Best Trading Platforms

An electronic trading platform is a piece of computer software that allows users to place orders for financial products over a network with a financial intermediary, such as an online broker. These products include instruments such as stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, cryptocurrency and derivatives.

With an online trading platform, you can analyse the markets, open, manage and close positions all conveniently from your desktop, web and mobile devices. This means that anyone with an internet connection can get quick and easy access to the global markets.

However, with the increasing popularity of investing and trading online, there are many platforms to choose from. This can seem overwhelming at first, which is why we have compiled this handy trading platform guide to help you decide which trading platform is best for you.

Top 10 Trading Platforms

Broker
Rating
Regulated
Min. Deposit
Founded
Max. Leverage
1.
AvaTrade Review

ADGM FRSA, ASIC, BVIFSC, CBI, FFAJ, FSCA, IIROC, JFSA

$100

2006

1:400

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
2.
IG Review

ASIC, BaFin, CFTC, DFSA, FCA, FINMA, FMA, FSA, FSCA, JFSA, MAFF, MAS, METI, NFA

$250

1974

1:200

76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.
3.
Pepperstone Review

ASIC, BaFin, CMA, CySEC, DFSA, FCA, SCB

$200

2010

1:400

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
4.
IC Markets Review

ASIC, CySEC, FSA, SCB

$200

2007

1:500

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
5.
XM Group Review

ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, IFSC

$5

2009

1:888

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
6.
JFD Brokers Review

BaFin, CySEC, VFSC

$500

2011

1:400

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
7.
NinjaTrader Review

CFTC, NFA

$0

2003

N/A

Futures, foreign currency, and options trading contains substantial risk and is not for every investor.
8.
Zacks Trade Review

FINRA

$2,000

1978

N/A

All investments involve risks and losses may exceed the principal invested.
9.
Lightspeed Review

FINRA, NFA

$10,000

2010

1:4

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
10.
AMP Futures Review

CFTC, NFA

$100

2010

N/A

There is a risk of loss in trading futures, forex and options. They are not appropriate for all investors.

AvaTrade

AvaTrade are one of our top online trading platforms as they offer a great selection of financial instruments across multiple markets and user-friendly trading platforms. They are one of the world’s largest brokers in terms of volume with some of the best trading conditions available to traders around the globe. This includes low fees, zero commission fees and reliable execution speeds. They are also regulated in an impressive range of jurisdictions including Europe, Australia and South Africa. Their regulatory licenses span multiple continents, making them one of the most well-regulated brokers you will find anywhere.

AvaTrade provide traders of all experience levels with a choice of free online trading platforms that can be used on multiple devices including desktop (Windows / Mac), web and mobile (iPhone / iPad / Android / Tablet). These platforms have a wide range of trading tools and indicators for a convenient and efficient online trading experience.

The trading platforms are the industry standard MetaTrader, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, DupliTrade and ZuluTrade. Beginners may prefer the ease of use of MetaTrader whilst those who want to trade whilst on the go may opt for the convenience of the broker proprietary AvaTradeGO app to trade from anywhere in the world at any time. AvaTrade also provide you with a nice selection of copy trading platforms so that you can copy other traders, these are DupliTrade and ZuluTrade. This can be a good solution for those who do not have the time or knowledge to trade by themselves.

Founded in 2006, AvaTrade are still one of the most popular trading platforms available to traders and continue to innovate their trading services. I think they can be a great choice for anyone who is looking to access an excellent range of trading products and services in a regulated environment with minimal fuss.

Pros
  • Powerful trading platforms for multiple devices
  • User-friendly interface and innovative features
  • Social trading platforms for copy trading
  • Good selection of free trading tools and indicators
  • Great range of trading instruments to choose from
  • Very competitive trading conditions including tight spreads
  • Commission free trading with fast execution speeds
  • Plenty of top-quality educational content for beginners
  • Free demo accounts available
  • Excellent customer support
  • Regulation in multiple jurisdictions
Cons
  • Possible inactivity fees
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • No variable spread accounts
  • Minimum deposit of $100

IG

We consider IG to be one of the best trading platforms due to the leading online brokerage services that they offer via a vast range of powerful yet user-friendly trading platforms. The platforms you can choose from are IG’s proprietary trading platform, ProRealTime (PRT), L2 Dealer or the ever popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform. The broker also offers direct market access (DMA) for professional traders who would like to deal directly into the order books of major equity exchanges.

