There are a good few decisions you have to make when you first start out trading forex, or even commodities and precious metals. One of the big ones is the trading platform you’re going to be using. This is the piece of software that your broker account is linked up to, and the gateway to the markets. It can be a dedicated piece of installed software, a browser-based program, or even a smartphone application.
You’ll find that there are a considerable number of platforms put there. Your broker may have their own, or they may recommend a particular developer. It’s your choice, and most platforms will work with the majority of brokers, but it’s worthwhile checking before you download and set up.
Most platforms are in fact quite similar; this is to be expected because in the end, they’re all allowing you access to the same products for the same market. The major differences come in the user interface of the program and the additional tools that come with them.
The UI, or user interface, is something that depends almost entirely on your own tastes and the only real method of finding out what you like is to try them out. Some are more graphics intensive and others sacrifice aesthetics to fit more information on the screen. It’s completely up to you which you go for.
There are all kinds of different tools that you can use in your fx trading, from live news updates to economic calendars and audio streaming. You can often get all of these separately but the more features that your fx trading platform has, the better. The simple reason for this is that it makes things less time consuming and more convenient. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker though.
You should also check reviews before deciding on the platform. You want something that’s going to be reliable and is known to be free of bugs. It’s easy to find feedback from other traders and it’ll help you work out which platform is rated the most highly.
These are the main things to think about but there might be other factors, too. Platforms are constantly developing and there are new and innovative ideas around. Mobile trading is becoming very popular and if this is what you’re looking for, then you’ll need a platform that has a smartphone version. Automated trading is also extremely attractive but not all platforms are compatible with the most common forex robot programming so you’d have to do some research. Finally, social trading which integrates social media into your account, may be something that interests you, especially if you’re looking to learn. More and more brokers are offering it but not all combinations are available.
Above all, make sure you’re comfortable with the platform you choose. It’ll make the whole trading experience that much more rewarding and if you decide eventually that you don’t like it, there’s nothing to stop you trying a new one out.