Sunday, July 21, 2024

Best Trading Platforms of 2021 | A Complete Review

A trading platform is a tool whereby a trader performs trading operations in the financial market. It enables a trader to open charts of the trading assets as needed, analyze them using technical and graphical tools, open and close orders, and test trading strategies.

Most trading platforms features:

  • Charts on different time-frames and analyses. Several options for displaying the pricing chart.
  • Ability to work with technical analysis tools.
  • Availability of market and pending orders and the ability to execute trades with single-click ease.
  • Manual strategies, support from expert advisors, and testing over a historical timeline. Also, the unloading and analysis of quotes.
  • Automatic trade copying (social trading). 
  • Relevant online industry news, etc.

Traders Union has selected for you the best trading platforms that are perfect for manual and algorithmic trading in Forex, stock markets, and the binary options markets. You can get acquainted with them by reading the expert review “Best Trading Platforms for 2021”.

Trading platforms types

There are three types of trading platforms:

  • Desktop — download it from the broker’s website and install it on a computer. This is the fullest version of the platform.
  • Browser — open from the broker’s website in a browser. They are convenient as they are free of extra functions that often confuse novice traders and do not require installation — you work directly on the broker’s platform.
  • Mobile — these versions are for Android and iOS. Most often they are used only to control transactions and charts. 
Platform type Advantages Disadvantages
Desktop Full version Quite bulky: uses maximum RAM, has duplicate functions. It may seem complicated to novice traders
Web The stuff but not the fluff.  Doesn’t overload the local computer. Does not provide for custom tools, has reduced functionality 
Mobile From anywhere, anytime, wherever there is the internet: in transport, on vacation, etc. Offers minimal functions and there are practically no analysis tools. Inconvenient from a visual point of view 

Best trading platforms 

One of the trading platform’s limitations is the criterion that determines their functionality. There are also universal platforms that are consistently suitable for both exchange-traded stock markets and Forex CFD trading. They are perfect for traders experienced in those instruments, but not quite professionals yet. Experienced traders should choose platforms tailored for a specific market.

Trading platforms can be classified as follows:

  1. Types of platform ownership:
  • Owned by developers. For example, MetaQuotes, which develops and maintains the MetaTrader platforms.
  • Brokers who purchase licenses for MT4 and MT5.
  • Proprietary development of the broker. It can be either a proprietary platform or a developer’s platform purchased under the White Label scheme.
  1. In terms of markets, there are: 
  • Platforms for trading binary options.
  • Platforms for Forex.
  • Platforms for stock markets.
  • Platforms for social trading. 
  1. In terms of experience, there are: 
  • Platforms for novice traders with minimal functions.
  • Professional platforms with maximal tools and exotic features.
  • Universal platforms are the golden mean between the first two options. 

Forex trading platforms

Forex trading platforms — with their simplified functionality — differ from stock platforms. They are mostly designed for novice traders as they have a minimum of technical analysis tools but have only the basic functions for order management. The emphasis is placed on a user-friendly interface and eye-popping visualizations. 

Best platforms for Forex: 

  1. МТ4. The most popular Forex trading platform is perfect for traders of any experience. Basic functionalities: 
  • Market and pending orders. 
  • Trading with single-click ease.
  • Nine timeframes.
  • Over 60 indicators and shapes.
  • Three types of charts.
  1. МТ5. Most of its functions are similar to the MT4, but here are its main differences:
  • Extra timeframes added.
  • The number of technical indicators has been increased and several proprietary advisors have been added.
  • Two Pending Orders were added.
  • The Depth of Market tool allows you to estimate the volume and depth of the market.
  • Several types of full or partial execution of client orders have been added.
  • The tester has been improved to allow traders to use computer power to trade within the markets. 
  1. CTrader. A platform for manual and algorithmic trading using the C# language. It offers 14 timeframes, 51 technical indicators, and a “2nd-level depth of market”.

Also, many brokers have their proprietary platforms. Their main differences from МetaТrader and CTrader are advanced graphical and technical analysis functionality, integration of Autochartist elements into the platform, and various plugins, etc. 

Stock market trading platforms

Stock trading platforms are more complex than Forex platforms. They offer extra tools for VSA analysis (trading by volume), tools for automatic trading with a breakdown of the main volume of the transaction into parts (VWAP, TWAP, POV), etc.

