Since 2001, forex gurus Oanda have been offering low-cost, fully automated online trading via their impressive FXTrade platform, which is the biggest retail forex platform in the world in terms of trading volume. The interface is one of the slickest, most feature-packed, and most reliable around, with several advanced features including automated trading. Their pricing structure is flat, which means you will be charged the same low spreads regardless of the size of your trades. Oanda pride themselves on fairness, transparency, flexibility, and innovation – a combination that has won them several industry awards in recent years.
The Copenhagen-based Saxo Bank has undergone a massive resurgence in recent years, and is now the second biggest provider of retail forex trading in the world after Oanda. Their SaxoTrader platform, which gives access to a wide range of trading information and statistics, is available in three different versions: SaxoTrader, which needs to be downloaded to your computer in order to work, SaxoWebTrader, a portable web-based version of SaxoTrader, and SaxoMobileTrader, which is a version optimised for web-capable smartphones.
This is a universal trading platform that can be used with a number of different brokerages, including FXCM, Oanda, and Forex.com. While there are workarounds for different operating systems, it is primarily designed for use with Windows, so if you have a Mac you might want to use a different platform. The main reason for its popularity is the ease with which you can implement trading algorithms, and customise the software using open-source add-ons. While a new version of the software, entitled Metatrader 5, was released recently, most traders have stuck with MT4 due to their familiarity with the software, and the size of the community that has built up around that version.
Gain Capital’s forex trading platform offers low spreads and a powerful user interface with easy access to charts, data, and analysis. They allow leverage of up to 100:1, and you can fund a mini account with as little as $250. While there is nothing particularly spectacular about this trading platform, it is solid and reliable with a good range of features, and their customer service team has an excellent online reputation.