By Contributing Author
When you begin trading, you hear all about Forex trading platforms. There is much talk about the features, capabilities and functions of the different options. It is generally accepted that MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is the best platform.
Nonetheless, it is crucial that you do your own research. Here is what you need to know when choosing a Forex trading platform.
What is a Forex trading platform?
A Forex trading platform is software that serves as an information channel between a trader and a broker. A trading platform will provide information including quotes and charts, prices and trends. It also provides an interface for executing orders through the broker.
There are Forex trading platforms that run on downloaded software, and others that are entirely web based.
What factors should I consider?
You should consider the following factors when choosing Forex software:
- Price: some of the best Forex trading platforms are free. MetaTrader 4 is the best example. So, if the software has a price, it is vital that you are getting something for your money. Find out what features are available that you won’t get for free.
- Indicators: find out what technical indicators are available in the charting function. Make sure they include everything you personally need.
- Operating system: while ideally you’ll choose a platform based on its functionality, unfortunately you will need to take your operating system into account as well. While MetaTrader 4 works wonderfully on Windows operating systems, its creators have not provided an option for Mac. Admiral Markets recently released MT4 for Mac – which gives you most of the functionality of MT4 for Windows. They also offer a web based version, that can be used across browsers and operating systems.
- Interface: of course, the interface is one of the most important factors in choosing a trading platform. Find out what capabilities it comes with, if you can trade from the charts, what types of orders are available and, basically, how easy it is to use.
- Data: find out what data is made available. Often, traders work with extensive historical data in order to choose their strategies. Ask whether historical data is available through the platform.
- Backtesting: this refers to testing your strategy against historical data. If this is how you plan to measure your strategy, it is vital that your chosen platform supports this.
- Expert Advisors (EAs): an Expert Advisor is software that analyses data and provides recommendations automatically. Not all EAs are equal. MetaTrader 4 offers the best options.
These are some of the factors you should look into when choosing a Forex trading platform. We won’t pretend we’re not partial to MetaTrader 4, but it’s for good reason! Traders across the board agree that it’s the best option out there.
Nevertheless, doing your homework will help you get used to the system, making it all much more intuitive.
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