Any success you have with Forex trading will not just be down to your analytical skills, money management and good timing. While those traits are undoubtedly vital, there’s one factor you must consider before anything else – and that’s which platform you’ll use to trade on.
There are hundreds of Forex brokers to choose from. Some excellent, some average at best. So, it’s important to compare trading platforms before signing up with a broker, making sure you select one that meets your particular needs.
Why is it important to look at a choice of Forex platforms?
Variety is good, but you must ensure you’re getting what you need from your chosen trading platform.
- Speed. Trading in Forex is often about split-second timing. As soon as a price hits your entry point, you want to execute your trade (either manually or as part of a programmed trade). Make sure your platform pricing is instant, not lagging and is as crystal clear as it can be. When you execute, you want that trade to be completed instantly, before any further shift in price which could render your position pointless before it even has a chance to fly.
- Services. While it might seem obvious to experienced traders, those less qualified may not be aware some brokers have minimum trading limits. You might be forced to risk a minimum amount in any one trade that could wipe out your balance. Trade within your limits and find a broker that allows you to do so. Additionally, what sort of spread does the broker offer, and is a margin account available?
- Additional bells and whistles. How good is the customer service? Do the broker offer advice and training materials? Are there good trading signals, clear charting, provisions for showing breaking economic news? Does the platform cover all the currency pairs you want?
- Security. Trust is vital when looking for a platform. It’s advisable to use a broker from your own country, with an account in your own currency, and which is licensed.
Five trading platform recommendations for 2019
- FXTM (ForexTime) is one of the leading retail FX brokers and suitable for experienced and novice traders because it offers a choice of account packages. And it’s not just a Forex broker; it recognises that traders like to diversify their portfolio. Hence you can also trade on indices, commodities and stocks. FXTM offers either the MT4 or MT5 trading platform for its clients (both suitable for mobile use, too). Licenses are held in the UK, Cyprus, Belize and South Africa.
- FOREX.com is as good as you’d expect from the company that bagged the premium domain name. Serving a global client base in multi-regulated territories, including the US, UK, Australia and Canada, it’s a true global market leader. There’s a vast range of currency pairs (over 80), indices and stocks to trade, and it claims to be the world’s largest MT4 platform broker. There is also a web trading solution.
- FP Markets has more than a decade of experience in the Forex marketplace. Starting in Australia, it is now open to customers around the entire Asia-Pacific region. There are no less than five different account types to cater for every type of trader, and in Forex, the minimum trading volume starts from 0.01 lots.
- XTB started life in 2002 and is located in London, where it is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It has offices in 11 countries. Awarded Best Trading Platform 2016, it offers a Standard or a Pro account, both offering a wide choice of markets, including 49 currency pairs, stocks and indices, metals, energy and agriculture commodities and more. It offers the MT4 platform or its proprietary xStation platform, for which it won the award from Online Personal Wealth.
- UFX is another Cyprus-based broker, regulated within the EU since 2011. It only offers the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform to its Gold and Platinum account holders, meaning everyone else must use the browser-based ParagonEx Web Trader 4.0. It’s simple enough to use and does the basics well, and is mobile friendly. There are five account types in total, and everyone gets daily tips, a video knowledge base, 24-hour live support and a personal trading trainer, which is a neat touch.
Spend time getting to know your Forex platform for free
If you’re still unsure about which platform to use, then why not open a few demo accounts? There’s no financial risk, and you’ll get a great feel for the software and the broker’s services.