Software platforms have become the trader’s portal to the marketplace. Whether you’re engaging in equities, currencies or futures products, a software platform is required for conducting day-to-day trading operations.
A futures trading platform can come in many varieties and may be tailored to fit most needs and demands. In order to optimize your trading experience, it’s crucial to pause and consider several factors that will determine what type of software trading suite is most suitable for you.
The contemporary futures marketplace is essentially a digital atmosphere. As the physical trading floors and pits of old have fallen by the wayside, market participants have flourished remotely via internet connectivity.
Technical analysis is one of the most commonly practiced disciplines in the modern marketplace. Advancing information systems technology has given a new generation of chartists and technicians the means by which to craft trading decisions based exclusively upon technicals.
If you are a technical trader, then your platform will need to be equipped with a collection of robust analytical tools designed for the study of price action. Here are several core components that are a valued part of the technician’s platform:
- Advanced charting: Charting price action in real-time provides a visual representation of market behavior, past and present.
- Technical indicators: Fibonacci tools, momentum oscillators, moving averages or custom indicators may be automatically calculated and added to an existing strategy.
- System development options: Building a customized rules-based system is a common goal among technical traders. Back-testing and optimization capabilities are useful in this pursuit.
Fundamental traders have it a bit easier when fulfilling their analytical requirements. Because these traders typically make decisions based on external determinants of price itself, having access to a few key features is extremely helpful:
- Real-time news feed: Staying current on scheduled events and breaking news items is crucial to fundamental trading.
- Streaming quotes: A ticker or quote board is a quick and easy reference of how the markets are performing.
- Detailed trading reports: A report or spreadsheet showing a historical record of executed trades can help point out strengths and weaknesses.
No matter if a trader crafts trade-related decisions from a fundamental or technical vantage point, securing access to the proper platform is an integral part of competently addressing the marketplace.
A crucial component of any trading platform’s utility is order entry functionality. Depending on your software provider or brokerage service, various capabilities of a platform may be limited.
Each trader’s style or approach dictates which features are required to conduct a trade. Accordingly, you should consider the elements of order entry functionality before selecting a platform:
- Order types: Entering the market using a variety of order types is a necessity for most traders. Market, limit and stop orders all have parts to play in the trade management plan.
- Latency: The amount of time it takes an order to be placed at market is a big part of efficient trade execution. A trader must be aware of any concerns associated with undue platform latency.
- User-friendliness: Above all else, the software platform must be easy to use. Futures markets can move rapidly, requiring active traders to navigate the platform effortlessly.
There is very little debate over the importance of analytics. Having the ability to observe price action or receive breaking news items in real-time is a prerequisite for crafting solid trading decisions. However, once an opportunity has been recognized, being able to enter and exit the market efficiently is the name of the game.
Traders have many options when selecting a futures trading platform. Many platforms offer extensive collections of tools, indicators and order types. It’s not uncommon for basic functionality to be compromised in favor of fancy bells and whistles. In addition, a trader must be aware of the costs associated with running a specific platform. Many software providers charge fees on a monthly or usage basis.
It’s important that your platform choice provides a cost-effective solution that fulfills your individual trading needs. If you’re interested in a powerful, customizable, no-fee platform, check out Daniels Trading’s dt Pro software suite today.