Trade Ideas Review – Pros And Cons Of This Stock Scanner

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By Theo Madsen

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Trade Ideas Review

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Trade Ideas Review

  • Ease of Use
  • Quality
  • Value


Trade Ideas is a stock scanner aimed at active traders. This platform makes use of an artificial intelligence engine to help traders identify actionable stock opportunities and setups. Trade Ideas also includes over 40 pre-configured scans, backtesting capabilities, charting, individual stock data, a Holly AI virtual trading analyst, and more. Learn more about this stock scanner by reading our complete Trade Ideas review.


  • 40+ pre-configured scan channels
  • Enormous range of filters for creating custom scans
  • Powerful backtesting module with optimization features
  • Artificial intelligence engine with multiple risk modes
  • Live trading room led by a professional trader


  • Trade Ideas plans are very expensive
  • Very steep learning curve

Trade Ideas is a powerful stock scanner designed for active traders. The platform uses an artificial intelligence engine to identify promising stocks and setups to watch. Trade Ideas is also highly customizable, enabling traders to keep tabs on their favorite trading strategies throughout the day with real-time updates and alerts.

As powerful as Trade Ideas is, it has a very steep learning curve compared to most other stock scanners. It’s also pricey.

So, is Trade Ideas right for you? In our Trade Ideas review, we’ll cover everything day traders need to know about this comprehensive stock scanner.

Trade Ideas Homepage

Trade Ideas Pricing Options

Trade Ideas offers two subscription options. Trade Ideas Standard costs $118 per month or $999 per year and offers access to the platform’s essential scanning features. Standard users get live stock market data, price alerts, interactive charts, the channel bar, and access to the Trade Ideas live trading room.

Trade Ideas Pricing

Trade Ideas Premium costs $228 per month or $1,999 per year. A Premium subscription unlocks all of Trade Idea’s advanced features, including the Trade Ideas artificial intelligence engine, auto trading, and strategy backtesting.

Trade Ideas does not offer a trial, which is unfortunate since some traders may be hesitant about the Trade Ideas scanner cost. The company offers limited public demos of its platform several times a year.

Trade Ideas Features

Stock Screener

Trade Ideas offers two different modules for using the Trade Ideas scanner. The top lists module essentially serves as a list of streaming trade ideas based on a set of custom filters or a pre-configured channel. The module shows the top 100 stocks that meet all of the filter criteria and automatically updates every 30 seconds.

The range of filters available for building top lists in this software is enormous. You’ll find premade filters for gapping stocks, momentum stocks, high-volume stocks, and top gainers and losers. You can also dive into niche filters that track individual candlesticks, candlestick patterns, price ranges, fundamentals, and more. If you have a trade idea, you can bring it to life with Trade Ideas scans.

Trade Ideas Filters

One gripe here is that creating scans from scratch feels somewhat clunky. You have to scroll through a long list of filters to find the ones you need, and Trade Ideas doesn’t offer logical operators to make customizing these filters as simple as it could be. 

Once your screen is built, however, Trade Ideas’ top list window is highly configurable. You can customize what columns are displayed in the results table and what order they’re in. You can also color-code the results based on any scan parameter. What’s unique about this is that you can specify any combination of filter tiers and colors. So, for example, you can have a 5-way color palette that shows price change from more than –5% to more than +5%, with intermediate colors for stocks that aren’t making big moves.

The alerts module is complementary to the top list. For the same set of filters, it displays all new stocks that meet the filter criteria. It’s updated in real-time and is especially useful for day trading because it lets traders know the moment a new symbol moves into a targeted setup. The alerts module can also be color-coded, which makes it easier to identify relevant alerts for trading.

Trade Ideas Alerts

Pre-configured Trading Strategies

The Trade Ideas channel bar is a list of more than 40 pre-configured scans that traders can use out of the box or customize to suit their custom trading strategies. Available channels cover top moving stocks in individual sectors, stocks that are gapping up or down, momentum stocks, short squeeze stocks, stocks with unusual pre- or post-market activity, and more. There are also a handful of thematic channels for cannabis-related stocks, Chinese stocks, crypto stocks, and biotech stocks. 

