For any modern trader, a powerful trading platform is an important cog in the wheel. Whether you deal exclusively in foreign exchange markets or exhibit a bent towards multiple investment vehicles, your software platform should be robust enough to support your current and future trading needs.
Traders have many needs. They require advanced analytical tools to be able to foresee any dramatic market swings (both upward and downward) and to analyse its impact on their market positions. Besides, they need access to the heartbeat of the market in form of crucial news and updates. Many feel they should not only be able to trade directly from the charts but do so on any device running on any operating system. Another factor that weighs high on the traders’ agenda is the speed of deal execution. These constitute just some of the countless requirements of a modern-day trader.
A straightforward rule of thumb to select a trading platform is that it should enrich your trading experience and not add to the burden. So, in light of the selective needs of the modern trader and investor, an ideal trading platform should, at the least, have the following characteristics:-
Ultra-fast trade execution speed
Traders holding positions in highly volatile instruments know the value of a few milliseconds. When the market exhibits erratic behaviour with intermittent swells and plunges, a slight delay in trade execution could damage your returns; sometimes even result in huge losses. This means the trading platform you use should be extremely fast and reliable to honour your take profit and stop loss positions.
Since the trading fraternity is constantly on the move, the platform should be flexible so as to replicate this behaviour. This implies that the software should ideally have a desktop version, a mobile app, as well as a full-fledged web-based application. It also means the platform should be able to seamlessly run on all the operation systems. Most importantly, it should allow the user to save their trade workspace settings (including technical analysis, stock screens and watchlists) and customise the layouts. All in all, the trader must get a uniform experience irrespective of the device he/she uses to implement his/her trade strategies.
Multi-asset trade functionality
The platform should support trade execution of multiple investment vehicles, including popular ones such as equites, contracts for differences (CFDs), options, commodities, futures, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and forex. More asset classes supported means more convenience for the trader and more avenues to plan asset diversification strategy.
Advanced trading calculator
Another key feature of a trading platform is that it should be easy to use for the novice traders as much as it is for the veterans. The starters may find it relatively difficult to calculate their returns based on the pips and swaps; this is where the advanced trading calculator functionality can make life easier. It can instantly show you how much profit or loss you could make depending on your stop loss, lot size, and limit order, allowing you to make more informed trading decisions without getting lost in the jargons.
Live market news and analysis
The trading platform needs to keep traders abreast of the market movements and crucial events via live feeds, analysis, and running audio commentary. As a result, the traders can gain a greater predictability of events that may cause sudden surges and drops in the market and impact their earnings. On the flipside, they can constantly keep an eye on the real-time market opportunities.
Direct trading from advanced charts
An ideal platform offers users access to crucial technical indicators, such as Fibonacci Retracement, Elliot Waves, Chart Overlay, and Simple Moving Average, to name a few. In addition to this, they should allow traders to directly execute all trades (market order, stop loss, take profit, and pending order) from the charts.
One-click bulk order closing
The platform should allow traders to close all their open positions at once, thereby maximising the profit during winning trades and minimising loss during losing trades. Such a bulk order closing functionality can prove invaluable especially for highly volatile phases of the markets by allowing you to either close all deals or only the winning/losing ones.
Open-source support ecosystem via API
Though largely overlooked, having an appropriate open-source environment for product improvement and a robust support ecosystem with customised add-ons allows traders to customise their trading experience. Such a support community of developers goes a long way in helping traders realise the maximum potential of their platform as they can add or remove specific elements.
It is imperative that traders do an in-depth research on the functionalities provided by their respective trading platforms because a platform that fails to cover the breadth of the above-mentioned characteristics will provide a dreary trading experience. And as the rule of thumb goes the platform should enhance the trader’s experience not degrade it.
xDirect Markets is one of the leading brokerage firm in the trading industry with vast number of clientele followers. We are ranked as the top most firm with 8 years of experience along with top-notch trading services. We widely trade in Forex, Indices, and Commodities.