While it is not as notorious as stock exchange market, the Foreign exchange market (Forex) is, actually, the biggest financial market worldwide, with a total of more then USD 5 trillion in trading per day. Forex has some unique characteristics, namely it is the most liquid, it is open 24 hours a day, five days per week, and anyone can participate in trading, be it company, person, or even country. This means that anyone can buy or sell currencies at any time of day or night. There are several significant financial centers where the currencies are traded, such as New York, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and quite a few trading instruments one can use in spot, forward or futures transactions. Each trader places its orders through brokers.
Despite being the biggest market in the world, Forex is not as regulated as stock exchange markets and not as transparent either. It doesn’t have a central exchange for instance, and every country has its own authority and sets of rules that covers FX trading and brokers. Being the biggest market with the easiest access, Forex gained popularity very quickly and despite the regulations imposed, as we said, by each country to ensure fair-trading, this sector attracts lots of shady brokers. Thus, in order not to be tricked by so-called brokers, the traders need to make a little research to ensure they trade with legit companies that have correct practices and offer correct gains.
Wide range of instruments
In the world of FX, there are quite a few Forex trading platforms that promise traders big gains or have a wide variety of trading instruments, but choosing the best ones can be rather complicated at times. In our attempt to help traders get the best of their money, we make a little research in this field and came up with the most competitive ones. What to look for in a trading platform? There are a few data that are important for a complete image of a platform, divided into two: technical and financial. In terms of financial, the cost of transaction (commissions and fees), minimum deposit, minimum trading lots are significant in making a decision to trade with one broker of another. In terms of technical details, how user friendly is a platform, if it includes a mobile version, the number of currency pairs supported, the tools to help trading – calendar, forecasts etc, are significant as well. Besides these two major aspects, best FX platforms offer some important support for traders in the learning process – tutorials both for using the platform and for the trading in itself, customer support or live chat.
Taking into account all these data, each trader can decide what is the best solution for him or her, test the platforms either with a demo account or with a minimum deposit account and see if his or her strategy is compatible with the respective platform and can get the best out of the trading process.
Financial aspects, fundamental
Coming back to the financial aspects, the first one is the overall trading cost. Some brokers charge a commission for every trade, have a minimum lot size for trading and, usually, these types of brokers have quite large minimum deposit limit. They are most used by traders that work with bog volumes. Beginners or traders who don’t want to put all their money with one single broker tent to use brokers with low deposits or no minimum limits. And there are quite a few in the top Forex trading platforms.
The trading platform is another key aspect of the trading process. The easier the use, the better the trading experience and results. What you need to look for in a platform is the variety of tools they provide. These tools help you in your trading process and can offer you useful analysis of the market, help you keep an eye on a specific currency or more currencies, alert you on events of your choice, offer all sorts of technical data that will help you prepare you trading strategy.
Besides the actual tools to help you trading, the learning tools are what make a platform best Forex platform. Namely, if it has tutorials to take you through the trading process, if it offers webinars, if it informs traders on new strategies and solutions. And finally, another important aspect is that regarding the support. If a platform is good in itself, but it doesn’t offer the necessary support from a dedicated team or if the respective team takes its time before answering to a question or helping solve an issue, then that platform is not what you need.
Different brokers, different approach
Now that we determined the most important aspects related to a trading platform, let’s look at a few of them that we analyzed and see how they work and what they have to offer. They are in no way ranked as we present them, but met the most points overall and are the most popular with traders of all sizes. They offer among the best trading software and give traders the solution they need to implement their strategies and make the most of their money.
So, let’s see what they have to offer. Interactive Brokers is a Greenwich based broker that is most suited for big trades, as it requires an initial deposit of USD 10,000, or USD 3,000 for traders under 25 years old, or USD 5,000 for advisor and broker clients. It offers a demo account so that the trader tries it before starting to invest. The platform has all three versions: mobile, desktop and web, it features Forex, CFDs, spreads and combinations etc. All these brought them several best FX trading platform awards.
Another strong broker is TD Ameritrade, offering a wide range of currency pairs, they offer interactive courses and webinars, but unlike the previous example, they don’t have a minimum trade requirement. And while they do have commissions on trades, you have the opportunity to get a 60 days commission free and a bonus of up to USD 600.
Some platforms put a greater emphasis on training process, such as FXCM, and have quite small accounts, such as the mini account, that requires a starting deposit of USD 50, and trade 1,000 lots. They offer a practice account of USD 50,000, as well, and try to attract traders with contests and rewards totaling at USD 10,000.
Among the top Forex software, OANDA, the Canadian FX company, has also a wide spread of currency pairs. Moreover, it offers both MetaTrader4, the best-known trading platform, but, unlike others, it also developed its own trading platform, fxTrade, that works ever since 2001. This is a feature that separates brokers as well. Some of them offer their own trading platforms (better or worst), some choose to work with MetaTrader, which is the most complex and best known platform, while others offer a combination of both for the convenience of the traders. Cityindex, for example, in London, advertises itself as best Forex trading software that offers not only currency pairs, but also CFD’s and spread bet. They chose MetaTrader for their trading, and charge low commissions, have low margins and flexible trade size.
Determine your needs, and choose smart
Therefore, in choosing a trading platform, you need to take into account your strategy and what you need the most from this platform. Some of the top FX trading software may be the appropriate solution for you or not. First of all, if you want to have a big mobility, you need to determine if a platform has a mobile version or a web based version or not. Then, if you rely on the charts and analyses offered by the broker, again, you have to determine if the platform you choose have several such technical tools (charts, indexes, calendars, alerts, news feeds etc). On the financial side, again, you have to know what you need – big volumes, low volumes, wide range of currency pairs or just the basic ones. And no matter what your needs in terms of trading are, one thing should be fundamental: the running of the platform. Because you can have the best of strategy and the widest range of tools available, but if the platform is of poor technical quality, none of these matter. The updates and keeping up with the latest technological developments are of high importance in the trading process. If your connection is lost, if a glitch appears, this may make the difference between winning big and loosing big. And the demo trading is relevant in making up your mind regarding a platform or another. The customer support offered is relevant as well. While some platforms offer only customer support via e-mail, others have live chat and, thus, more or less instant support.
All in all, the best FX trading software is the one answering to your needs and offering you the platform that accommodates your trading requirements and delivers best results based on your strategy.