Trade Ideas Channels

Each channel launches a ready-made workspace, making these a great way for Trade Ideas subscribers to jump straight into finding potential trades. In addition, “idea surfing” is turned on by default. With this feature activated, Trade Ideas will automatically highlight the current best setup identified by the channel in charts and stock data windows. You can pause idea surfing at any time if you want to investigate a setup in more detail.


Backtesting is one of the highlights of the Trade Ideas platform. The platform makes it surprisingly simple to backtest trading strategies and see how they would have performed over a period of up to 64 days of historical market data.

The backtesting module offers a lot of customization options for how to enter and exit trades. You can limit the market hours during which trades can be entered or exited, set trailing stops, or use any of your scan-based alerts to trigger a trade exit. Of course, Trade Ideas also supports setting stop losses when backtesting strategies.

Trade Ideas Backtesting

After running a backtest, you can see your potential daily profit and loss as well as your maximum account drawdown. Even better, traders can optimize their strategy by drilling down into results for individual stock tickers, timeframes, and filters. This is very helpful since you can see what filters within your strategy are most sensitive and how your profit and loss might change by modifying your strategy.


Trade Ideas charts are designed to help traders review trade ideas and make trading decisions in real-time. Charts can be customized with timeframes from one minute to one month, and the platform includes more than 20 popular technical indicators.

Every chart shows potential risk and reward levels based on the chosen stop loss and price target for the strategy you’re currently working on.

Traders can create price alerts just by right-clicking on a chart. Premium subscribers can also place live trades directly from Trade Ideas charts. 

Individual Stock Data

The Trade Ideas platform also includes data feeds for individual stocks. These offer a brief rundown of fundamentals, stock news, and trading ranges for the current day and past 52 weeks. It also highlights insider trading activity and stock news from sources like MarketWatch, Benzinga, and GlobeNewswire.

One of my favorite aspects of the stock data module is that Trade Ideas will also display similar stocks. By that, the platform doesn’t just mean competitors in the same industry. The software will actually find stocks with similar price action, which is a pretty neat way to find setups that fall just outside of your strategy parameters.

Holly AI

Holly is Trade Ideas’ virtual trading analyst built on artificial intelligence. It’s one of the most unique Trade Ideas platform features.

The software has 60 different built-in strategies that it reviews every night and optimizes by categorizing stocks and removing categories that underperform. At the end of this process, Holly chooses several strategies with the highest predicted chance of success and enters 5-25 trades per day based on those strategies.

Traders have access to several Holly-based strategies, including the flagship Holly Grail strategy. You can get alerts when Holly places trades and copy them manually, or opt for one-click trading or even auto trading using Holly’s trade ideas.

One thing I especially like about Holly is that the tool comes with a built-in risk assessment for each strategy. So, you can follow Holly in conservative mode, normal mode, or aggressive mode, depending on your own risk tolerance.

Trade Ideas offers historical performance data for Holly going back to the beginning of 2020. Since that time, Holly has produced a return of 69.5% when running in moderate risk mode and risking $100 per trade. 

Live Trading Room

Every Trade Ideas subscription includes access to a free trading room where users can share ideas and trade setups. This trading room is run by a professional trader and includes a live look at their screen throughout each trading day. There’s also a chat where traders can message with one another and pose questions about why the room leader is entering or exiting specific trades.

At the end of each day, there’s a live trading room recap for traders who want to know all of the trades that were executed.

Trade Ideas Trading Room

Multi-Strategy Support

Trade Ideas offers several features designed for traders that want to use multiple trading strategies during a single day of trading. First, Trade Ideas enables traders to set up multi-strategy alerts. This is a single alerts module that displays alerts for different strategies, color-coded by the strategy they represent.

In addition, Trade Ideas offers a real-time comparison feature. Traders can see at a glance which of their custom scans is generating results with the greatest frequency. This is helpful because traders can focus on these “in play” strategies and leave more dormant strategies for another day.

