Pepperstone Offers Three Of The Most Popular Forex Trading Platforms
Globally the two most popular retail forex trading platforms are
Not only does the Australian forex broker offer a choice between these two fx platforms, it also offers enhanced features including
- Smart trader tools
- API trading facilities.
MetaTrader 4 is the worlds most popular forex trading platform and has been ever it’s launch by MetaQuotes in 2005.
The popularity of this platform comes down how easy the interface is to use for intermediate to expert traders and the ability to trade directly from charts as well as:
– Market Watch and Navigator features incorporating just under 90 indicators
– A plethora number of analysis tools and charting configuration options
– Expert Advisor capabilities allowing for automated trading.
It is available on all Pepperstone accounts including Standard and Razor.
Released in 2010, MetaTrader 5 consists of many of the features Mt4 offers however it is intended for a different market. It should not be seen as an upgrade on Mt4. MetaTrader 5 has some features not available on Mt4 while Mt4 has features not available on MetaTrader 5.
MetaTrader 5 is designed with 2 key features in mind.
- Contracts for Difference (CFD) trading. While users can use MT4 for CFD trading, MT5 is specifically designed to better enable CFD trading. This is because it better integrates with the centralised nature of commodity exchanges for CFDs such as stocks and commodities. MT4 was designed with Forex in mind which has a decentralised nature.
- Built for USA ‘No Hedging’ rules. Unlike the rest (or most) of the world which allows hedging, the USA regulation require trading to be done on a FIFO basis. That means trading of each lot of a currency pair must be completed before the next lot can commence trading. While Mt4 allows you to log your lots individually when trading, MT5 aggregates all lots. So unless your trading forex within the USA and are required to confirm to their regulation, MT5 may not satisfy your trading needs.
Other benefits of MT5 include
- More timeframes and charting options compared to Mt4. More charts can be open at one time compared to Mt4.
- Better commercial integration, increased indicators, ability to execute more market orders, pending orders and stops orders compared to Mt4.
- Access to economic calender
- Access to depth of market
- Ability to create your own technical indicators through use of MQL5. This feature can greatly enhance the user experience by enabling customised graphical user interfaces and more sophisticated expert traders and algorithmic trading features.
cTrader by Spotware is the most popular trading platform worldwide for more advance traders looking for some enhanced features including:
– Level II pricing with detectable pricing for improved trading
– The ability to implement automation through the dedicate trading platform
– Back-testing facilities to see how algorithms and bots would have performed in past scenarios
While not a platform offered by Pepperstone per se; Pepperstone allow you to take advantage of their Application Programming Interface (API) technology to integrate your own custom trading system and even automated trading system in order to access Pepperstone liquidity feeds and liquidity providers competing for your trades. The advantage of this is that your benefit from Pepperstone ECN technology while still being able to use your own preferred platforms.
What To Look For In A Forex Trading Platform?
Australian forex brokers offer a range of platforms with some like Pepperstone and IG Markets offering the most popular solutions while others offer their own propitiatory platforms like EasyMarkets.
Below lists five key elements to consider when choosing the Forex Trading Platform that’s right for you.
1) What Financial Products Can Be Traded On The Platform?
While forex trading is the worlds most popular financial product, most traders also trade other markets. Having an ‘all-in-one’ solution when it comes to a trading platform make trading simple such as going from currency markets to stock exchanges. Some of the most popular financial products most platforms offer includes indices trading, commodity trading and share trading. Some more nice platforms allow trading on EFTs, futures market and even Bitcoin.
Overall, consider what financial products you currently trade (or plan to) and check to see if the forex trading platform allows trading across these platforms. This should also be considered when choosing an Australian forex broker.
As an FYI, Pepperstone offers trading across several asset classes including:
- Precious Metals
2) What Devices And Software It Can Run On?
Over the past decade there has been a dramatic shift in the devices that Australians use for trading currency markets. While some traders only require a desktop application that runs on a windows operating system, most others also want one that works on their mobile and/or tablet. If this is the case, ensuring the platform is compatible with either your android, windows mobile or iPhone device and has the features you require is critical.
It’s also worth investigating if the demo platform also works on the devices you require to get a feel for the interface before you commit to live trading. Finally, a popular feature some platforms offer is ‘webtrader’. This is the ability to trade without a download requirement. If your travelling or on a device (such as work) when downloads are not appropriate this is the ideal solution. It’s worth ensuring a WebTrader facility is available with the platform if you have this requirement.
3) What Support And News Features Are Incorporated?
Inbuilt with forex platforms can be integration with the forex broker support team or news features. For example, Reuters is integrated across several platforms allowing traders to see market sensitive announcements as they occur. Platforms can also have in-built support from the broker which can be critical if help is needed when an issue occurs or when an advanced trade is required.
Overall, a trader needs to consider if they do require in-built help and if they are going use external news sources when making trades.
4) Does It Support Automated Trading?
Automated trading isn’t just for the most sophisticated high budget Australian forex traders. Many forex trading platforms offer features such as ‘expert advisors’ making it more straightforward to implement automation. For those that don’t know programming, many interfaces also allow trader to duplicate other strategies/programs. These can be back-tested to past market conditions to see how they would have performed. Of course, past performance doesn’t guarantee future performance when it comes to any financial products including financial markets.
If your considering automated trading, then it’s worth making sure the trading platform supports the feature and the code you prefer. Plus500 for example do not supoort expert advisors. This is the exact reason for MetaTrader 4 (MT4’s) popularity and the reason why it’s most advanced sister (MetaTrader 5) has had low adoption to date.
It’s also worth checking if the broker offers fast execution speeds like Pepperstone Australia as this will impact the Expert Advisors ability to function in live markets.
5) How Universal Is The Platform?
Some Australian forex brokers such as easyMarkets prefer you to use their own platform. While some of these propriety platforms are leading class they pose the issue that traders get too used to the interface. This makes it difficult to change forex brokers as they don’t offer the same platform. This is similar to switching from an iPhone to an Android device, compared with the ease of switching within Android devices such as a HTC to a Samsung.
Choosing a mainstream platform like MT4 allows an Australian forex trader to more easily switch brokers based on their fees, features and customer service. MT4 is the most popular platform and is offered by most forex brokers in Australia followed by cTrader. Another similar forex broker offering MT4 is AxiTrader and GO Markets. A cTrader forex broker example is IC Markets.
6) Does it support 3rd Party Apps?
Pepperstone offer a range of 3rd party apps that can be integrated with their platforms. These apps can offer greater technical analysis features such as charts and historical data. If you have a particular 3rd party app you wish to integrate with the platform, it might be worthwhile investigating if your desired app will allow you to integrate the apps with the platform.