Choosing the Best Forex Trading Platform

Choosing a forex trading platform is an important decision, and it will influence how much success you are able to achieve. After all, with better analytic tools, charting options, trade execution and server up-time, you will have a very real competitive edge. Conversely, with an outdated or less powerful platform, you will be a step behind other traders. This can spell disaster in a fast moving market, where split second decisions mean the difference between profit and loss.

What to Look For

To help you uncover the best forex trading platform for your specific needs, we will examine what to look for in more detail below.

Supporting Company

The first item to examine when trying to determine which system is best, is the brokerage company which stands behind it. No software exists in a bubble, as each forex trading platform is tied to a specific broker. It is this firm who will execute your trades, provide customer service, prepare account reports and often provide news and research tools as well. Therefore, it is vital to select a quality company, with whom to entrust your money.

What things should you look for in a broker? When it comes to forex trading, it is possible to find brokers who charge no commission, reducing your trading costs substantially. They earn their income through the difference between the bid and ask price, so you aren't charged directly. Secondly, you should always take a look at their credentials, to ensure they are properly certified and regulated. They ought to be a member of a governing body, or regulated by a well known legislative association. If you can't locate this information, you should avoid doing business with them! Also, firms which are regularly audited for financial integrity offer you an added level of fiscal protection, and are an attractive option.

Platform Software

The best forex trading platform in your situation, will depend upon your specific needs. Are you new to the market, and need a high degree of support and training? Then you'll want trading software which highlights this area, and is easy to use and understand as well. Many brokerage firms now offer free online training courses to complement their forex platforms, giving you a basic background to help get you started. Two companies which readily come to mind are eToro and Easy-Forex, and these both excel at instructing beginners. Also, many brokers now offer practice platforms too, which will give you a chance to get acclimated before you enter the market in earnest.

However, you may be an old hand when it comes to investing, and need the best forex trading platform for research instead. A platform package with this capability, will offer analytic tools and technical indicators. Many have advanced drawing options as well, allowing you to highlight certain trends which you see in the market. Some will allow you to customize your indicators, so you can chart patterns and events which you find most significant. This represents a large advantage over simpler platforms, as you may be able to spot opportunities you'd otherwise miss! One of the best forex trading platforms with an emphasis on research at the moment, is the MarketTrader4 software package.

Also, more sophisticated trading programs have a higher degree of automation as well. This allows you to set your trading rules in place, and then let the computer execute your trades automatically. This is a powerful feature, and one which new traders should avoid. However, if you have the level of skill needed to handle such a potent option, it is highly convenient. This sort of strategy will even allow you to enter positions throughout the day, even if you are otherwise occupied. If, for example, you have a full time day job, you could use automation to continue trading as you work.

No matter whether you select a basic package or a more powerful platform instead, the quality and reliability of your data is paramount. This can be a make or break feature, as without live quotes you can't trade effectively. Here you will want to research the up-time of a platform's network, to determine how robust and secure their servers are. Also, data encryption is important as well, as this safeguards your account information from harmful intrusion.

Trading Platform Format

Finally, when choosing a forex trading platform, you must decide the format which you prefer. What options are currently available? You can opt for desktop software, which you will download and install onto your local computer. This can be a bit more robust, and typically offers better charting tools and indicators. However, it is tied to a single device and if you are away from your computer you will be unable to access your account.

A second choice is an online platform, and web based programs have several advantages. They allow you to trade from any computer with an internet connection, making them highly flexible. Yet, they often have less features than desktop versions, so if you need in-depth research they may be a poor selection.

With the rise of powerful smartphones, you now have a third option as well. It is now possible to run trading apps on your phone, and this type of platform is truly mobile. These give you access to your account information as well, making it easy to check your balance when on the move. Yet, most traders use this as a backup measure, and rely upon either desktop or online platforms for daily use.

Other Considerations

You may want to receive market news and expert reports as well, and some platforms have this capacity seamlessly built in. These afford you the chance to hear breaking information which may affect the direction of the market. Also, with the ability to consult expert opinions right through your software package, you may gain a leg up on the competition.

Concluding Thoughts

So, when searching for the best forex trading platform you can find, you should consider the factors discussed above. First, examine the brokerage company who supports the software, to determine if they are a reputable operation. Second, you must decide if you prefer ease of use and help for beginners, or professional research tools instead. Third, you must select what format works best for you, whether it be a desktop, online or mobile platform. Finally, determine if market news and reports will elevate your trading efforts.

Taking all of these things into account when choosing a forex trading platform, ensures you will be pleased with the overall outcome. At the end of your search with the right software in hand, you will be able to trade more effectively for higher profit.