Automating your trading can save you time and improve the efficiency of your trading. There are different ways to automate your trading such as by trading algorithms, social trading, and forex robots, so it is important to select automation software that can do what you require. Below we list our best trading platforms for Singapore.
Find out the best platforms available to automate your trading
If you plan to build your own automated trading strategy or trading bot, you need to pick the right automated trading software. Algorithmic trading comes with many challenges, for that reason, it’s critical to ensure you pick the best platform for automation. On the other hand, if you pick the wrong automate trading platform, this can lead to ineffective trade order execution and huge losses.
Our team of experts at Compare Forex Brokers will help you find the best-automated trading platforms in Singapore. We’ve selected the best platforms for automation and algo trading based on specific categories, features, backtesting capabilities, asset classes, historical data, technical analysis tools and so much more.
An automated trading platform is a piece of software that allows traders to create algorithms that will monitor global markets and trade on their behalf in real-time. The automated trading system will use predefined rules for entry, stop-loss and take profit. In other words, all the trading decisions are done automatically based on time, price, technical indicators, chart patterns, etc.
If you’re not an experienced trader you can use an off-the-shelf expert advisor or simply use the copy trading feature to mimic the trading activity of the traders with more trading experience.
There has never been a better time to join the bandwagon of algorithmic trading, which has seen exponential growth over the past decade. At the end of the day, the trading algorithm is going to be as good as your skills to code profitable trading algorithms.
Choosing the right automated trading software comes down to a few standard features. Whether you want to build your trading system or you use an off-the-shelf solution you need to take into account if you have access to your preferred financial markets, the software has an easy-to-use interface, can access industry-standard programming language, extended historical market data, advanced backtesting capabilities and if you can contact technical support.
To build an automated trading system you need to use software linked to a trading account. Your trading rules are then coded in that platform’s native programming language. If you’re a complete beginner and want to build your own automated trading strategy, here are the 7 basic steps you need to take:
MetaTrader 4, already a standard for Forex trading, is the most popular and the most commonly offered trading platform by forex brokerages. Along with its flexible order execution modes (3 modes and 3 order types), trading tools such as alerts, financial news and trading signals, interactive and customizable technical analysis package, as well as user-friendly mobile trading apps for Android and iOS devices, MetaTrader 4 is still regarded as offering the best support functionalities for Forex algorithmic trading.
One of the most notable strengths of MetaTrader 4 is the MQL4 Integrated Development Environment (IDE), which allows for the development, testing and use of expert advisors and technical indicators for algorithmic trading. The core of the IDE is the MQL4 programming language, with the help of which users can build algorithms for expert advisors focused on buying/selling particular financial instruments, monitoring financial markets and exploring potential trading opportunities.
Other key components of MetaTrader 4’s IDE include:
Trading strategies developed in the MetaEditor are automatically moved to the MT4 trading platform so that users can further test and optimize them in the Strategy Tester. Once a trading strategy has been compiled and tested, users will be able to run it into the MT4 platform.
5 advantages of using MetaTrader 4’s Forex expert advisors:
Algorithmic trading (automated trading) is one of the strongest features of MetaTrader 4 allowing you to develop, test and apply Expert Advisors and technical indicators.
MetaTrader 4 is not solely about trading strategy development. It also grants users access to the world’s largest marketplace of trading applications, containing more than 1,700 expert advisors and more than 2,100 technical indicators.
MT4 also has a huge online community, where Singapore-based traders can easily find assistance if they have experienced issues with programming in MetaQuotes Language 4, with developing automated trading systems, or with testing a particular strategy.
Yet, there are also certain disadvantages we should point out. First, the quality of expert advisors may not always be as expected. Singapore-based traders can acquire an expert advisor on MT4’s marketplace at a relatively low cost, but they need to research and backtest that EA before running it on a live trading account.
Second, backtesting an EA means running a particular strategy against real historical data in order to optimize its performance. However, backtesting performance may be affected by memory capacity, because MetaTrader 4 is capable of handling only 32-bit-memory automated trading software. Programs requiring more in terms of memory capacity may cause issues. Additionally, only one financial instrument at a time (a Forex pair such as EUR/USD, or a Stock Index CFD such as SPX 500) can be tested in MT4’s Strategy Tester.
Third, the trading platform grants access to Forex products and CFDs on multiple asset classes (cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Litecoin, commodities and stock indices), with the exception of real Stocks. Since the Stock market is centralized by nature (trading is conducted through centralized exchanges), Shares are not accessible on MT4 while expert advisors are not suitable for stock trading.
And finally, MetaTrader 4 has no customer support. If traders require any assistance or advice, they can either contact the Forex broker’s support team or look for a solution within the vast MetaTrader 4 online community.
If you are looking for a broker that offers MetaTrader 4, along with an excellent range of features to take full advantage of the trading platform then we recommend Pepperstone. You can read more about this broker in our Pepperstone review
View Pepperstone Review >>Visit Pepperstone >>
MetaTrader 5 is a multi-asset trading platform based on a simpler programming language and features enhanced backtesting capabilities. What MT5 offers are 38 technical indicators, 46 analytical objects, 4 execution modes, 6 pending order types, 21-time frames and access to Level II pricing (market depth).
