The trading platform is the primary tool for active investors and traders to invest in the stock market. Software designed to place stock orders from a personal computer, the trading platforms have also 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 decisive criteria in choosing the financial intermediary that an investor or trader will use on a daily basis.
Find out 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 only under Windows, 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 a back office of easy implementation. .
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 due to its robustness and the many tools available.
Metatrader trading platform 4
The Metatrader 4 platform allows the passage of orders such as market purchases / sales, stop orders, limit orders, trailing stop orders. The strength of this trading tool comes from the almost limitless customization possibilities.
Traders who master programming in the MQL4 language will thus be able to customize their work tool indefinitely by creating new functions for placing orders, account management, analysis and even robot trader.
Those who cannot program are not forgotten with an App Store that allows access (free or paid) to thousands of tools developed by the MetaTrader 4 user community.
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 natively available on the software, it will also be possible to create bespoke technical indicators or find them in the internal market of MT4.
The MT4 platform has made it possible in particular to democratize automatic trading between individual investors by providing the famous “Expert Advisors”, real trading robots accessible on this trading platform.
Traders looking for a tool that is easy to use, versatile and interoperable with different stock brokers, which integrates very comprehensive 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 major failure. In fact, the community of nearly 12,000 traders / developers who have been heavily involved in developing tools, features, robot traders, technical indicators, etc. he did it with the MQL4 language and not with the MQL5 language.
Metatrader trading platform 5
The Metaquote company therefore chose to develop the two platforms and the two languages that today are almost identical. The only difference that still remains today between MT4 and MT5 is therefore not in design and functionality but in the back-office and infrastructure.
In fact, the Metatrader 4 trading platform is only designed for Forex and CFD brokers while the Metatrader 5 platform can be used by stock brokers or futures brokers.
So, if you are planning to go 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 broader category of players. Sophisticated people are obviously familiar with the TWS platform, but so are management companies and some institutional investors.
With a much more complex interface to use than that available with other platforms, TWS’s strength lies in the unparalleled number of products available. TraderWorkStation is connected to more than 135 exchanges around the world and allows you to trade on Stocks, ETFs, Futures, Options, bonds, etc.
FXFlat’s TraderWorkStation trading platform
Source: TWS of FXFlat
Particularly available with FXFlat, the TWS platform thus provides access to almost all stock market products available worldwide.
Although the TWS platform includes a technical analysis interface, the functionalities associated with it will not be as comprehensive as those found for example with MT4. On the other hand, the second strength of the TraderWorkStation trading platform lies in the numerous professional-level tools such as:
- the Option Strategy Lab which allows you to create and place simple and complex multi-law option 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 enter 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 advanced traders and investors to be able to analyze and trade the markets like the pros.
The TraderWorkStation trading platform is perfectly designed for traders who wish to trade on stock exchanges around the world with a wide choice of financial products. While the tools may take some learning to master, they will delight discerning traders and professional traders alike.
Try 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 designed and available exclusively for XTB customers: xStation5.
The first obvious observation when connecting to this trading platform is the attention the software publisher has devoted to design and ergonomics. In fact, stock brokers who choose to develop their own trading platform have a desire to attract users by offering a more enjoyable platform to use than what can be found elsewhere, such as 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 might need. We can therefore emphasize the existence of a technical analysis interface that offers a largely sufficient number of tools and indicators, an integrated economic calendar, news feed and a stock screener.
Like the MT4 platform and although customization is possible, it is not possible to create bespoke tools. Traders can find solace 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 users of this trading platform is above all the ease of use and speed of management.
Our advice is the following, open a free demo account to test the platform and if it meets your needs, adopt it. Otherwise, if your needs aren’t met, you may need to take a look at the other platforms we’ve introduced to you in this article, at the risk of having to spend more time mastering it.
Try XTB’s xStation5 trading platform for free
EToro trading platform
To conclude this overview of trading platforms, we will talk about the eToro platform. This trading platform, which has over 20 million users around the world, differs from other trading platforms for a feature that is the heart of the software, it is social trading.
Social trading, which allows you to follow the investment decisions of other platform users, 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.
So if you 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 can be found on other trading platforms. However, the eToro platform may be suitable for investors and traders who are looking for the more 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 easily, even if this means moving to other more sophisticated trading platforms if their needs evolve.
EToro social trading platform
Remember that most trading platforms are available for free in demo or paper trading version, for a limited time and sometimes without time limits. It is therefore highly recommended that you test different platforms to make sure you find the one that suits you before joining a real account.
Try the eToro social trading platform for free
Image source: Freepik
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