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Definition: Trading Platform

A trader normally uses a software, referred to as a “platform,” to execute his buy or sell transactions in the market that he is trading (stock, currency, futures market, etc.).

This trading platform is an integral part of the trader’s computer system. The software is usually Windows-based or JAVA-based (there are not many platforms written for Macintosh machines – sorry Apple fans!).

After installation, the platform runs on the trader’s machine and receives the necessary market data over the Internet. A good Windows-based platform for trading is usually more robust than the typical Java-based software and crashes a lot less frequently. Quality [direct access] stock trading platforms can cost between $300 and $600 a month to use depending on the broker and manufacturer. Many Forex platforms can be accessed for free (for example, MT4, which is the preferred platform of most currency traders. You can access a fully functional demo of the MT4 platform here).

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