Unlike its predecessor MT4, the MT5 platform is designed to be used for trading derivatives requiring access to centralized exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). So, users can trade asset classes such as stocks, mutual funds and futures on MetaTrader 5.
MetaTrader 5 utilizes MetaQuotes Language 5 coding language, based on C++. Because of this, traders cannot run expert advisors developed in MQL4 for MT4 on the MT5 platform. MT5 EAs need to be built by using the MQL5 programming language.
The MT5 is the best platform for creating 4 types of applications:
With MT5, algorithmic trading can be applied to a wider range of assets, including Shares and Futures CFDs. But what is even more, the platform allows for multi-threaded backtesting, or users are able to test numerous financial instruments simultaneously, unlike the case with MetaTrader 4. This can be very useful if users intend to backtest a particular EA against a number of instruments (EUR/USD, Gold, Bitcoin, etc.).
Additionally, MetaTrader 5 is designed to communicate with 4 servers at one time – a trading server, an access server, a history server and a backup server, thus, the platform has better backtesting capabilities compared to MT4.
Another advantage of MT5 over MT4 includes MetaTrader 5’s 64-bit memory capacity. This means that the platform is capable of handling both 32-bit and 64-bit EAs. If users can create quality expert advisors that utilize higher memory capacity, this can result in faster algorithmic trading. Because of its 64-bit memory and 4 servers, MT5 also enables traders to avoid potential slippage, as the workload is high.
As for disadvantages in using EAs on MetaTrader 5, perhaps the most notable one lies in the fact that the MT5 online community is not that vast compared to the MT4 community. As a result, the MT5 marketplace is also more limited compared to that of MT4.
However, with support for older versions of MetaTrader 4 now discontinued, it is very likely that the MetaTrader 5 platform will continue to gain popularity, including among Singapore-based traders, and its marketplace will probably expand further.
MetaTrader 5 can also be accessed by non-MetaTrader forex brokers like Interactive Brokers through the oneZero Hub Gateway so that IBKR account holders can access the MT5 platform.
See our IC Markets review, to find out why this broker is a good choice for using MetaTrader 5.
Developed by Spotware Systems Ltd, cTrader is a trading platform specifically designed for use with ECN Forex brokers such as IC Markets, Pepperstone, FxPro and so on.
The platform offers 70 built-in technical indicators, 33 analytical objects, 9 chart types, 54-time frames and 6 zoom levels per time frame. Along with its rich chart and watchlist customization options, cTrader also features the ChartShot tool that allows traders to share trading examples or technical strategies with others.
cTrader Automate, or cAlgo, is cTrader’s natively integrated algorithmic trading solution, which enables traders to build trading robots and custom indicators based on the C# programming language and a proprietary cTrader API.
Millions of developers are already coding in C#, so traders can access a large and thriving community without having to learn a new programming language for a single platform.
The API itself is designed to suit the needs of Forex trading on margin and includes all order types, all order modification options, market data and trading history, pre-built indicators, financial instruments and connectivity, all of which with the purpose to incorporate as much detail as possible into a trading strategy.
Visual Studio is cAlgo’s built-in code editor, which makes code writing for trading robots or custom indicators as straightforward as possible for users.
cAlgo also features the “plug and play” functionality, with which traders can load a trading robot or a custom indicator and click “play” to begin trading instantly, which saves them the prolonged installation procedures. The “plug and play” feature makes it possible for cBots to be installed and run within seconds.
cAlgo has a set of valuable features such as visual backtesting, advanced optimization, backtesting history, deal map among others.
In addition, Singapore-based institutional, professional and high-frequency retail traders can access cTrader’s FIX API trading interface free of charge. The API, which is based on the FIX protocol, communicates directly with the cTrader server through FIX messages (electronic messages with financial data commonly used in electronic trading). cTrader’s FIX API has certain advantages, including:
Last but not least, we should note that, while smaller if compared to MetaTrader 4, cTrader has a constantly growing online community of traders and financial experts.
If you wish to trade with cTrader, we suggest FxPro. You can read more about them in our FxPro review
View FxPro Review >>Visit FxPro >>
ProRealTime is a leading web-based charting package, designed for experienced traders who use advanced technical analysis, prefer to automate their trades and want market access to a variety of asset classes (currency pairs, Stock CFDs, Commodity CFDs, Stock Index CFDs, Cryptocurrencies, ETFs etc.). This trading software offers more than 100 technical indicators, 8 order types, a wide range of time frames as well as cutting-edge market scanning tools.
ProRealTime allows users to build their trading algorithms either with:
The software’s wizard allows users to create and specify their own trading requirements without writing any code. By using accessible drop-down menus, traders can specify trading conditions, price objectives and Stop Loss levels. Once all desired conditions and parameters have been defined, the code will be compiled by a code generator.
Another option for users to build a trading algorithm includes the ProBuilder coding language, which has some similarities with Visual Basic. However, we should note that the ProRealTime online community is not that vast, especially if compared to that of MetaTrader 4, and it may not be a surprise if a user encounters difficulties to find the proper resources for his/her automation needs.
