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Trading 101: What is the Best Trading Software?

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Trading software

As we all know, any kind of professional activity requires its own set of tools and equipment. Trading is no exception to this. It is also true that the more demanding your use is, the more expensive the required equipment tends to get. Still, when compared to other jobs you could take up, the equipment required to trade, whether it is in crypto, stocks, or forex, is quite cheap.

You have wide options available when it comes to choosing a platform to trade on. Cryptocurrency traders usually use an exchange with its own decent web-based trading interface, thus reducing the need for other platforms that forex and stock traders have traditionally used.

Many cryptocurrency traders instead opt to do their charting on a separate platform, and then place their orders directly on the exchange. In fact, separating trading and charting is a good practice that I usually recommend because it keeps you from making impulse trades when you are doing your analysis. If you instead do your analysis on a separate platform, and then need to log in to your broker to place the trade, chances are you will have time to reflect over what you are doing and thus reduce the likelihood of making mistakes.

Trading software packages also vary widely in price, from free basic packages to extremely expensive options designed for institutions. In this article, I will cover two of the most popular platforms for retail traders that are available for a relatively low cost.

TradingView

Perhaps the most popular charting software for technical analysis right now is TradingView. This platform has earned the top spot over the past few years for very good reason, with the main one being its social experience.

TradingView lets users publish their own trade ideas for the rest of the community to see and rate. Ideas are usually based on technical analysis, and are drawn directly on the charts using the built-in tools for technical analysis.

While TradingView used to be a community mainly consisting of forex traders, a huge number of cryptocurrency traders have also come to the platform over the past year. The charting tool now supports a large selection of cryptocurrency trading pairs, and their “Cryptocurrencies” chat has become one of the most popular chats on the platform.

Lots of technical analysis enthusiasts will claim that TradingView is simply the best charting platform available today. It is simple enough for beginners to understand, while at the same offers all of the features an advanced trader would ever ask for.

You can start using TradingView for free today, and choose to upgrade to one of their paid plans later once you become comfortable with the platform. Although their prices have increased over the past few years, TradingView is still reasonably priced considering how powerful the platform is.

TradingView has the following subscription plans (month-to-month subscriptions):

  • FREE
  • PRO: US$14.95/month
  • PRO+: US$29.95/month
  • PREMIUM: US$59.95/month

All plans offer better prices if you opt for a 2-year subscription period. Personally, I feel that their PRO+ plan offers the most bang for the buck.

MetaTrader

While TradingView is a web-based platform that runs directly in your browser, MetaTrader is a more traditional kind of trading software that you need to download on your computer. Originally built by Russian company MetaQuotes Software, MetaTrader is by far the most popular trading software for retail forex and CFD traders in the world.

We have previously talked about how you can profit from having robots trade for you, and this is probably what the MetaTrader platform has become best known for. You have the option of tracking the trades of a free robot, or paying for access to a (presumably) better one. You can also track the trades made by other human traders in the same way, also known as copy-trading.

MetaTrader users can also put their coding skills to work and develop their own trading robots or custom technical indicators. The end result of your work can either be used by yourself or sold to other users on the built-in marketplace.

As a new trader, it is really important that you don’t blindly buy into the promises of trading robots you come across, and that you are aware of their limitations. As Jonas explained in his recent article, oftentimes these robots will perform fantastic for a short amount of time before they eventually fail miserably, causing you to lose all the money you initially gained. Trading robots are sometimes optimized to perform perfectly in past market conditions, but that does not necessarily mean that they will perform equally well in the future. This is one of the big pitfalls of algorithmic trading, often referred to by traders as “curve-fitting” or “over-optimization.”

Lastly, there is no doubt that MetaTrader has a more advanced feel to it than TradingView, and it is also more complicated to learn how to use it. That alone, however, does not mean that it is a better platform to use.

MetaTrader or TradingView – which one should you go for?

Perhaps the best way to approach this is to think of MetaTrader and TradingView as complements of each other. You could for example use TradingView solely as a technical analysis tool and a social network for staying in touch with other traders, while placing your trades in MetaTrader (if your broker supports that platform).

