Throughout your trading journey, the trading platform you choose to trade on will continue to be a principal foundation in your investment ventures. Given this holds such significant importance, it’s crucial that you choose the best CFD trading platform that provides you with all the necessary features that you need, at an affordable price.
If you are serious about trading CFDs, then the trading platform you select to execute your trades will be an extremely important tool that you will rely on heavily. Operating through a user-friendly, efficient platform with a good CFD broker will assist you greatly in making successful, profitable trades.
So why is it so important that you choose the best CFD trading platform to suit your needs?
The trading platform you choose will provide you with charts, real-time pricing and quotes, as well as a feature-packed interface for you to enter & exit your trades. Although there are many standard features that trading platforms consistently provide, they do vary significantly in the features they offer, and most importantly, the fees charged for using them.
Often beginner traders can become quickly overwhelmed when deciding on a trading platform, and with the list of providers continuing to expand, it’s easy to see why. But instead of succumbing to the sheer size of the market and using a big broker company (which chances are, are not the right fit for you) we encourage you to take your consumer buying power and utilise it to your advantage.
So let’s get you on your way to choosing the best CFD trading platform;
1. What Can You Trade?
Knowing what tradable instruments are offered by the broker providing the platform will narrow down your initial search quite significantly. You may wish to trade on both the Australian and global markets, or to have access to multiple products such as forex, currencies, indices etc.
Know what you want to trade, and the markets you wish to do it in.
Once this has been established, finding a platform that offers these features will be your first essential step in narrowing down your search to find the best CFD trading platform for you.
2. Your Specific Needs
Establishing what you specifically need from a CFD trading platform will ensure that you not only have a trading platform that caters to your needs, but it will also likely reduce your costs (as you’re not paying for features you don’t need) and will also be a simpler platform to use.
If you’re an entry level, casual trader, is it really a necessity to have a trading platform that provides an exuberant amount of complicated features you are likely to never use? Probably not. Unless you’re an analyst for a major bank or fund, or a full-time active trader, chances are you’re unlikely to ever use the overly complicated extras available.
Establish what basics you need, the little extras you’d like (and use) and research what providers offer these in their platform.
3. Trading Costs
Now that you’ve established exactly what you’re looking for in a CFD trading platform, the next step is to evaluate the fees charged to use them. These can vary significantly amongst providers and it’s therefore crucial that you evaluate the facts accordingly.
The fees don’t just refer to the commission charged per trade, but also the type of brokerage that is being charged. Is it just commission based, spread based or both? Is there a spread being added to the quoted prices?
There are also additional fees charged by trading platform providers such as account fees, software fees, data streaming fees etc. The amounts being charged may not seem significant at first glance, however when they are compounded monthly over an annual time period, they can quickly add up and significantly reduce your trading capital.
Hidden fees are also quite prevalent amongst some providers so ensure you conduct thorough research so you know exactly what you’re paying for.
To find out more about fees read our How to Tell if Your CFD Broker is Ripping You Off
4. Customer Support
Although the customer service aspect of a trading platform may appear to be a deceivingly unimportant aspect of trading, it does however hold significant importance.
I know what you’re thinking, sure it’s great to have a friendly voice at the end of the phone, but is it really the downfall of a provider if their customer service is not up to scratch?
Put simply, yes it is.
The overwhelming sophistication of trading platforms, with highly complicated charting features can often be a daunting task to navigate through when first beginning trading. This is one of those times when having great customer service available to assist you is a significant advantage.
Chances are, you’re not going to utilise this service every day, or even often for that matter, but in times of difficulty having an accessible resource that can assist you in a timely, friendly and helpful manner will make all the difference.
Research reviews, email them, even give them a call to suss it all out. You never know when you might need assistance, and it’s often in already stressful situations, so ensure their support services are up to scratch.
Choosing The Best CFD Trading Platform: The Bottom Line
Choosing the best CFD trading platform isn’t a one size fits all approach. As explained above, it’s a process of elimination by identifying what you actually need in a trading platform and finding one that facilitates for this, without costing you an arm and a leg.
Don’t just automatically assume that your typical big broker firms are going to provide you with the best platform, at the best rates. Shop around, analyse the fees, read the fine print, don’t pay for extras you don’t need, and find a trading platform that you’re genuinely happy trading on.
TradeDirect365 provides clients with a low-cost, transparent pricing approach, on a highly intuitive, user-friendly platform. See the difference we offer here.