Software has become an important part, if not the most important part of being a successful trader. Most brokers offer their own software suite, many also support third party software, and trading APIs through their trading platform.
There are two types of trading software on the market today, the first is software to help you trade (online trading, charting etc.), the second is software to trade for you (algorithmic trading, trade bots). This portal is about the former, for the later see Trading Bots Portal.
The key things to look for in a software trading platform:
- Clean, easy to use user interface
- Fast order entry is a must if you are an active trader
- Web trading platform
- Mobile trading platform
- Real-time data
- Historic and real-time charting
- Variable candlesticks, moving averages, technical indicators
- Stock scanning
- Options trading, shorting
- Forex support (if you are considering trading the currency market)
- Paper trading
There are also many websites that provide quotes, charting, information, and advice. For links refer to the Links Portal.