Choosing the right platform for trading is usually a challenging step for beginners. All existing platforms fight for the top positions using marketing and advanced technological improvements, but it’s only you who can choose the perfect trading platform for your needs. Below is a quick guide on what to look for when choosing your first platform for trading operations.
1. Review Broker Options
A trading platform is a piece of software that has an interface and established online connections needed for trading, while a broker is an organization that negotiates on behalf of traders. While these are two different things, they can’t exist without one another. However, the broker options can be limited depending on the platform. You have to analyze the market and select a platform-broker pair that offers the best:
- account minimums;
2. Review Features
You may have already noticed that there are trading platforms that provide huge feature sets for all trading scenarios or focus on several basic features instead. The number of features doesn’t make software good or bad, but you have to realize what exactly you need to see if a platform offers enough, not enough, or too many tools. In most cases, simplified software options offer great opportunities to practice the basics without charging too much. On the other hand, you may find it more reasonable to try everything the market has to offer from the very beginning. It’s up to you to decide.
3. Test the Platform
Testing a platform, you should pay attention to the interface and the overall performance. It may happen that everything looks and feels great, but the network performance in your particular area isn’t good enough. Perfect performance is more important than convenience because you can get used to everything but delays, crashes, or bugs in the software. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay any attention to the interface at all, though! Make sure that the graphics are easily readable and the main controls are in quick access.
4. Don’t Let Them Lure You
Most traders are very emotional at the beginning, which makes their minds more sensitive to marketing catches. You have to understand that over 60% of all offers you see online are not worth your time and money. The truth is that the most attractive platforms and brokers are usually financial scammers! They usually offer:
- Highest profits on the market – it’s irrational to offer something like that to people whose profits depend only on their own actions;
- Lowest fees possible – a banner that offers something like this usually hides a multipage agreement where extra fees are written in tiny text. Your platform and broker must be transparent and show real figures instead of catchy slogans.
5. Start With a Demo
A demo account is a great opportunity to test a new trading platform as well as the supported brokers. You should be very attentive and remember that a demo account may not reveal all the truth that waits for you ahead. Even the most authoritative platforms can’t guarantee that your real account will perform as well as the demo. For this reason, your trial should be short and followed by a real-life test with real capital.
There’s no guarantee that your first trading platform will meet your requirements. You should be ready for that and keep testing new platforms until you feel that all your problems are solved. At the same time, you should not hurry to switch platforms! Make sure you’ve analyzed a product deep enough before ditching it.