Best Trading Platform
Updated by Jonbert Davidsen ∴ Saturday, January 14, 2017
Why Is It Important To Think About This Topic?
The Forex Trading Platform is a central part of my trading. It's the place where I see the result of my trading decisions. It's the place where I enter trades. It's the place where I exit trades. Furthermore, it's the place where I conduct all the mistakes that are unavoidable in trading. To me, they are so unavoidable that it's naive to think that it's a matter of experience and time before I make no mistakes. Of course, I can only speak for myself, but I know that I will make mistakes as long as I trade - but I can do some things to minimize these as much as possible. One way I do that is by asking questions and be critical about my trading. Back to the question . . . It's important for me to understand the big picture behind the trading platforms for Retail Forex Traders. It's like a supermarket. If I go into a supermarket without a plan what to buy, I come out with a bunch of useless items. I've handed my money over to the supermarket, but I haven't got anything valuable in return. The same will happen to me if I don't understand the philosophy and function of a retail trading platform. Some of them have several hundred tradable markets. I cannot trade that many markets. It would require an amount of capital that I don't have access to now or in the future. There are two things that I see on most platforms:• Many markets to trade.• Many indicators and trading tools as a part of the charts packages.A wrong approach to these things will bring my trading accounts to zero in no time. No strategy will keep me profitable as a retail forex trader, without an understanding of the big picture (I prefer to call it philosophy) behind the construction of the retail forex trading platforms.
Genrally speaking, there are very few differences between trading platforms, that matters to me. There are many functions on every trading platform, but to put things in perspective, I ask these two questions: •What essential features do I need as retail forex trader?•Are the platforms designed to make the trading as easy as possible for me, or for other reasons?These two relatively simple questions help me on the way to find a meaningful answer to the question of finding the best trading platform. It took me a long time to realize that what I needed was the possibility to 'buy' and 'sell,' nothing else on the platform was a necessity. Some platforms have great chart packages. If this is so, good - but I don't rely on a single chart when I do my analysis. I prefer to compare different charts. These charts can be with a broker, or from a chart service, it's not a big deal for me. I'm not one of those Retail Forex Trader who spent thousands of $ learning to trade. I've not bought courses, signals, robots and so on. What I've done is reading a lot of books on trading. Not only about Forex trading but many different kinds of trading. Somehow, books are what suits me when it comes to learning about something new. Seen in retrospective, I can say, that the books I learned most from were those that focused on the big picture. Not on signals, robots, or entry/exit strategies. The big picture I have today, consists of more important concepts. A trading platform is just a tool, a detail of a much larger picture - the retail trading industry. I realized that I could become profitable by adjusting a few of their habits. What I needed to become profitable was to understand the core concepts of trading. This has added much more value to the big picture of my trading, than always seeking new fundamental or technical strategies. It boosted my learning process to focus on every little step I made in the right direction, sticking to my trading plan, that I had written from my thinking, based on what I believe is right and wrong for me in my trading. At some point, I asked myself what would happen if I started to focus on myself, rather than reading more of what other traders have written or thought about their trading method. I began to question everything in trading, even the purposes of all the flashing and fancy indicators on my trading platform. This was the point where I slowly started to create a big picture that worked for me. It was my picture, and I'm pretty sure that it only works for me. It can't be copied because it's a very individual image.What was important to realize for me was, that trading is not only about winning, it's also about losing. I like to win at the end of the year, but it's a natural part of the journey to have ups and downs. Vladimir Ribakov has this good example of a sports game. If the game ends 30-0, we think there is something wrong with the setup. I think I can learn a great deal from this example. I will never be right 10 out of 10 times, but, I can still be profitable at the end of the year. It's not necessary to look for a new strategy, a new indicator or a new broker, after a couple of losing trades. I stick to the plan in think and thin. That makes a big difference for me.
Online Trading Account
Where should I have my online trading account? I've changed my mind about this question from my early trading experience until now where I feel comfortable doing what I'm doing. I have more than one strategy that I trade. In the beginning, I chased brokers that offered a bonus, such as double up, etc. Today, as I have more knowledge about the industry, I don't do this anymore.The idea of a bonus is most attractive for traders, that aren't profitable yet. When I reached a point where I had confidence in that I could stay profitable, the bonus wasn't important anymore. I see many an advantage being with more than one broker. Personally, I like to use brokers that are regulated in certain countries where I know - and trust - the laws. The broker is an important part of the trading experience for me. I have cut off some of the brokers I used in the beginning; some because they called me regularly with offers about bonuses, or offers to teach me how to trade. One or two phone calls are ok, as I start with a new broker. But more than that is not necessary. I understand and appreciate the aspect of getting verified. Sometimes it can take some time to check a trading account. It's normal that brokers need proof for identity, this can include bills, such as water or electricity bills with your address written on the bill. This process is sometimes troublesome, but I know it is for my safety. If someone tried to pretend they were me, this would be tough, since the brokers I trust take the identification process very seriously. Other may have had other experiences.An online trading account is a platform for me to do the things in life I like. I don't sign up with a broker to sit and stare at the computer screen all day.When I tried to find information as a newbie on how to chose a broker, most of the information I found was about the regulation aspect. But, there are so many other things that are just as important to me now, that I have not read about anywhere. There were no articles on how I talk to a broker. Also, I did not find any articles saying that the broker will call me and offer education. I had traded months before I discovered that I have no interested in getting 'education' on how to trade from a broker. This has nothing to do with the idea of 'brokers-are-bad' just a simple observation of my interest compared to the broker's interest.Almost all the retail trading industry is set up to take money from the small day trader. That's why I don't day trade.
