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The Best Platforms For First-Time Retail Traders


One of the biggest barriers to entry of the financial markets for would-be retail traders is its perceived complexity. On the surface, buying and selling stocks, commodities and funds has many grey areas. It can be hard to know which platforms to trust with your hard-earned money and interact with the stock markets worldwide to get you the best available price on assets.

Are you one of the many people interested in trading the financial markets who lack the tools and information to give you the confidence to place your first trade? That’s why we’ve put together a guide to five of the trading software solutions best suited to newbie day traders like you.

MetaTrader 4 and 5

It’s fair to say that MetaTrader has been considered the gold standard for retail trading software for the best part of two decades. Online brokerages lean on its reliability and intuitive interface and highly recommend both MetaTrader 4 and 5 for new and experienced traders. Both MT4 and MT5 are trading platforms available on Equiti, which has also developed a proprietary fully-mobile trading app to allow retail traders to manage their positions anywhere in the world.

MetaTrader 4 was the first on the scene out of the two platforms. Launched in 2005 by MetaQuotes Software, it was designed to offer free trading software for the forex markets. MetaTrader 4 remains the market leader for forex day traders, with its plethora of technical analysis tools at your fingertips. It’s now fully responsive too, making it possible to engage with on mobile devices.

COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/best-platform-for-first-time-retail-traders/ by Hilda Workman on 2023-09-04T09:05:00.240Z

MetaTrader 4 and 5
MetaTrader 4 and 5

Its successor, MetaTrader 5, is better suited to retail traders preferring to buy and sell equities and futures contracts, as well as forex pairs. It’s fully compatible with world leading stock markets like the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. Described as a multi-asset trading platform, it supports indices and commodities too. Both platforms have their place for first-time day traders and are commonly partnered by many leading brokers like Equiti.

Trade Ideas

Trade Ideas is another long-standing trading platform. In fact, it has existed even longer than MetaTrader, as it was launched in 2003. Trade Ideas now leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to power some of its trading features. Its AI-powered assistant, Holly, can offer signals to enter and exit the market on selected assets based on statistically weighted data.

AI-driven robo-advisors are also popular on the Trade Ideas platform, capable of providing trading angles and guidance based on millions of potential market scenarios.

Trade Ideas allows retail traders to place one-click trades even within an asset’s chart window. All that’s needed is to click and drag either the buy or sell marker.


If you’re interested in alternatives to MetaTrader 5 for beginners, BlackBoxStocks offers another intuitive trading platform for trading stocks and options contracts. One of the great benefits of BlackBoxStocks is its trading education section which is one of the most extensive out there for newbie retail traders.

If you’re a retail trader that’s still struggling to find trading angles, BlackBoxStocks is a credible option. It has a pre-built ‘stock screener’ which uses in-built algorithms to find suitable entry points and ranks each entry based on its strength in real time. This is a piece of kit that’s been featured by Bloomberg, Forbes and many other major financial brands.


cTrader’s biggest benefit is its diversity. In fact, it’s more diverse than MetaTrader as it offers forex, equities, indices and commodities all in one neat package. It’s also one of the most customisable trading platforms, with the ability to hand-pick several trading layouts to suit your trading style.

Its charting tools are comparable with MetaTrader’s, with the option to pick single and multi-chat layouts and plenty of timeframes to choose from. Where MetaTrader wins out over cTrader is its user interface. Many beginner traders consider MT 5 to have a platform that’s easiest on the eye for first-timers.

There’s no right or wrong answer here. Ultimately, it’s best to take advantage of trial offers and get a feel for all of the trading solutions mentioned in this article to find the platform you feel most at home with.

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About The Authors

Hilda Workman

Hilda Workman - Hilda Workman is a licensed financial advisor with years of expertise in the industry. She has assisted a range of clients, from sole proprietors to large corporations, in reaching their financial objectives. She is informed about many different financial subjects, including tax preparation, investment planning and also in fashion. She believes that the best things are those that are imperfect.

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