To start the trading process, the necessary condition is the presence of the trading platform. Trading platform (trading terminal) is a set of software and hardware, adapted for online trading, which provides the interaction of the broker and the trader.
There are a lot of different trading platforms nowadays, but the most popular one is MetaTrader 4.
What is Trading Platform
In other words, trading platform is a software, that is installed on the trader's computer and used for online trading. Some platforms work through the Web browser and do not require installation on the computer. However, most trading platforms needs to be installed on the device (PC), which will be used for the trading process. There are also mobile versions, which work on PDA, smartphones and other portable devices.
The trading platform is given by the broker for free when opening the account, whether it is a live account or a practice account. Brokers offer their clients either their own software or purchased licensed products.
Trading platform performs several important functions:
- Trading platform displays market situation, which means that the information of the quotations in the real-time mode is provided. This information is systematized and grouped to be displayed in a form of a graph. You can choose the time interval, which will be used to group information. Such time interval is called a timeframe. For example, if you choose a 30-minute timeframe, it will mean that one candlestick or bar (depending on the chosen graph) will correspond to a timeframe of 30 minutes.
- Trading platform lets conduct trade by placing market and pending orders, manage positions, and monitor the condition of the trading account at any time convenient for the trader (except weekends and national holidays).
- The platform has instruments to execute technical analysis – thanks to built-in indicators – and gives an opportunity to make deals automatically (using advisors, which perform trading operations without a trader's participation, based on previously written algorithm).
- There are several instruments in the trading platform, that have the main task to make trading process easier. Such instruments are: real-time news line from major information agencies, alerts, which indicate important system and trading events, account history, formation of reports on deals and so on.
There are a lot of different trading platforms nowadays, but the most popular one is MetaTrader 4 which was developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation. To learn more about the MetaTrader 4 features, please visit this page.