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Best Trading Software Platforms of 2020

Looking for the best trading software platforms of 2020? Here we discuss the ins and outs of how trading software works, and what you need to look out for when choosing a new provider.
Haydn Squibb
Author: Haydn Squibb

Last Updated: May 21, 2020

Looking to take your online trading endeavours to the very next level via automated software? Although there are literally hundreds of trading software providers active in the online space, most of these make hyperbole claims that are often difficult to validate. As such, you need to be extremely diligent in your search for a trusted trading software platform.

In this article, we explore the ins and outs of how trading software works, as well as our view on the best providers currently in the market.

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    Trade with eToro - 0% Commission

    Our Rating

    Trading
    • Trade Stocks, Forex, Crypto and more
    • 0% Commission on Trades
    • Copy Trades of Pro Investors
    • Easy to Use Trading Platform
    Trading
    Disclaimer eToro: 75% of investors lose money when trading CFDs.

    What is Trading Software?

    Before discussing our top providers, it is important to clarify what we mean by ‘trading software’. The term itself is somewhat broad, as it can refer to a number of different applications. With that said, trading software typically relates to a piece of technology that has the capacity to trade in an autonomous manner.

    It does so by following a set of pre-defined ‘what-if’ conditions, with the underlying algorithm sending out signals when a trading opportunity is found. For example, let’s say that the trading software is tasked with scanning major forex pairs like GBP/USD and EUR/USD. The algorithm will make use of technical indicators like Bollinger Bands, the MACD, and the RSI.

    This is with the view of analyzing key market trends that centre around volatility, trading volumes, support and resistance lines, and general market sentiment. Then, once the algorithm spots an opportunity, it will send out a signal in real-time.  This will consist of the price that the trader needs to enter the market, as well as suggested stop-loss and take-profit orders.

    Automation

    In other cases, some trading software providers offer a 100% automated service. That is to say, that once the underlying algorithm spots an opportunity, it will then proceed to place the required trades on your behalf.

    Either way, the overarching concept of using trading software is to take your investment journey to the next level. After all, automated technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning have the capacity to outperform the human brain.

    In fact, financial institutions have been utilizing trading software applications since the mid-1980s, so it’s notable that a market now exists for everyday investors.  The most important thing is that you understand what to look out for when choosing a trading software provider, as much of the industry is dominated by scam artists.

    Best Trading Software Providers in 2020

    Looking to start your online investment journey with a top-rated trading software platform? If so, below you will find our recommended providers of 2020.

    1. eToro – Automatically Copy the Trades of Successful Investors

    Although not technically 'software' per-say, it's well worth considering the Copy Trading service offered by eToro. The reason for this is that the feature operates like trading software, insofar that you will be able to trade without needing to lift a finger. Instead, you'll be copying the individual trades of other users of the site in an autonomous manner. To get the ball rolling, you'll need to browse the Copy Trading section of the site and find an investor that you like the look of.

    At the forefront of your search should be the investor's historical trading results at eToro. Crucially, you'll want to pick an individual that has a long-standing history of making consistent gains. Once you find a trader that you like the look of, you can then copy their entire portfolio at the click of a button. What we really like is that as long as you meet a $200 minimum investment amount, you can choose a stake that meets your appetite for risk.

    As and when the trader buys and sells assets, your portfolio will mirror this like-for-like. There are no fees to engage with Copy Trading at eToro, which is great. In terms of the fundamentals, the social trading broker is regulated by the FCA, CySEC, and ASIC, and you can get money into the platform via a debit/credit card, bank account, or e-wallet.

    Leverage and short-selling is supported across thousands of financial instruments, including that of stocks, indices, currencies, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. Although you will be automating your investment endeavours, eToro does allow you to take full control of your Copy Trading portfolio. For example, if the trader decides to apply leverage, you don't need to follow suit.

    Our Rating

    • Automated trading in a regulated ecosystem
    • More than 12 million traders to choose from
    • Get started with just $200 via a debit/credit card
    • Not suited for advanced traders
    • All account balances denominated in USD
    CFDs are complex financial instruments and 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.

    2. The News Spy – Trading Software with a (Claimed) 88% Win Rate

    Next up on our list of recommended trading software providers is that of the News Spy. The main concept is that the News Spy algorithm will scan hundreds of asset-related fundamental news stories on a 24/7 basis. Then, once the algorithm picks up on a potential trading opportunity, the information will then be sent to the provider's team of in-house traders.

    Next, the News Spy trader will proceed to open the respective entry and exit orders on your behalf, meaning that the entire process is fully automated. In other words, there is no requirement to manually act on the information that the algorithm finds, which is great for those of you that are looking to earn passive income. What we should note is that the platform promotes a rather uncanny win rate of 88%.

    The reason that we don't necessarily dispute this figure is that the News Spy platform offers a fully-fledged demo testing facility. This means that you can test each and every trade out with paper money before risking your own funds. With that being said, you will need to deposit a minimum of $250 to get started at the platform. After that, you can then decide how much of your balance you wish to allocate.

