Understanding Trading Platforms
A trading platform is a software that enables investors to execute trades online via a financial intermediary, typically a brokerage. These platforms come with features like real-time quotes, interactive charts, and news feeds to assist in investment decisions. They are either available for free or at a nominal cost, provided the user maintains a funded account or completes a specific number of monthly trades.
Types of Trading Platforms
Trading platforms broadly fall under two categories - prop trading platforms and commercial trading platforms. Prop platforms are bespoke applications built by large brokerage firms, reflecting their electronic brokerage models. Meanwhile, commercial platforms are designed for retail investors and day traders, providing features like charts and news feeds to aid in research and access relevant information.
Choosing the right platform requires hands-on experience in active trading, which involves using various tools and techniques to identify trends.
Selecting a Trading Platform
To choose a trading platform, traders need to compare the features and fees of various platforms based on their needs. For instance, some traders might require advanced tools such as market depth information, while others may prefer simpler platforms with lower fees. Reviews, ratings, and feedbacks can also be useful, though one needs to be wary of potential biases or conflicts of interest among reviewers.