A Trading platform is the software that allows traders and investors to place trades and to track their accounts.
Today, most platforms might look the same to the novice trader, but under the surface you’ll find that each platform has its own unique elements.
All platforms these days offer quotes, charting, historical data, and of course, the most important execution window where you can enter orders to be executed by the broker. In addition you’ll find a management window where you can visually see all of your stops, targets, open and closed positions, account balance, etc.
Today there are mainly two types of trading platforms: one type is web based. It allows the trader to log on and use it from any place by using any internet connection. These platforms often run by using Java and multi-language options.
The second type of platform is a downloadable software that is installed on the trader/investor computer.
Most brokers offer both versions for the trader’s convenience. We believe a trader should pick a broker who offers both options and have the flexibility to work with the platform he prefers combined with the ability to have a backup in case either one of the platforms stops working for some reason.
Today, when you open an account with any major broker you are usually offered a trading platform free of charge, or at least a basic version of the trading platform with the option to upgrade for additional fee. That depends on the level, functionality and the sophistication of the platforms itself.
Free platforms are usually suitable for Investors who are less active in trading and following the markets. The most professional platform works well for active traders who use and have the need for implementing several strategies, trading several markets at the same time, etc.
Although there is a similarity between platform used for Forex trading or any other type of market, the Forex platform must have access to the broker for fast execution of orders, real time,accurate data feed and the option to access all types of orders available and so on.
Choosing between trading platform is a very personal thing, and every trader should take into his consideration the tools he must have in order to develop and execute his strategy.
Keep in mind that most brokers offer a demo account prior to funding it. This will give you the opportunity to test drive several platforms before jumping in with both feet.