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There’s no doubt that more and more people turn to the stock market to earn better returns. The sheer size of the stock market is mind-boggling: 60 major stock exchanges in the world with a total market capitalization of $69 trillion and 16 exchanges with a market cap of $1 trillion each embellish the $1 Trillion Club and account for 87% of global stock market capitalisation. Operating in this vast maze are millions of investors who aspire to make money and turn to stock trading. Picking the right trading platform is the first and most important choice you should make in your journey to becoming a successful stock trader.

Choose the platform that best suits your needs

One of the most crucial components of an investor’s overall trading strategy is the trading platforms used. It's a good idea to learn about choosing a platform that suits your trading style so that you can future-proof your strategies in a dynamic and ever-changing environment. Saxo is one example of the kinds of investment banking and technology specialists who can point seasoned or novice investors in the direction of trading platforms that best suit their work.

The next thing you need to remember is that a successful trader should focus more on risk management and methodology rather than some great-looking features. Does your platform give you the risk management tools to oversee your positions and risks at all times? Make sure your platform gives you access to all the materials and tools you need to make your investment decisions.

Simplicity should rank above looks. Ensure that the Graphic User Interface is uncluttered and easy to work with and that you can digest all the information by simply looking at the screen. Remember that your order execution, visual display preferences for charts and market analysis will be easier if the system suits your personal preference.

Another important factor is whether the platform allows you to trade across international exchanges. You are in a globalised world where the financial markets are interlinked. While each market is responding to global events and cues, the performance of companies in that market is influenced by local factors. When markets in Europe are experiencing a slowdown, emerging markets may be rallying on the back of a cyclical upturn, allowing you to profit from another geography.

Further, you may want to be part of the action in global blue chips such as Apple and Microsoft or you may want to benefit from the unprecedented growth of new-generation FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) stocks. A platform that allows you to trade across exchanges worldwide enhances the window of opportunity for you and allows you to spread your risks.

Be armed with information

Knowledge is very important in the financial markets. A successful investor is usually a well-informed investor. As such, you need a platform that delivers dynamic, real-time market updates. Further, you need one that allows you to benefit from the research and expert analysis offered.

Such knowledge will equip you with the tools to compare companies with similar businesses, return profiles and revenue streams, to decide what differentiating factors make one company a better choice. For instance, if a company’s stock is trading at a premium to peers although it has a similar earnings and revenue profile, a little deeper research will tell you that the market is rewarding this stock because of a superior margin profile, which makes it more profitable. Only a good platform that equips you with all the information makes such analysis possible.

The criteria are endless, but as long as you know what you're looking for from the outset, you should be able to choose a platform that meets your needs and brings in results.

The right platform is a prerequisite for successful trading
Digital Mag

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