Note* If you use quantitative analysis then software like ProRealTime is a good start to begin algorithmic trading.
On the other hand, ProRealTime allows traders to backtest their trading strategies against 30 years of historical data across a range of time frames. Strategy backtesting is also possible by using live market data.
The platform also allows traders to import strategies, including ones developed by third parties.
When it comes to running automation tools, we should note that ProReal Time runs through a server of its own. In other words, the automated strategies will continue running even if a trader is offline. That is a notable difference from running expert advisors or trading robots on MetaTrader and cTrader platforms, which require a running PC or a VPS.
Easily create automatic trading systems and execute them even when your computer is off.
Among the best global brokerages, which Singapore-based traders can access the ProRealTime charting software, is IG Markets or Interactive Brokers. ProRealTime’s main competitors are Thinkorswim, eSignal, and NinjaTrader.
IG Markets is one of the few major forex brokers that offer ProRealTime. You can read more about this broker in our IG Markets review.
View IG Markets Review >>Visit IG Markets >>
eToro is the best platform for copy trading in Singapore. This is a leading online trading brokerage, and one of the originators and innovators of the copy trading field. Over the past decade, the company’s social trading network has seen tremendous growth and, at present, over 20 million users from 140 countries share their trading ideas and expertise by using eToro’s platform.
CopyTrader is eToro’s automated trading solution, which brings benefits for both inexperienced traders and people who lack the time to closely monitor developments in the global markets. The feature allows them to automatically replicate the trading activity of other users on the network directly into their own eToro trading account.
Note* There are no management fees or other hidden costs.
The minimum deposit at eToro is USD 500. Singapore-based eToro clients will be able to copy up to 100 traders simultaneously and will have control over the copy, as they can pause or stop it, add or remove funds at any time and set a Stop Loss for the copy. We should also note that the value of every copied trade needs to be at least $2.
eToro also offers benefits to traders with a proven trading system. They can earn a second income, paid by the broker monthly, by being copied by other eToro clients, if they join the broker’s Popular Investor program. To do so, traders need to satisfy a set of requirements concerning minimum equity, maximum risk score, min. AUM, leverage restrictions (if applicable) and so on.
The Popular Investor program includes 4 different tiers – Cadet, Champion, Elite and Elite Pro, each with its minimum requirements and particular benefits.
eToro brings copy trading on an even higher level with another unique feature, known as CopyPortfolios. It is an investment product that bundles together a collection of financial assets and requires a minimum investment amount of $5,000.
CopyPortfolios may include either a selection of top-performing traders on the broker’s network (Top Trader Portfolio) or a selection of financial instruments such as Stock CFDs, ETFs or Commodities (Market Portfolio).
To find out more about this broker, have a read of our eToro review.
When it comes to social trading options, Singapore-based retail traders may find the MetaTrader 4 trading signals tool as one of the better choices, because it allows them to replicate the trading activity of experienced traders without effort in real-time directly into their live brokerage account. Besides, traders will not need to leave the trading platform. It is also worth noting that the MT4 signal service can be tested on a free demo account with almost any brokerage that offers MetaTrader 4.
MT4 Signals has certain benefits for both beginners and experienced traders:
Singapore-based traders can access the list of signal providers in the “Signals” tab of MetaTrader 4’s terminal window. All providers are presented by their trading results, with the most successful ones being shown at the top. Traders can select signal providers based on parameters such as the number of subscribers, trading history, funds under management, percentage of growth, max drawdown and so on. Once a provider has been selected, traders can subscribe to his/her signals.
In case Singaporean traders opt to use MT4 Signals with true ECN brokerages such as IC Markets, Pepperstone or FP Markets, they will be able to enjoy fast and reliable order execution with minimum slippage and no re-quotes as well as low-cost Forex and CFD trading. They will also be able to take advantage of various trading styles – from scalping and day trading to swing trading copy trades.
At the same time, if Singapore-based clients opt to use MT4 Signals with brokers such as Markets.com and FP Markets, they will be able to access more than 2,000 financial instruments and copy various trading strategies across multiple asset classes.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is the best online trading platform in Singapore. Whether you’re looking for manual trading or automated trading, MetaTrader 4 comes with all the trading tools you need to analyze your favourite financial instruments. The MT4 Expert Advisor builder for EAs lets you implement trading strategies of any complexity. A list of the top 10 MT4 forex brokers can be found HERE.
Yes! eToro is considered to be a safe and secure online trading provider. eToro is regulated in three top tier-1 jurisdictions (FCA, ASIC and CySEC) which ensures the broker complies with strict regulatory rules. eToro gives access to 6 asset classes including stocks, ETFs, crypto, indices, commodities and currencies with zero-commission trading.
Robot trading can be a profitable endeavour. However, your performance is only going to be as good as your coding skills and your ability to find an edge in the market.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is responsible for overseeing and authorizing forex brokers but, since the MAS is not a tier-1 regulator, the FCA, CySEC, ASIC regulated trading firms have been favoured in our review.
Alternatively, you can view the full MAS regulated forex brokers list HERE.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.