To trade in forex or stocks in the past, you either visited a stock exchange in person or called a stock broker. That is no longer the case. Now you can access any reputable stock exchange via the internet, but there’s a catch. You can only trade on the exchange through an electronic trading platform, such as Meta Trader or cTrader. Let’s look closer at these two platforms.
A popular platform and the industry standard, MetaTrader is designed mainly for forex trading and is available from its developer Metaquotes or from licensed online brokers. But note that these versions differ. For example, while the stock version only runs on the Windows OS, brokers’ versions are often highly customised with some even running on Apple devices.
Features of MetaTrader
Because it’s popular and available in many non-English speaking countries, MetaTrader supports many languages. It also visualises the market in detailed charts while allowing you to chat with a broker in real time. In addition, the platform lets you create your own tools. But the most convenient feature is the Expert Advisors tool, which uses algorithms to analyse the market and trade on your behalf.
Like MetaTrader, cTrader is also a forex trading platform, but its developer, Spotware Systems, designed it primarily for ECN brokers. These are agents who use electronic communication networks (ECNs) to link small traders and financial institutions. You can check out this best cTrader brokers list to find out more about them. After the brokers get liquidity from the institutions, they automatically execute the traders’ orders. As a result, cTrader is perfect if you intend to let the platform trade on your behalf.
Features of cTrader
This platform also visualises market trends through comprehensive charts, but it breaks down the charts into three categories – single, multi, and free. After assessing the market, cTrader then displays the results in VWAP, price, or standard view. Each view shows you different price points so that you can track the market better. Besides price, the platform also displays useful market indicators, such as moving averages, as well as timeframes. But it’s most powerful tool is the cAlgo trading feature, which you program to analyse the market and then make automated trades.
Comparing MetaTrader and cTrader
Of the two platforms, MetaTrader is more popular, but the cTrader interface comes out on top for being smoother, neater, and more user-friendly. Novice traders are, therefore, more likely to go for cTrader while experts will settle for MetaTrader because of its many features.
As far as programming languages go, each platform has its own – MetaTrader has MT5, and cTrader, C#. Each language lets you program the Expert Advisors and cAlgo auto-trading tools. However, MT5 is easier to use and customise, plus it enjoys more support from a large online community. The same can’t be said of C#, which enjoys only limited support.
And then there’s flexibility. MetaTrader is more flexible than cTrader because you can fully customise the platform. What’s more, you don’t even need to be proficient in MT5.
Choosing between the two platforms can be a difficult task since both have their own strengths. MetaTrader is more comprehensive and customisable, but cTrader is easier to use and better for novices. So, the platform you choose depends on your needs and experience.