The trading platform is the main tool for active investors and traders to invest in the stock market. Software designed for placing stock market orders from a personal computer, trading platforms have also been integrating analysis tools and news feeds for several years.
After having studied the prices of stock brokers, the functionality and ergonomics of the trading platform will be decisive criteria in the choice of the financial intermediary that an investor or trader will use on a daily basis.
Discover in this article our comparison of the best trading platforms 2022.
MT4 (Metatrader 4) is probably one of the best-known trading platforms among individual traders and is widely made available by most online Forex and CFD brokers. Available in PC version under Windows only, as well as Android and iOS for its mobile version, the MT4 platform offers a simplified environment for traders with a rather simple to use interface and for brokers with an infrastructure and an easy-to-implement back office. .
Created in 2005 by Metaquote to replace the Metatrader 3 market analysis platform by integrating an order entry module, the MT4 platform has undergone many changes in recent years, particularly in 2009.
The Metatrader 4 platform was one of the first trading and technical analysis platforms that individual traders could use for free, which also explains the success of this software with stock market traders.
Although the technology and design may seem from another era, the MT4 platform remains a popular trading platform for independent traders, particularly for its robustness and the many tools available there.
Metatrader 4 trading platform
The Metatrader 4 platform allows the passage of orders such as purchases/sales at the market, Stop orders, limit orders, trailing stop orders. The strength of this trading tool comes from the almost unlimited customization possibilities.
Traders mastering programming in the MQL4 language will thus be able to customize their work tool to infinity by creating new functions for placing orders, account management, analysis and even robot traders.
Those who do not know how to program are not forgotten with an App Store allowing access (free or paid) to thousands of tools developed by the community of MetaTrader 4 users.
We can no longer talk about a trading platform today without talking about the technical analysis tools it offers. Although the MT4 platform has a wide choice of technical indicators and analysis tools available natively on the software, it will also be possible to create tailor-made technical indicators or to find them in the internal marketplace. to MT4.
The MT4 platform has made it possible in particular to democratize automatic trading among individual investors by providing the famous “Expert Advisor”, real trading robots accessible on this trading platform.
Traders looking for an easy-to-use tool that is versatile and interoperable with several stock brokers, integrates very complete technical analysis functions and/or allows automatic trading should be interested in the MetaTrader 4 platform.
The MT5 platform (Metatrader 5) was created in 2010 to replace its big sister the MT4 platform. However, while the Metatrader 4 platform was a resounding success, the Metatrader 5 trading platform was a bitter failure. Indeed, the community of nearly 12,000 traders/developers who have been very involved in the development of tools, features, robot trader, technical indicator, etc. did it under the MQL4 language and not under the MQL5 language.
Metatrader 5 trading platform
The Metaquote company has therefore chosen to develop the two platforms and languages which are almost identical today. The only difference that still remains today between MT4 and MT5 is therefore not in the design and the functionalities but in the back-office and the infrastructure.
Indeed, the Metatrader 4 trading platform was designed for Forex and CFD brokers only while the Metatrader 5 platform can be used by stock brokers or Futures brokers.
So if you intend to get back to your trading habits on Metatrader 4 but want to switch to stocks or futures, then Metatrader 5 is probably for you.
While the MT4 platform is very popular with individual traders, the TWS (TraderWorkStation) platform is used by a much wider category of players. The most sophisticated individuals are of course familiar with the TWS platform, but so are management companies and certain institutional investors.
With a much more complex interface to use than what is available with other platforms, the strength of TWS lies in the unparalleled number of products available. TraderWorkStation is connected to more than 135 exchanges worldwide and allows trading on Action, ETF, Future, Option, bond, etc.
FXFlat’s TraderWorkStation trading platform
Source: TWS from FXFlat
Notably available with FXFlat, the TWS platform therefore provides access to almost all stock market products available around the globe.
Although the TWS platform includes a technical analysis interface, the functionalities associated with it will not be as complete as what can be found for example with MT4. On the other hand, the second strength of the TraderWorkStation trading platform lies in the many professional level tools such as:
- the Option Strategy Lab which allows you to create and enter simple and complex multi-legged options orders based on your price and volatility forecasts;
- the SpreadTrader which allows you to create your own spreads when trading futures or options (with SpreadTrader on TWS you can quickly and easily manage futures spreads in a single window);
- the ScaleTrader, which is a tool that allows you to place a large number of order sequences and automatically buy at low prices or stop trading/withdraw the order when prices are high.
These 3 tools are just one example of the dozens of tools available for traders and advanced investors to be able to analyze and trade the markets like the professionals.
The TraderWorkStation trading platform is perfectly designed for traders who wish to operate on stock exchanges around the world with a very wide choice of financial products. Although the tools may require some learning to master them, they will delight the most demanding traders and professional traders.
Test FXFlat’s TraderWorkStation trading platform for free
The platforms we have seen so far are consumer platforms that we can find at different online brokers, while this time we will see a platform exclusively designed and available for XTB customers: xStation5.
The first obvious observation when you connect to this trading platform is the attention that the software publisher has paid to design and ergonomics. Indeed, stock brokers choosing to develop their own trading platform have the desire to attract users by offering a more pleasant platform to use than what can be found elsewhere, for example with MT4.
So there is no doubt that traders will quickly and easily find their feet on the xStation5 platform.
In terms of functionality, the xStation 5 trading platform brings together all the essentials a trader may need. We can thus underline the existence of a technical analysis interface which offers a largely sufficient number of tools and indicators, an integrated economic calendar, news feeds and a stock screener.
Like the MT4 platform and although customization is possible, it is not possible to create bespoke tools. Traders can take comfort in finding tools on xStation5 that will meet the needs of 90% of traders.
XTB’s xStation5 trading platform
Source : XTB xStation5
What should delight the users of this trading platform is above all the simplicity of use and the speed of handling.
Our advice is the following, open a demo account for free to test the platform and if it meets your needs, adopt it. Otherwise, if your requirements are not met, you may have to look at the other platforms that we have presented to you in this article, at the risk of having to spend more time to master it.
Test XTB’s xStation5 trading platform for free
eToro Trading Platform
To conclude this overview of trading platforms, we are going to talk about the eToro platform. This trading platform, which has more than 20 million users worldwide, differs from other trading platforms by a functionality that is at the heart of the software, it is social trading.
Social trading, which allows you to follow the investment decisions of other users of the platform, is the main advantage of this trading platform. Few stock brokers allow this copy-trading functionality and eToro is the world leader in this field.
If you therefore want to use the copy-trading aspect in your investment strategy, there is no doubt that opting for eToro will be a wise choice.
Otherwise, the eToro platform will not provide access to as many features as what can be found on other trading platforms. However, the eToro platform could be suitable for investors and traders looking for the most classic features of a trading platform and who want an easy-to-use tool.
We can therefore say that the eToro trading platform is ideal for investors and individual traders who want to invest in the stock market quickly and simply, even if it means later moving towards other more sophisticated trading platforms if their needs arise. evolve.
eToro social trading platform
Source : eToro
Remember that most trading platforms are available for free in demo or paper trading version, for a limited time and sometimes without time limit. It is therefore strongly recommended to test several platforms in order to be sure to find what suits you before going into a real account.
Test the eToro social trading platform for free
Image source: Freepik
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