Lesson 3 of 6
In Progress

What do brokers do for you (7)

Phillip Konchar

There was a lot to take in in that lesson but the point was to place regulation front and centre in your minds when considering brokers. However, it is not the only criteria by which to select a broker.  Let’s look at what brokers do for traders:


The Broker’s platform

Nowadays all execution-only brokers are online and offer their services through a ‘platform’. The bigger brokers tend to have their own web-based trading platforms it has developed in house. Sometimes brokers just licence the platform from software providers – MT4 and cTrader are good examples – you can find this type of third party platform at lots of different brokers. Brokers sometimes offer multiple platforms in order to deliver what their clients want. It is the interface through which a trader trades and each platform has its own pros and cons.

A broker’s platform will:

  • display all its markets and live prices;
  • display trade tickets;
  • allow the trader to view market information;
  • have risk management tools;
  • give you access to charts;
  • have a deposit and withdrawal function; and
  • let you manage your account.

We won’t go into detail here about how to do these various functions, please see our platform video guide on the materials tab at the top of the lesson for this type of granularity.

Practice accounts

Most brokers offer practice accounts. These are there for traders to try out a platform using virtual money – so any profits and losses aren’t real. Also known as demo accounts, these are invaluable for new traders because they let them get familiar with a trading platform without risking real money. A slight note of caution, however, brokers demo platforms do not mirror the live platforms 100%. Trade tolerances are not tight and sometimes account fees are not debited in a practice environment.

Regardless, we strongly recommend new traders use a demo account to test strategies and gain experience before moving onto a real money account.
Key Learning Points
  • Brokers deliver their service to traders through an online trading platform.
  • Platforms can take many forms, brokers can develop their own or license a third-party platform.
  • We strongly recommend using a practice account with virtual money to get familiar with a platform.

We've partnered with FCA regulated broker Core Spreads to get you access to a 16-part platform how-to video guide. These are for Core Spreads' CoreTrader web platform.

















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