When it comes to choosing a forex broker, there are many characteristics and features that need to be assessed and considered. One of these being the forex platform employed by the broker.
What is a currency platform?
A forex currency platform is the software used by the brokerage to allow for traders to interact with the market and their respective financial instruments. A currency platform may be accessed through various mediums. Some brokers provide the interface online or a mobile application whilst other programs are downloadable.
Forex Brokers offer different forex trading platforms to their customers, some providing popular platforms, with easy to use interfaces. Whilst other brokerages offer custom made trading platforms suited to the needs of their clients. You can view this useful trading software list and below discusses the top platforms worldwide.
MetaTrader4is known as the most popular retail platform for currency trading. This platform allows customers to trade Forex, as well as analyse markets and engage with expert advisors. MT4 has built-in mobile trading that enhances the customer experience when trading.
With over 80% of Forex Brokers offering this platform, many customers engage with MT4 for its ease of use, practical interface, and speed of execution. By using the MT4 interface, many traders are able to switch forex brokers with ease – due to the familiarity and popularity of the platform.
MT4’s most known features include; (1) One-click trading, (2) pending and limit orders and (3) multi charting. In addition to these, the ability to engage with social trading provides a trading community with which to call on for advice and guidance.
Although the positives far outweigh the disadvantages of MT4, is it important to note them. MT4 does not allow traders to trade share CFD’s. Further, it is relevant to advise that for more experience traders the functionality of the platform is not up to scratch as well as its charting package.
One of the leading brokers that use the trading platform MT4 is Pepperstone. Pepperstone also offers MetaTrader5, the newer version of MT4.
The team behind MT4, released this trading platform a few years later. The prime reason behind the release of a new platform was to allow traders employing MetaTrader to engage with share CFD trading.
The advantage behind MT5, is that the platform does not focus solely on currency trading. Platform is faster, offers more indicators as well as a wider range of order types. The most integral features of MT5 include; (1) 21-time frames as opposed 9 in MT4, (2) netting and hedging mode options and (3) a depth of market function.
Traders should not that the biggest point of contention when it comes to MT5 is its programming language; known as MQL5. Due to the new programming language involved in the trading platform – there has been a slow uptake on its use. More traders are comfortable with MT4’s language as it is familiar and more simplistic to use.
cTrader is a trading platform that has been created by Spotware, and is offered by a wide number of retail foreign exchange brokers. When cTrader stacks up to MT4 & MT5 its main advantages are its superior analytical and graphic objects as well as its level 2 pricing.
However, cTrader holds a smaller market share meaning that the online community that employs the platform is limited when it comes to the copy trading environment. Spotware who created cTrader has its server in the UK; and at times this can be an issue for accessing liquidity and its execution speeds.
Custom Trading Platforms
MT4, MT5 and cTrader are the leading trading platforms. But there are specialist platforms created by various brokers to suit to their trader’s needs. These include; (1) eToro’s Trading Platform, (2) Plus500 Platform and (3) Next Generation Trading Platform
eToro Trading Platform
The broker eToro specialises in the aspects of Social Trading and Copy Trading. Their platform highlights their special characteristics. The eToro trading community allows for traders to copy real-time trades, with those being copied offered rewards.
Those traders seeking to engage with a Forex community are recommended to use the eToro trading platform.
This trading platform is best known for being the leading option for beginner traders. This offers an easy interface, with the ability to trade various asset classes, including indices and crypto.
It is known for a two-step safe login as well as its availability in a lot of languages. The interface is clean and for a first-time trader is preferred. As discussed in this etoro review the can also be used by US Investors for share trading.
Next Generation Platform
This platform is used exclusively by CMC Markets. This platform has been built with over two decades of Forex experience. The platform is web-based, and known as fast to execute. The platform is able to provide a various number of features to brokers and stands up as a reliable platform.
Trading platforms are a strong indicator for a trader when choosing their preferred broker. It is important to invest time and effort when researching the relevant brokers and platforms engaging with them to determine which is most appropriate for your trading strategy.