Choosing the right trading platform can make a significant difference in your trading performance and drive your success, especially if you are a novice trader. Obviously, experience can teach you a lot about any endeavor but understanding what is important to you and what will make you a successful trader, can be discovered by evaluating trading platforms.

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Education

Most reputable trading platforms provide you with an education section. Look carefully at what each broker offers and determine if you understand what they are saying. If the terminology is over your head, the platform is probably geared to a more sophisticated trader. This process also might tell you that the platform is not geared for traders at your level. Find a platform were the education information is easy to understand. Most full services brokers will provide information that is targeted to all trading levels.

If you like to watch videos that show you must use the trading platform, as opposed to reading about how to use it, make sure the platform has these capabilities. You want to find a platform where the designers were proud of their product and want to show you how to use every feature they have designed.

Mobile and Web Based Options

Whether you plan on trading full time, or part-time you should determine if the platform you are evaluating can accommodate your schedule. If you are planning on traveling and need access to your account all the time, make sure the platform has a mobile and web feature. Some platforms only offer downloadable platforms which is not convenient when you are on the go. Evaluate whether the mobile platform is a real-time substitute to the downloadable version and if the functionality is reduced, if it still meets all your needs.

It’s also helpful to test your strategy. If you want to trade a system you created or one that you have purchased, it’s helpful to back-test your strategy. Some forex brokers provide platforms that provide virtual money that will allow you to run your strategy using their demonstration account, without having to risk real capital. Once you determine that your strategy works with a virtual account you can then begin the process of trading your real account.

Security

Your safety and security are important. Spend some time performing due diligence, and research reviews of the platform you plan to use. Find out if the broker is registers and regulated by a government organization that you trust. Additionally, find out the process used by the platform to move capital. You should find out how long it takes to deposit and withdraw capital from your trading account.

Summary

Not all trading platforms are the same. While many cater to both novice and experienced traders, others are very sophisticated and only target professional investors. You should initially evaluate a platform to see if their education section along with their instructions on how to use their platform are comprehensive and cater to your trading experience. Make sure you analyze if the broker you are using is regulated and evaluate their process of moving your funds. If these issues are addressed by the platform you have likely found one that meets your needs.