The most important tool a Forex trader has is a platform. A trading platform is a piece of software from which the trader receives information and includes an interface for entering orders.
The correct platform can mean additional profits, so it is important to select the right one. Just as with every other aspect of your Forex investing, research is key. Every brokerage worthy of your consideration will allow you to set up a demo account to examine the platform. The best place to begin is with highly rated companies such as CMC Markets, which is consistently on the Money top 10 list.
A platform is a two way street. The most important aspects for the trader are the types of information that is available to the trader, and the ease and speed of using the interface to enter orders.
Forex platforms must provide real time and historical data to the trader. Additionally the platform should provide the trader with access to all of the types of orders available, allowing the trader both efficiency and flexibility.
Software or Web Based?
Look for a platform that meets your particular hardware style.
Computer based platforms consists of software that is installed on the trader’s computer. When using a locally based system make sure to examine any differences between Windows, Linux, and Mac platforms, especially if you plan to change operating systems anytime in the near future. Most reputable firms’ software will have the same functionality across all systems.
Web based systems offer a number of advantages. The trader can log in from any available computer, which provides for excellent mobility.
You should also explore the mobile device platform as well. The information on your tablet or smartphone should be as robust as the laptop and desktop platforms. Traders should expect the same functionality as with the other systems.
It is important to check the mobile, web-based, and software platforms from the demo account.
Other factors to consider
- Cost – Most platforms are free to use. Check to see what, if any, additional features are available at an additional cost.
- Information – Does the platform provide real time news feeds from respected financial sources?
- Order Interface – Check for the type of orders available and ease of use. Are orders immediately executed? Is there a limit on the size of trades, both minimum and maximum?
- Appearance – Is the display attractive? If you are going to be looking at a screen for long periods of time you will want it to be pleasing as well as functional.