Choosing Among Forex Trading Platforms

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Forex trading platforms are the special technologies on which Forex traders conduct their activities. (Forex is the world’s largest currency trading market). There are several platforms available, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. It is helpful to understand how the platforms differ and which platform features might benefit you in your specific situation

The World’s Most Popular Forex Platform is Metatrader

Metatrader is head and shoulders above its competitors in terms of Invexeo. The current version is MetaTrader 4, usually known as MT4, and version 5 will be released shortly.

How do we Account for MT4’s Popularity?

MT4 has significant strengths that traders appreciate. It is an efficient platform that permits the trader to perform a number of jobs quickly and easily. These jobs include trading, doing charting analysis, accessing built-in indicators and even running other trading models including automated bots.

MT4’s power comes from its ability to let the trader use the MQL4 language to build her personal trading models and customized indicators. Traders who develop their own personal system have the option of selling their models to other traders. Since other traders are likely to be using Metatrader as well, given its popularity, they can readily install models developed by other traders.

Another advantage to Metatrader is that it gives you the option of doing your Forex trading on your PDA, smartphone or other wireless device. Therefore, you have the freedom to conduct your trading activities while you are on the road or otherwise away from your computer.

You can only use Metatrader if your broker has installed the proper Metatrader infrastructure on the server. Given Metatrader’s universal popularity, it is likely that this is the case. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Some brokers have gone another route.

Custom, In-House Trading Platforms

Rather than use Metatrader, certain Forex brokers have created a proprietary, in-house platform. By using their own proprietary platforms, these brokers have complete control of the trading environment and can customize it to suit their tastes. Similarly, they can issue bug fixes, create upgrades and respond to customer feedback regarding desired additions or changes. Therefore, modifications and updates can happen faster than you might find with Metatrader, and can appear to be more sensitive to customer requirements.

The down side to these custom Forex platforms lies in the fact that traders are unable to use bots and other applications that are designed for the MT4 systems. Traders opting to use these MT4 applications with a custom platform must execute orders by hand rather than relying on automation.

Also, since that some of these custom platforms run on software such as Java or Adobe Air, their performance may be less reliable than you find with Metatrader.

Some traders question the wisdom of using an in-house platform, given the enormous popularity of MT4. However, there are cases when it makes good sense to go the custom route.

Accommodating Special Trading Needs

Despite the advantages to using Metatrader, you may find a broker with a platform that offers certain features that appeal to you. As one possibility, a broker might offer a web version of their platform. A web version may allow you to conduct your trading from behind a corporate firewall, an activity that a MT4 installation does not allow. Other custom platforms may allow you to start trading for as little as $100. This can be an important consideration for a beginner or for someone who plans to trade on a low budget.

Your choice of platform depends on your unique requirements. It is always a good idea to research your broker’s platform before signing up, and choose the one that best suits your needs.

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