I’ve spent a lot of time writing about the psychology of trading in the last few posts, and I assure you that I am not done, but I think it is time that I write about something a little more practical. Again, I want to address a question that I regularly hear, in the hope to give some guidance to those who wonder.
So here it is: it does not matter what trading platform you trade from? Many people are seemingly on a never ending quest to find the best possible trading platform, but the truth is that a better platform will not make you a better trader. Giving a learner driver the keys to Ferrari won’t suddenly make them Kimi Raikkonen.
You need to look for a broker that you want to work with and a cost structure that you are comfortable with. That is probably the most important part. After that you can focus on the platform. There are a few simple things that it needs to be able to do, which is put in limit orders and stop loss orders. Now, it may come as a surprise, but almost every trading platform can do this. Even the very basic ones.
If it’s fancy charts you are looking for, then you can either find a trading platform that does fancy charts – and there are plenty that are provided by stock brokers for free – or you can surf on over to www.investing.com and go wild with their charts. They are free and their functionality and capabilities allow for advanced technical analysis. Sure, they do not come with live data feeds, although if you are trading on daily or hourly timeframes that should be fine. Orders can then be placed on your own trading platform or with your broker.
So many people fall into this trap of buying charting software that is really not needed. Most stock brokers give you software for free when you open accounts with them. Some even give you access to a research portal, on the house. If you insist on wanting to buy software, then buy MetaStock 15 (and talk to me so I can get you discount), because that is probably the only software worth the money.
I fell into this same trap when I first started out. I had no idea where to start and somebody called me up and convinced me to spend a ton of money on a piece of software that, frankly, was useless to me. The weapon does not make the warrior. Use the free tools that are available to you and remember that more flashing colours and numbers does not equal an easier time in markets. Keep it simple.
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