How Zak Westphal Built StocksToTrade Into a Top Trading Platform

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on January 23, 2024

With the boom in stock trading among millennials and Gen Z in recent years, one platform has stood out for the throng of new traders it has attracted. StocksToTrade has been recognized for providing some of the most cutting-edge tools for traders and also bringing an element of education and strategy that many other tools lack.

The platform was founded by Zak Westphal, a veteran of the fintech industry, who spotted the need for a comprehensive tool that could help traders at any level of their career to better identify opportunities and work smarter. In this article, Zak shares what led to starting StocksToTrade and how the platform has grown to prominence in the trading industry.

Jordan French: What inspired you to found StocksToTrade?

Zak Westphal: There was an unfilled need within the fintech industry. Namely, there was trading software. However, most were just tools without any strategies. So, a new trader would be lost trying to find the right stocks to trade and invest in. So, we built out a trading platform that allows the user to hook it up to their preferred broker, and then use our specialized tools and algorithms to find the right trades. We took the most successful trading strategies from our analysts and programmed them into the software. So our users can simply log in and find the algorithm that works best for them and get to trading higher probability trading strategies.

JF: What led you into the fintech industry?

ZW: After the great recession and financial meltdown… many retail traders lost confidence in the stock market. They learned that the markets were rigged against the average Joe trader. Empowering retail and new traders with tools that helped them make solid trading decisions was a big interest of time. That is why I got into the industry and have been in it for 13 years now.

JF: What are some of the company’s milestones that you are most proud of?

ZW: We have reached over 30,000 paying subscribers. That was a huge milestone. Another was becoming a preferred partner of the NASDAQ. They invited us to ring in the bell and celebrate our robust partnership with them. The latest milestone, which I’m most excited about, is we now have three fully operational and running AI trading services. With no human touch. They run and give retail traders daily trade ideas, all run 100% by AI. We have over 5,000 subscribers just on our AI tools.

JF: What are some of the best lessons you have learned as a CEO?

ZW: A business is a living organism. Small changes that may seem benign could have huge ramifications across the business, whether it be culture, sales, and marketing. As the CEO, you need to treat the business as if you’re a professional athlete, always giving it your best and making decisions on the fly. Ready, Fire, Aim has been our mantra and has helped us pivot over and over again to grow the company.

JF: What excites you about the future of StocksToTrade?

ZW: We’ve invested millions of dollars into machine learning algorithms, which is starting to pay dividends with the wide acceptance of AI and AI tools. We were primed to be first movers on AI strategies because of the years of development we have put into algorithms and machine learning. I am most excited about taking AI into institutional investing and complex trading strategies.

JF: How do you see AI shaping the future of stock trading?

ZW: Trading and scanning tools will be obsolete if they do not adopt AI into their platforms. With the way programmers now can use AI to develop platforms, the barriers to entry will be much lower. The firms that embrace AI will be paid handsomely over the next few years, while those that don’t will be obsolete within a few years.

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Jordan French is the Founder and Executive Editor of Grit Daily Group, encompassing Financial Tech Times, Smartech Daily, Transit Tomorrow, BlockTelegraph, Meditech Today, High Net Worth magazine, Luxury Miami magazine, CEO Official magazine, Luxury LA magazine, and flagship outlet, Grit Daily. The champion of live journalism, Grit Daily's team hails from ABC, CBS, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Forbes, Fox, PopSugar, SF Chronicle, VentureBeat, Verge, Vice, and Vox. An award-winning journalist, he was on the editorial staff at TheStreet.com and a Fast 50 and Inc. 500-ranked entrepreneur with one sale. Formerly an engineer and intellectual-property attorney, his third company, BeeHex, rose to fame for its "3D printed pizza for astronauts" and is now a military contractor. A prolific investor, he's invested in 50+ early stage startups with 10+ exits through 2023.

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