In most jobs you get more done, the more you work. The more you work, the more you get paid. This is not so in my Retail Forex Trading. The broker has in interest in getting the client to trade as much as possible. This could be the reason why I feel so urged to put on a trade, every time I log into a trading platform. It's because it's set up to give me this feeling. I get this feeling every time I access the platform, but it's controllable now. Now I know, that the trading platform is built in a way to urge me to trade as much as possible. The broker earns a commission every time I open or close a trade. I've learned that 'less is more' in my trading. I do not get paid to do more on the platform. Besides, if I approach this as a business, chances are much better for me to be profitable as long as I trade on the bigger time frames, such as daily/weekly or monthly. Due to this, I use as little screentime as possible to find my trades.I don't blame a broker for the way they set up the trading platform. That would be the same as blaming McDonald's for selling burgers. I'm happy about the broker offering me access to leverage. I don't care what other people think about leverage; they are not me. I know leverage can be very dangerous if the traders don't know what they are doing. I am comfortable seeking controlled risk. That suits me. That's what I want. So what I do instead of blaming brokers for taking money from traders, is to seek an understanding of what they are doing. At the beginning of my trading, I wanted to be glued to the screen watching the markets. Was it on the way Up? Was it on the way down? I guess this is typical for new traders. It's part of the process for a newbie. Then, hopefully, we learn more as we read and seek information about the industry, eventually to find our style.For me it was a big step in the right direction to accept that my trading problems weren't about the brokers or the markets. They were not about news or indicators. The majority of my trading problems as a newbie were about the lack of knowledge of the industry I was about to enter. The problem was within me. I've heard many times that trading was a 'zero sum game.' First, I don't like the comparison of 'a game' because forex trading to me has nothing to do with a game. The idea of a 'zero sum game' is that nobody can win, unless somebody is losing. Instead of focusing on the vast majority who is losing, why not focusing on the winners? The losers are only interesting as a study object of what 'not-to-do.'It was a big eye-opener for me when I tried to understand the whole Retail Forex industry as set up to take the money from the small trader. This does not mean that I cannot be profitable. What it means is that a person who thinks he can become profitable without education in what he or she is doing doesn't have a chance. I don't feel sorry for these people. Nobody is forced to trade, just as nobody is obliged to buy the burgers from McDonald's.
Is Forex Trading for me?
I see Retail Forex Trading as a big possibility for me to reach some personal goals I have in life. However, I am very aware of what industry I operate in when trading. Where money is involved, there will always be big emotions involved. That's why I like to be as neutral as possible, and seek to grow my knowledge about the industry daily. I do not have an interest in all that brokers offer me. For example, I would never trade on a 5-minute chart or a 1-minute chart. But it is not up to me to decide if it should be allowed to offer these kinds of charts. What I can do is to get educated about what I'm doing - just because something is accessible, it does not mean I have to use it. The more education I get, the better chances I have to achieve my goals. Forex trading was not intended as an activity for small traders like me. What I think or do in the markets doesn't matter. The forex market is a market for huge financial elephants. However, if I understand how these elephants move their money, I can follow them and get what is big money to me. I cannot say I have had a single 'aha'-moment, where I knew that I could stay profitable. This is something I have developed by studying several thousand hours. I've spent most of my spare time the last couple of years, trying to learn as much as possible about Retail Forex Trading. It has not been easy in any way - but it has been a very exciting journey.
Binary Options Trading
I believe Binary option trading is here to stay. It's an industry currently in big growth. The problems and the bad reputation of this kind of trading are not justified always. Very often the attacks come from people who don't understand the big picture of the industry. Some parts of this industry are obviously wrong, and there are traps (that I can avoid if I educate myself on what I'm doing). The bottom line for me is that the broker offers me leverage. That is a good thing for me. There is no 'Holy Grail' but a lot of concepts, I've used much time learning and put together in a way so that I feel comfortable doing what I'm doing today.I'll mention a few of them here without further commenting in this blog post: Average risk/reward ratio, Percentage of winning trades, position size, trading journal, backtesting, personal tolerance to risk, losing streaks, conflict of interest in the retail trading industry.These are just some of the things I needed a 100% understanding of together with a personal approach that applies to me and my situation. There are few general rules in my trading. All the rules are adjusted to my situation.
In most of the trading books, I value and have learned most from, there is an idea about 'the unexpected' being an important characteristic of the markets. Occasionally, something happens in the markets that no one was expecting. When this happens, it creates massive panic. Nassim Taleb calls this phenomena 'black swans.' A recent example of this was the unpegging of the Swiss Franc from the Euro. This had a tremendous effect on the markets. There is written about this elsewhere. I just want to point out, that this has happened many times before in the markets, and it's likely to happen again. Not in the same way, not the same place, but in different variants under different circumstances. The unexpected can happen at any time. Therefore I would never trade anything where the concept of the 'black swan' wasn't a part of the trading plan.Please remember to share this post with your friends on social media sites!