Real-Time Stock Racing

Another unique feature of Trade Ideas is its real-time stock racing tool. This feature allows you to visualize stocks from any one of your active scans and see which are delivering the most potentially tradable action. Ticker symbols are displayed in a bar chart that advances from left to right as stocks gain in price, trading volume, or any other filter that makes up part of your strategy.

I didn’t find this feature to be overly helpful, as the same data is available in Trade Ideas’ top lists. However, it can be nice to see how several stocks that all meet a strategy’s criteria compare on a key metric like intraday price change.

Trade Ideas Compatible Brokers

Premium subscribers get access to the Trade Ideas Brokerage Plus module, which enables traders to link the Trade Ideas software to a brokerage account at Interactive Brokers or ETrade. Traders can place live trades from charts or alerts in Trade Ideas. You can also set up automated trading based on the Holly AI engine’s trades.

Trade Ideas Customization and Layout

One of the key advantages of Trade Ideas is that the trading platform is endlessly customizable. Traders can open an unlimited number of top ideas and alerts windows, channels, backtesting windows, and more, and organize them across multiple screens however they see fit.

Trade Ideas also enables a huge amount of leeway in building strategies. The platform enables you to customize the premade channels and build custom formulas. It also comes with a massive range of filters for creating your own top lists and alerts.

Another customization feature I like within Trade Ideas is the ability to save favorite stocks. Favorited stocks are added to a channel called “Stocks I Like.” Anytime you open that channel, Trade Ideas will create a top list and alerts with all your favorited stocks – and idea surfing is activated to help you quickly find potential setups.

Trade Ideas Platform Differentiators

The Trade Ideas platform is one of the most comprehensive and powerful real-time stock screeners available for day trading. The trading software enables traders to monitor multiple strategies at once and provides updates and alerts in real-time throughout each trading day. It’s flexible enough to provide scanning for almost any trading strategy, and it offers a powerful backtesting tool to help traders optimize their strategies.

On top of that, Trade Ideas leverages artificial intelligence and pre-configured scans to deliver actionable trade ideas right out of the box. All of these tools can be put to immediate use thanks to Trade Ideas’ integration with Interactive Brokers and ETrade.

The only major drawback I found to Trade Ideas is its complexity. Trade Ideas is far from easy to use. It’s not that the interface is clunky, but rather that there’s a lot going on, and many of the platform’s tools aren’t straightforward to access if you don’t know where to find them. The main toolbar could use a redesign, and the platform could make it significantly less clunky to build screens. However, once you get used to using Trade Ideas, it’s not hard to navigate the platform.

What Type of Trader is Trade Ideas Best For?

Our Trade Ideas review found that this platform is best for active day traders who want to take their trading strategy to the next level. The software is highly powerful and highly configurable. Advanced traders will find that it generates actionable trade ideas and can help them spot setups in real-time. The software also works well for swing trading on short timeframes.

Beginner traders and traders with long timeframes may find that Trade Ideas isn’t as worthwhile. The Trade Ideas cost is a barrier, and the platform has a steep learning curve that takes practice to overcome. Overall, the software makes the most sense for traders who are willing to fully commit to it as their primary tool for trading stocks.

Trade Ideas vs. Other Stock Scanners

Trade Ideas is a very powerful stock scanner, especially for active traders who want real-time scans throughout each trading day. However, it’s far from the only advanced stock screening platform available, so it’s worth seeing how it stacks up against competitors.

Trade Ideas vs. FinViz

FinViz is a fairly strong scanning platform, but it doesn’t offer nearly the same degree of customizability as Trade Ideas. The selection of technical indicators is much more limited, and there are no built-in scans to help you get started right away.

That said, FinViz does offer enough filters to find gappers, top gainers and losers, and stocks with specific chart and candlestick patterns. Swing and momentum traders, in particular, are likely to find what they need on FinViz, and the platform is much simpler to use than Trade Ideas.

FinViz Elite, which includes real-time scan updates, costs $24.96 per month.

Trade Ideas vs. Scanz

Scanz is a very customizable real-time stock scanner that rivals Trade Ideas when it comes to actionability for intraday traders. Scanz enables traders to set up an unlimited number of custom scans using its Pro Scanner module, which is similar to creating top lists in Trade Ideas.

