Picking the right one from various trading platforms is a step you shouldn’t overlook. But, let’s start with trading baby steps. In the early days, trading was based on tape reading and if you wanted to find out the value for a certain moving average, you had to calculate it by hand. Now we can have 10 indicators on a chart and the platform we are using is doing all the calculation needed. That’s one of the main advantages we have from the technological progress and in this article, we are going to focus on the most common electronic platforms for retail trading.
Choosing from Trading Platforms
MetaTrader 4. Developed by MetaQuotes Software Corp., and released in 2005. The software is licensed to online brokers and they provide it to their clients. It consists of a server component and a client. The client component is provided to the customer, while the server component is run by the broker. Meta Trader 4 became widely popular because of the high degree of customization that it allows: you can create your own expert advisors or scripts and thus, automating the process of trading.
A big help in determining trends and price dynamics comes from analytical tools like channels,, trend lines, Gann or Fibonacci tools. Meta Trader 4 has 32 built-in tools to help with your analysis.
The terminal also stores the history of all your trades so you can later analyze your trading efficiency and the success rate of your strategy. The built in news feed keeps you updated with the latest economical and political news.
Expert Advisors can be built within the Meta Trader 4 terminal to automate your trading. If any errors are detected while compiling the program, you will be notified about them by the terminal. Once the EA is successfully compiled, it can be used for trading or testing a strategy.
Meta Trader 4 also offers a complete mobile platform for traders that need to leave their computers but don’t want to miss out on a good trading opportunity. At this time, Meta Trader 4 is the most popular trading platform among retail traders, offered by almost all the brokers, even if they also have proprietary trading software.
One of the platforms that is becoming more and more popular is ACT Trader. The reason it’s gaining popularity is because menus are intuitive, the platform is easy to use but at the same time there are a lot of options for the traders that need more complicated orders to enter the market.
Developed by ActForex INC., Act Trader is offered by more and more brokers as a free charting package when you open an account. They also offer a large variety of other trading platforms for web, android or IPad – ActWebTrader, ActPhone, ActPad and ActDroid.
As a new development, ActForex introduced ActVAT, a Visual Strategy Editor that allows you to build automated strategies, without writing code lines.
Another interesting and reliable platform is Ninja Trader, developed by NinjaTrader LLC, they are established in 2006 and headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
An interesting feature is the Trade Simulator which offers you the opportunity to test your strategies using full simulation of orders. The early stages of trading require you to learn by simulating trades and the experienced traders need to simulate market environment to test new trading concepts or new strategies.
For a new trader, picking one from many trading platforms is an important issue, because you must feel comfortable with the software you are using. If you don’t need sophisticated market orders to open a position or you don’t have a lot of positions open at a time, then go for a simple but reliable trading platforms.