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I've only seriously used one futures trading platform, Firetip. I've experimented with some other ones, but of the online trading platforms I've tried Firetip was my favourite.
I like the layout that firetip has because I can arrange the various window to different sizes and position them where I like on the screen. Some of the other online trading platforms I've tried put a lot of emphasis on what I call a vertical price scanner. It basically consists of two columns of prices one representing sellers and the other buyers. As prices move up and down you see lights and numbers flashing and running up and down the columns. It's what old pit traders and wannabe scalpers use. It's a horrible way to trade. I value clear and user friendly charting on my trading platform. Firetip offers that for me.
Some other feature my best futures trading platform offers are alerts. I like alerts because if I'm busy doing things around the house while I'm waiting for a trade to set up, I can set an alert to sound like an alarm when prices reach the point I'm waiting for.
Another feature I really like about firetip is that I can save different "workspaces". So I can log off one work space designed to trade sugar and dollar index on 60 minute charts, and log onto another workspace designed for trading currency futures. I also have a workspace dedicated just to following stock index futures along with precious metals and the US dollar index. I use that workspace as a general economy monitoring tool. I always have several collapsible windows with all sorts of charts on any given workspace, but I have it set up that you can only see one chart at any given time. Here is a screen shot so you can get an idea what my workspace looks like.
I only have two major complaints about firetip. Firetip offers all the major indicators, but they don't allow you to program you own indicators into the online trading platform. This isn't that big of a deal for me, because they have the ones that I generally use and you can set the parameters for the indicators the do offer. It would be nice if they either allowed you to program your own indicators into the software or if they would increase the indicator list to add a few more commonly used ones, like Force index or COT (commitment of traders).
The other flaw that is somewhat inconvenient is that you can't use a trailing stop. You can use all sorts of order types and they have several stop types, but they don't have a trailing stop. It's not that big of a deal because I can get around this simply by paying attention while I have a trade on, like I should be. If you're into programming trading strategies, they have that too, but I don't use it.
All in all, I am quite satisfied with Firetip. It's a good blend of variety, detail, and versatility, but it's also a little bit simpler and more user friendly than a lot of the best futures trading platform that some professionals use. I don't see myself switching online trading platforms any time soon.
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