There are many Forex trading platforms available. The sheer number makes it important to consider the right factors when you make your choice.
So which platform is best?
“ACME Forex Trading Platform is best.”
It might be true for Wile E. Coyote… and the Road Runner might prefer the fast Speed-Seed Forex trading platform. Too bad for us, neither exists.
There’s a lesson here:
There is no “best” Forex trading platform. Like everything else in life, there are always trade-offs for any choice.
Let’s get straight to the point. We’ll go through the key factors to identify the best Forex trading platform for you.
Forex Trading Platforms – Factor #1: Layout and tools
Serious traders want things to look a very specific way. It’s a fair desire given the amount of time they spend in front of computer screens.
That’s why the layout and the ability to customize the look and feel of the platform is a big deal. And there’s something besides the visual layout that is crucial to your trading.
It’s the ability to remove unwanted distractions.
This important ability lies in layout. Chose a Forex platform where you can remove distracting elements. It’ll help you stay focused and keep from getting sidetracked.
You spend your trading day interacting with the layout and tools you have set up. What tools you use are an important consideration.
There’s no hiding my passion for trader-empowering tools like TAS Market Profile. So the ability to access those tools on a trading platform is very important to me.
Not all platforms will allow access to all tools. So make sure to select a trading platform that will display the ones you need.
There’s a case for using multiple platforms at the same time. But don’t let things get too out of control. Keeping things simple with a single well-chosen platform is usually best.
Forex Trading Platforms – Factor #2: Customization and flexibility
Forex trading platforms offer varying degrees of customization and flexibility. Increased competition has fueled these benefits to the trader.
Most platforms seem to err on the side of the more features and customization options the better. A decade ago, I would have agreed with this. I thought more choices meant more satisfaction.
“Make sure your Forex platform can be customized to what you really need.”
But I now see that there is a downside to having more options. Having more choices leads to the necessity of undesirable extra decision making. Flexibility isn’t always a benefit.
There are enough choices and important selections that we have to make in trading. Wading through tons of platform customization options feels like a mile-long mediocre buffet. Most would rather have the elegant meal that they actually wanted.
Forex Trading Platforms – Factor #3: Broker neutrality
Many Forex brokers have great proprietary platforms that have excellent functionality and versatility. They only have one issue.
This flaw is the inability to save your settings if you decide to change brokers.
Calling it a fatal flaw may be too extreme. But the inability to save settings is unfortunate. Losing hard-earned familiarity when changing brokers tops the list of cons as well.
Trading is best when good practice becomes a habit. Arriving at the same trading screens and platform interface day after day can be a part of that habit.
My preference is to use a platform that is broker neutral or has a multi-broker capability. Topping that list of platforms that have this feature is NinjaTrader.
Forex Trading Platforms – Factor #4: Speed
Many Forex brokers who offer their own trading platforms cite speed as a benefit. Speed definitely is a benefit.
Yet, the speed they refer to has more to do with the broker’s speed of executing and confirming trades. It can have little to do with the platform itself.
Computers, tablets and even phones are so powerful now. Could a trading platform’s programming be so poor that it’s the reason for slow execution? It’s very unlikely.
“A fast Forex platform is a benefit, but your strategy is more important.”
Speed is a factor in trading success. Nobody would deny it. There’s also the big case for strategy. The argument can be best summed up by:
Never be in a rush to do something stupid.
Focus on Forex strategy first, and the need for speed (if any) will become clear over time.
Forex Trading Platforms – Factor #5: Financial stability
Company financial stability is a consideration for all traders. Nobody wants their broker to go out of business.
It’s most pertinent to traders who use platforms that are bound to one specific Forex broker. The vast majority of brokers have their own in-house platform interface. It’s usually the software that you open when you start an account.
Without turning this into a corporate finance lesson on how to read a balance sheet, I’ll leave it at this. Forex markets are highly decentralized. They have a reputation for being much less regulated than other trading markets.
The only thing worse than not making money in trading is making profits that you’re not able to withdraw. Chose your Forex broker with care to protect your deposit with them.
The Best Forex Platform For You?
As stated at the beginning of this article, it is different for everyone. Use the 5 factors in this article to uncover which Forex trading platform is the best fit for you.
For more day trading techniques, tools & strategies, check out these articles:
- Biggest Dangers When You Trade Stock Options
- Top 3 Things To Ask Before You Start Trading Forex
- TAS Market Profile: Review Of TAS Trading Software
These five factors can help you choose from the best Forex trading platforms.
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