Trading platforms are the main tool for active investors and traders to invest in the stock market. Software designed to place stock market orders from a personal computer, trading platforms have been integrating analysis tools and news feeds for several years.
After studying the prices of stock brokers, the functionality and ergonomics of the trading platform will be the decisive criteria in the choice of the financial intermediary that an investor or trader will use on a daily basis.
Discover our comparison of the best trading platforms 2022 in this article.
MT4 (MetaTrader 4) is probably one of the most familiar trading platforms among individual traders and is widely available by most online forex and CFD brokers. Available only in the PC version under Windows, as well as mobile versions for Android and iOS, the MT4 platform offers a simplified environment for traders with an easy-to-use interface and an easy-to-implement infrastructure and back office for brokers.
Developed by Metaquote in 2005 to replace the MetaTrader 3 market analysis platform by integrating an order entry module, the MT4 platform has undergone many changes in recent years, especially in 2009.
The MetaTrader 4 platform was one of the first trading and technical analysis platforms that individual traders could use for free, which explains the success of this software with stock market traders.
Although the technology and design may seem from another era, the MT4 platform is a popular trading platform for independent traders, especially for its robustness and the many tools available out there.
Metatrader 4 trading platform
Metatrader 4 platform allows to pass orders like buy/sell, stop order, limit order, trailing stop order in the market. The power of this trading tool comes from the almost limitless customization possibilities.
Traders who master programming in the MQL4 language will thus be able to endlessly customize their working tools by creating new functions for orders, account management, analysis and even robot traders.
Don’t forget those who don’t know how to program MetaTrader 4 users through the App Store that allows access (free or paid) to thousands of tools developed by the community.
We cannot 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 in the software, it will be possible to create tailor-made technical indicators or find them in the domestic market.
The MT4 platform in particular has made it possible to democratize automated trading among individual investors by providing the famous “Expert Advisors”, 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 automated trading should be interested in the MetaTrader 4 platform.
The MT5 platform (MetaTrader 5) was created in 2010 to replace its older sister MT4 platform. However, while the MetaTrader 4 platform was a resounding success, the MetaTrader 5 trading platform was a bitter failure. In fact, a community of around 12,000 traders/developers involved in the development of tools, features, robot traders, technical indicators, etc. It did this under the MQL4 language and not under the MQL5 language.
Metatrader 5 trading platform
The Metaquote company therefore chose to develop two platforms and languages that are almost identical today. The difference that still remains between MT4 and MT5 is not the design and functionality but the back-office and infrastructure.
Actually, the MetaTrader 4 trading platform was designed only for Forex and CFD brokers while the MetaTrader 5 platform can be used by stock brokers or futures brokers.
So if you want to get back to your trading habits in MetaTrader 4 but want to switch to stocks or futures, then MetaTrader 5 is probably for you.
FXFlat Trader Workstation
While the MT4 platform is very popular with individual traders, the TWS (TraderWorkStation) platform is used by a much larger class of players. Most sophisticated individuals are certainly familiar with the TWS platform, but so are management companies and some institutional investors.
With a much more complex interface to use than what’s available on other platforms, TWS’s strength lies in the unmatched number of products available. TraderWorkstation is connected to more than 135 exchanges worldwide and allows trading in stocks, ETFs, futures, options, bonds, etc.
FXFlat’s Trader Workstation trading platform
Source: TWS from FXFlat
Significantly available with FXFlat, the TWS platform therefore provides access to almost all stock market products available worldwide.
Although the TWS platform includes a technical analysis interface, the functionalities associated with it are not as complete as can be found with MT4. On the other hand, the second strength of the TraderWorkstation trading platform lies in the many professional level tools such as:
- Options Strategy Lab that allows you to create and enter simple and complex multi-legged option orders based on your price and volatility forecasts;
- 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 one window);
- ScaleTrader, is a tool that allows you to place a large number of order sequences and automatically buy at low prices or close/revoke orders when prices are high.
These 3 tools are just an example of dozens of tools available for traders and advanced investors to analyze and trade the market like a pro.
The TraderWorkStation trading platform is perfectly designed for traders who want to operate on global stock exchanges with a very wide choice of financial products. While the tools may require some learning to master, they will delight the most demanding traders and professional traders.
Try FXFlat’s TraderWorkStation trading platform for free
The platforms we have seen so far are consumer platforms that we can find at various online brokers, while this time we will see a platform designed and available exclusively for XTB customers: xStation5.
The first obvious observation when you connect to this trading platform is the software publisher’s attention to design and ergonomics. In fact, stockbrokers who choose to build their own trading platforms intend to attract users by offering a more pleasant platform to use than what is available 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 combines all the essentials a trader might need. Thus we can underline the existence of a technical analysis interface that offers a large number of tools and indicators, an integrated economic calendar, news feed and a stock screener.
As with the MT4 platform and although customization is possible, it is not possible to create bespoke tools. Traders can take comfort in finding tools in xStation5 that will meet the needs of 90% of traders.
XTB’s xStation5 trading platform
Source: XTB xStation5
What should please the users of this trading platform is the simplicity of use and speed of operation above all.
Our advice is as follows, open a demo account for free to test the platform and if it meets your needs, accept it. Otherwise, if your requirements are not met, you may have to look at other platforms that we have presented to you in this article, at the risk of spending more time to master it.
Try 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, which 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. Very few stock brokers allow this copy-trading functionality and eToro is the world leader in this field.
So if you want to use the copy-trading aspect in your investment strategy, there is no doubt that choosing eToro would be a wise choice.
Otherwise, the eToro platform will not provide access to many of the features available on other trading platforms. However, the eToro platform may be suitable for investors and traders who are looking for the most classic features of a trading platform and who want an easy-to-use tool.
So we can say that the eToro trading platform is ideal for investors and individual traders who want to invest in the stock market quickly and easily, even if it means turning to a more sophisticated trading platform when they need it later.
eToro is a social trading platform
Note that most trading platforms are available in demo or paper trading versions for free, for a limited time and sometimes without a time limit. So it is strongly recommended to test several platforms to make sure what is right for you before going for a real account.
Check out the eToro social trading platform for free
Image source: Freepik
All of our information is, by nature, generic. They do not take into account your personal circumstances and do not in any way constitute personalized recommendations with a view to executing transactions and cannot be assimilated into financial investment advisory services, or provide any incentive to buy or sell instruments. financial The reader is solely responsible for the use of the information provided without any recourse against the publishing company of Cafedelabourse.com. The publisher of Cafedelabourse.com shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions or inappropriate investments.