Best Desktop Platform
Traders who want to access the futures exchange and execute futures contracts for crude oil or other commodities will need to access a futures trading platform.
They can come with many additional resources to help you trade commodity or stock futures like company-level research or other analysis tools, though finding the one that’s right for you is very important. Continue reading below as we cover the top platforms for accessing the futures exchanges.
7 Best Futures Trading Platforms 2023
- Interactive Brokers: Best Overall
- TD Ameritrade: Best Desktop Platform
- TradeStation: Lowest Commissions
- Optimus Futures: Best for Casual Traders
- Tickmill: Best for Forex Futures
- NinjaTrader: Best Integrations
- E*TRADE: Best Web-Based Platform
Read more: Best Forex Trading Platforms 2023
Top 7 Best Futures Trading Platforms December 2023
Interactive Brokers continues to be among the best futures brokers out there, considered the best by many. With their excellent desktop trading platform and great margin rates, Interactive Brokers comes with a lot of value, even given its higher price ticket.
Their mobile app means that even everyday traders can take advantage of the platform and access other helpful trading tools to help them with trading a futures contract or analyze any underlying asset.
TD Ameritrade is among advanced traders’ favorite online futures brokers. This is supported by the fact that they have great resources and research tools for those who have a trading account with them, which is especially great for beginners who want to start trading futures and get involved in the futures market.
Even still, traders at all levels can get a lot of value from this futures trading broker, even professionals.
They are known for having the best desktop app to trade futures on, which many love. Plus, they have a browser-based platform and mobile app for trading, meaning investors can access this platform to trade a futures contract from nearly anywhere.
They have a robust offering of investment options and assets available, which is something many active traders look for from online brokers like TradeStation.
Many like this program as a futures trading platform because of its low fees and flexibility. For investors that want to trade a futures contract, they will enjoy access to a great customer service team, no inactivity fee, and more.
Some users don’t like that there is no mobile app, which is especially useful for day trading futures. However, they’ll have to find another futures brokerage for this.
Tickmill is a good option for traders that are just getting started and don’t have a ton of capital on their hands. They support many easy-to-fund accounts, and withdrawals are free and simple. Many users also note that they have great research materials, a quality customer service team, and educational training and content.
NinjaTrader has been around for nearly two decades now, offering great software and brokerage services for traders.They are more catering to active traders, who enjoy the thousands of integrations with NinjaTrader and third-party apps.
The platform is free to use with a funded account for charting, market analysis, and other basic features. However, to access more advanced tools for trading futures contracts, you’ll need to pay for the premium version.
There is a lot of brand recognition with E*TRADE, helping it to continue being one of the most widely used platforms for experienced traders and newcomers alike. Many like their quality mobile apps, in addition to their great trading and technical analysis tools.
What is Futures Trading?
Futures trading involves an agreement that traders make to buy or sell a given asset at a future date. This must be done with a futures trading broker.
What is Futures Trading Platform?
A future trading platform is a place online where you can access a futures broker and trade futures contracts. These trading platforms may even include other helpful features, though this is the basic idea of such programs.
What Do Futures Trading Platforms Do?
Futures trading platforms offer help to investors so they can take advantage of the futures markets, and gain other insights from the investment advice or trading tools and resources available on the platforms as well.
How to Get Started Trading Futures?
Futures trading isn’t necessarily the easiest strategy, to begin with, so it may be best suited for investors who are already familiar with the markets. In any case, you’ll need to make a minimum deposit with a broker to open up an account, then decide which asset you want to trade. Then you need to understand the margin requirement of a trade to ensure you have enough deposit for the contract you’re trying to execute. Then, you’ll have to set up a trade and wait for it to be executed. Once it’s completed, you can monitor and assess your success to make adjustments with future trades.
As you can see, there are many quality options for a futures trading platform. If you want to execute a futures contract, you can consider the above platforms, though consider whether you’re looking for commission-free trading, a certain minimum deposit requirement, access to specific markets, easy integration with other apps, and more in order to find the one that’s right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This is the governing body in the United States that was created to regulate the derivatives market.
Paper trading means you’re trading with virtual dollars, not real money. It’s a form of practice so investors can try out new strategies without any risk attached.
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- Commodity Futures Trading Commission | CFTC. www.cftc.gov. Accessed January 16, 2023. https://www.cftc.gov/
- Lowest Cost Online Trading and Investing | Interactive Brokers. Interactivebrokers.com. Published 2015. Accessed January 16, 2023. https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/home.php
- Futures Trading | TD Ameritrade. www.tdameritrade.com. Accessed January 16, 2023. https://www.tdameritrade.com/investment-products/futures-trading.html
- TradeStation | Online Trading And Brokerage Services. TradeStation. Accessed January 16, 2023. https://www.tradestation.com/