    Our Rating

    • Fully automated - trades placed on your behalf
    • Algorithm analyzes fundamental news events 24/7
    • 88% win rate can be verified via demo testing facility
    • Required to deposit at least $250 to get started
    • Relatively new in the trading software space
    There is no guarantee that you will make money with this provider

    3. AVATrade – Automated Mirror Trading at a Trusted, Regulated Broker

    AvaTrade is a highly established online broker that specializes in CFDs. In fact, the platform hosts thousands of financial instruments across dozens of asset classes. This includes everything from bonds, stocks, indices, ETFs, and digital currencies. In terms of its trading software offering, this works much in the same way as the eToro Copy Trading phenomenon. That is to say, AVATrade allows you to engage in mirror trading.

    As such, not only can you copy the entire portfolio of a successful investor, but you match their ongoing buy and sell orders like-for-like. This is highly beneficial for two key reasons. Firstly, if you have virtually no experience of how online trading works, you'll be able to gain exposure to the financial markets via a pre-vetted AVATrade investor. We say 'pre-vetted', as you'll get to choose which investors you wish to copy based on their historical trading results at the platform.

    Secondly, the AVATrader mirror trading feature is perfect for those of you that do not have the required time to sit at your device trading assets. As seasoned investors typically spend a number of hours researching potential trading opportunities, you'll get to benefit from this without needing to lift a finger. In terms of the fundamentals, AVATrade actually facilitates its automated trading services via ZuluTrade and Duplitrade.

    This allows you to benefit from AVATrade's global reputation, while still having access to automated trading services. After all, AVATrade is regulated in multiple jurisdictions, so rest assured that your funds remain safe at all times. The broker requires a minimum deposit of $250 to get started, which you can fund via a debit/credit card or bank account. All deposits and withdrawals at the platform come fee-free.

    Our Rating

    • Highly trusted broker with several regulatory licenses
    • Mirror the trades of pre-vetted investors
    • Deposit funds with a debit/credit card
    • Mirror trading services go through a third-party
    • No support for e-wallets
    There is no guarantee that you will make money with this provider

    Getting Started With a Trading Software Provider

    So now that you’ve had the chance to read through our top providers of 2020, we are now going to explain how you can get the ball rolling with our top-rated trading software recommendation, eToro. As we noted in our brief overview, you will be copying the trades of successful eToro investors, meaning the entire process is automated without you needing to download any software.

    Step 1: Open an Account

    Before you can start your automated trading journey at eToro, you’ll need to get your account set up. If you already have an account, feel free to move straight on to step 2.

    If not, head over to the eToro homepage and elect to register a new account. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your full name, home address, nationality, date of birth, and contact details.

    After that, eToro will ask you to upload a couple of verification documents. This includes a government-issued ID such as passport or driver’s license and a proof of address such as a utility bill or bank account statement.

    Step 2: Deposit Funds

    You will now need to deposit some funds. eToro has a minimum deposit amount of $200, which is also the minimum amount that you can invest into each Copy Trading portfolio. As such, if you’re planning to invest in multiple traders to help diversify your risk, you’ll need to deposit in increments of $200.

    Support payment methods include:

    • Debit Cards
    • Credit Cards
    • Paypal
    • Neteller
    • Skrill
    • Bank Transfer

    All deposit methods are free. Apart from the bank transfer option, your deposit will be credited instantly.

    Step 3: Find a Successful Investor to Copy

    This part of the step-by-step process is arguably the most important. Why? Well, you now need to browse through the many investor profiles hosted at eToro. Firstly, click on the ‘Copy People’ button on the left-hand side on the page. Once you do, you’ll get to narrow your search down by using the filters at the top of the page.

    This includes:

    • The location of the investor
    • What markets they like to trade (stocks, ETFs, etc.)
    • Minimum return on investment
    • The time period for the trader’s results (for example over the past 12 months)

    If you want to narrow your search preferences even further, click on the ‘advanced search’ button.

    Step 4: Review Statistics

    Once you have found a copy trader that you like the look of, click on their profile. This will then allow you to get a 360-degree overview of their historical trading results. The most important figure that you need to look out for is the month-by-month return of investment.

    As you can see from the example above, the copy trader in question made a profit in January, February, March, and April 2020, and is currently in the red for the month of May. As this wouldn’t be enough data to feed on, we would then explore what the trader made in the prior 12 months. After that, we can also look at other key metrics, such as their assigned risk level, and the types of trades that the investor likes to make.

    Step 5: Copy Portfolio

    Once you have chosen a trader that you wish to copy, click on the blue ‘Copy’ button within the investor’s profile page. You will then need to decide whether you wish to copy their current portfolio, and/or their ongoing trades. Most traders opt for both to replicate the investor like-for-like.

    Finally, enter the amount that you wish to stake, and complete your order. Don’t forget, you’ll need to invest a minimum of $200 for each copy trader that you want to mirror.

    How to Find the Best Trading Software

    With so many scam products active in the trading software space, it can be extremely difficult to find a trusted provider. With that said, below you will find a number of handy tips to help you along the way.