IG also offer excellent in-platform support that can help you to make decisions in moments using the free powerful tools built into the platforms. These tools can be used to help reinforce decisions with buy and sell signals, react to events with up-to-the-minute news from the fantastic Reuters and inform your trading with expert market analysis.

IG give traders around the globe access to a super range of over 18,000+ markets for trading online with tight spreads, low fees and rapid trade execution speeds. The brokers trading instruments include Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Options, Bonds, ETFs, CFDs and even spread betting in the UK.

The broker also provides the IG Academy which is a free resource that helps you to develop your trading skills and knowledge. It contains an abundance of learning materials such as trading guides, webinars, tutorials and videos. There is everything you need to help educate you on the markets and guide you along your trading journey.

Furthermore, IG is a multi-regulated trading platform that can accept traders in the USA, has 24-hour customer support and facilitates a good variety of convenient account funding options. I think they are a perfect choice for anyone looking to trade on top platforms with one of the best brokers in the industry.

Pros
  • Top trading platforms for desktop, web and mobile devices
  • Platforms for retail or institutional traders and investors
  • Huge range of 18,000+ trading instruments
  • Tight spreads, low commission and quick execution speeds
  • Premium trading tools for professional market analysis
  • FIX API trading for direct market access
  • Generous selection of educational resources
  • Free demo accounts
  • Can accept traders in most countries
  • Regulated in various jurisdictions
Cons
  • Inactivity fee after 2 years
  • No MetaTrader 5 platforms
  • Minimum deposit of $250

Pepperstone

Pepperstone are one of our best trading platforms for many reasons. They offer a wide range of financial instruments including Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Bonds, CFDs and ETFs, all across powerful online trading platforms that are suitable for traders of all experience levels. They offer the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) trading platforms along with the slightly more advanced cTrader platform. These user-friendly platforms can be used on desktop and mobile devices for trading whilst on the go.

Each of the trading platforms have an abundance of built in tools for conducting detailed chart analysis to find potential trading opportunities. You can also further enhance the platforms capabilities with a plethora of free and paid add-ons available to purchase from the marketplace which is accessible within the platform. You will find trading signals, indicators, automated systems, scripts and more. You can even develop your own trading tools of you have the coding skills to do so or hire a freelancer to help bring your ideas to life. Whatever your plan for a trading strategy, chances are you can build it in the Pepperstone platforms.

If you are looking for a social trading platform, Pepperstone have you covered with two of the leading providers in DupliTrade and Myfxbook. In addition to providing you with free easy to use trading platforms, Pepperstone also offers low cost trading fees, tight spreads and fast trade execution speeds. They are regulated by top regulatory authorities and have an award-winning customer service team. These factors amongst many others make them easy to consider as one of our best trading platforms.

Pros
  • Intuitive, powerful and user-friendly trading platforms
  • Industry leading MetaTrader and cTrader platforms
  • Wide range of trading instruments to choose from
  • Tight spreads and low fees
  • Deep liquidity pool for superior trading conditions
  • No dealing desk ensures ultra-low latency execution speeds
  • No restrictions on your trading strategies
  • Social trading platforms including DupliTrade and Myfxbook
  • Good selection of trading tools for making informed decisions
  • Educational resources to help new traders
  • Free demo accounts on all platforms
  • Fantastic customer support
Cons
  • Do not have a proprietary trading platform
  • Primarily CFD trading instruments offered
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • Minimum deposit of $200 is not the lowest

IC Markets

IC Markets make it onto our list of best trading platforms for a providing extremely competitive trading conditions via some of the top trading platforms in MetaTrader and cTrader. They have both the entry level MetaTrader 4 and the more advanced MetaTrader 5 platforms for all of your devices. You can choose to run the trading platforms via desktop or directly in the web browser which requires no software downloads or installations. There are also mobile trading apps for this who need convenient access to their trading account from within the palm of their hands.

The provided platforms are well known in the online trading industry and used by traders from all across the globe. They have intuitive user-interfaces along with a vast array of built-in trading tools for conducting in-depth market analysis. Just like with other brokers who provide these platforms, you can further improve their possibilities with plenty of innovative add-ons available.

As a brokerage service, IC Markets are one of the world’s largest true ECN trading brokers, offering you thousands of trading instruments across multiple markets with tight spreads, low commission fees and high liquidity for fast trade execution at the best available prices with low slippage and low latency.

IC Markets implements over 50 liquidity providers (LPs) which allows traders of all levels to trade on institutional grade liquidity with no dealing desk interference from a diverse range of large LPs such as investment banks, hedge funds and dark pools venues.

