To trade the currency market, sign up with a reputable Forex broker that offers a Live and Demo account. They generally provide integration with the free Open Source MetaTrader platform as well as their own proprietary trading platform.
Using MetaTrader provides a base platform for Forex brokers to offer their own services. Each broker can customize their MetaTrader integration. For example, Oanda offers one-click execution on their default charting options.
Open source platforms provide freedom and flexibility.
The main benefit to traders is they can transfer any MetaTrader customization from one Forex broker to another, with very little interruption. This means the trader is not locked in due to software restrictions.
Web Forex Trading Platforms
Web platforms may present additional insights for the traders, such as:
- The volume of trades for the Forex broker
- Automated candlestick pattern recognition
Unfortunately, web platforms will often run slower because they are reliant on browser technology, which is inherently slow. This becomes a problem if you're a high-frequency trader or scalper. Web trading platforms do not allow third party integrations, so it's not possible to build indicators or automated trading strategies.
Mobile Forex Trading Platforms
Traders on the move may not always be able to reach a terminal, therefore having a Forex broker with a mobile app could help prevent missing out on trades.
Use a mobile app to keep informed whilst away from your main computer.
You can always carry a mobile phone in your pocket. Make sure you can keep an eye on price action and execute trades whenever you need. It also works as a backup if your main computer has a power outage if you do not have a backup generator.
MetaTrader 4 Platform
The MT4 platform has been around for many years and is still the de facto standard for trading. It has a vast and vibrant community of traders and talented programmers, creating both Indicators and Expert Advisors. Many novice traders download many Indicators and Expert Advisors. Resist the urge – simplicity is usually the key to success. Only use ones that will enhance your trading, rather than becoming a distraction.
A key feature of MT4 is its suite of backtesting tools. These are essential for algorithmic traders who wish to simulate their trading strategies over a period of time.
MetaTrader 5 Platform
MT5 is the next iteration of the MetaTrader platform. Unfortunately, due to non-backwards compatibility, MT5 has not been adopted by traders and programmers. Upgrading to MT5 would mean re-writing many of the MT4 Indicators and Expert Advisors that have been created. Don’t expect MT5 to be moving anytime soon.
- Web trading platforms offer very little over MetaTrader platforms
- MetaTrader 4 is generally the best free software for active traders
- Only use indicators that will help with your trading strategy (simple is better)
- Sign up to a Forex broker with a mobile app or web mobile friendly interface