This is critical if the customer is to become acquainted with the platform’s layout and use it to trade. Several platforms are commonly offered by many brokers. While each platform may function and look slightly different, most provide roughly the same features. Some platforms have more features than others. The image below is a snapshot of the MT4 platform. Along the top of the platform are shortcuts to various tools and settings.
Below this is a charting window to see the price history of a currency pair or other asset. Below the chart is the terminal. There are multiple tabs in the terminal, providing access to news, account history, current trades, and other information. It’s a good idea to place at least 50 demo trades on each platform before trading actual money, just so you can master the specifics of order entry on each platform. How do I place a limit order? How do I set a stop order? Can I set a limit and a stop at the time of entry?
Are the spreads on the platform fixed or variable? And what is the typical spread? Can I mix and match the lot sizes? Can I call the dealing room directly if my internet connection goes down? Some platforms use pop-up order windows, while others allow you trade by clicking prices directly on a chart. Here is a sample order screen in MT4. To bring up a detailed order screen like this, in most trading platforms you can right-click on a chart or quote and select new order or new trade.
On the left is a very short-term chart of the currency pair the trade will take place in. This currency pair is also listed at the top of the trade box. Next, input the volume you want to trade. Enter a stop loss and take profit level for the trade. With a pending order there are more options, as you need to input the price you want to buy or sell at. You may also choose to put an expiry on the order. Once everything is filled out, place the order.
One function that most new FX traders overlook is tax reporting. Because FX is a global, unregulated market, dealers as a general rule do not provide any documentation to the tax authorities in the trader’s country of residence. Tax reporting is solely the responsibility of the trader. But reporting quality varies greatly from dealer to dealer. All dealers will provide you with a full transaction report, but how those transactions are laid out could mean the difference between spending hours reconciling trades, or taking one minute to print out a final report to present to your accountant. Some FX traders may generate thousands of trades in a year.