC stocks sometimes go on.

(Webull also ranks #7 on our 10 Best Brokers for Short Selling.)

Another thing that separates Webull from the best OTC stock brokers is its convoluted requirements for low-priced stocks:

    • You can’t buy sub-penny stocks
    • The minimum buy on stocks valued from $0.01 to $0.099 is 1,000 shares
    • The minimum buy on stocks valued from $0.10 to $0.99 is 100 shares
    • There is no minimum buy quantity on stocks priced $1 or more
    • There is no minimum sell quantity for stocks of any price

That doesn’t detract from Webull’s place among the best apps for penny stocks. If you’re a mobile-first trader, give Webull a try – you’ll get free stock just for signing up!

5. Interactive Brokers – The Best Penny Stock Broker for Experts

Overall rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Stocks available: Major exchanges worldwide, OTC stocks

Commissions/Fees: None for IBKR Lite, $0.005 per share for IBKR Pro (minimum of $1, maximum 1% of trade cost)

Minimum deposit: None

Advantages:

    • Commission-free trading
    • Supports international accounts
    • Low margin rates
    • Powerful trading platform
    • Paper trading

Disadvantages:

    • Complexity
    • Some research tools require an additional fee
interactive brokers chart

About Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is one of the most tech-savvy brokerages in the world.

Their parent company created the first automated algorithmic trading system that could submit orders to market. The company is always innovating, so it’s no wonder that IBKR is now one of the best trading platforms for penny stocks.

Here’s why it’s #5 on my list: Its innovation is powerful for some, but overly complex for others.

Professional traders value the top line trading software and low margin rates of the IBKR Pro account. IBKR also has a zero-commission account, IBKR Lite, which still rates among the best brokers for OTC stocks and other penny stocks.

Novice traders may be overwhelmed by the downloadable Trader Workstation – if so, there’s a simpler web platform. The Trader Workstation has all the cool tools though, like an options strategy lab that lets traders compare up to five strategies at once.

IBKR Pro accounts let traders have access to smart order routing, which is one of the ways that IBKR has achieved its top-line order executions.

An IBKR account is jumping in the deep end of penny stock platforms. If you’re ready for the challenge, it’s an excellent choice.

Final Word: Best Trading Platform for Penny Stocks

For my trading style, the best trading platform for penny stocks is eToro. Its social network, CopyTrader function, and ease of use make it the best overall platform for traders of listed penny stocks.

If I was in the market for OTC stock apps I’d look at TradeStation instead. It has everything an active penny stock trader could want, even if it will end up costing a bit more than eToro. Plus, you can combine it with a subscription to TradingView Pro+ to create a best-in-class trading setup.

Read about the pair in our article on the best platforms for swing trading.

Here’s the broker breakdown one more time:

  1. eToro – The Best Listed Penny Stock Trading Platform
  2. TradeStation – The Best OTC Penny Stock Trading Platform
  3. TradeZero – The Best Penny Stock Broker for Short Sellers
  4. Webull – The Best Mobile App for Penny Stock Trading
  5. Interactive Brokers – The Best Penny Stock Broker for Experts

Read more: eToro is also the best Robinhood alternative.


FAQs:

Where can I buy penny stocks?

You can buy listed penny stocks on eToro, TradeStation, TradeZero, Webull, and Interactive Brokers. You can buy OTC penny stocks on TradeStation, TradeZero, Webull, and Interactive Brokers.

What is the best trading platform for penny stocks?

The best trading platform for listed penny stocks is eToro. The best trading platform for OTC penny stocks is TradeStation.

What is the best app for penny stocks?

The best trading app for listed penny stocks is Webull. The best app for OTC penny stocks is TradeStation.

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About the author

Ed Weinberg

Contributor

Ed started his career in financial journalism as an editor of the Vietnam Investment Review — he’s still probably more excited about Vietnam’s dairy industry than anyone you know. Upon returning to the US in 2018, he became interested in the growing world of retail trading, writing for stock picking services and mainstream outlets like The Independent. He will probably never get over the time he sold PLUG too early.