Top 8 Things to Consider When Picking a Trading Platform in Nigeria
In Nigeria today quite a number of people are engaging in the financial trading platforms with assurances of getting huge profits from various investments.
Trading most times might seem complex and stressful that is why some people trade and take very high capital to invest in order to make more, while the trading platforms offer high risk investments to gain either high risk gains or very high risk losses.
Online forex trading has become immensely popular in the past decade, particularly as a result of the ability to access the market with ease. Retail traders from across the globe are choosing to trade forex currency pairs, either as a professional occupation or an activity they perform in their spare time.
Trading platforms typically stream live market prices on which users can trade and may provide additional trading tools, such as charting packages, news feeds and account management functions. Some platforms have been specifically designed to allow individuals to gain access to financial markets that could formerly only be accessed by specialist trading firms.
Finding an online trading platform to rely on these days is rather easy due to the number of available platforms. There are platforms for all kinds of assets and instruments as well as platforms designed for all sorts of personalities and needs.
However, not all platforms are suitable for all traders, and you will have to do some research to find the best platform for you, and in the following guide, I provide insight into top five things you have to consider when picking a trading platform in Nigeria.
1. ASSET SUPPORT
Regardless of your level of trading experience, it is paramount to have good and reliable asset support. Asset support ensures that you will quickly and efficiently solve a struggle as and when it arises, whether a trade has been executed incorrectly, had an encounter with large slippage or wish to make a withdrawal or deposit, and so on.
After confirming that the trading platform you’re interested in is legally available in your region, you need to double-check that the assets you want to trade are on the platform offer. Certain platforms only support forex trading while others have been designed for stock trading.
Good Asset support is:
- Around-the-clock availability through a number of channels including phone, email and Live Chat
- Availability in a range of languages (both the site itself and the language support)
- Availability of both general client support and technical support
Then there is a growing number of platforms that can handle a range of different assets, which tends to be the best option. The reason being that it gives you the option of switching markets when needed.
2. AVAILABLE IN YOUR COUNTRY
The number one thing you have to ensure is that the platform and broker you pick is available and registered in your region. That means checking which licenses they’ve obtained from the local regulating body from as one of the first things that you should consider when searching through potential forex brokers is their licensing and regulation.
Signing up to a broker or trading platform that is genuinely licensed and regulated by a reputable regulatory commission (or commissions) is important. You can do this by checking where the company is based, as the legislation requirements for financial registration vary from one country to the next.
Regulation is what gives your funds the necessary insurance needed against any internal fraud or financial issues encountered by the trading platform. Further still, under regulatory requirements, all funds must be held in segregated accounts entirely separate from the platform’s own funds, meaning they are not used to the advantage of the platform.
In Africa, there are a few agencies that license and regulate online brokers with the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) of South Africa being the leading one.
3. DEMO TRADING – REAL MONEY TRADING
A demo account is a replica of a regular trading account but without risk. A majority of today’s online trading platforms come with a demo account where you can trade using virtual money.
These accounts are a great tool for beginners that need practice as well as professionals who often use the demo platforms for strategy development.
It’s also the best way to test a trading platform before signing up and depositing money since most demo accounts are available without a complete account registration.
4. GRAPHS, TOOLS AND FEATURES
This is not so easy to do, but whether you are a beginner or you are experienced before you know what tools you’ll be using, i suggest you take the platform for a test drive.
There is nothing worse than signing up with a broker, depositing money and starting your first analysis just to realize that the broker doesn’t have the features and graphs you need to trade efficiently. Also, make sure the platform comes in a mobile version.
If you’ve just gotten started with trading and you don’t know what to look for, the best tip is to read reviews about the platform from more experienced traders.
It is crucial that you review the platform to make sure that it features all the tools you need when trading.
5. ACCOUNT SIZE AND BENEFITS
As a beginner, you should start off by trading with small amounts of money in order to try and control the risk.
However, as you get better, you’ll probably be inclined to deposit more money to your account. Therefore the platform you use needs support for large deposits, preferably without fees.
Many brokers today even give you exclusive deals with large deposits and often provide several types of accounts where the big players can enjoy better spreads, lower fees, and even personal account managers that can help you maximize your opportunities.
6. COMPETITIVE PLATFORM TECHNOLOGY
It doesn’t matter if the customer service is outstanding; if the platform has a poor user-interface with difficult navigation, then you will struggle to succeed as a trader. Traders should make sure that the trading platform and software are easy to use, simple in nature and offer a range of fundamental and technical analysis tools, including forex indicators and charting capabilities. Traders should have the flexibility to place different order types with ease, in a fast, secure and reliable environment.
Other factors to consider include:
- Low spreads
- Customisable add-ons
- A diverse selection of trading instruments including Forex and CFDs on indices, metals, energies, stocks, bonds, ETFs and cryptocurrencies.
- Clear risk management functionality, including stop loss and take profit order
Most platforms offer free demo trading accounts so that traders can test out the platform prior to opening a live account and depositing funds.
7. LEVERAGE REQUIREMENT
Before making an order with a broker you need to be aware of their margin call requirements. Margin is a type of deposit required in order to keep a position open, and involves a portion of your account deposit specifically set aside.
Platform’s use margin as a form of security; for example in the event that an investor’s position takes a turn for the worse and losses approach the margin amount, the broker may react and advise the investor to deposit more funds into the account, or close the position. Find out what the platform’s margin requirements are in order to open a trade, as well as the time that you will need to respond to a margin call.
In terms of leverage, you need to choose a level that best suits your trading abilities and needs. Amounts vary from one platform to the next (typically starting at 100:1 and going as high a 400:1). While applying high leverage might seem an exciting prospect, it has the potential to wipe out your account in seconds, so avoid selecting a broker or platform just because they offer very high leverage.
8. DEPOSITS AND WITHDRAWAL POLICY
What funding methods does the broker offer, and what fees are applied for each method? Does the platform have any minimum deposit and withdrawal requirements? How quickly and easily can you access your funds when requested?
Brokers/platform usually allow account holders to fund using credit card, wire transfer and bank cheque, but check their policy first as each platforms has its own policies when it comes to deposits and withdrawals. When depositing you want to start trading as soon as possible, so if there’s a delay with your deposit, imagine the delay when you want to make a withdrawal. Your platform should make sure both the deposit and withdrawal processes are speedy, smooth and hassle-free.
Before committing to a platform or forex broker it is vital to learn as much as possible about them, by carrying out thorough research in order to reduce the chances of losing funds from your trades. Find out everything there is to know about the firm and its trading conditions, and be sure to select a platform that offers the specific features you are looking for.