Why is the MT4
MetaTrader4, or MT4 as it is popularly known, is the most popular trading platform used by forex brokers and traders across the world. Its ease of use, simple design and inclusion of several useful inbuilt tools make it a highly efficient trading platform.
Initially launched in 2005 by MetaQuotes Software as a simple charting package, MT4 has been upgraded over time to include several new features and tools. Forex traders across the world are using the online quotes and interactive charts included in the MT4 platform to respond to price changes and execute orders within seconds.
Here are some of the key features that MT4 offers, making it the most popular forex trading platform.
What is MT4?
Metatrader 4 was the first mainstream online trading platform to come with an inbuilt scripting language. Not only could users trade forex, but were also able to access other financial instruments such as indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies via CFDs. It allows users to view real-time prices and use a variety of tools to conduct market analysis from within the platform. This automated trading platform is also customisable, allowing traders to personalise their trading experience. This includes the ability to pre-set parameters that are aligned with their risk appetite.
Offered by most forex brokers, MT4 includes a client and a server component. The platform can be downloaded from the MetaQuotes website or that of a licensed broker.
What makes MetaTrader
4 a Preferred Choice of
Brokers and Traders?
The simple user interface, one-click trading, in-built tools for technical and fundamental analysis, customisable features and automated trading options are just a few of the features that provide an exceptional trading experience. Some of the reasons for its popularity include:
MT4 is a lightweight program that does not take much space on your computer and can run simultaneously with other programs. It is compatible for all major operating systems including Windows and Mac OS. MetaQuotes has also specifically designed versions for iOS and Android devices. Most reputable brokers also offer a Demo Account option which is ideal for new traders who wish to explore the platform.
Allows Trading in
MetaTrader4 is one of the most versatile platforms, allowing you to trade in not only forex but also other instruments, such as shares, commodities, indices and cryptocurrencies, via CFDs. All you need to do is download the platform, login to your trading or demo account and start trading. Highly useful for both beginners and experienced traders, this platform is easy to learn. Although many brokers have their own proprietary trading platforms, they also offer clients the choice to use MT4 too.
Quick Access to Account
The MT4 platform allows users to view their account information from within the user interface. A trader can easily check their account balance and trading history, besides setting up a different profile for each market. Traders can also easily switch between the different profiles.
Offers Real-Time Access
to Markets, Prices and Liquidity Levels
The MetaTrader4 platform offers traders access to real-time across a wide range of financial markets including foreign exchange. Traders can also access other details, such as the spread, contract size, margin currency and margin percentage. The platform comes with a Depth of Market feature that provides information about the level of activity in the market, by displaying the number of buy or sell orders for a particular currency pair at different prices. Traders can use this information to understand the liquidity and the overall trend of the market and take action accordingly.
The MT4 platform is known for its advanced charting capabilities, which allow traders to perform robust technical analysis to make informed trading decisions. Users can change the colours and the styles of the charts, besides choosing from various pre-set templates, to personalise the charts to their trading style and preferences. This ensures that charts are easily readable which is particularly advantageous to retail traders.
The platform also offers the latest financial news to allow users to prepare for unexpected price movements and make informed decisions. Regular alerts, related to current financial information, different market conditions and other news that can impact the markets, helps traders stay in touch with market moves and conduct fundamental analysis to decide the course of their trades.
Allows Different Types
of Trading Orders and Execution Modes
MT4 allows two types of market orders and four types of pending orders, with three types of trade execution modes. All this offers a high degree of flexibility to traders. The online platform also offers traders the opportunity to make use of risk management strategies such as hedging by allowing 2 types of stop orders, take profit orders and trailing stops.
While a stop loss means automatic closure of a position, when the market moves in a direction opposite to the one forecast by the trader, a take profit orders allows the trader to lock in the desired level of profits and close the position when the price reaches a pre-defined level. These orders can be launched directly from the Toolbar window of the platform. They can be easily modified too. This facility of using different types of orders to manage risk makes MT4 highly appealing to traders of all trading styles and skill levels.
The MT4 trading platform supports several languages, allowing traders from across the world to use it conveniently. Users can switch to another language by selecting it from the list in the top main menu and then restarting the platform.
