The Multicharts platform (which is used by LMAX, among other brokers) is both an automated trading and a professional trading platform, specifically designed with foreign exchange and futures traders in mind. As the first forex and CFD retail exchange in Europe, Multicharts LMAX offers traders direct market access (DMA) to over 70 different financial instruments.
MultiCharts – Overview
When the platform first starts, you are greeted by the “Multicharts LMAX Login” box, which appears over the load screen featuring both the Multicharts and LMAX Exchange symbols. Of the four fields that are shown, you only need to worry about three: Connection, Login, and Password (the URL field is automated based on your Connection selection).
Upon entering your credentials, the actual platform opens. The “Data Server Mode” box will pop up immediately, offering two options: Online and Offline. The default setting is Online, and is required for live trading. The Offline version does not provide live quotes and only uses locally stored data (i.e. if price feeds are incomplete then charts will be as well). There is also the option to have the “Data Server Mode” box disabled at startup, and it will appear as checked by default.
The homepage for the platform is appealing, clean, and simple. On the bottom of the home screen is “Account Views,” which features your Account Summary, Orders History, Positions, and Activity Log. On the left, there are the “Depth of Market” and “Market View” boxes. “Depth of Market” shows order flow at several quotes around the current bid/ask for the selected instrument. “Market View” shows each instrument and their current bid and ask.
In the middle-right portion of the screen, the chart workspace appears. There are tabs for workspaces with multiple charts separated by user-determined groups (i.e. the demo has 1-Commodities workspace, 2-Indexes workspace, and 3-FX workspace). At the top of the screen are the toolbars for various platform operations as well as technical analysis Just below this top section of tool bars finally appears the “Trade” box.
Order Management and Trading with LMAX
The “Trade” box is the simplest aspect of the Multicharts LMAX platform, and for those with any prior charting experience, especially those migrating from MetaTrader 4, the presentation is refreshingly similar. The fields displayed are as follows: Instrument, Order Type, Position Size, Order Price, Account, Order Time Duration, and the Buy and Sell buttons.
There are four types of orders you can place using the Multicharts LMAX platform: Market, Stop, Limit, and Stop Limit. If you wanted to place a Buy Limit Order on AUDUSD for 10 lots at 1.0375, Good-Till-Cancelled, it would appear as so in the “Trade” box:
To place this Buy Limit Order on AUDUSD, you would click the blue “Buy LMT 10” box on the right; were this a Sell Limit Order on AUDUSD for 10 lots at 1.0375, GTC, you would click the red “Sell LMT 10” box on the right.
Multicharts – Additional Tools
The main theme employed in this charting package is that everything is organized in a very simple manner. The trader’s tool box is organized in a similar fashion. In the top toolbar, the “Insert” dropdown menu features Instrument (F5), Indicator (F7), Drawing, and Strategy Expert.
The Instrument field is the first option and can also be accessed by pressing F5. This can be used to populate charts with prices from the 70-plus instruments offered on Multicharts LMAX, or overlay two different instruments (i.e. overlay the AUDUSD and NZDUSD charts). For beginner and intermediate level traders, the Instrument tool will be rarely visited.
The Indicator field is the next option and is accessible via F7. When selected, the “Insert Study” box appears, presenting the Indicator, Strategy Experts, and Add-Ons tabs. Coincidentally, the Strategy Expert (and encompassing Back testing) is housed in the Strategy Experts tab.
Under the Indicator tab various technical indicators can be found, from momentum indicators, to gauges of strength, to measurements of volatility (i.e. the Average True Range). Under the Add-Ons tab a list of custom built indicators, strategy experts, and signals can be found.
MultiCharts Strategy/Back Testing
The Strategy Experts tab lists dozens of various strategies and signals, offering traders a deep pool of choices. These automated strategies can be easily manipulated as well. After selecting a strategy (i.e. RSI LE), the “Format Objects” box will pop up. This menu will allow you to format the inputs for the strategies being used (i.e. in a moving average crossover strategy, formatting the inputs will allow trader to choose the fast and slow moving averages).
Within this menu, at the bottom, is the Properties button. Clicking this brings up the Backtesting menu, which looks like this:
Traders can enable automated trading in the Auto Trading tab, or can specify the conditions for backtesting under the Backtesting tab; additionally, back in the “Format Objects” box, the Optimize button allows for both Exhaustive and Genetic optimization tests.
Trading from charts
The Multicharts LMAX charting package offers trading from charts, and the interaction is as simple as ‘click and trade.’ To trade from the charts, you need to hover the cursor over the desired price level to engage the market at. For example, if the EURUSD was trading at 1.3100 and the trader wanted to enter a Buy Limit Order at 1.3125, the trader would need to hover the cursor at the 1.3125 level and click the secondary button on the mouse. At the top of the menu, Place Order is an option with a sub-menu for the various order types.
Overall, the Multicharts platform is very similar to the popular MT4 platform, although there are some minor differences in terms of placement of trading tools in toolbars, for example. But the skin for the platform is similar enough that there is a small learning curve, and no advanced traders should have issue with trading from Multicharts which is available with LMAX exchange.