Best CFD trading platform - Which one is right for you?

There are many assets that people can use for trading. On the one hand, there are the actual instruments like Forex pairs, stocks, and commodities; on the other hand, there are indirect assets that are also available for the exchange. They are called the Contracts for Difference (CFD) and they allow traders to open positions on the actual assets without ever owning them.
 
There are many different trading platforms that brokers use to offer CFDs to their clients. We will focus on the top 2 most-used platforms: MT4 and cTrader.
 
MetaTrader 4 is, by far, the most popular trading platform in the industry. The majority of brokers that offer CFDs use MT4 to deliver this service. This platform is useful for many reasons, including Expert Advisor feature, various indicators, etc. However, because there is a strict limitation as to how many instruments brokers can incorporate in MT4 (around 1,000 in total), it may not be the most versatile platform out there.
 
In terms of the limitations in the number of tradable instruments, cTrader is less limited than MT4. Therefore, brokers that use cTrader can integrate much more CFDs into the platform, including indices, stocks, and commodities. Like MT4, cTrader also offers automatic trading (cBots) but also has more functionalities: economic calendar, social trading, etc.

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What is the best CFD trading platform?

People can use many types of instruments for trading. On the one hand, there are assets that can be directly bought and sold on the market like Forex pairs, commodities, and more. On the other hand, there are instruments that allow people to trade above-mentioned assets but not actually own them.

 
One of such asset types is called CFD (Contracts for Difference). CFDs have already become pretty popular among traders, that is why many brokers incorporate them into their platforms. But instead of offering two separate trading platforms for direct assets and CFDs, the brokers tend to combine the two types of instruments into one single platform.
The majority of brokers do not have dedicated trading software for CFDs. They include these instruments in their regular platforms, whether it is MetaTrader, cTrader, or their own WebTrader.
 
In this article, we will review two of the most popular CFD trading platforms: MetaTrader 4 and cTrader.


Trade CFDs with these platforms


MetaTrader 4

As mentioned in the introduction, MetaTrader 4 is by far the most popular and widely-used trading platform among the two CFD trading platforms in our list, as well as in the industry as a whole. That is because it was created almost 15 years ago and traders have become used to its functionalities.
 
When it comes to the quantity of tradable CFDs on the platform, it varies from one broker to another. However, there is one universal rule that applies to all brokers: MT4 has a strict limitation for how many instruments they can put in it - it can go as high as 1024 instruments in total.
 
And as mentioned earlier, many brokers tend to offer CFDs alongside other instruments like Forex pairs, commodities ets. Usually, the brokers integrate around 200 Forex pairs into the platform, as well as hundreds of commodities. For this reason, these brokers may not be able to integrate a large number of CFDs on MT4.
 
To see exactly which CFD instruments are included on the platform, traders can go to the View menu at the top-left corner of the screen and check out Symbols. There will be  a separate CFD section that will include different Contracts, whether it’s on indices, stocks, currencies, etc.
 
One of the biggest benefits of trading CFDs on MT4 is its Expert Advisor (EA) feature. Traders can use EAs to automate their trading activities, allowing the software to open, close, and even modify the positions based on the initial directives from them.
 
Not only that, the platform has a big selection of technical indicators both pre-installed on the platform and available for a download on the internet. These indicators, categorized as trends, oscillators, Bill Williams, etc, enable traders to analyze price movements and make certain predictions about the future. For this reason, MT4 is still among the best platforms to trade CFDs.

 

cTrader

cTrader is another pretty popular trading software that has also been on the consumer market for a while now. Brokers use this software for trading Forex and lots of other instruments, including CFDs.
 
One of the biggest differences between cTrader and MT4 is in the number of instruments available on the platform. While MT4 has a certain limitation to the tradable instruments that can go up to 1000 symbols, cTrader doesn’t have any restriction like that. As long as the server can handle it, the broker can incorporate as many tradable CFDs as it wants.
 
It is also pretty easy to find all of the available CFDs on the platform. On the left side of the screen, there is the All Symbols window that contains every tradable asset on cTrader.
 
Now, if we compare cTrader to MT4 in this sense, there will be lots of differences between them, including the design of the platform, as well as the speed at which traders can open/close positions. However, there are quite a few similarities as well. For example, there are quite important trading indicators and tools on cTrader that are useful in CFD trading, whether it’s cBots, social trading (also known as copy trading), and many more.

 

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The best platform for CFD trading - A summary

Choosing the best software to trade CFD comes down to the personal preferences of a trader, however, we still outlined two of the most popular pieces of software: MetaTrader 4 and cTrader.
 
MT4 is one of the most widely-used trading platforms that brokers use for offering CFDs to their clients. With its simplistic design and lots of useful trading tools (EAs, MQL4-based indicators, etc), MT4 still remains one of the first choices of CFD traders, even though the platform is limited in the number of tradable instruments available in its catalogue.
 
cTrader is also a pretty popular CFD trading platform. Unlike MT4, though, cTrader has more flexibility in how many instruments brokers can incorporate in it. That is why there are usually more tradable CFDs on cTrader than on MT4. On top of that, cTrader also offers various tools that make trading easier, such as cBots, copy trading, etc.

FAQ on the top CFD trading platform

What is the top CFD trading software to use for beginners?
Show answer
It usually depends on the individual users to determine, whether the software is suitable to their experience levels. However, we can still note that out of two pieces of the software mentioned above, probably MT4 is a more suitable option for the beginner CFD traders.
 
First off, the software has a limitation as to how many symbols the broker can offer to their client. And more often than not, brokers tend to offer more Forex pairs than CFDs, yet there is no restriction to incorporate the latter either. This means that the software is less flexible for the experienced CFD traders.
 
Besides, the Expert Advisor function allows them to automate trades, allowing the software to do all the things as soon as it receives basic directions. The more experienced traders would want more flexibility in this sense, that’s why they’d be better off if they chose a more sophisticated platform.
 
Another reason why MT4 could be a better option for the beginner traders is its simplistic design. While many people compare it to Windows 98’s interface, traders seem to better understand its tools, windows, and the overall layout.
Which CFD trading software has the most easy-to-use indicators for traders?
Show answer
When it comes to the indicators, there are lots of different CFD platforms with complex trading indicators. In this article, we talked about MT4 and cTrader, and both of them offer various indicators and tools.
 
When it comes to the ease of use, probably cTrader would have more advantages in this challenge. The reason for this is that the software is based on C# programming language - one of the most universal and widely-used languages out there.
 
Now, even though MT4’s MQL4 programming language is more popular among traders, C# is still more flexible as it makes it easier for even the programmers outside the trading industry to develop various tools and scripts for cTrader. MQL4, in this sense, is more complicated and not many programmers get to use it if they’re not trading.
 
However, for MT4’s credit, there are much more indicators developed in MQL4 available on the internet. Therefore, this challenge between MT4 and cTrader has mixed results and ultimately comes down to the traders and their personal preferences.
 

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