Many traders who used to be hardcore supporters of MetaTrader have switched to TradingView, at least for their charting work. The most obvious reason for doing that is probably that TradingView runs in the cloud, and therefore automatically backs up everything you do on the platform. If your computer breaks down while using TradingView, you can simply get a new one and continue where you left off. With MetaTrader however, everything is saved locally on your hard drive, meaning everything you have done will be lost when your computer crashes.

For those active in the forex market, most brokers will offer their own web-based trading platform in addition to the MetaTrader platform. I would recommend starting with the web-based solution to learn the game at first. MetaTrader may feel overwhelming to start with, and there is no need to make things more difficult than they already are.

Once you have gained more confidence in the markets, you can try out MetaTrader if you feel the need for more advanced functionality or want to test out trading robots. If you instead prefer to do your own technical analysis, TradingView has you covered with pretty much everything you will ever need. By doing it this way and taking things one step at a time, your learning curve will become more manageable and your odds of success greatly improved.

Featured image from Pixabay.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.3 stars on average, based on 37 rated postsFredrik Vold is an entrepreneur, financial writer, and technical analysis enthusiast. He has been working and traveling in Asia for several years, and is currently based out of Beijing, China. He closely follows stocks, forex and cryptocurrencies, and is always looking for the next great alternative investment opportunity.




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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. usher

    January 15, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    And Coinigy?

  2. engrossa

    January 15, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Ok. But I use Coininy…

  3. boybianchi

    January 15, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Not mentioning coinigy?! You have got to be kidding me?

  4. Fredrik Vold

    January 16, 2018 at 4:31 am

    Perhaps we’ll do a separate review of Coinigy later. This one was written for all traders, not just crypto.

  5. boybianchi

    January 16, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Hi Fredrik, understood and thanks for explaining. It’s just that most of the trade recommendations are in fact for crypto. Not all, but most of them are. It would only make sense to me to include software based on crypto alone.

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Education

Crypto Kingmakers: Evaluating Exchange Listings

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Cryptocurrency exchanges have long been considered potential ‘kingmakers’ for up and coming ICO projects both pre and post launch of crowd-funding rounds owing to reputation, trading volume and community value, as well as prior experience of shrewd coin selection.

Cryptocurrency exchanges are (at a base level) responsible for fostering liquidity in the market whilst providing competitive choices for investment consumers in the market: both with regards to the exchanges themselves as well as the diversity of the coins they offer for trade.

When a new token is announced for listing on popular platforms such as Coinbase or Binance for example: trends show an increase on interest as represented by value and investment potential. Whether this offsets the prohibitively high cost of entry incurred by such service providers however is yet to be proven.

Separating the Kings from Pretenders

2018 has not been a fortuitous year for many start-ups and underdogs.

Whilst data shows an overall increase in investment volume for new ventures, it also shows a significant failure ratio within these same figures. In fact, data published by tracking agency ‘ICORating’ suggests that a majority (55%) of these initial coin offerings have failed within just the second quarter of this current year.

Potential reasons for this include a ‘bubble’ effect resulting from the artificial inflation of token prices which in actuality hold little to no real value, inability to acquire funding or meet expectations, and the difficulty of gaining attention and penetrating a highly competitive space.

Considering the reported failure rate of ICOs at present, it would be reasonable to exercise caution when considering investment in any of the influx of new tokens on the market (no doubt exacerbated by recent decisions made by Coinbase).

A Utilitarian Perspective

This writer reccommends that you apply critical thinking, solicit the advice of experts and knowledgeable friends, do your own research and cross-reference it with those of pundits and your peers, and do not let anybody encourage you to make any premature decisions. This is all simple advice easily taken for granted, but timeless nonetheless.

We host our own series ICO Analysis / review articles at Hacked.com: articles that break down each project into its fundamentals: such as the strength of the team, technical theory and existing products, and other factors. All of these fields can be incorporated into your own research and analyses. Additionally, I myself frequently publish interviews with a wide range of leaders and experts.

If a coin has no real actionable purpose, inexperienced leadership, technical fallacies, poor communication, or any combination of the above plus more – then there is a good chance that said coin holds no real value, beyond they professed by its proponents.

Looking at Trends

We can’t predict the future, however there are some observable indicators and trends which could point towards the next coins to be chosen by top platforms.

After the PR nightmare surrounding Tether of late, there has been something of a rush of new contenders attempting to become the next stable-coin (a fixed-value token used for off-setting bear markets, or to be used as an intermediary. One of the most talked about of these is the Winklevoss twins’ ‘Gemini Token’.

