If you are new to trading, you can go about finding a trading platform in one of two ways. You can either narrow down your broker choices first and then look at the platforms they support or decide which platform is right for you, and then find a matching broker.
The advantages of choosing a platform first are:
- If you have a connection to a platform already – examples would be that they used it before or recommended by a friend/trading coach.
- If you want the flexibility of movement between brokers in the future.
- If you plan on having accounts with multiple brokers and would prefer a single piece of software.
Here are a few suggestions that might help beginners to find what they need from a platform to get started in the Forex market.
What is a Forex trading platform?
A trading platform serves as a connection between traders and brokers. In addition to executing trades, it shows charts and analysis, which help in doing the analysis needed for trading.
In choosing a platform, find one that provides a nice variety of technical tools that carry out a meticulous analysis of the market, help find trading opportunities, and make trading less complicated.
Some platforms offer a social trading component or add-ons that can be purchased. This allows traders to copy the trades of others on the network. Other platforms will allow traders to set up algorithmic trading. Be cautioned that automated trading strategies come with a potential for a significant loss, so an experienced trader needs to have a constant watch on trading activity if this is going to be used profitably.
Are Forex platforms free?
The vast majority of trading platforms are free of charge. Those that come with a small fee are very rare and are limited to institutional platforms. Cost should not be your biggest concern in choosing a platform.
What are the best trading platforms?
With a few exceptions, the best trading platforms are those which are supported by multiple brokers and are maintained independently.
MetaTrader by MetaQuotes is by far the industry standard and is thus an excellent option for traders to consider. It started out and continues to be, an independent platform that is loved by traders and quickly gained popularity because of the third-party add-ons and automated trading is enabled – in the form of scripts called expert advisors (EAs). In 2005 with the launch of MetaTrader4, that brokers started offering the possibility of trading on the MetaQuotes platform and their position as the market leader was confirmed.
The brokers often give support for the MetaTrader products, so new traders with questions about how it can be used should contact customer service. Even with the subsequent launch of MetaTrader 5 (MT5) with additional functionality, MT4 remains to be the trader’s favourite.
Algorithmic trading and the possibility of using EAs is still one of the main draws to the MT4/MT5 product. To write EAs, you need to be a programmer in the MQL5 programming language, but there is a community store where you can buy EAs should you wish to include them in your trading strategy. They can be found here:
Top MT4 brokers
|Broker||Min. Deposit||Regulated by||Next Step|
|$ 5||CySEC Regulated.||Open Account
|$5||CySEC Regulated.||Open Account
cTrader by Spotware may not be the market leader, but it is another well known independent trading tool launched in 2010, that I would consider to more beginner-friendly than their MetaTrader competitor.
At the time that cTrader launched, all that existed in the market was poor quality broker trading platforms and MetaTrader 4. MetaTrader at the time was not intuitive (and is still not), and the user interface was not appealing and outdated.
With the Trader First approach, the cTrader product suite broke into the market with a promise of creating a trading tool that was easier to use and delivered better features. cTrader is far superior to MetaTrader with advanced charting and order control.
If you are looking for a platform that looks more modern, then cTrader is your choice. This choice will not give you the same possibility of changing between brokers with the same software as would be more possible with MetaTrader because there are fewer brokers who offer this software choice, and the community using it is smaller and thus less able to provide help with creating EAs or providing support in the forums.
cTrader is not as famous as MetaTrader which I think this is primarily due to the origins of the product – MetaTrader was once the single option and the community built and supported it, whereas cTrader came in as a commercial product trying to succeed where MetaTrader has failed. So don’t be turned off by the lower adoption rate as cTrader has its fans, myself included, that feel it offers a superior trading experience to the alternatives.
Beginners who want a dependable software, and want to trade with a specific broker that supports it should choose cTrader over MetaTrader. cTrader his is a comprehensive tool for new traders who wish to have a platform that looks current and is less complicated to set up.
Top cTrader brokers
|Broker||Min. Deposit||Regulated by||Next Step|
|$ 200||ASIC Regulated.||Open Account