Tools to Buy Stocks
Stock trading of today is different from Hollywood movies of the 1990s. All operations take place on the Internet via state-of-the-art software. In South Africa, stocks of the largest multinationals are obtainable through brokers. The desktop and mobile terminals they recommend have different functionality. Here is a look at some of the most popular systems today.
The official website claims this system offers “charts that change the game,” better backtesting & scanning, and reliable real-time data. The platform has multiple handy features, and it connects to hundreds of markets worldwide. There are also multiple price points with different degrees of complexity.
However, eSignal is hardly suitable for beginners, and it is not free. There is a 30-day free trial, so you can give it a test drive. Another limitation is that it runs on Windows only. Finally, there is no mobile app.
Overall, it is a relatively complex system for diversified trading. Stocks, futures, and Forex may all be analyzed from one place. On the downside, the interface is not intuitive enough for newbies, and the price is a strong deterrent. It ranges from $56 to $378 a month. Education and customer support are included.
MetaStock is a popular range of products mainly targeting short-term stock traders. It includes all the essentials and more and runs on Windows devices. Both technical and fundamental analysis is supported. The platform provides streaming news and live data. Commentary and analytics are available.
Features for after-market research are part of the Daily Charts. Meanwhile, real-time assessment is done via the MetaStock RealTime section. Finally, powerful charting features are found in the DataLink software. The latter accumulates end-of-day data from global exchanges. Extra plug-ins and add-ons are available at an extra cost.
The software is mostly suitable for activity within and after the standard market hours. Users may choose between one-time payment and subscription, either annual or monthly. A free trial lasts 30 days, and no refunds are offered to subscribers.
3. MetaTrader 5
The latest edition of the software accommodates a wide range of assets including lucrative stock trading options. Clients of big brokers like Forextime may compile diverse portfolios containing currencies, spot metals, cryptocurrencies. commodities, indices, futures, and equity. This is a one-stop-shop for analytics and trading. The environment supports all popular strategies and offers back-testing features.
MetaTrader 5 was developed by MetaQuotes Software in 2010. Impressively, it is still the top choice for many brokers and users. The platform has rich graphics, dozens of charts and indicators, and customizable timeframes. Users may trade stocks directly or access a multitude of stock CFDs. Unlike MetaTrader 4, the system is less focused on Forex trading, providing diversified market exposure.
The software includes versatile features for both technical and fundamental traders. The range of execution modes and pending order types is broad. Quick execution and VPS guarantee trades are finalized as planned. Integration of Forex robots (Expert Advisors) and copy trading provides an opportunity to delegate analysis or the entire trading action.
At the moment, MetaTrader 5 is offered by many brokers in South Africa. It is completely free and comes in three forms. You may install desktop software on Windows and Mac devices, use a web-based terminal inside browsers, or get a mobile app (both iOS and Android are supported). The systems exchange data instantly, so one may switch between devices during the day.
4. FXTM Trader
The proprietary free app from the Forextime broker deserves a mention, even though stocks are only accessible through CFDs. The app has impressive functionality on both Android and iOS devices. In total, over 250 instruments may be accessed instantly. The range includes currency pairs, spot metals, commodities, indices, and stocks (CFDs on 180+ shares).
Clients of the broker monitor the markets at a glance and manage their accounts easily via the dashboard. The balance, profits, margin and latest rates are all a tap away. The app is impressively secure and multifaceted. It is one of the most powerful proprietary trading systems.
FXTM Trader has one-click trading and instant execution. Positions may be opened, modified and closed in seconds. The app also syncs up to desktop and web-based terminals, which provides unlimited cross-platform action. Popular indicators and cutting-edge charting tools facilitate analysis. FXTM Trader is also ideal for beginners as it offers access to educational e-books.
The key distinctions of this platform are its rich strategy-testing features. It supports unlimited custom methodologies for stock traders. Other strengths include backtesting capacities, paper trading and automatic execution of trades on the basis of customizable buy and sell rules.
The default functionality of TradeStation may be enriched with extra services and features. The range includes hundreds of apps and custom analytics. Traders of stocks, futures and options can access years of historical intraday data.
The environment is best for users who trade stocks actively and have to keep a minimum balance. At the moment, the software is compatible with Windows, while users of Mac should use the web-based version. Apps are available for both Android and iOS devices. The software itself comes at no cost, but fees for trades apply depending on the instrument.
The Bottom Line
The range of software for stock trading is wide. Some platforms have limitations in terms of OS compatibility, but their features are rich and diverse. Both technical and fundamental traders can easily find a suitable environment. They may default to free systems like MetaTrader 5 or pay a subscription for lesser-known terminals. The choice depends on their devices and trading goals.
Stocks are not the only way to profit from corporate equity. Contracts for Difference (CFDs) allow indirect speculation. The instrument is increasingly popular, as no asset ownership is required. This new dimension of stock trading is facilitated by comprehensive apps like the FXTM Trader.
Whichever app you choose, make sure you trade through a trustworthy entity. A license from the FSCA is reliable proof. International brokers may also be licensed in other jurisdictions like the UK or Cyprus.