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FOREX Software: A Critical Element for Success

Aug 17, 2007
In most cases when you sign up with a FOREX broker they will provide you with software to execute transactions as well as get market information. Since online trading has been around for quite some time now, the brokers have a pretty solid understanding of what the traders need from trading software. There are two primary classifications of software provided by the brokers; web based and client based.

One of the mandatory services needed by all FOREX software is real time market updates. Since the FOREX market is so fast paced and volatile traders must have data that is accurate to a few seconds to make decisions on when to enter and exit their positions. All brokers make claims that their software will remain updated with a minimum of delay but the reality is that there are a variety of factors that can delay the software displaying updated information.

The users internet connection speed as well as their geographical distance from the broker are probably the two primary issues that can affect the update time. If you wish to be successful trading FOREX it is highly recommended that you have a high speed internet connection and a fairly up to date computer. You might also consider selecting a broker relatively close to you; if you are trading from the US you might want to avoid a broker based out of Australia. During times of extreme market volatility this distance could cause a delay significant enough to cause issues with your trades.

Web Based or Client Based?

Web Based software is not actually installed on your computer it runs on the brokers web site. You only need to have a browser compatible with the software to access and use this software. Client based software is loaded directly on your computer; in most cases you are able to download the software from the brokers site and then install it. Web based software is rapidly growing in popularity as more and more brokers offer it. The primary advantages to web based software are convenience and security. With web based software you can log in to your account and get market updates and place trades from any computer with an internet connection. If you use client based software you are only able to make trades from the computer that you have the software installed on.

As well as being more convenient web based software also offers a higher level of security. During the actual transmission of data both web based and client based software encrypt the transmitted data with a high level encryption. On client software though there is the risk of data being stolen from the client pc by hackers or Trojans.

The most basic software packages will provide you with real time quotes and information as well as allowing you to enter and execute trades. Up to date quotes are provided for most currency pairs and the software will allow you to open or close a position at market prices. The software should also allow you to set up trades with limit orders and stop loss orders. More advanced packages will also offer charting capability that can show you many different viewpoints.

Any good broker will provide you with basic software free of charge just for using them as your broker. Many of your better brokers will offer an advanced version of their software for a fee. The advanced version will give you extra capabilities such as executing trades right from the chart and enhanced analytical ability.
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