The financial markets are more accessible than ever thanks to two things: more brokers offering their services and new trading platforms designed for multiple devices and operating systems. With most brokers, you can trade at any time and from anywhere using nothing but a laptop or a mobile device.
The availability of different trading platforms certainly draws the interest of more casual traders, mainly those who also work a full-time job – or run a business – and want to be able to trade in their spare time. If you are interested in trading from anywhere, you need to choose a platform and the right gadgets for them.
MetaTrader, also known as MT, is now at its 5th iteration. The later version, aptly named MetaTrader 5, supports virtually every operating system on the market right now. It doesn’t just support Windows and Android, but also iOS, macOS, and even some Linux distros.
The previous version, MetaTrader 4, is still very popular on the market too. It may not have native support for macOS and Linux, but the platform comes with a web-based interface. You can still trade foreign currency pairs or commodities easily using a web browser, although you miss out on the custom indicators and programming tools.
The programming tools are among MetaTrader’s strong suits. There are a lot of custom indicators and alerts programmed by experienced traders. You can set up copy trading just as easily. The possibilities are endless with MT; you can even program your own alerts using MetaQuotes Language (MQL).
Top UK forex brokers like FxPro and Pepperstone all supports MT5, but MT4 is still the most popular platform on the market. Since MetaTrader supports a lot of operating systems, finding a good device for forex trading should not be a problem. Any capable Android or iOS smartphone will work too.
CTrader is a fairly young forex trading platform, but it is gaining in popularity thanks to its intuitive user interface and the fluid trading experience it offers. It comes with some features that help you trade smarter and better.
My personal favourite is the selection of trigger methods. Aside from the more traditional Pending Orders and Stop-Loss, cTrader also allows traders to set up a second consecutive opposite price as a trigger. It gives traders that added safety net when the market is unusually volatile; you know that can happen with forex.
The ability to cancel one order when another is opened is also a huge plus. Rather than manually cancelling pending orders after a target price is hit, you can set up complex trading rules that guarantee a profit. The only downside is cTrader’s exclusive compatibility with Windows. You can use any laptop with more than two cores and 2GB of RAM or use the web-based version on most Macs.
Once again, cTrader is very popular thanks to these intuitive features. Its popularity has brought this trading platform to more of the top UK forex brokers. If you check out the list of the top 10 UK-regulated forex brokers according to InvestinGoal, you will see names like Admiral Markets and AvaTrade offering cTrader.
XStation 5 is slightly different than the previous two platforms because it is developed with features that will satisfy even the most serious traders. However, the platform is surprisingly easy to use. It is also available for most operating systems, including Android. I specifically mention the Android app because it offers a superb mobile trading experience.
You don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the pro tools and advanced features offered by xStation. You can set it so that the features you don’t need fade into the background, allowing you to focus on the charts and banking pips.
It also works really well with tablets. If you have been thinking about picking up that new GALAXY Tab S5e from Samsung, now you have a great reason to do so. The extra screen real estate will make trading on the go much more convenient. You get the same set of tools, but you don’t have to open your laptop every time you want to check the market.
XStation 5’s integration of news and alerts is also the most pleasant to use. Still, there is a catch to using xStation 5: the only top broker that supports this platform is XTB. Yes, it is a proprietary platform for the broker. Not that it is a bad thing; XTB is also one of the highest-rated forex brokers in the UK, so your investments are in good hands.
Other platforms are equally interesting to explore, and there are a lot of gadgets that support them. L2 Dealer and Orex Platform also support multiple devices and operating systems. For now, I’m sticking with my Lenovo X1 and OnePlus 6T combo – at least until the OnePlus 7 is announced later in May. How about you?