There has been an ongoing interest in the world of online trading in the last few years, as technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) help to make online tools and resources more accessible to a growing number of the global population.
Online trading, often referred to as ‘eTrading’ only recently started becoming more common among younger generations, as the development and advancement of mobile phones enabled them easier access to the digital tools they required to participate in the global forex and stock market.
At its peak, eTrading saw millions of daily active traders and users, as pandemic-related lockdowns and travel restrictions confined millions to their homes for months on end. Now, more than two years later, and most of these restrictions a thing of the past, a majority of those early traders have already dropped out of the market, or made one too many risky bets leaving them with nothing to show for it.
Yet, despite the decrease in daily active users, or a growing number of daily downloads, recent data revealed that more than 4.3 million people have taken up trading as a hobby or a full-time job in the last year. Research indicated that in 2018 there were more than 13.9 million online traders scattered across the world, most of which lived in or around major financial metropolitans.
The staggering amount of seasoned professionals or novice traders that have jumped to the opportunity in recent years has led to some experts estimating that the global online trading platforms market size will reach more than $13.3 billion by 2026.
In the fast-paced world of 5G technology, performance, and advanced software, size is everything; and to captivate traders, some online platforms now offer a consortium of features and tools to help new traders easily learn and grow their expertise.
The Essentials Of Choosing An eTrading Platform
With so much buzz echoing throughout the world of online trading, it can be quite intimidating for novice traders when shopping around for the best eTrading platform.
Although hundreds claim to be the best, which in some instances may be true, younger, less experienced traders must look at the three essential components when choosing an online trading platform.
- Easy-to-use: Platforms should have a straightforward design and layout that looks to enhance the user experience. The app or platform you’ve chosen should have an easy-to-understand layout, without the need for complex tools or unnecessary features.
- Educational materials: As someone new to online trading, it will take you several days, weeks, or even months to hone your trading skills. Thus, it’s important to shop for an online trading platform that offers a consortium of educational materials.
- Access to research: Research is a critical aspect for any trader, as this helps them to plan and strategize more effectively. Without the right access to market-related research or insights, new traders might find it difficult to resolve recurring problems within their methods or make mistakes that could affect their performance and portfolio in the long run.
These are only a few of the essential things to consider when choosing one of the many eTrading platforms available. Additionally, new traders can also look at the price, market performance, access to quality indices and stock picks, and user reviews
5 Trading Platforms Perfect For Any Novice
Now that you have some understanding of what to look for, you can start shopping around to find a suitable trading platform that offers you value and insight, while at the same time meets your trading needs.
Here are five of the most powerful and diverse trading platforms suitable for beginners.
Starting our list is eToro, one of the world’s largest stock trading platforms which include around 1,500 stock picks, and different asset classes, ranging from cryptos to forex.
eToro’s popularity among beginners is because the app or platform can double as a social trading network. This feature allows novice traders to easily connect and communicate with more seasoned professionals. More so, eToro has a feature that allows traders to mimic the orders of professional traders. This is one of only such features found in a trading platform that enables newcomers to learn from experienced users.
eToro also features various educational materials and resources that can help novice traders easily navigate the highly complex world of online trading, whether its features, stocks, or forex.
As an upgrade to MetaTrader 4, the new MT5 (MetaTrader 5) platform has become even more customizable and user-friendly than its predecessors.
The free trading platform, developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation, provides beginners with easy access to various financial markets. For novice traders, MetaTrader 5 has a range of free in-site applications, including automated trading. The app also allows for hedging positions, which is perhaps a major plus for MT 5.
Whereas with MT 4, which was most frequently used by forex traders, the upgraded version offers multi-asset accessibility, technical indicators, and a built-in economic calendar that helps to track financial announcements and price forecasts.
Not as beginner-friendly as one would like, but Plus500 is one of the best online trading apps and platforms if you’re someone who’s looking to put your novice skills to the test in real-time.
Plus500 is frequently used by day traders, so for beginners who are dabbling in some day trading, this is the perfect option. There are plenty of technical analytical tools, and it comes with an easy-to-use charting service.
This specific platform has also been esteemed for being the best-regulated eTrading platform in the world with support from more than 50 countries. The platform complies with an assortment of regulations that span multiple jurisdictions.
Our second last feature on our list comes with two mobile trading apps, E*TRADE Mobile and Power E*TRADE Mobile. Both these apps are user-friendly and have an abundance of features that all cater to beginner traders.
E*TRADE Mobile can be used for stock trading, while Power E*TRADE Mobile is more suitable for options and futures.
Both these platforms come equipped with just the right amount of tools any new trader will need, but it does, however, lack substantial educational materials which are crucial for beginners. Overall, it’s a powerful, yet dynamic enough platform that gets the job done without any complexities.
Our fifth and final online trading platform suitable for any beginner is Skilling, a mobile-friendly and easy-to-use eTrading app that comes with all the bells and whistles.
New users can choose from three different account types. The standard account has zero commissions, while two other mobile platforms, Skilling Trader and Skillin cTrader allow users a bit more leverage and functionality.
With just over 700 stock picks and a very low minimum trade size, new traders won’t easily feel overwhelmed, or run the risk of losing a lot of money on their trades. Skilling makes online trading, especially for beginners, a bit easier, and streamlined. A major drawback of Skilling is that it’s not available in every country.
As a new online trader, there’s still a lot you need to know and learn before you can call yourself a veteran industry professional. Luckily today it’s easier than ever before to have access to a wide range of tools and resources that can help maximize your online trading performance.
When choosing an online trading platform, ensure that you consider its ease of use, access to educational materials, and stock trading research. These and other considerations will help eliminate any potential barriers that might cost in the long run.
Be thoughtful when choosing an eTrading platform, and consider what you’re looking to get from the few you’ve chosen, whether it’s to build knowledge, or hone your trading skills, there’s a seemingly endless list to choose from.