You might think developing an automated forex trading system would be easy. And if that were the only objective then yes, designing a forex trading system would be easy. But usually when somebody want to develop a trading system they are doing so in the hope that it makes consistent profits.

And here is where things become a little more difficult with the development of these systems.

To successfully develop a trading robot that can buy and sell currencies on your behalf without you needing to be there requires the following:

  • Trading software (or a trading platform)
  • Trading strategy
  • Testing (using historical data, or demo trading, or even live trading a small account)

In this short article we will focus on how to find the right trading platform for your needs.

Finding the right trading platform

What might best work for one forex trader may not work best for you. Thankfully we are spoilt for choice today, whereas in previous years forex traders were limited to trading using only one or two platforms.

One such piece of software you should consider in your list is MetaTrader 4.

MetaTrader 4 is the most popular forex trading platform today.

MetaTrader 4 is the most popular forex trading platform today.

It has been around for quite some time and enables forex traders to place trades if they are able to script their buy and sell actions into what MetaTrader label as an Expert Advisor.

How will you know if MetaTrader or any other platform would be a good fit for you?

Each platform has its own scripting language that you would need to learn. The code instructs the platform what to do when certain criteria or conditions are met. You would need to assess each platform to see if the programming language is something you can understand easily enough.

One big benefit with MetaTrader 4 is because it has been around for a long time if you get stuck trying to script something you could easily search for a solution in Google and find others who have asked a similar question.

Some traders though prefer to design their trading strategy using a programming language that is more commonly known in computer science fields, such as Python or Java. It’s likely forex traders who choose this avenue have experience with these languages already and don’t feel the need to learn another type of programming language.

Whatever your background here are my recommendations to get you started in choosing a platform for you to start your algorithmic trading journey:

  1. MetaTrader 4
  2. NinjaTrader
  3. Oanda REST API

All platforms offer historical data for you to back-test your systems against, and while MetaTrader 4 and NinjaTrader are forex broker agnostic, Oanda is a forex broker, and their platform only works with customers who open an account with them.

So in conclusion, the best way to choose an automated forex trading platform is to determine how long it will take for you to learn the language of each platform. If you’ve already got some experience with another language then you may find it relatively easy to pick up MetaTrader or NinjaTrader, or, if you don’t have the time then you could get started with Oanda’s REST API.