For many new traders and even experienced traders finding the proper platform that works for your style of trading can be a very difficult task. There are many factors that need to be considered before going all in on one platform. Regardless of your trading style either intra day or swing trading you will be faced with the task of find what works best for you, lets take a look at a items to consider when looking for a charting platform.
The first obvious category is going to be the charts, does the perspective charting platform have the proper time frames you need. Some charting platforms do not have tick charts or range charts. This is something that must be looked at.Next can you modify the charts to look the way you want, for example if you only like trading on blacked out charts make sure this is an option. After that you must ask your self what charting tools do I need, some traders might only need the ability to add trend lines. Others will need to be able to add fibs,pitch forks and the list goes on and on.
Many traders like to have the option of adding indicators to there charts and many traders have bought special indicators to aid in there trading journey. At Gorilla Futures will follow the K.I.S.S acronym and recommend traders to keep the indicators at a minimum. For those traders who do like using indicators make sure your charting platform has the option to either add free indicators or is supported by a community of traders who can support your indicator development. One of the many reason Ninja trader is one of our recommended trading platforms is do the large amount of free indicators that are offered.
There will come a day where you will your charts might not work right or you have a few questions. This is when you are going to wish you spent a little time looking into how support works for your platform. Finding a company that is fast and well prepared to answer any of your questions is hard to come by. Take the time when selection a platform to explore the support side of the business as well. Call the help numbers, submit an email and see how fast you can get the help you need. If you platform crashes in the middle of a trade you will need to be able to get the help you need to make sure the position doesn't end up destroying your account.
Finding the proper broker can be difficult, this also applies to any clearing house as well. You will need a broker that not only supports you when things go south but also a broker that will actually make sure you get paid out. Many of these fly by night type of brokers have tons of hidden fees, make sure you know exactly what you are signing up for before putting all your money in. It is always advised to put a minimum amount of money in at first and test the waters before dumping all your cash in. If they have a hard time handling a few hundred/thousand dollars then image what they are going to do when you put 5-10 thousand in.
Our go to charting platform is Ninja Trader, there charts are easy to use and the support/broker services are fast. But there are many other great options out there such as Sierra Charts and Think or Swim to name a few. Make sure to do your research before signing up.
What is your favorite charting platform?