Forex trading platform (also called trading software) is a program that you use when you trade. Compared with several years ago, there is an abundant variety of trading platforms with different features and options. A question that every forex beginner must be having is which is the best forex platform and why?
Most forex traders strongly believe that MetaTrader is the best forex platform available today. You have to understand, though, that there are a lot of different versions of MetaTrader. Most forex brokers alter their trading platform: add different features, time zone settings, trading options. However, all MetaTrader platforms share the same amount of trading capabilities.
Below is the screen shot of a typical MetaTrader 4:
I personally like MetaTrader software because it is user-friendly and convenient enough. It doesn’t take long to figure out where all the trading tools are and how to use them. Most importantly, it gives you exactly what each forex trader need:
- There is very simple zoom in and zoom out options. You have a little button on the right side of each window (with a little square). With one click you can increase and decrease the size of the charts.
- Different time frames are available: 1 minute, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 4 hours, daily, weekly and monthly time frames. Actually, there is an option to create any time frame you want.
- You have an option of different chart views – bar chart, line chart, candlestick chart.
- There are tones of trading indicators at your disposal:
- Trend indicators: Bollinger Bands, Commodity Channel Index, Moving Average, Parabolic SAR, Standard Deviation and average Directional Movement Index.
- Volumes: Accmulation/Distribution, Money Flow Index and On Balance Volume.
- Bill Williams: Accelerator Oscillator, Alligator, Awesome Oscillator, Fractals, Gator Oscillator and Market Facilitation Index.
- Oscillators: Momentum, MACD, RSI, Stochastic Oscillator, DeMarker, Bears Power, Bulls Power, Envelopes, Force Index, Average True Range, Ichimoku Kinko Hyo, Moving Average of Oscillator, Realetive Vigor Index and William's Percent Range.
Let’s not forget that there are also custom indicators, meaning that you can build your own indicator! And the best part of it all, you don’t need to know any programming to do so!
- There are great chart drawing tools available - Arrows, Vertical, horizontal and trendline, different text labeling and Fibonacci: 1-Timezone. 2- Expansion. 3- Channel. 4- Retracement. 5- Fan, and much more drawing colors and options. Very impressive!
- You also have an access to a special "Expert Advisors" system. It helps you to design your “Auto Trading” system. I personally never use it, because I just don’t believe in artificial intelligence in forex trading! But that just me. I bet there are enough forex traders that enjoy this tool and make profits with it.
- Among other things, there is strategy tester. You can use it to test one or several indicators.
There are many trading platforms with different features and options. Some of them are actually more advanced than MetaTrader, however it still favored the most by forex trader today.
I wouldn’t argue about the importance of forex trading platform, however I believe that it is much more important to find a good forex broker first. Without the reliable broker even the best trading platform worth nothing.
Forex trading happens to be an excellent way of generating good earnings on a consistent basis. There are many people who think that forex trading is quite complex. Sure, it involves a lot of follow up and monitoring but this does not mean that you cannot master the forex trade. There are a number of guides that can help you understand how the forex market operates. However, if you want to become a successful trader or investor then you should choose a forex platform that is perfectly suited to your needs.
What does it Offer?
An ideal forex platform is one that provides you with a variety of services. Always look for a forex platform that has the ability to set up your own trading rules, provide complete details of your account, place orders, provide currency charts and also provide you with accurate analysis of the various forex markets. Since there are a number of trading platforms in the market place, it can be quite difficult to find a suitable forex platform. It is important to understand that the services provided may differ from one platform to another. This means you should be aware of the information and services being offered so that you are able to select a suitable trading platform. For instance, if you find that a particular trading platform is not able to provide you with the required information to make a decision, it is suggested that you look for another forex platform.
Advantages Of MT4
The popularity of MetaTrader 4 is the biggest advantage as traders who become familiar with the platform can easily switch between the top forex brokers. The stability of the 15-year-old trading software is another key benefit with other MT4 features:
- One-click trading
- 50+ Indicators
- Pending and limit orders
- 9 time-frames
- Multi charting
Features such as algorithmic and social trading also benefit from the software’s popularity with the largest copy trader community and range of bots to download (called Expert Advisors) including those below from the marketplace.
Disadvantages Of MT4
The MetaTrader 4 platform does not suit those looking to trade share CFDs. The charting package is basic and while functional, it lacks the sophistication of other software packages. Other concerns include limited technical indicators, instruments, and timeframes.
It’s five years younger and sounds like an upgrade, but in fact, MT5 isn’t considered to be the better version of MT4. It really depends on what you want it for.
MT5 is geared more towards the US market and automatically complies with more US regulations than MT4 does.
While it’s true that it has more bells and whistles, like 44 graphical studies instead of 31, it’s really set up to deal better with high frequency automated trading. If that’s what you’re looking to do, then MT5 is for you, but if you’re not then you may find most of these additional features unnecessary and bulky.
The base operating software on MT4 is not thought to run any slower than MT5, so think of it more like a slimline version of the same thing with more of what you need, and less of what you don’t.
Things to Consider
Choosing a suitable forex platform can be quite tricky and hence there are a few things that you should take into consideration. Every platform has its own advantages and disadvantages. You will have to take these into account when looking for a reliable trading platform. Most platforms are designed exclusively to meet the requirements of certain segments of traders. So, it is important to understand your own strengths and weaknesses in order to select the best forex platform. For instance, if you are new to forex trading then you can choose a platform that includes basic functionalities. Likewise, if you are an experienced trader then you can choose advanced platforms that provide you with a variety of information and services.
FX Broker Platform Technology and Trading Tools
Forex trading involves complex instruments. With better charts, analysis tools, automated traded, and backtesting, you can become a better trader. However, it’s also about the interface and whether you can access these tools across all trading platforms including your phone.
Many of the best forex brokers today have a mobile app, but does it let you do everything that you can on a desktop or browser-based platform? In addition, how secure is the trading platform? Some forex trading platforms use a VPN to protect your privacy at all costs.
To the surprise of many, there are actually a number of great apps you can leverage to trade Forex. Thanks to the benefits of modern-day technology, trading Forex can be done through a smartphone. The best forex trading apps offer much of the same technology seen in the brokers listed above.
Training & Demo Account
The best forex platform provides a free demo account for its users along with training. In fact you can undergo training at your own convenience and choose to learn through videos or individual training sessions. Finally, once you find a suitable forex platform, make sure that you convert your demo account into a regular account so that you can trade with real currency.