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Jun 08

What to Look for When Choosing a Trading Platform

Reading Time: 4 mins

Profitable investing is by no means an easy feat, and it might appear even more intimidating when you are a total rookie. Selecting the right brokerage platform that measures up to your needs and the goals you have set is a must, and even more so if you are looking to guarantee decent investment returns.

Yet, shifting through all the available brokerage platforms might turn out to be time-consuming and, above all, overwhelming, all the more so if you are unaware of the selection criteria.

Even though there is no fail-safe set of steps traders can follow in order to make certain that they will get the returns they are after, finding a platform that works well for them is at least a good starting point.


A Few Questions to Answer Beforehand

Before you start evaluating the brokerage platforms available out there, you should first determine your level of expertise and your preferences.

Depending on the path investors would like to follow, they should also determine whether they are passive or active traders, what they are investing for, which type of trading is more up to their alley, and what kind of data they might find useful. Answering all these questions will help investors determine which service will work best for them, and will help them step down the options they are presented with.

Besides, there are multiple websites where investors are presented with a ranking of Forex brokers, which might help along with their choice as well.


Ease of Access

Finding the trading platform which lives up to your requirements is an effort that certainly pays off in the future and might mean the difference between success and disappointment. That is the reason why one of the first things investors should pay special attention to is accessibility.

One of the best ways to evaluate the usefulness and usability of the trading platform is to spend some time on it. Traders are wise to check whether they can find the information they need with ease and if it has an intuitive and user-friendly design. Cruising the preferred platform for a couple of minutes should suffice for traders to determine whether they will be able to work with it or they should look for another broker.

While being on the lookout for a trading platform that ticks all the boxes for them, investors should check if accessing the brokerage platform is possible when they are on the go. In this age and time, it is not that surprising that investors put great stress on the mobile trading options the chosen platform offers.

So, for traders who are more on the move, and want to have the freedom to access their account, trade whenever an opportunity appears, and make use of order alerts, analysis tools, and charts, it is always a good idea to check out for the availability of dedicated apps for handheld devices.


What Information is Available to Traders

As long as the preferred broker is seeking to educate its users, and to this end, provides them with lots of information, this should serve as a confidence booster that the platform might be worth giving a chance.

The availability of podcasts, forums, trading educational videos, and articles might help investors along if they are making their first steps in trading. Of course, traders should not believe such information blindly, and should first make sure that it comes from reputable websites and is written by people who have experience in the field.


Can the Broker Be Trusted

While looking for the ideal brokerage platform, investors should check up on what measures are in place in order to keep the accounts of users safe. The availability of two-factor authentication is certainly a good sign because it adds an extra layer of security.

In order to gain a better understanding of how well the trading platform does, investors should also check up if it is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.


How Easy It Is to Move Funds to and from the Trading Platform

It is true to say that careful decision-making while picking a trading platform is a must if investors want to assure that they will not have trouble uploading or withdrawing funds. When moving funds to the platform, investors should be prudent to a couple of things, including the payment processors they can rely on and the timeframes within which the uploaded amount will be settled.

As far as withdrawals go, traders should inquire into the settlement times, as well as the means that can be used in order to take their money off the platform. The additional costs that might incur when getting your money from your brokerage account are worth giving a once-over as well.


Check the Additional Costs

In spite of the fact that many investors fail to pay enough attention to the fees, they are certainly one of the first things to look into before you start using the chosen platform.

As far as account fees go, investors should keep an eye out for the extra costs they might face when registering for an account. There are several things to take into consideration here, including the availability of monthly or annual maintenance fees, whether there is a minimum for deposits, and what are the margin rates. Another thing to look at is whether the trading platform can be accessed when you are a free user.

Trading commissions should not be overlooked as well, and these prizes will be influenced by the activity of traders, as well as the amount they have invested using the brokerage platform.


Customer Care

Another criterion investors should take into consideration in order to whittle down the options they are presented with is the customer service the platform offers. It is of paramount importance to check up in advance on how you can get assistance whenever you need it.

Investors should check up if support is available via email and over the phone and whether there is a live chat for assistance on the spot. Checking out the hours during which the available channels of communication are staffed is also a good idea. The availability of a FAQ page, which covers various topics, is also a major plus for brokerage platforms.

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.


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