When someone wants to begin trading forex the initial decision they need to make is which online broker to use. It is important that a new trader conducts research to find a broker that is going to provide them with a first-class package as there is a healthy amount of competition within the forex market to pull in new business. Where brokers can appeal to a trader is in the cost to trade, the level of trader support they offer and of course what trading platform do they use and how good is it.

Probably the most key element that a new trader can specify is the trading platform. They must make sure that it can perform all of the vital requirements promptly and easily as well as be safe and stable, i.e does not keep stalling or crashing when being used.

Currency trading platforms should first and foremost offer a security for your deposited funds, whether that is $100 or $10,000. Another valuable feature is the ability to stream real time data for the client to see (admittedly this applies more to stocks and commodities which trade on an actual exchange). This data needs to be displayed so that he user can easily and simply locate key data, for example it should be simple to locate various different currency pair listings.

The ability to make a trade should also be straight forward so there is no chance of making an error and putting in a sell order when it should have been a buy order or vice versa and then being able to exit the trade easily as well with a clear pip or profit reading on each individual trade.

As well as all of the primary functions, good software should allow a user to set up and edit stop losses quickly and easily whether they are fixed or moving. A nice additional feature to a trading platform is the charting software. Charts are essential in providing the data on which traders base their decisions. The better the charting package on the platform the more precise the calculations that can be performed. A charting package should have the facility to display both very short scale trading periods. A popular trading chart period is the 4 hour chart. Also a chart should also be able to show information over a longer period, such as weeks, month and years.