What is a CFD trading platform?
To trade contracts for difference (CFD), you need a CFD trading platform. There are plenty of options out there, but each one performs the same fundamental service: access to the financial markets. Without an online trading platform, you won’t be able to invest in CFDs on shares, commodities or any other financial instrument.
To get an overview of what CFD trading is and how to do it, you can check out our beginners guide. This should be your starting point if you’ve never invested in these products before. Once you’re comfortable with how this type of trading works, you can use this CFD trading platform comparison to find the ideal gateway for you.
In general terms, online trading platforms like MetaTrader 4 (MT4) are available via the internet, downloadable desktop apps and mobile apps. The medium you use is a matter of personal preference because, by and large, CFD platforms provide the same functionality in all settings. Therefore, the real choices are made based on the usability of a trading app, the instruments it offers and the technical tools it has.
How to choose a trading platformTo conduct your own CFD trading platform comparison, you need to know what you’re looking for. Indeed, it’s no good trying to choose a program if you don’t have a method for assessing what each one does. With this in mind, here are the things you need to consider before you download an online trading platform:
Any trading platform for beginners should be easy to use and, more importantly, easy to understand. There are a lot of complex and potentially confusing aspects to financial trading. From leverage to Bollinger bands, there are things that CFD trading newbies might not be familiar with. The best online trading platforms will present these concepts and features in an accessible way. Moreover, they’ll provide information and explanations.
The best platforms also provide a simple overview of an asset’s price history. From there, you should be able to add and remove performance indicators at will. In other words, you should be able to fill the screen with as many or as few features as you like.
Access and trading conditions
Top CFD trading platforms provide easy access to hundreds of trading options. As a standard, you should look for CFDs on stocks, commodities and indices. The Skilling trading platforms offer CFDs on forex and cryptocurrencies.
The basic rule here is that quantity matters. The more financial instruments you can trade, the better chance you’ve got of finding something that suits. Of course, you also have to think about quality. If some of the major products within a particular sector are missing, it should raise alarm bells. For example, if you can’t trade gold or there aren’t any CFD share options for Amazon, that’s not ideal.
Trading is as much about timing as it is research. If you can make the right investment at the right time, you’re likely to take advantage of the financial markets movements. For this reason, you need a trading platform that provides simple, one-touch executions.
For example, when you use the Skilling cTrader platform, you’ll be able to set your price and adjust the number of shares with + or – buttons. From there, you can review the order and execute a trade all within a single pop-up.
How to download a trading platform?
To download any of our trading platforms, you need to follow these simple steps:
- Create a Demo Skilling account.
- Choose whether you want to use our web trader, the desktop platform or the mobile app (iOS and Android).
- Using web traders you can simply log in and start trading instantly via their browser.
- Desktop and mobile app users will need to download the software and log in.
- Once you’re inside the app, select the type of financial instrument you want to trade, e.g. CFD on shares, commodities etc.
- Find a suitable investment and make your trade.
Not investment advice. Past performance does not guarantee or predict future performance.
More CFD Trading Resources
Open a free trading account at Skilling and you’ll get access to three world-class CFD platforms, including MT4 and cTrader.
Do not stop learning about the financial markets
We’ve got a whole host of resources that are ready and waiting to educate newcomers to trading CFDs online, including:
- CFD trading account types
- Choose the trading account that suits your trading best
- CFD trading basics
- Learn the core principles of trading the financial markets using CFDs.
- CFD trading psychology
- Discover the five rules of thumb to mentally master the stock markets.
What is forex trading?Forex trading is the buying and selling of currencies on the foreign exchange market with the aim of making profit. Forex is the word's most-traded financial market, with transactions worth trillions of dollars taking place every day.
What are the benefits?
- Go long or short
- 24-hour trading
- High liquidity
- Constant opportunities
- Trade on leverage
- Wide range of FX pairs
How do I trade Forex?
- Decide how you'd like to trade Forex
- Learn how the forex market works
- Open a Skilling CFD trading account
- Build a trading plan
- Choose a trading platform
- Open, monitor and close your first position