MetaTrader4 allows new users to practice trading without using real funds. This feature is very useful and helps traders learn about the forex market, the trading platform and the use of various tools and strategies before investing real money. Demo accounts have also proven to be highly effective in testing forex robots and back testing strategies since they replicate live market conditions.
The simple programming language, MQL4, behind the MT4 platform, makes it easy for traders, programmers and even third-party participants to create and use trading robots and Expert Advisors. The high operational speed and flexibility of MT4’s language allows users to develop complex programs with large amounts of calculations and manage all the EAs and indicator parametres conveniently. What makes it easy to understand the MQL4 language is that it is based on the concepts of the highly popular C++ programming language.
MT4 comes with inbuilt Expert Advisors or EAs that are small pieces of software code that can be written by individual traders to set out their preferences and automate their trading strategy. This feature of the MT4 platform allows traders to conduct trades at any time, without needing to monitor the markets at all times or even be at their device. The customisation features allows users to arrange the display on their window, change the appearance of the charts, add more indicators and even arrange symbols in their preferred order. And since the customised changes can be saved, the user does not have to make this effort every time they trade.
The simplicity of the MT4 platform makes it easy to use for traders of all levels of experience. This ensures that traders do not waste time looking around or navigating. They can carry out their trades quickly, without losing opportunities or wasting time.
The platform shows symbols and rates on the left side, while the charts are displayed on the right, along with the other indicators. Other features are clearly displayed at the top, allowing quick navigation and fast trading. The menu provides users an option to choose instant execution, if they want to place a trade immediately, or to set a pending order, if they want to choose the level later.
Traders also have the option to leave specific comments about a particular trade they are undertaking.
MT4’s standard toolbar contains shortcuts to switch on or off the main features of the platform and data windows. This toolbar, which duplicates the View menu commands, is fully customisable and located in the top left corner of the platform’s default screen. Users can change the order of the icons and even drag and drop the entire toolbar to change its position. This standard toolbar allows users to add new charts, create profiles and even open the terminal’s main screen. Once a trader gains familiarity with the location of the toolbar and other functions, trading becomes easy and quick.
The inclusion of hundreds of in-built technical indicators and charting tools helps traders to conduct extensive technical analysis. Some widely used tools include Moving Average Convergence Divergence or MACD, On-Balance Volume or OBV and Fibonacci Retracements. The MT4 platform allows traders to view several charts at the same time, besides displaying a currency pair in different timeframes, varying from one minute to monthly intervals. Traders can also build their own charts or source additional ones from the MQL4 community. The availability of so many tools allows a trader to carry out in-depth analysis of price activities and customise the indicators to suit their own requirements. This further allows forecasting of price movements, identification of support and resistance levels, defining entry and exit points and setting stop loss or take profit levels.
Designed to support thousands of trades on a daily basis, MT4 is a highly reliable platform. It works well even with low power devices and internet connections that are slow. The platform has very little or no downtime, thus ensuring that a trader does not lose any money due to their inability to place a trade. Trade execution takes place at a fast pace, allowing traders to trade with minimal negative slippage.
Option of Virtual
Traders using MT4 have an option to lease a virtual private server for a small monthly fee or get one from their broker. By registering for a forex VPS with your broker, you can ensure a smooth trading experience. The VPS allows a trader to run the platform remotely, which makes automated trading quick and reliable.
One of the first apps to introduce copy trading, MT4 enables users to automatically copy the trades of others on the platform. This means that a user can subscribe to specific signals and instruct the terminal to copy the relevant transactions. The advanced trading system allows users to copy trades from one MT4 platform to another, even across different VPS servers. This means that a user can copy trades from one or multiple master accounts at once, to an unlimited number of slave MT4 accounts on different computers located in different countries. Since the Local Trade Copier feature does not use an internet connection to transfer trades between two MT4 platforms, it works fast and there is no risk of loss or leakage of information.
MT4 is a highly secure terminal that can prevent cyberattacks, such as denial of service or DoS attacks, besides allowing brokers to communicate important information to their clients via a mailbox section. This saves a lot of time and makes trading more efficient. The data exchange between the client terminal and the server is encrypted through a 129-bit key, with the platform also supporting RSA digital signatures. Trader IPs are also secure and allow them to perform monetary transactions safely.