Adjacent to the ‘Gemini Token’ is the unique investment orientated token from BitMart exchange entitled the ‘BMX Token’. Like a stable coin it can be used as an intermediary for exchanges with other forms of cryptocurrency, however it has the added benefits of affording token-holders discount on all on-platform transactions in addition to being able to stake these coins towards potential new coin listings in the future.

I have also frequently borderline evangelised Terra Virtua on this site and beyond.

As a disclaimer I have no holdings or stake in any of the above companies or tokens. Additionally, I possess a small and transient amount of Bitcoin.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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The Basics of ICO Investing: A Brief Reminder to Those Who are New to the Game

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The ICO market has been heating up for a little less than a year now, but it truly has turned into a new wave of technology. The amount of wealth being created is insane, and it can be difficult to keep up with the rate of change that is occurring within the industry. It is like the tech boom of the early 2000’s all over again, and this is your chance to mint a lot of money.

Researching ICOs

If you’re looking to put some money into an ICO, the first step is tracking down the right one for you. There are lots of websites devoted to the different ICOs that are currently underway or planned to be soon, but CoinSchedule is my personal favourite right now. You can find out about new ICOs here, and then the hard part begins.

You need to perform your own due diligence to figure out if the ICO is right for you. You can look through forums and Reddit, but gaining an understanding of the fundamentals of the company (team, product, market size) is the only way to avoid losing all your money in the long-run.

Telegram is a great chat platform for connecting with others, and there are a lot of expert level people who are willing to share tons of information about cryptocurrencies and ICOs, so I would recommend you check out that tool.

The Due Dilligence Process

There are a few key insights you need to apply in your investing process. First, the cryptocurrency community is segmented into different use cases, and there likely to be only one successful project for each use case. So before you do any investing in a certain project, it is time to do an analysis of the competitive landscape. You don’t want to be betting against yourself by putting money in multiple projects in the same sector, so it is likely you’ll want to choose only the project you think is most likely to succeed.

To learn more about the project, most companies have Telegram channels where you can observe the community and get and idea of what the developers are like and where the project is heading. In general, Telegram is an invaluable research tool.

Finally, you’ll want to examine the amount of supply the company is keeping to itself. You want the founders to have “skin in the game” still, but you also don’t want them to have such a high proportion of coins on hand that they can gain a profit and then start to de-risk by selling off their holdings.

Going Through with the Purchase

Assuming you’ve finally selected a coin you would like to purchase, it’s time to execute. Most coins are supported by Ethereum, so you’ll need to purchase some Ether and move it to a wallet that will support a variety of coins. Currently, I use MyEtherWallet.

Purchasing the coin is actually much simpler than you would think. All you need to do is get the public address of the ICO and send them the amount of Ether you want to invest. They will send you your tokens when the ICO closes, and you have successfully participated in your first ICO.

Know Your Client (KYC) rules are for keeping track of your identity and following the security regulations of your jurisdiction. In the beginning, it was rare a company would follow them, but now that regulators are cracking down, you will likely have to provide all your identification information in order to participate.

If you do want to sell your tokens at any point, you can use an exchange like Binance that allows trading of a wide variety of tokens.

Watch for Pump n’ Dumps

As long as there have been equity investments, there have been pump n’ dump schemes. Aptly named “shitcoins”, there are numerous projects that ICO without a product or even a hope of developing them. The lack of regulations is making this possible, and this is exactly why you need to do your due diligence.

An often pointed out criticism of ICOs is that no one on the team has built anything yet. There is the feel of a group of people seeing an opportunity and jumping on it because there is a chance of high profits, rather than them being able to contribute a lot to the space. So as you look out for “shitcoins”, you should be especially aware of projects that talk about the amount of money they’ve raised, rather than what they’ve built.

Understanding the Risk

The first thing that everyone should know about ICOs is that they are still unregulated. Where IPOs receive intense regulatory scrutiny, ICOs are mostly self-regulated at the moment. Considering the fact that most of these companies are coming from people with little or no track record, it is imperative you are careful about where you invest your money.