The broker has a great selection of additional trading tools such as trading signals, economic calendars, market analysis, price alerts, technical indicators, market data, free VPS and more. They also offer a range of educational materials including trading guides and video tutorials for traders of all experience levels.

I think IC Markets are one of the best brokers for anyone who is looking to day trade and use scalping systems. This is because I find them to have some of the lowest overall costs when you consider the spreads and commission fees. The powerful technology that they implement within their platforms mean that you can get your trades executed at the prices you expect.

Pros
  • Intuitive, powerful and flexible trading platforms
  • Wide range of financial instruments to trade online
  • Institutional grade liquidity for tight spreads and rapid execution speeds
  • True ECN model delivers a superior trading environment
  • Range of trading tools for assisting with your market analysis
  • No restrictions on your trading strategies
  • Social trading platforms where you can copy signals from other traders
  • Lots of helpful educational resources
  • FIX API market connectivity for institutional clients
  • Free demo practice accounts
  • Excellent 24/7 customer support
Cons
  • Do not have a proprietary trading platform
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • Minimum $200 deposit is not the lowest
  • Could add some more standalone tools

XM Group

XM Group are easily one of our top choices when it comes to the best trading platform. They offer traders across the globe a large range of trading instruments including Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies and CFDs. Whatever your interests, there is something for everyone to trade and build a diversified portfolio.

All of the instruments that they offer can be traded from one online trading account on an impressive selection of robust platforms including all variations of the popular MetaTrader 4/5 trading platforms, available on desktop (Windows / Mac), web and mobile (iPhone / iPad / Android / Tablet). There is a platform to suit all types of trading strategy and traders of all experience levels. The platforms are versatile as they can be used on desktop, web and mobile devices (iOS and Android). This means you can seamlessly access your account when and where you need to.

As a client of the established XM Group brokerage firm, you can also gain free access to high quality proprietary trading tools that enhance the already powerful MetaTrader 4/5 trading platforms even further. These tools can help to quickly and easily perform technical analysis across multiple markets to identify possible trading opportunities and assist with making informed decisions.

The broker has won multiple awards for their trading services which is a testament to the quality that they deliver with very competitive pricing. The platforms have a no-requote policy, tight spreads, fast execution speeds and reasonable commission fees. Traders have peace of mind as XM Group are regulated by some of the most respected regulatory authorities and have support on 24/5 who respond in a prompt and polite manner.

Pros
  • All variations of MetaTrader 4/5 trading platforms
  • Generous range of trading instruments across multiple asset classes
  • Proprietary trading tools for professional market analysis
  • Good execution speeds with a no-requotes policy
  • Tight spreads from just 0.0 pips and low fees
  • Hedging, scalping and automated trading allowed
  • Multiple convenient funding options to choose from
  • Free demo accounts
  • Min $5 deposit
Cons
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • Inactivity fees if you are not trading frequently enough
  • Only provide the MetaTrader platforms

JFD Brokers

JFD Brokers is an established, multi-regulated online broker offering a great selection of more than 1,500+ instruments over 8 asset classes, including physical stocks and commission free trading. They have a good selection of powerful trading platforms and robust trading tools for comprehensive market analysis.

JFD Brokers let you trade on a great selection of flexible and powerful trading platforms. You can opt to trade on the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platforms. They also offer the intuitive third-party Guidants platform which is equipped with an abundance of custom add-ons and indicators. All of these platforms can give you comprehensive market access via user-friendly interfaces.

Pros
  • Great choice of powerful trading platforms
  • Professional trading tools for complex market analysis
  • Good range of financial instruments
  • Physical stocks
  • Convenient funding methods
  • Managed account for investors and money managers
  • Mirror trading for copying trade signals
  • StereoTrader add-on for MetaTrader
  • Discounted VPS for eligible clients
  • Free practice accounts
  • FIX API trading solutions
  • Dedicated customer support
Cons
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • Minimum $500 deposit not the lowest
  • Crypto funding not currently supported
  • No fixed spread accounts

NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader Group, LLC together with its subsidiaries provides award winning trading software and brokerage services to active traders. They are an industry leading trading platform and futures broker with all of the resources you need to trade multiple financial instruments with relative ease.

NinjaTrader supports traders across the globe via their powerful trading platform featuring a great selection of 100+ day trading indicators and award-winning brokerage services. The platform is always free to use for advanced charting, backtesting and trade simulation. In addition to their fantastic proprietary platform, NinjaTrader supports both Continuum powered by CQG and Rithmic for live futures trading.

