What is a Trading Platform?
The technology used for trading is known as a trading platform, such as opening, closing, and controlling market positions through an intermediary, say, an online broker. Brokers also offer online trading platforms either for free or at a discount rate in exchange for keeping a sponsored account and/or making a specified number of trades per month. The best trading sites provide a combination of robust features and low fees.
Basics of Trading Platform
A trading platform is a program that allows investors and traders to position trades through financial intermediaries and to track accounts. Trading platforms also come bundled with other services, such as quotes in real-time, charting software, news feeds, and even premium analysis. Additionally, services can be tailored specifically to specific markets such as stocks, currencies, options, or futures markets.
There are two styles of platforms to trading: commercial websites and prop platforms. Commercial websites, as their name suggests, are targeted towards day traders and retail investors. These are distinguished by ease-of-use and an array of helpful features for investor education and research, such as news feeds and maps.
On the other hand, prop platforms are customized platforms built by large brokerages to match their specific demands and style of trading. Traders use various trading platforms, depending on the style and amount of their trading.
Picking a Platform
Traders and investors should be considering both the fees involved and the functionality available when choosing between trading platforms. Day traders and other short-term traders may need features, such as Level 2 quotes and market maker depth charts, to assist with decision-making, whereas options traders may need software specifically designed to model options strategies.
Fees are another major consideration when selecting trading platforms. Traders that use scalping as a trading strategy, for example, would gravitate to low fee platforms.