When considering trading online, you will first need to have an account with a trading platform. That could be a trading app, or a downloadable piece of software that you use to execute your trades. But what is a trading platform, how do they differ, and how do you get started?
Trading Platforms In Short
A trading platform is essentially the interface that will allow you to buy, sell, or view a trading instrument. If you think of your mobile, or your PC as your hardware, then your trading platform is the software.
Just as you could not begin to create a spreadsheet on a PC without having an operating system (Windows, Linux) and a suitable application (Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, etc.). You could not begin creating trades online without having a trading platform to interact with.
Trading platforms are usually offered by an online broker that will populate it with all of the instruments that they offer you to trade with. These are provided free in 99.9% of cases assuming you are operating an active account.
In some cases you may find there to be inactivity fees if you are holding a trading platform account open, but not using it. There are demo platforms that you can use to avoid this if you are uncertain about actually making trades during the early phase of your online trading journey.
SIMPLE RECAP SO FAR
- Trading platforms are a piece of software that is used to execute and manage your trades online.
- Online platforms can vary from sophisticated and complicated to ultra simple. The level of your trading experience may determine which is going to be more suitable.
- There are multiple different factors you will want to take into account before deciding on the right trading platform for you. It is quite possible that the first platform you sign up to will not be your last.
Extras To Trading Platforms
Trading platforms will usually come along with multiple other tools and features. Some of the most common would be real-time pricing, charting, indicators, and news feeds. Certain platforms are more geared towards individual instruments such as stocks, forex, options, cryptocurrency, or social trading.
There are a couple of options with trading platforms in terms of structure: prop platforms and commercial platforms. Commercial platforms you will find more focussed towards day traders and retail traders. They are very ease of use and have a lot of additional features under one roof, such as news feeds and charts, and educational guides. Prop platforms are customized by brokerages to suit their specific requirements and are usually not going to be suitable for the average retail user.
People do use different trading platforms depending on their trading style, instrument they are trading as well as their trade sizes/volume. If you are still quite new to trading and learning your way, LeverageForex.net offer a how to trade section which provides an entry level guide to trading various instruments. You’ll learn what each instrument is, how to trade them and how to create a basic trading plan.
How To Choose a Platform For Trading
If you are considering making a choice between trading platforms, there are various points to consider. You will find a useful review section of various of the trading platforms, and the best brokers that offer the platforms on this section.