Popular stock market platforms: 

  • Robinhood. Allows you to buy and sell stocks at the best price directly on exchanges through different brokers. It is an exclusive trading application. 
  • Thinkorswim (by TD Ameritrade). This professional platform is designed for trading stocks and derivatives. 
  • Trader Workstation (by Interactive Brokers). This is an analytical platform with dozens of complex trading tools.

How to choose a trading platform?

The trading platform is rarely the main criterion for choosing a broker. Forex brokers mostly offer Metatrader 4 and/or Metatrader 5, and sometimes CTrader and other proprietary platforms. 

Criteria for selecting a trading platform:

  • Purpose. For scalping or long-term trading, for manual or algorithmic trading, for testing advisors, etc. Choose a platform by defining your purpose and type of trading strategy, respectively, based on the set of functions you require. 
  • Functionality. The number of indicators, types of charts, timeframes, pending orders. Extra functionality like alerts, the ability to copy trades of expert traders from other brokers, etc.
  • Possibility to add additional applications. Installation of custom scripts, indicators, expert advisors, testers, etc.
  • Interface. The platform should be comfortable to use and view over long periods and have charts, etc., conveniently located on the screen. Also, it is helpful to have a varied selection of color schemes, palettes, and fonts, etc.

If you are not sure which platform to choose, open several transactions using a demo account on different platforms and experience the differences.

Comparison of MT4 and MT5:

  • Choose MT4 for manual trading. The platform is user-friendly and has overlapping functions. But its main advantage in comparison with MT5 is that thousands of proprietary indicators, scripts, and expert advisors are written in MQL4 and are not available for MT5. Many functions are the same or very similar to programs in MQL5. 
  • Choose MT5 for working with advisors, trading strategies over a historical period, and for effectively trading futures and analysis. MT5 offers an optimized tester, higher operating speed, extra orders, multiple timeframes, and a full-fledged depth of market. 

How to open an account on a Trading Platform through the Traders Union 

There are two options, depending on the functionality provided by the broker. You can open an account with a broker and then connect it to the Union platform. The second option is to open an account directly on the TU platform if the broker is a TU partner.

To open an account through Traders Union and link it to the platform:

  • Register on the Traders Union website. This takes just 5 minutes. Specify your email, and then confirm the registration using the link from your mail. It’s free. You will also need to go through verification, but this can be done later when you go through a similar procedure with a broker.
  • Find an affiliate link on the page of the broker you are interested in. Go to its website.
  • Open an account following the online instructions.
  • Download the installation file of the trading platform from the broker’s website and install it. Most brokers offer МetaТrader 4 and/or МetaТrader 5. 
  • Check your email. You will receive the account details such as number, login, password, and server. 
  • In Metatrader, in the top menu, select “File/Connect to a trading account”. Enter the account details (number and password) from the letter received in your email.

If the account is connected, you will see this in the “Navigator” window. Also, you will see the balance amount in the “Terminal” window.

This option for connecting an account is the best since in this case you can link the account to the Traders Union personal account and receive a rebate for trading on it. The second option is similar. You can open the account directly from MT4 using the File/Open Account menu. 

Benefits of working with Traders Union

The Traders Union is a community of traders that is useful for everyone. There is a lot of analytical information, market reviews, market news, and indicator descriptions with explanations and ready-made templates. There is a constantly updated independent rating of brokers based on many technical criteria and traders’ feedback. You can discuss questions with professional traders on the forum and get legal support in case of conflicts with a broker. 

And it’s All for Free!

The most important advantage of a partnership with Traders Union is its spread compensation regardless of the transaction’s results. 

Traders Union Advantages in Figures
The total amount of rebates Over $10,000,000
Amount of rebates Up to 100% of partnership remuneration 
Number of traders in the community  Over 300.000 traders
Number of brokers verified Over 200 brokers
Legal support for clients  Free of charge!

Conclusion on the best trading platforms 

The trading platform is your principal trading tool. Therefore, it should be comfortable to work with, and its capabilities and tools are important. So, open a trading account with a broker, using the Traders Union’s tips and help, test the platform, its tools, and choose the terminal best for your trading strategy.

Good luck! 

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
Sam heads up Cheshire-based PR Fire, an online platform that has already helped over 10,000 businesses to grab widespread media coverage on their news at an extremely accessible price point.

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