    • Human vs Software

    The first decision that you need to make is with regards to the type of trading software strategy that you wish to employ. In the case of eToro and AVATrade, you will be utilizing a copy trading feature meaning that the trades are facilitated by a human. That is to say, your chosen investor is responsible for performing their own technical and fundamental analysis, and then deciding which positions to open and close.

    Alternatively, you might decide to utilize a software-based strategy with a provider like the News Spy. In doing so, the underlying software will find trading suggestions autonomously, with the provider then deciding how to act on the signal. 

    • Validity of Results

    It’s absolutely crucial that you are able to verify the bold claims made by your chosen trading software provider. For example, the News Spy platform allows you to utilize their demo trading facility, meaning that you can test the results out prior to risking large amounts of capital. If you find that the trading results mirror that of the provider’s claims, you might then decide to trade with real money.

    In the case of copy trading providers like eToro and AVATrade, you get to independently verify the historical trading results of the investor. In other words, the numbers don’t lie as once a trade has been opened and closed, it remains on file indefinitely.

    • Minimum Deposits and Fees

    You also need to ensure that you have a firm understanding of how much you will be required to invest at the trading software platform. In most cases, this sits within the $200-$300 range. You won’t really want to invest more than that until you are 100% confident that the trading software is legitimate.

    On top of the minimum investment amount, you will need to explore how much you will need to pay to trade in an automatic manner. After all, the trades will still need to be placed with an online broker, so naturally, this will attract commission.

    • Avoid Long Subscription Models 

    It is worth sticking with trading software providers that do not lock you into long minimum subscription periods. Instead, we much prefer trading platforms that allow you to subscribe on a month-by-month basis. In doing so, you’ll always have the option of cancelling your subscription in the event you are left unsatisfied with the end result.

    With that said, you won’t need to worry about minimum subscription periods when opting for a copy trading site like eToro, as you are simply using an online broker. As such, you can exit your positions are cash out your balance at any given time.

    • Payment Methods

    Often overlooked in the context of finding a trading software provider, you also need to assess what payment methods you will be able to use. The easiest way to get money into an online trading platform is a debit/credit card or e-wallet. This is because your deposit will be credited instantly and you should have the protections of the card/e-wallet issuer if it turns out the provider is a scam.

    Alternatively, some providers accept bank account transfers, but this will take a number of days before the funds are settled.

    • Tradable Assets

    Finally, and as equally as important, you need to have a firm understanding of what assets your automated trading software provider is going to target. For example, although you might come across a hugely successful platform that trades cryptocurrencies, you might not necessarily feel comfortable exposing your capital to a high-risk asset class.

    This is one of the reasons that we like the extensiveness of the eToro copy trading feature, as you get to specify the exact asset classes that you wish to trade.

    Conclusion

    In summary, a simple Google search for ‘trading software’ will yield thousands of providers that are heavily active in the space. The vast bulk of these so-called expert systems are nothing more than a scam. This is why you need to perform a significant amount of research prior to parting with your money.

    To help you along the way, we have discussed our top-rated trading software providers of 2020. By discussing both automated software trading and mirror trading options, you should be able to make an informed decision.

    Ultimately, it might be worth considering the merits of the eToro Copy Trading feature, as you’ll have a full birds-eye view of how successful the investor in question is before taking the plunge. This includes the ability to review each and every trade that the investor has made at the platform, alongside a full breakdown of their month-by-month results and risk rating.

    Trade with eToro - 0% Commission

    Our Rating

    Trading
    • Trade Stocks, Forex, Crypto and more
    • 0% Commission on Trades
    • Copy Trades of Pro Investors
    • Easy to Use Trading Platform
    Trading
    Disclaimer eToro: 75% of investors lose money when trading CFDs.

    FAQs

    How do I know if a trading software provider is a scam?

    There are a number of signs that you need to look out for prior to signing up with a new trading software provider. At the forefront of this is the ability to verify the claims that the provider makes. If you are unable to do this, it's best to walk away.

    How can I test a trading software provider out ?

    The only sure-fire way of testing a provider out is via a demo facility. This is where you get to trade the suggestions made by the software provider without risking your won capital.

    How do I choose an investor to mirror trade?

    You'll need to use a platform that gives you a full breakdown of the investor's historical trading results. In doing so, you'll be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not he trader is skilled enough to warrant copying.

    How much do I need to invest into a software trading platform?

    This can vary quite considerably depending on the provider you wish to use. On average, you'll need to deposit at least $200-$300 to get started.

    How do I pay for trading software ?

    Most trading software providers will allow you to pay for their service with a debit/credit card or e-wallet. Some providers support bank transfers, but this can delay the process by a number of days.

    All trading carries risk. Views expressed are those of the writers only. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The opinions expressed in this Site do not constitute investment advice and independent financial advice should be sought where appropriate. This website is free for you to use but we may receive commission from the companies we feature on this site.
    Haydn Squibb

    A journalist, with experience writing across the UK financial and professional service sector. Haydn holds a degree in Media Writing and enjoys covering about a wide range of topics from financial markets and current affairs to home, health and lifestyle. Haydn's work has been published on a number of top tier websites.

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