Yes, it is a  good thing that you can now make large asymmetric bets that used to be regulated out of your reach, but research is always the answer. For example, if you have a token for a company that doesn’t have a use case aside from funding the company, it won’t serve as a good store of value. With the implementation of the lightning network, cross-chain atomic swaps will eliminate the need to hold these tokens, and their value will trend to zero. Understanding future shifts like this is the key to a long-lasting investing career.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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How ICOs Changed the Way Companies Are Built

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With cryptocurrencies now becoming a household name, investors are starting to look into plays they can make that are more off the beaten path. The market for initial coin offerings (ICO) offers just that, albeit with a dash of risk that traditional initial public offerings (IPOs) do not offer. 

Restrictions on Venture Capital

If you want to make money in Silicon Valley, you need two things: connections and capital. Connections are required, because a lot of projects end up oversubscribed anyways, and you need an advantage over many of the other investors. It also helps if you can provide aid to the company additional to just giving them your capital (e.g. advising on product, marketing, or hiring). The unspoken rule is that you do usually have to be located in Silicon Valley to do well as a startup investor.

Large amounts of capital are also required for regulatory and convenience reasons. Venture capital is considered to be very risky, and as such, it is generally restricted to be accessible only to accredited investors, who must have either an income greater than $200,000 per year or a net worth greater than $1,000,000.

Additionally, most companies didn’t have the bandwidth to deal with having hundreds or thousands of smaller investors, because of the meetings, due diligence, and paperwork required. It was much easier to take larger investments from a small group of people, and keep things simple.

Democratizing Venture Capital

For both these reasons, the number of people who have benefited from the gains in massive technology startups have been very few. Now, with ICOs the possibility arises that investors may join in on the gains, thus democratizing the gains and spreading them out throughout the country and world.

The ability to make asymmetric bets (wagers where there is a high possible upside, but limited downside) has been restricted for a long-time. Lottery tickets are the closest example of a purchase you can make that could result in a 10,000x return, but with the downside capped at the size of your investment.

In a world where income inequality and wealth distribution is a constant source of conflict, the spreading out of these returns could prove to be increasingly important for making sure it doesn’t get worse.

Structure of an ICO

As Hacked readers are no doubt aware, an ICO generally occurs when a cryptocurrency startup wants to raise money. They either have something they’ve already built, or they have a white paper that outlines their business plan and how much money is needed to create and scale the project.

The ICO is carried out by exchanging fiat currency or other cryptocurrency for the “token” in question. A token is considered equal to equity in the company in this analogy, although most firms contend that the tokens are not securities for regulatory reasons (see: Howie test).

ICOs are popular for both investors and traders, as there is an expectation in an increase of market price after the ICO, as well as high volatility (which traders love). Looking at a website like Coin Schedule, you can see the amount of hype that is floating around ICOs at the moment.

Recent Trends in Fundraising

As ICOs become more popular, many companies are going through similar experiences during the fundraising process. Some companies are asking for such high valuations right off the bat that there is little upside for the investors, and a greater chance they will lose money.

If excessive amounts of money are raised before a product has even been built, there is much greater risk in the project. Additionally, there are fewer investors who have made enough money on a project to justify staying invested during a bear market. Compare this to Bitcoin, where some have owned it since its price was in the single digit range, and you can see the difference.

Projects that are heavily inflated upon ICO’ing are losing out on the longer-term opportunity, unfortunately. Some people forget that the most well-known cryptocurrency of all began using an organic mining process rather than an ICO. Although there is almost no money inflow when this is done, it creates a rabid community of supporters who believe in the product, rather than short-term speculators. This solution would not work for all ICOs, but for some, it might be a viable solution.

More than Just an ICO

The ICO is the most well-known part of the process, but often these projects will require money to get them to that point. This is where the Pre-ICO and Pre Sale come from. The Pre-ICO is similar to the “friends and family” money that any business starts off with. It is what is required to get the project off the ground. Then you have the Pre Sale, which is where larger investors who are going to help build the companies product and profile get to buy tokens at a lower price than the ICO price in exchange from their help.

Finally, and it is very necessary to make this clear, all of these projects carry a ton of inherent risk, and a significant amount of research should be undertaken before any investment is made. Where many of the past IPOs had undergone a massive amount of due diligence and had backers who understood the technology, we are seeing many investors hop on the investing train without fully understanding how everything works.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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