The best trading platform for retail investors
It goes without saying that the first thing you should be looking for in a trading platform is speed and stability. As long as the platform can be used to trade the financial instruments you have chosen for your portfolio and it provides swift order execution in the foreign exchange market without interruptions, you should be good to go.
However, more experienced traders can be a lot more demanding in terms of the features and services available in a trading platform and a broker’s platform offering needs to be able to keep up with this ever-growing need for innovation and smart features.
A variety of trading platforms
In truth, some traders even hold several trading accounts with multiple brokers in order to take advantage of the different trading platforms they have available. This is a common occurrence, especially if one broker’s offering doesn’t translate well to the mobile trading experience sought after by the majority of traders.
It should also be noted that if you are looking to start copytrading, or put simply, copy the trades of other more experienced traders, you should make sure that your broker’s platforms can be used in that regard. This is because automated trading including copytrading, forex signals and expert advisors or trading robots aren’t always supported by all trading platforms or brokers.
Automated trading has become incredibly popular with both beginner and seasoned traders as it allows investors without any knowledge or experience in the market to choose a profitable strategy from a variety of traders and mirror the trades in their own trading account. This way, they can enjoy potential profits for a monthly fee and generate passive income without going through the steep learning curve of trading forex.
The best forex trading platform
While you would be hard pressed to name the absolute best forex trading platform which is in fact a very polarizing issue – according to the numbers – the most popular trading platform in the entire industry is undoubtedly the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) by MetaQuotes Software. MT4 has become so popular because of its easy to use interface, great stability and the all-inclusive package it offers with an extensive range of technical indicators and automated trading solutions.
Due to its long-standing presence in the trading industry, MT4 has gradually incorporated most of traders’ demands into its software and now offers a complete trading experience that has proven almost impossible to beat. MT4 provides charting for more than 2000 trading instruments including forex, commodities, stocks and cryptocurrencies. Traders can choose to customize and enjoy the interface in their language for a truly localized experience and receive live forex quotes with one-click trading directly from the chart.
Traders can utilize the platform’s advanced tools to identify possible trends in the market as well as test the performance of their strategy based on historical price data. As most other platforms, MT4 offers both instant and pending orders that help traders protect their investment by automatically opening or closing positions depending on the profit target or stop loss limit set by the traders’ risk tolerance.
MT4 also boasts a mobile version for trading while on the go. If you spend a lot of time away from your main trading station, a mobile trading platform is a must-have tool. With a mobile trading app, you can access the market, monitor real-time price movements and execute trades as you would with the desktop version. The MT4 mobile app also offers the same powerful features as the desktop version which means you will have access to all the technical indicators and market analysis tools from your mobile as well.
While the MT4 trading platform is considered by professional traders as more friendly towards beginners; many financial institutions and prop firms still find it more than adequate for their uses. Therefore, even if your fx broker only includes the MT4 in its offering of platforms, you shouldn’t be deterred from signing up for an account.
Both the mobile and desktop variants of the MT4 platform allow for trading with a demo account which can be invaluable for beginners in the industry. Through demo trading, investors can try their hand in the forex market without the high risk involved with trading with real money and insufficient knowledge and experience. The need to start with a practice account becomes even more pronounced in retail forex since it involves leveraged products which aside from the potential profits also increase a trader’s exposure to downside risk.
There are several free trading platforms that you can try out – all with their own benefits and drawbacks. It’s also common for an online broker to offer premium platforms to clients of different account types so that is also another factor to consider before signing up.
While most traders will be satisfied with the features and tools available in the prominent MT4 platform, you can still try out the rest for yourself with a demo account to ensure that you are comfortable with the interface and charting tools available. These two elements can be very impactful during trading and therefore you should look to master these as quickly as possible.
Stability and performance are another important aspect to consider and you should choose a trading platform that is properly supported by all your devices to ensure a seamless experience regardless if you are trading on desktop or mobile.