In order to trade on the FX rates market a retail trader needs two things. These things are an account with a forex broker and an FX rates trading platform. When you get an account with a broker you are generally given access to the trading platform that the broker offers. It is important that you consider a number of points when you look at the trading platform. You have to consider whether you are getting what you need, how easily you can trade and what you need to use the platform.
Why You Need FX Rates Platforms
There are two main types of platforms that you should know about. These are the browser based platforms and the downloaded trading platforms. With a browser based platform you can log into your account on any computer that has an internet connection and a web browser. Some of these platforms work better on certain browsers and require a number of browser add-ons and plug-ins. Most retail brokers will have a browser based platform.
With the downloaded platform you will only be able to access your account from a single computer or a computer that has this platform installed. You may require certain hardware in the computer to run this platform such as a high end graphics card or a certain amount of memory. You need to look at these specifications before you attempt to download the platform.
What are you Getting
A lot of traders consider the broker and what they have to offer more than the trading platform. It is important that you consider both of these factors as they affect the way you can trade. It is possible to get a basic or an integrated trading platform. The one that you should get is based on how you want to trade.
If you are looking at a basic platform then you should consider where you are going to get the charts and other information that you need. If you already have an idea for the chart software that you want to use then a basic platform is ideal.
If you are looking to trade from one place where all your information is accessible then you have to consider getting an integrated platform. Integrated platforms differ in the amount of information that they can give you. There are some platforms that only offer you the ability to trade and some charts. However, there are others that offer you trading set ups, charts, new feeds and market sentiment. The amount of data you want on your platform will affect the broker you are going to be using.
How Comfortable Are You?
Before you trade live you have to use a demo account. This demo account not only allows you to test your trading strategy, but it also lets you get used to the trading platform. There are very few differences between a demo trading platform and a live trading platform. Most brokers do not have any differences at all. When you trade on the demo account you have to consider how comfortable you are with the controls. If you feel uncomfortable with the location of things then you may want to consider a different trading platform.