Scanz doesn’t offer an AI engine like Holly, and it doesn’t have backtesting capabilities, which may be enough to push some traders toward Trade Ideas. However, Scanz does have a breakouts scanner that offers a real-time feed of price and volume breakouts and breakdowns. Traders can replicate this in Trade Ideas, but I like the simplicity and color-coding of Scanz’s feed for spotting fleeting trade setups.

Scanz costs $99 per month, so it’s more expensive than Trade Ideas Standard but less expensive than Premium.

Trade Ideas vs. StocksToTrade

StocksToTrade positions itself as a direct alternative to Trade Ideas, both in price and feature set. Like Trade Ideas, StocksToTrade offers brokerage integrations for ETrade and Interactive Brokers (among others), advanced charts, strategy backtesting, and a real-time scanner.

StocksToTrade is a better option than Trade Ideas for traders who need a full charting and trading platform, not just a scanner. StocksToTrade has more charting options, including a wider range of technical indicators and an overall more in-depth layout.

Trade Ideas is better for traders who primarily want a stock scanning platform. The StocksToTrade screening tools are clunky compared to the top list builder in Trade Ideas. StocksToTrade does have an AI-driven scanner that’s similar in nature to Holly, but Holly manages a variety of trading strategies, whereas the StocksToTrade AI tool only offers one.

StocksToTrade costs $179.95 per month or $1899.50 per year.

Trade Ideas vs. Thinkorswim

Thinkorswim is an attractive alternative to Trade Ideas in large part because it’s free with a TD Ameritrade brokerage account. It supports an enormous range of features, including live trading from charts, strategy backtesting, and custom scans. Unlike Trade Ideas, Thinkorswim doesn’t come with pre-configured scans, and it doesn’t include any AI-driven scanning tools.

The benefit to Thinkorswim is that the platform makes it much simpler to set up a new scan using visual tools and parameters you can simply drag to modify. Another plus for Thinkorswim is that it has its own built-in scripting language, making it possible to create custom technical indicators and scan parameters.

I think Trade Ideas is the more powerful software for stock scanning for traders who can afford it. For traders who can’t, Thinkorswim is a worthwhile alternative.

FAQ: Trade Ideas Review

Does Trade Ideas work on Mac?

Trade Ideas offers desktop software for Windows operating systems only. However, the software is available as a web platform on both Windows and Mac computers.

Is Trade Ideas worth the price?

Trade Ideas is worth the steep price tag for active day traders who can make use of the platform’s real-time scanning, advanced backtesting, and AI-optimized trading strategies. For traders who are just starting out or who have timeframes longer than a few days, Trade Ideas may not be worth the cost.

How good is the AI trading on Trade Ideas?

Holly, Trade Ideas’ AI engine, has more than 60 trading strategies that it backtests each night after market close. Based on this backtesting and optimization, the AI will choose several of the most promising strategies and use them to place 5-25 trades the following day. Since the beginning of 2020, Holly has achieved a return of 69.5%.

How does Trade Ideas compare to other scanners?

Compared to other stock scanners, Trade Ideas is more powerful and more customizable – but also more complex and more expensive. Trade Ideas is best suited for traders who want to develop and optimize custom strategies and who can take advantage of real-time scanning tools to find and execute day trades.

Which Trade Ideas plan is better?

Most of the best features of Trade Ideas are limited to the Premium plan. You must have a Premium plan to backtest strategies and get access to entry and exit signals from the Holly AI engine. The Standard subscription offers a less expensive option for traders who just need a real-time stock scanner for their existing strategies.

Is there a free trial for Trade Ideas?

Trade Ideas does not offer a free trial, but you can sign up for just one month in order to test out the software. The platform offers public demos several times a year.

Are there promo codes or sales for Trade Ideas?

Trade Ideas occasionally offers promo codes that give traders 15% or 20% off the cost of an annual subscription.

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Theo Madsen

Theo has been actively trading the forex markets since 2013. Over the past five years, he has gained experience trading currencies, stocks, options, and futures. Theo's trading experience led him to test out over one hundred different trading services and he shares his insights in reviews to help other traders.

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