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Top Tips for Selecting the Right Futures Trading Software

| March 8, 2024 | By

Since the days of the ticker tape, traders have had a thirst for fast information and unfettered market access. With the advent of internet connectivity and software trading platforms, the modern marketplace now delivers an abundance of both to participants. Thanks to advanced technology, it’s never been a better time to be a trader.

For anyone pursuing market share via derivatives, selecting the right futures trading software suite is of paramount importance. Let’s take a look at three attributes that most elite platforms have in common.

1. Advanced Capabilities

The very nature of the digital marketplace and futures trading software is innovation. As technology moves forward, the markets evolve. That means that if your platform isn’t able to stay on the cutting edge, it will soon become obsolete. Selecting software that offers advanced features is a good way to ensure that your platform can stay on the industry’s lead lap.

The basic elements of a standard trading platform include charting and various order entry options. Aside from these essential components, here are a few advanced features that greatly enhance a platform’s potential utility:

  • Mobile access: Over the past several years, mobile trading has exploded in popularity. Accordingly, your platform should be available on smartphone, tablet, laptop, and desktop.
  • Third-party add-ons: A good platform is able to be combined with third-party software applications. In doing so, signals, proprietary analytics, and news feeds may be integrated to boost functionality.
  • Customization: To personalize the trading experience, the platform must be fully customizable. Compatibility with external plug-ins and a user-friendly programming language are two areas that enhance customization exponentially.

A powerful futures trading platform should be receptive to third-party software, fully customizable, and available on mobile devices. These capabilities ensure that the technological framework will not become a thing of the past tomorrow.

2. Direct Market Access

One of the key attractions of futures is speed. Trade in the digital marketplace is conducted in fractions of a second. It’s an obvious point, but any undue latency is an enemy to be feared.

Unless you’re a swing trader or long-term investor, limiting latency is one of your major concerns. Being slow costs money, so making sure that your futures trading software supports direct market access (DMA) is one way of keeping pace with other traders.

DMA is a market connection that provides traders an uninterrupted path to the exchange. Subsequently, data flows to and from the trader free of any outside interference. Trading with DMA optimizes efficiency and reduces such costly issues as slippage.

3. Variety of Markets

Only a few decades ago, traders were limited as to which markets they were able to trade. For instance, if you wanted to trade commodity futures such as crude oil or cattle, then you were going to have to move to Chicago or New York. Now, futures trading software brings the world’s premier markets to the masses.

It is important to make sure that your platform provides access to a variety of exchanges. In some cases, the available markets are limited according to brokerage service or municipality. However, here are a few exchanges that are offered on all decent platforms:

Exchange Featured Products
Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME)  E-mini S&P 500, Euro FX
Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT) 10yr T-Note
Chicago Futures Exchange (CFE) CBOE Volatility Index (VIX)
New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) WTI Crude Oil, Natural Gas
The Commodity Exchange (COMEX)  Gold, Copper
The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) USD Index, Cocoa, Coffee

Does Your Futures Trading Software Make the Grade?

A platform’s adaptability and technological infrastructure are crucial drivers of its longevity. Constantly changing trading software is a pain in the neck―finding a good suite and sticking with it is a key part of establishing consistency in the marketplace.

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