Pros
  • Excellent NinjaTrader platform for trading online
  • Deep discount commissions and low margins for futures
  • Customize NinjaTrader with indicators, signals and strategies
  • Award-winning charting and analysis
  • 100+ indicators included in the platform
  • 1000s of 3rd party trading apps available
  • Extensive historical tick, min and daily data
  • Unfiltered professional market data
  • Unlimited simulated futures trading
  • Unlimited support and daily training
  • Free 24-hour emergency trade desk
  • Community forum to connect with other users
Cons
  • Limited account funding options
  • Not the lowest overall fees
  • Available in limited countries

Zacks Trade

Zacks Trade is a USA broker offering day traders a selection of powerful platforms, comprehensive tools and market insights to ensure a professional trading experience in a retail environment. I was impressed with the robustness of each trading platform. Not only are they easy to use, they are also fully loaded with all of the tools and features you need for conducting professional market research. You can seamlessly switch between the platforms and customise the interfaces to be as simplistic or complex as you need them to be.

Pros
  • Good selection of financial instruments
  • Professional trading platforms that are loaded with features
  • Superb collection of premium trading tools
  • Industry leading market research
  • Very competitive commission fees
  • Excellent customer support
Cons
  • Minimum $2,000 deposit not the lowest
  • No support for futures, commodities or forex
  • Limited funding options

Lightspeed

Lightspeed offers active and professional traders highly accurate market data, complex order management, fast executions, and over 100 routing destinations for trading stocks, ETFs, futures and options. They have a great selection of powerful and intuitive trading platforms for you to choose from. The robust trading software is highly customisable, allowing you to see key information in real time with low latency.

There are five primary trading platforms to choose, each platform coming with its own unique benefits. All of the platforms enable you to trade options and equities with user-friendly navigation and plenty of tools. Whether you are an active or professional trader, institution or hedge fund, you can opt for the platform that is most suited to your needs and try them out on demo to begin with if need be.

Pros
  • Powerful trading platforms built for performance and speed
  • Superb choice of trading platforms for all types of trader
  • Excellent range of high-quality trading tools
  • Advanced risk management tools
  • More than 100 order routing destinations
  • Executions are extremely fast
  • Good selection of guides and videos
  • Top class FIX API connectivity
  • Discounted commissions for active traders
  • Stay up to date on the latest news and market updates
  • One-on-one support
Cons
  • Minimum $10,000 deposit not the lowest
  • Do not support forex trading
  • No online payment processors
  • Maybe overwhelming for beginners

AMP Futures

AMP Futures is a US regulated Chicago-based Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) providing access to the global electronic futures markets for individual traders, as well as US and foreign Introducing Brokerages from 150+ countries around the world. When it comes to trading platforms, it is hard to beat AMP Futures.

The broker offers you a fantastic selection of 50+ trading platforms, some are free and some charge a fee. There are platforms suitable for beginners and platforms for professional traders who run demanding strategies and need access to the best tools and connectivity in the market.

Pros
  • Excellent choice of high-quality trading platforms
  • Free, no monthly fee platforms available
  • No monthly inactivity fees
  • No monthly volume requirements
  • Multiple data feeds available
  • Real-time & historical data included
  • All major currencies accepted for deposits
  • 24-hour customer service and trade desk
  • Cheap Commission fees and price match
  • Free trading education including guides and videos
Cons
  • Bank transfer account funding only
  • $100 deposit is not the lowest
  • AMP Futures is for US traders (AMP Global is for non-US traders)
  • Perhaps too overwhelming for beginners

Conclusion

Here you will find our best trading platforms, based on thousands of hours of extensive research, testing and analysis across hundreds of brokers. Upon conclusion of each of our broker reviews, we have assigned each trading platform with a rating.

Some of the most important factors that contribute towards a good platform for trading and investing online have been considered including the features and functionality. We have carefully examined things such as the financial instruments, tools, fees, usability, education, versatility, funding options, regulation, customer service and more.

Each of our chosen trading and investing platforms have undergone and passed our stringent broker reviews with flying colours, based on what we consider to be amongst the most important considerations when choosing a platform for trading online. These platforms are well-established within the online brokerage industry, providing top trading conditions to traders and investors of all experience levels.

Having the best platforms according to our findings listed in one place, can help you save time when looking for the best trading platform for your own individual needs.


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