online trading software expert anna coullingHello and welcome to another of my trading and investing sites which this time aims to provide you with help and guidance in your selection of online trading software, whether you are trading in stocks, options commodities or forex. This can be a confusing subject for the novice trader, and with the vast array of free online trading software, coupled with all the various trading platforms, free and paid for charting packages and analysis tools, the choice of software can be overwhelming at times. Whilst you can trade on the Internet for free, this is not always the best policy, and although this is a great way to start, as you develop your trading strategies, some of the trading platforms and software packages will no longer be appropriate, whilst others which you may have rejected due to cost or complexity, may be the correct choice for you as your expertise grows.

When I first started trading, the Internet as we know it today, was in its infancy, and online trading was virtually unknown. I started trading ftse futures, using a live data feed, and real time charting delivered by a satellite feed, as there was no online futures trading available. All my orders were placed by telephone with a broker, who then called the trading floor at the futures exchange to get a quote, which was then confirmed back to me once the order had been executed. All of this took time, and as FTSE futures are a fast moving market, on many occasions I was stopped out of my position, even before I had put the phone down, such was the speed of the market and the scalping nature of the trades. In those days there was no free trading software, and to trade in the futures market required a very fast feed and several screens. The data feed alone cost £1,200 per year for the FTSE cash market prices, and the FTSE futures, which I had set up on two separate screens, along with the trading software which cosy another £475, plus two big terminals. Data was delivered by a satellite dish and decoder! The total cost of just setting up, before making any money, was well over £3,000, and of course each year there were the repeating license fees for the various data feeds. All very expensive and also technically unreliable.

Today of course, online trading is routine, and getting started is easy and relatively inexpensive. With a decent laptop you can be trading online for a few hundred pounds, with many of the online brokers offering free software, data feeds and news feeds to help you in your trading. However, whilst this is a great way to get started, it does have disadvantages and as you develop your knowledge and your trading skills and expertise, your needs will change as to the best online trading account, type of trading platform and online trading software you need, and of course whether you should pay for some, or continue with those which are free.

In order to try and help you, I have developed this site which I hope will point you in the right direction for the future, and also to highlight some of the pitfalls of the free software and trading platforms now so widely available. Please remember, that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and anything provided free, has a ‘hidden’ price, or is simply a marketing tool to encourage you to open a live account with the online broker. This is not to say I am against free online trading software and platforms, I am not, it is simply a case that you need to understand why they are free in the first case, and then make a rational decision, based on the facts.

So, I hope you find this site useful, and if you would like to follow some of my own trading, then please click on any of the links in the sidebar which will take you to my trading and investing sites, many of which I update on a daily basis with forecasts for both commodities and forex. Alternatively you may like to follow me on Twitter, and again I would be delighted to welcome you there. So lets’ get started and begin by looking at online forex trading software.