Have you ever been the underdog in a competition? Or entered a race too late while it had already started? I suppose everyone has had such a situation when they had the odds stacked against them with very little hope of making it through let alone beating the competition. This is the same situation cTrader has found itself in, having entered the Forex market relatively late when the tables had already been set and a clear winner identified. In case you haven’t heard the news, MetaTrader 4 is that winner. Now cTrader has to beat the odds and find a niche in the Forex market. Fortunately, cTrader has done just that over the past few years and is now offered by some of the most trusted and noteworthy Forex brokers around the world.
MT4, Webtrader, Mobile
It would seem that these cTrader Forex brokers have spotted something unique about the cTrader platform and they are championing it.
This is the reason why I chose to write this post – to highlight the history of cTrader, its growth and what is behind this growth. I myself have used cTrader before for both demo and live trading, and I can tell you first-hand that there is a lot to love about this new platform. I hope that at the end of this read, you will be able to decide on your own whether to shift or stick to your current platform. Regardless, I would urge that you open a cTrader brokers demo account so that you can see the advantages for yourself. Before we get there, though, a short history lesson…
I believe it is important to know more about a product before you start using it, which is why I shall dedicate a section of this post to do just that. After all, you don’t just pick a product from the shelf and take it home, do you? Anyway, cTrader is the trading platform developed by the company Spotware Systems. I would not blame you if you haven’t heard of the company, it’s relatively new to the market. Andrey Pavlov who, according to his LinkedIn profile, seems to me more than qualified founded it in 2010. He had been an analyst for various companies including Citigroup, Alfabank and National Westminster Bank for almost 10 years between 1994 and 2003. It was at this point that he decided to become an entrepreneur, and he became a successful one by launching several companies including Arbatek and Quotix. Spotware now seems to be his primary focus since its launch in 2010.
It wasn’t long after the launch of cTrader that the cTrader brokers list began to grow after the brokers noted the potential of this new platform. By the year 2012, over 40 Forex brokers had adopted cTrader and were offering it as an alternative to the more popular MetaTrader 4 and 5. Nevertheless, such enormous growth in just two years did not go unnoticed and Pavlov was awarded the Person of the Year 2012 award by FXStreet. Since then, there have been even more brokers who offer cTrader, and the platform is now only rivaled by MetaQuotes’ MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms.
I was indeed surprised by this exponential growth of cTrader, especially in the first two years of its existence, so I sought to find out the reason behind it. As it turns out, there are various reasons to do both with the quality and target market.
Whereas individual retail traders mainly spurred the growth of MetaTrader, most of cTrader’s growth came from institutional traders. You see, MetaTrader was designed to be ‘light’ and simple to use and understand. Lightness was to allow all traders to use it regardless of their computers’ processing power and simple so that new traders could easily understand and use it. On the other hand, cTrader uses more sophisticated tools that appeal to the institutional or more experienced traders. We shall look at these features later, but a Forex broker cTrader had more traffic.
Obviously, these institutional investors have more capital than the typical individual retail trader, meaning that cTrader was handling a lot of trade volume. In fact, Finance Magnates reports that, at some point, more than 50% of trading volumes were handled through cTrader. They also appreciated how a cTrader broker with most instruments could provide all the options that they needed. This was the main reason for the initial spike in cTrader’s growth, but it’s not the only thing that’s kept it going.
According to the Spotware website, Pavlov developed cTrader to address several gaps in the markets. Indeed, there arises a problem when one company dominates the market as MetaQuotes had done that they didn’t even work to address some of the traders’ complaints. Unlike MetaQuotes, Spotware sought to change the status quo by providing traders with exactly what they needed. This made the top cTrader FX brokers instantly popular among traders, including myself, who immediately developed a liking to the company. Not only did they provide what we had always wanted, but they continue to do so through numerous updates, and that’s something I really like about cTrader.
My biggest worry about cTrader’s growth was its lack of community support. I mean, if MetaTrader 5 could not beat MetaTrader 4, then how could cTrader? It turns out that the key is not to compete for the same target market but to build an entirely separate brand. Anyone in marketing knows this, which is why Coca-Cola doesn’t even try to lure Pepsi fans but instead recruits new consumers. This is what cTrader did – they created an entirely different community and gave them the tools to grow.
cAlgo is installed alongside cTrader, but it is dedicated to the development of technical indicators, robots, and trading signals. Within Forex brokers cTrader, there is also a community of developers who create these tools and then share them with the network seamlessly. This has given cTrader users access to much-needed support that they don’t even need to look elsewhere.
The above reasons made cTrader very popular, but those are not the only features that set the platform apart. Some of the reasons to consider cTrader include:
One great aspect of the cTrader platform is that it supports true ECN networks. This means that the quotes shown on the platform are usually interbank rates, hence reducing the chances of price manipulation. Furthermore, orders are filled directly with the liquidity provider, decreasing even further the chances that a cTrader Forex broker could engage in any form of fraud. Anyone who has had a terrible experience with a Forex broker was probably dealing with a dealing desk broker who had a conflict of interest. This is not so with cTrader brokers, which explains why those brokers didn’t suffer in January 2015 when the Swiss National bank (SNB) de-pegged the franc from the euro. Many brokers fell that day, many of them were non-ECN brokers.
Do you remember when I mentioned that cTrader was more sophisticated? Well, that comes from the Spotware systems themselves being very well developed. Through the latest technology, Spotware has ensured that their network has very low latency through the use of multiple servers cross-connected with the liquidity providers. This way, clients’ orders are filled by the nearest liquidity provider, hence reducing the processing time and overall latency in the network. Anyone who has ever experienced slippage during volatile market situations will greatly appreciate this feature, and the best cTrader Forex brokers can breathe easier themselves.
This may be a subjective opinion, but I do find myself more comfortable with the cTrader design than any other. It always seems to me like they spent a lot of time considering where every tool and command would be located, and they pulled it off. I especially like how you can search for particular instruments, especially if the broker has many options. Tell me, have you had to scroll through tens of tradable instruments in search of one? Such an experience would make you opt for cTrader at the snap of a finger. Besides, it is much easier to manage trades on cTrader through partial orders, multiple take profit and stop loss levels and one-click trading.
Most of all, though, I like that cTrader has the depth of market feature. When working with the best cTrader broker, this feature allows you to make accurate predictions about the markets based on other traders’ sentiment. It is almost like being able to see the overall market and just going with the flow… very useful feature.
Now comes the most important part, now that I know I made a good case in favour of cTrader. It is first important to determine whether the broker in question has a license from the relevant authorities, and if the authority in question can be trusted with your money. For example, cTrader brokers UK would have more credibility because the FCA is a very trusted financial body worldwide. Be careful, though, to confirm whether the broker isn’t merely claiming to be registered but actually is. To do so, head over to the regulator’s website and search for their license number.
Then you need to determine if the broker can offer you all the tradable instruments, you want to trade. Say, you are interested in stocks, then a broker offering cTrader with stocks would be your preferred choice. There are plenty of markets a person can invest in, and it all comes down to your risk appetite and experience. All the same, it is always advisable to diversify your portfolio in order to hedge against risk and protect your capital.
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