Best futures trading platforms for mac

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In this post I’ll provide options for the best futures trading platforms for mac users.

This post is designed for traders looking for ways to utilize their Mac hardware to trade.

Apple offer’s some of the best computer hardware on the market. Mac desktop and laptop machines are powerful and reliable. Perfect for running and supporting trading software.

The problem with using a Mac machine to trade is the lack of trading platform options compatible with OS.

In my opinion the best options for futures traders wanting to use their mac to trade are either: go with the browser based TradingView software. Alternatively run Parallels virtual machine software and run windows based trading platforms NinjaTrader 8 or Sierra Chart.

The following will go into detail about why I beleive these are the best options for traders wanting to use their mac to trade.

Signup for a TradingView Pro, Pro+ or Premium account to get up to $30 towards your new plan.

What to consider when selecting a futures trading platforms for Mac

Almost all futures trading platforms are designed for the windows operating system.

Certainly the best futures trading platforms are windows based.

My opinion is, don’t comprise on your trading platform software. Your trading platform is your MOST important tool – It graphically represents and assists in analyzing market data. Most importantly it’s the interface with your broker to execute orders effectively.

For this reason my preference would be to run the best futures trading software irrespective of your PC hardware.

The good news is you don’t need to compromise.

Almost all windows based trading platforms can be run on a Mac using virtual machine software or you can run browsers based software.

Important trading platform features to consider

There are a handful of features that I consider almost essential for futures day traders. Be sure any platform you select includes at least some if not all of these:

  • Market replay – If you are learning to trade or wanting to test a new strategy. The ability to replay historic market data at anytime is essential.
  • Chart trading – If your a day trader you must have this feature! On chart trading allows orders to be executed directly on the chart.
  • Attached orders or Automatic order entries – This feature automatically adds stop loss and take profit orders at predefined amounts away from the original order entry. It also cancels orders once stops or profit targets have been taken.

Best browser based futures trading platforms for Mac OS

If you want to run Mac natively to trade futures. There are browser based trading platforms available. The BEST by far is TradingView.

TradingView

Signup for a TradingView Pro, Pro+ or Premium account to get up to $30 towards your new plan.

Trading View – Best futures trading platforms for mac

TradingView is an excellent option for traders of all levels.

I’ve been using TradingView for years.

The platform is intuitive and easy to use. It has one of the best interfaces of any charting software I’ve used.

TradingView charts are simple to navigate, scale and manipulate. Charts are clean, clear and look great.

One of my favorite features is the platform are the tools. They’re really easy to use and there’s a good selection.

TradingView interface and tools are super simple to use

The platform basic option is available for free. To access the advanced features, fast data feed and get the best usability out of the platform you’ll need to upgrade to at least the PRO monthly subscription.

Placing an ‘on chart order’ with TradingView

The key platform features include:

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Multi screen functionality
  • Easy to use and great looking charts and tools
  • Basic market replay function
  • On chart order execution and modification.
  • Attached orders

The disadvantage of TradingView is the limited range of brokerage options.

The platform doesn’t offer the same selection of indicators or bar types as other platforms. Such as tick charts or market profile indicators. Though TradingView is continually updating and adding new features. So these features may be added in the future.

Pros
  • Intuitive interface and easy to use
  • On chart trading
  • Market replay function
  • Excellent drawing tools
  • Multi chart and multi monitor support
  • Access to multiple markets
  • Monthly subscription no big upfront payment
  • 30 day trial period
Cons
  • Limited selection of brokers
  • Limited selection of indicators
  • No tick bar option

If you trade on time based charts, happy with the limited selection of indicators and brokerage choices. Then TradingView is an excellent option as a futures trading platform for mac users.

Virtual machine software and Apple boot camp

Its possible to run the Windows operating software on Mac hardware. There are two options: Apple boot camp or running virtual machine software.

Apple Boot Camp

Recent releases of Mac machines come integrated with Apple boot camp. Apple boot camp allows mac users to restart their PC in Windows.

This is a fantastic option.

The issue with using Apple boot camp software. Is only windows or OS can be run a once – not both. This makes the user experience clumsy. Users have to reboot each time to switch.

Also users cant write files between operating systems. This presents annoying limitations.

