Types of Forex Platforms

Choosing the Right Forex Platform For You

Forex platforms provide traders with the access that they require to participate in the purchase and sale of currencies in the market.  They are an advancement of the telephone trades of yesteryear where traders had to call brokers on the phone to place trades, with no control over the price at which a currency was bought and no way to analyze the trade before entry to eliminate errors. Choosing the Right Forex Platform For You

There are literally hundreds of brokers in the marketplace. Some have designed their own proprietary platforms, but this is expensive.  To cut costs, many brokers have resorted to using white-label solutions provided by software vendors.

Several trading platforms exist, and these can be either web-based platforms or the downloadable desktop/smartphone platforms.  For the purpose of this discussion however, we shall discuss the various platforms that traders can use in the Forex market along with some of their key features.

1) MetaTrader

Easily the most popular trading platform offered by market makers, the MetaTrader platform currently boasts of the MT4 and MT5 variants of this platform. Despite being the earlier version, the MT4 is still far more popular ty than MT5.  Here are some of the key features of MT4.

a) User-friendliness: The trading platform's interface is extremely user-friendly, and beginners can easily learn to use the platform in a matter of minutes.

b) Order placement: This is very smooth and uncomplicated. The orders are described very clearly. Pending orders are described clearly Buy Stop. Sell |Stop. Buy Limit and Sell Limit.

c) EA support: Traders can use indicators and expert advisers coded on MQL seamlessly.

d) Charting: Traders have access to interactive charts and tools for technical analysis.

e) Availability on Mobile: Some brokers offer the mobile version of this platform.

2) ActTrader

This trading software is offered by ActForex. Here are some of its features:

a) User-friendliness: The trading platform's interface is not very user-friendly. It will take the trader more time to get used to the trading platform.

b) Order placement: This is a bit complicated. Traders have to be very clear about whether they want to use market orders or pending orders, because the pathways for the order process for these two order types are different (unlike what is available with MetaTrader).  Pending orders are marked as Limit and Stop orders, with the option to use the Buy or Sell Options for each. The process of setting stop loss and take profit points is done by using the Stop and Limit functions during the ordering process. There is a check-box for this which must be selected for the appropriate tabs to appear.

c) EA support: Traders cannot use indicators and expert advisers directly on the platform; they have to be plugged in through the ActFX facility.

d) Charting: Traders have access to interactive charts and tools for technical analysis.

3) Currenex

The Currenex platform has two varieties: Currenex Classic for institutional trading (Level II), and Currenex Viking Trader for retail traders. There are also the mobile and FIX Protocol versions of this trading platform. Brokers using Currenex include GFT, FXDD, Alpari, FXCM Pro and Capital Forex.

a) User-friendliness: The Viking Trader has a user-friendly interface. The Currenex Classic is not built for retail investors and so is not adapted to be user-friendly to that trader group.

b) Order placement: The ordering process on the Currenex platforms is much more complicated than the previous two platform types. The process of ordering and setting stops and targets is a multi-step process which the trader must take time to master before attempting to trade real money with.

c) EA support: The platform does not provide EA support.

d) Charting: Charting is available on the mobile and Viking Trader versions, but absent on Currenex Classic.

4) cTrader

cTrader is the most user-friendly of the institutional level ECN platforms. Traders have access to charts and the process of placing orders is much more user-friendly than you would have on other ECN platforms like the Currenex Classic. If the trader wants to trade on an ECN environment, this is the platform of choice. It is offered by brokers like FxPro.

In choosing a trading platform, there are many considerations. Ease of use, integration with expert advisers and a abundant choice of charting tools will ultimately decide the choice of platforms for traders.

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