cTrader Review

cTrader Review | Review By A Forex Trader

A clear platform with powerful features

  • Clear Charting
  • Automated Trading
  • Wide Range Of Time Frames
  • cBots Trading Robots
  • Technical Indicators
  • User Friendly
User Friendly Trading Platform To Trade Complex Markets In Different Ways • Pepperstone cTrader

cTrader Review

cTrader is an online trading platform which a number of brokers support. What this means is that the trader can open an account with a broker then download cTrader from them. cTrader is typically available as a desktop download, a web trader and a mobile app.

cTrader is a bit of an anomalous platform (in a good way), as it is arguably user friendly but is associated with ECN brokers and has powerful advanced trading features such as automated trading. Because of this, it can be seen as a platform which traders can potentially use with a spectrum from beginner to advanced.

However more practically, cTrader may perhaps be better seen as a platform which more experienced traders may wish to try, particularly those who are used to executing their own trades but may want to have this possibility allied with the capacity to let robots trade on their behalf, on their platform. Automated trading used to be on a separate platform, but it is now fully integrated on the main platform (which means that the trader does not need to use cAlgo to trade with robots).

Pluses of cTrader

The first potential plus is for traders who trade using value levels. Trading on value levels is a kind of technical trading, where the trader looks for significant value levels and projects possible outcomes based on past behaviour (with the caveat that any projection can be wrong no matter what analysis is used, trading markets are complex and can and do move in unpredictable ways). It can be allied with other technical methods such as candlestick analysis and patterns (and indicators). The idea is to hard wire an analysis in value rather than free floating patterns or other approaches.

Sometimes a pattern which is emerging makes more sense when the trader notices that in fact the trade is at a big figure and is tracing out the kind of pattern a market may show (which can be quite regular) when navigating its way up or down over major value levels. Of interest can be figures such as half way between big figures or three quarter/one quarter way (e.g. on USD/JPY: 90, 90.50 and 90.75/90.25, taking the example of 90 as a big figure value for this market).

In general this kind of analysis is grounded in support and resistance and increases and decreases in momentum and volatility. But the figure (significant value) provides a basis for these core market patterns. cTrader has a clear presentation of value. Taking a candlestick chart price type, it will show the value range for each candle. The chart itself is clear and easy to see and can be either light or dark. This can help make sense of complex movement in value traced out on the chart and thus assist the trader in finding a context for what is happening. Indeed key to this is time frame analysis and cTrader goes to town on this, with an unusually wide range of possibilities.

Time frame analysis helps the trader understand the context for a move happening on a particular time frame (for a quick sweep through a market, which is a good idea before starting to trade it, this trader has found this sequence useful: Monthly -> Weekly -> Daily -> 4hr -> 30min -> 5min and trade entry on 1 min, but other traders may have different approaches). Managing a trade can involve checking higher or lower time frames (amongst other factors). Time frame analysis may make what can be seemingly meaningless moves on a chart, more meaningful. So instead of ignoring the complexity which is evident on the chart the trader aims to makes use of this to the extent this is possible.

The less a trader understands the chart, the more they are dependant on approaches which can tend to black box analysis, that is following an indicator for example, even if they understand what the indicator is doing. Put simply, cTrader helps with chart based approaches as it places the chart as it is used by traders who seek to make sense of it, in clear focus. The trader can find markets (called Symbols, like on MT4 and MT5), place orders, find a time frame and indicators and graphical objects by right clicking on the chart.

A further potential plus is the capacity of this platform for news trading, particularly news trading which is based on the chart. The features which may be helpful with regard to charting analysis can also be helpful for news traders, who may require relatively precise readings of changes in value. At its heart, news trading can be about trading on ebbs and flows in volatility, based on flows in and out of the market, which can show up in the chart.

There are a number of ways to trade the news, for example trading on volatility before the release, taking a position in the quiet time before release, and trading after release. Trading after release can include trading in the next sessions, as the potential effects of the news event are seen again and as the effects linger in the market and change in accordance with new interpretations of the news. The attraction of the moment of the release, is that potentially this is the clearest kind of reaction the market may give and any later effects will be absorbed into the market's complexity. However as an indication of how complex markets are, this is not necessarily the case and oscillations may be seen even at the time of release.

News trading itself reflects the general observation that the market at any time may not do what is expected. However the potential of a clear reaction, just like the potential for clear patterns in normal market conditions, is what makes for a trading market. The clarity and detail of cTrader may help with at least representing what the market is doing.

On the left hand side of the platform are three icons defining the three main sectors of this platform. One is Trade, which covers trading in general, the other is Automate, which focuses on automated trading and the third is Analyse which shows factors such as performance and account balance.

Moving to Automate, this brings up another clear outline for what is a complex process, namely automated trading with online trading robots. The trader will note that there is a chart with a play button. The play button lets the trader start Algo Trading. Algos are algorithms, that is computer programs which are executed to trade on behalf of the trader. On MT4 and MT5 these are called EAs. On cTrader, they are called cBots. The trader can find some cBots on the platform and more cBots already written under the Links tab (where they are downloaded) and can also find additional technical indicators. The trader can backtest and optimise from the tabs in Automate.

It should be noted that online trading robots can result in losses sometimes rapidly in the trader's account and like all trading approaches the trader should try and understand what it is the robots is doing. Ideally the trader may wish to develop a strategy or use one under the Trade state of cTrader and then move to automating it (however the trader can find cBots from Trade and trade on their own behalf from Automate).

There are a wide range of factors which can affect performance and the fact a robot performed well in the past does not mean it will do so in the future. The trader may appreciate this by knowing how a strategy they themselves execute may stop working. cTrader also supports copy trading with cMirror which is available from the Links tab. The trader may wish to test cTrader and its features and it is simple to create demo accounts.

Comparative downside of cTrader

Roughly speaking, equivalent platforms to cTrader include JForex and of the MetaTrader platforms MT5 (which is the optimised and enhanced successor to MT4). MT5 can draw on the wide use of and availability of MT4 and its extensive support network of software and tools and add its own. These platforms support traders who execute their own trades and who use automated trading. Some brokers offer both MT4 and MT5.

MT5 can typically have more markets to trade. At some brokers there may be many markets on MT5, even rivalling platforms designed for traders who execute their own trades, though some of these other platforms have many more Stocks CFD to trade or even real Stocks.

Similarly, JForex can have a considerable offering of markets and provides a relatively large number of technical indicators inbuilt into the platform. Additionally it is also a platform which has a clear layout and structure, but supporting powerful features.

Traders who want to use social and copy trading may wish to use a platform dedicated to these types of trading. But for those who want to trade markets like Forex, Indices, Commodities and Cryptocurrency CFDs then cTrader can provide these and its range of trading features.

Summary

cTrader is an online trading platform which takes a complex set of procedures and processes and aims to clarify them in their presentation. It may help the trader clarify (and develop) their own approach to trading, rather than being determined by the platform.

Arguably the platform is clear enough that a beginner may use it, but a trader starting off may also prefer a platform which is designed to be used by the beginner.

However experienced traders may find this platform a home from home or even a new home. cTrader can be offered along with other trading platforms and brokers with a range of platforms including MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 along with cTrader are listed below. Signing up for any of these brokers lets the trader create accounts to trade different platforms, including cTrader.

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