Trading Platform – What It Is and How To Choose The Right One?

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Forex traders use many kinds of advanced software to complete their trades online. Probably the most used is the trading platform itself.

Today, there are many different trading platforms available across the world. However, not all trading platforms have the same features nor the same requirements. For this reason, it is essential that you learn about the various factors that distinguish trading platforms from one another.

Being fully aware of the differences between trading platforms will help you identify the best trading platform for your particular needs.

Forex Trading Platforms

What Is a Trading Platform?

A trading platform is the intermediary software between traders and financial institutions which enables investors to open their set market positions, place trades and monitor their accounts“.

The key to identifying which trading platform is best for you is to determine whether or not the trading platform matches your trading style and fulfills your trading needs.

For example, if you trade mostly while sitting at a desktop, an online or downloadable application will be best for your situation. You can find a list of the best online trading platform in this article.

However, if you make the majority of your trades from your mobile device, you will need to identify the best mobile trading platform for you and ignore the online trading platforms.

Below, we have a shortlist of some of the most widely used Forex trading platforms that you should be aware of also as a beginner trader so that you can make an educated decision about your trading platform. 

  • MetaTrader 4: MetaTrader 4, which is also known as MT4, is probably the most widely used trading platform. It boasts a robust auto-trading feature, an interface that is both user-friendly and attractive, and a wide array of charting features. In addition, MT4 is one of the few trading platforms that has back-testing capabilities. Relating to pending orders, MetaTrader 4 allows for four kinds of pending orders, which are sell-stop, buy-stop, sell-limit, and buy-limit.
  • MetaTrader 5: is a new and improved version of MetaTrader 4. Visually, MetaTrader 5 and MetaTrader 4 are almost the same. The big difference between the two is that MetaTrader 5 has more capabilities and more features than MetaTrader 4. MetaTrader 5 supports more types of orders, tends to be slightly faster, and has a much more extensive array of charting features. MetaTrader 5 is also capable of managing a more comprehensive collection of Forex trading instruments than MetaTrader 4. As an example, MetaTrader 5 allows for six kinds of pending orders, which are sell-stop, buy-stop, sell-limit, buy-limit, sell-stop-limit, and buy-stop-limit. MetaTrader 4 can only perform four pending order types (listed above).
  • ActTrader: is a slightly different style of Forex trading platform. It focuses heavily on the customizability of the appearance and allows traders to customize almost any part of the visual layout. ActTrader also supports a unique one-click feature, which gives you the opportunity to open and control your position with a single click. It also provides a visual tool for planning, editing, and automating your trading from directly inside of the chart without writing a single line of code.
  • Currenex: isn’t actually one trading platform. It’s two. The Currenex Viking platform was designed for expert traders and has an interface that might be difficult for beginning traders to understand and decipher. The second platform is called Currenex Classic. The Classic platform was purposely designed for beginning traders as it provides a simplified visual layout and a carefully chosen feature set.
  • cTrader: is a powerful trading platform on the ECN network and is valuable because it provides direct access to the currency market. cTrader provides access to a wide array of technical analysis tools, fast trade executions, and a surprisingly complete list of liquidity providers.
  • Trade Station: is best known as a powerful tool for Forex trading, and it is used by some of the largest Forex capital firms in the world, such as Interbank FX and Forex Capital Markets.
  • Advanced Trader: has one of the most user-friendly interfaces of the platforms in this article. It was designed for beginners and provides specific support tools that help you improve your trading skills. While Advanced Trader doesn’t have the same wide array of charting features that some of the other platforms have, the features that have been included were carefully chosen to be the most useful for beginning traders. An additional benefit of Advanced Trader is that it has online, desktop, and mobile versions.

Which Trading Platform is Best For You?

These are only the most common trading platforms available to Forex traders. There are many others, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Always be sure to carefully research each platform to fully understand how it might affect your trading style or trading needs.

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Braden Chase is an investor, trading specialist, and former research specialist for who helps aspiring investors develop the confidence and habits they need to make an income from the market. Braden has served as a registered commodity futures representative for domestic and internationally-regulated brokerages and has also spoken & moderated numerous forex and finance industry panels across the globe.


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