Trading platforms, i.e spaces that enable traders to buy and sell financial assets and products, are the main tool of any online investor.
At present, opening a trading account with an online broker is quick and easy. However, behind this user-friendliness lies a fundamental choice in the career of the financial investor. It’s extremely important to select your trading platform carefully.
What is a trading platform ? How to choose a trading platform ? What are the pitfalls to avoid when choosing a platform ?
Here is a complete summary of the information you need to know to choose your trading platform and start your trading career on the right foot!
A trading platform is a computer programme (or SaaS solution) that is accessible via a computer, phone or tablet and enables investors to open, manage, and close positions on the financial markets. These investment services are offered through online brokers, who provide them in exchange for a capital deposit. However, trading platforms can also be used via free demo accounts to practice virtual trading, usually for training or strategy optimization purposes.
Trading platforms offer additional features for both novice and experienced traders. They provide numerous technical analysis tools, from the most accessible to the most sophisticated, access to online chat, and even financial news monitoring. On some platforms, it is also possible to program or use trading robots in order to automate your practice on the financial markets, or to access the history of the said markets to perfect your analysis. Although most platforms are generalist, some trading platforms may specialize in a specific market: currencies (Forex), commodities, or stocks among others.
In order to select the best possible trading platform, it’s essential to choose the right online broker. To ensure reliability, make sure it is approved by the financial regulatior for your geographical area, who carries out regular checks on brokers and allows the trader, in case of problems, to access legal support. In addition, the security of clients' personal data, as well as that of the numerous financial transactions they will be required to carry out, must be explicitly guaranteed.
Here again, the rise of online trading has increased the number of dubious brokers on the market, so it is necessary to focus on licensed professionals. Finally, it is very useful to find out about the reputation of the broker, especially via specialized forums or by consulting user reviews.
Since it is in the interest of brokers that their clients increase their earnings (since they are paid in commissions), the most reliable trading platforms offer many tips, video tutorials and articles to help traders learn. It is also important to find out the minimum deposit level required before signing up for a trading platform. The profiles of investors range from beginner traders to the most experienced professionals, and the financial means at their disposal are very different.
Ergonomics, ease of use and clarity of information are fundamental criteria. In particular, the position-taking interface must display the brokerage fees charged on each transaction, as well as the potential profits. More generally, an efficient trading platform should offer key information such as spread levels, price evolution via stock charts, or live financial news. Finally, depending on the investor's lifestyle, it could be essential for their chosen trading platform to be accessible anywhere, at any time, and from any device (mobile, tablet, PC...).
Depending on their trading strategy, different indicators opt for different platforms. The brokerage fees vary from one platform to another, meaning a short-term trader will have every interest in minimizing these costs, while a long-term trader will prefer, for example, diversity of technical analysis tools. Furthermore, depending on the investor's profile, it is important to choose a trading platform that offers the assets on which they wish to focus.
A trading platform is software that enables traders to invest in the financial markets. The choice of platform is crucial, and must take into account your investor profile and personal objectives.