Virtual machine software

A far better option is to use virtual machine software.

This is a fantastic piece of software that all Mac users should own – Virtual machine software enables Mac users to simultaneously access OS and windows operating systems and their software side by side.

My favorite virtual machine software is Parallels.

Parallels is simple, stable and requires very little configuration. Parallels is the market leader in virtual machine software. Its widely used and the software continuously keeps pace with any windows and Mas OS updates.

The really nice user friendly feature of Parallels is the Windows operating system lays cleanly over the top of Mac OS in a separate window. Users can simply navigate between the two operating systems.

Parallels desktop running Mac OS and Windows operating systems side by side

Parallels effectively allows any piece of windows software to be installed and used on a Mac machine. This includes any trading platform.

To install Parallels:

  1. Go to www.parallels.com
  2. On the parallels home page select ‘Try free’. The virtual machine software has a 14 day free trial.
  3. Select ‘Download Now’
  4. Once the download is complete. Locate the installation file.
  5. Double Click the ‘Install’ file
  6. Follow the prompts
  7. When prompted enter your Mac admin username and password to install files.
  8. The installation process will begin.

Once Parallels has installed you will be prompted to install Windows. To install Windows:

  1. At the ‘Parallels Wizard’ window select ‘Install Windows’. Windows will then download and start installing. This may take upto 30 minutes depending on internet connection.
  2. Once completed. Select ‘Sign in to continue’ and enter your parallels account details created previously. If you don’t already have an account you will need to create one.
  3. Once signed in the parallels desktop is now ready to go!
Parallels virtual machine software – Run windows on a mac

Best futures trading platforms for Mac using virtual machine software.

By investing in Parallels virtual machine software. Your options aren’t limited for futures trading platforms.

Below is a list of my favorite platforms for trading futures. These platforms are packed full of the latest features.

NinjaTrader 8

NinjaTrader 8 – Best futures trading platforms for mac

NinjaTrader 8 is one the best and most popular trading platform and brokerage services for forex and futures trading.

The platform is packed full of features including:

  • Easy to use interface
  • Multiscreen functionality
  • Customizable charts and tool properties
  • Market replay function
  • On chart order execution and modification.
  • Attached orders

This is one of my favorite trading platforms.

It offers a really responsive charting experience. The platform is easy to use once you are up and running and the market replay and on chart trading functions are great features.

Ninja trader is one of the best trading platforms on the market today. It also one of the most affordable.

Pros
  • Relatively easy to use interface
  • Multi monitor support
  • Chart and tool customization
  • On chart trading
  • Market replay function
  • Lifetime license available
Cons
  • Limited number of brokers supported
  • Market replay function is clumsy

Sierra Chart

Sierra chart – Best futures trading platforms for mac

Sierra Chart is my trading platform of choice.

It offers many of the same features as Ninjatrader 8.

The platform features include:

  • Super intuitive and easy to use interface
  • Super stable with Multiple screens
  • Highly customizable charts and tool properties
  • Loads of included indicators
  • Superior market replay function
  • On chart order execution and modification.
  • Attached orders

Don’t be put off by the platforms basic looking interface. This a brilliant charting package just without the frills.

One of my favorite features is the EASY to use market replay function. In my opinion is superior to that offered by NinjaTrader.

The platform also comes integrated with most indicators and tools making it one of the most complete all in one trading platforms available.

On top of this the platform is lite – requiring little in the way of computing power to run smoothly and is stable running multiple monitor setups.

Pros
  • Excellent market replay function
  • Software not task intensive. Runs lite and is stable
  • On chart trading
  • Multi monitor support
  • Intuitive and easy to use interface
  • Monthly subscription no big upfront expense
Cons
  • No frills looking interface

Summary

If you are looking for the best futures trading platform for mac. In my opinion there are two great options:

  1. TradingView browser based software platform
  2. Use Parallels software to access the best Windows based trading platforms

If you are a time based trader, use limited indicators and prefer to run mac OS natively. I think TradingView is the way to go.

If you prefer a bigger range of indicators and bar chart styles. Or more advanced platform features. Then I would prefer installing virtual machine software.

Signup for a TradingView Pro, Pro+ or Premium account to get up to $30 towards your new plan.

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