MT4 can be operated on Windows PCs, Android machines, iPhone and iOS devices and even via web browsers. You just need to log in to your account and access the platform from any device. This allows traders to continue trading without compromising on their other tasks. So, traders can download MT4 on any device of their choice and operate it from anywhere and at any time. The mobile version of MT4 comes with all the functionalities available in the desktop version, which includes interactive chats, technical analysis tools and a full set of orders. You can even track the history of your trades or buy and sell instruments with a single click. An additional feature of the mobile version is the push notifications.
The online WebTrader, offered by several MT compatible brokers, can be loaded within a compatible web browser, for trading on your live or demo account. However, this option comes with several limitations related to the availability of a number of indicators, besides the absence of automated trading. However, you can use this option to check your account and trades, even if your computer is not available.
Customise and Create
Your Own EAs
The MQL4 IDE or Integrated Development Environment allows traders to create their own technical indicators and expert advisors. Traders also have the option of back testing their strategy on the system’s strategy tester. MT4 also allows traders to develop algo, or automated trading, programmes and to test and optimise them.
The MT4 platforms comes with an in-built as well as a web-based marketplace for expert advisors, indicators and signals. The EAs and trading signals available on the marketplace can be rented or bought via a wide range of payment options. The flexibility of renting for a short period or buying outright is highly beneficial for traders.
The numerous advantages offered by MT4 make it one of the most preferred options for traders.
Before starting trading, you first need to open a trading account, preferably with a licensed and reputable broker that offers MT4. Once you have decided on and opened an account with a reputable broker, you will need to download the MT4 platform on your chosen device. The next step is to log in with the details of your account with the broker.
What Can You Do
MetaTrader 4 not only allows you to place orders but also monitor them and modify them. Its user-friendly interface makes trading simple and quick. You can:
Once you have logged into your trading account, you can start trading. Orders can be placed via the Order window. For this, you need to go to the Tools section and click on New Order. You can also press the F9 button on your keyboard.
The Order window shows the symbols of various markets or instruments that you can trade in followed by the volume for a CFD account. You can make your selection and follow it up with stop loss or take profit levels. MT4 also has a comment option, where you can leave a comment about your trade.
The next step is to choose between instant execution and click on buy or sell or opt for the pending order option, which means you want the order to be placed after some time. But you need to select the type of order, the price at which it should be triggered and the expiry date and time of the order.
You can also change the timeframe of a price chart, according to your trading strategy. This is possible from the Toolbar button or by right clicking on the chart to select the timeframe and choosing the preferred option from the menu.
Account history can be viewed from the main window itself. You can get a detailed report, with details of individual trades including, open trades, transactions that have been closed and working orders and the account summary. This allows traders to also view any brokerage and trading costs associated with their transactions.
Regular monitoring of your positions is an essential part of trading. To monitor your open positions and pending orders, you can open the terminal window from the View bar. The next step is to open the Trade tab. Here, you can either close a position or delete a pending order.
Users can modify stops or limits on their open positions and pending orders by going to the Trade tab and then selecting the Modify or Delete option to open the Order window. Now you can change your stop loss levels or limits, but do not forget to confirm your changes before exiting.
Draw on Charts and Add
MT4 has some inbuilt tools that can be used to customise charts. These tools can be used to draw trend lines and Fibonacci Retracements. Users can also add indicators like Bollinger Bands to their charts by choosing the desired indicator from the navigator window and placing it on the chart. Similarly, you can remove indicators already displayed on a chart via the Edit option.
Check Your Account
You can easily check the balance in your trading account by selecting the Trade tab in your terminal window. The tab will show your balance, equity and your amount of free margin.
Expand Your List of
This is possible by using a custom plugin for MT4, developed by industry professionals. Apart from this, there are several individual custom indicators available online as well.
Since MT4 is widely used, a lot of information is available via its community. So, in case you face a problem or question, you can easily find an answer or get somebody to help you resolve it. Ensure that your platform is the latest version available in the market and you are not missing out on any new features introduced by its developer.
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