Forex Trading Software: A 2016 Overview
The software you use to place trades and manage positions in the Forex market can mean the difference between long-term profitability and blowing up your account in a matter of 6 months or even less. In fact, multi-billion dollar hedge funds and professional investors allocate a great sum of money to acquire cutting-edge software and talented individuals who can design complex algorithms to better predict price movement, all of which are done in the hopes of getting even the slightest edge against the market. But for a regular Forex trader, these seemingly infinite resources in talent and capital may be out of reach. This guide aims to equip both beginners and professional FX traders in finding and implementing the right Forex trading software without breaking their bank account.
There are many platforms that specialise in Forex trades, but only few can really deliver. When comparing brokers and their respective trading platforms, one must take into consideration key factors that directly affect trading approach. Cost per trade is one critical factor that affects bottom-line. In Forex, the commission paid to the broker is usually based on the currency spread, or the difference in price of two currencies paired together. The value of the fee is also converted to a PIP value, which is the standard measure of movement in Forex, rather than a dollar value. Depending on position size, the spread fees will fluctuate.
For example, buying 15k of NZD/USD will cost you $1.80 in opening and closing a position or what traders call a round-trip trade. Here’s 5 well-rounded competitors in the FX market broker race that excel in those key factors that make the best Forex trading software.
One of the forefronts in the FX market is FXCM or Forex Capital Markets. This web-based foreign exchange market broker is headquartered in the U.S. The firm offers services
through its own trading platform. The FXCM platform is recognised for the speed at which trade orders are executed as well as its approach as a non-dealing desk, meaning the broker doesn’t take the other side of the trade thus giving the trader a fair chance of making money over time. Traders using FXCM are given a 200:1 leverage, which they can use to trade 50 different currency pairs available.
ThinkForex is another high-speed execution trading platform that is rapidly growing in the FX market. The Forex trading software is made compatible for both Microsoft and Apple computers as well as android devices, giving traders access to their accounts whenever and wherever they need to. A minimum deposit of $250 is required to open a ThinkForex account. The deposit as well as any other future transactions can be made via MasterCard, Visa, Amex, Paypal, Skrill, wire transfer, BPay, and Global Collect.
MetaTrader 4 & 5
MetaTrader 4 and 5 are both online trading platforms offered to both beginners and advanced retail traders. It was designed by MetaQuotes Software and was launched in 2005. The platform features a simple and user-friendly interface that conveniently categories buttons on the top left corner of the application. Advanced traders have access to an open source free library of software, articles, and guides.
In just over a decade MetaTrader has become one of the most popular
Forex trading software in the world. So much so, that all the top Forex brokers from around the world including Pepperstone, ThinkForex, Easy Forex & IC Markets offer the platform. The reason for its rise in popularity is due to the seamless trading experience including interactive charts, super fast order execution and the ability to use it on a range of devices from desktop to mobile and even tablet
Based in the UK, Plus 500 is an authorised and regulated online brokerage firm servicing FX traders specifically. While US-based traders aren’t allowed to open Plus500 accounts, traders in Europe, Asia, and Australia can enjoy the myriad of perks this broker offers. For starters, the minimum deposit for Plus500 is $100, which is lower than what other regulated brokers require. They offer a decent 200:1 leverage that can be used to trade 50 currency pairs including EUR/USD and USD/JPY. They also offer a 30% sign-up bonus on your first deposit, giving you more capital to trade with.
Although relatively new in the Forex trading Australia broker scene, Pepperstone has quickly garnered the support of Australia-based traders. The online FX broker provides access to 70 currency pairs with a 500:1 leverage available, enabling clients to participate in more tradable currency pairs complemented with a higher buying power. Pepperstone offers their services through a variety of trading platforms including MT4, Webtrader, and cTrader.
Other Considerations For Your Forex Trading Software
Aside from cost and sign-up bonuses, the technical elements offered by each software must be considered thoroughly. For instance, what technical indicators are built into the software? If you are a technical trader, meaning you use price-derived formulas to make actionable decisions, then having a modest set of technical indicators will play an important role in your ability to consistently follow trading rules over the long term. Most Forex trading software like MT4 and FXCM’s proprietary platform have built-in standard and custom indicators like Bollinger Bands, Moving Averages, and Stochastics. Advanced traders can even upload custom indicators they’ve made or sourced from the online community.
The ability of Forex trading software to deliver real-time price feeds should also be considered. Some platforms freeze during times of extreme market volatility. If your approach consists of trading news, this can affect your ability to place orders within your desired price levels. To test out a platform for their ability to remain updated and functional during volatile market conditions, apply for a demo account so you don’t risk any capital. Most legit FX brokers allow clients to open a demo account even before funding a standard or mini account.
Forex Trading Software 2016 Conclusion
At the end of the day, a trader’s success in the Forex market will be determined by his/her trading discipline and technical approach. However, having the resources, including the right Forex trading software, will smooth out the rugged market terrain ahead and significantly increase their long-term profitability.