How to Place a Trade on MetaTrader 4 (MT4)?

How to Place
a Trade on
MetaTrader 4

MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is the most popular online trading platform in the world. This user-friendly platform was developed by MetaQuotes Software in 2005 and is still the most widely used interface for forex traders. This online platform is incredibly simple to use, yet provides access to advanced features and tools for technical analysis. Traders can also access a plethora of information and updates to conduct their fundamental analysis.

Although MT4 is used mostly by forex traders, it is also offers trading in other financial instruments including indices, cryptocurrencies and commodities via CFDs (contracts for difference). The platform is well known for its flexibility and is extremely customisable. This includes alerts for pricing updates and the use of alternate colours for different order types. It also caters for unique types of forex trading such as automated trading.

What are the Best
Features of MT4?

The multitude of features are what have made MT4 so popular for trading forex and other securities such as derivatives. The three main features are:

Real-Time Access to Market Prices
Traders can access forex quotes in real time via MT4. The Market Watch window of the MT4 interface lists all the securities, along with their respective symbols and real-time bid and ask quotes.

MT4 offers the highest degree of security, with encrypted data exchange between its servers and the client terminal and the use of RSA digital signatures.

Extensive Range of Tools
MT4 offers vast analytical capabilities. It can display each security in 9 timeframes, allowing traders to view price movements in greater detail. The platform also has 30 built-in technical indicators, and 24 graphic objects. Traders are able to view candlestick chart and add particular instruments including currency pairs to their chart window.

How to Get Started
with MetaTrader 4?

Here are the steps to follow to get started with this easy-to-use platform.

Step 1: Choose the Right Broker

Select an established and reputed broker. Ensure the broker:

  • Is regulated by a recognised regulatory body

  • Offers a wide range of trading instruments

  • Has partnered with leading financial institutions to provide deep liquidity and the best market prices

  • Offers tight spreads, starting from as low as 0.0 pips

  • Provides MetaTrader 4 tutorials

Step 2: Download MT4

Once you have registered with the chosen broker, check their website for the link to download MT4 for free to a device of your choice. The platform can be downloaded on a Windows or Mac laptop or desktop and/or an iOS or Android tablet or smartphone. After downloading the trading interface, enter the login details provided by your broker.

Step 3: Open a Demo Account

The demo account simulates real-world trading but uses virtual money instead of real money for trading. This gives you the chance to get familiar with the platform and how various features work without using actual money. The demo account also allows a user to learn market analysis using the various in-built charts and technical indicators. A user can also try copy trading with signals and expert advisors on a demo account.

Step 4: Fund Your Account

Before you begin live trading, you need to have adequate funds in your trading account. Your broker may offer a choice of live accounts with different minimum opening balance. Enquire about the features of each before making a choice. Some brokers also offer Islamic trading accounts. A good broker should offer various convenient options to fund your live account, including wire transfer, credit or debit cards, e-wallets, e-money transfer service like Neteller and Skrill, and more. After funding the live trading account, you are all set to place a trade.

How to
Place a Trade on
MetaTrader 4?

The various features of MetaTrader 4 can make the platform appear overwhelming at first sight. On the contrary, the interface is highly intuitive and new traders get accustomed to using the platform reasonably quickly. Knowing the various segments of the MetaTrader 4 platform can make it even simpler to navigate it and place a trade.

A trader can place a trade from the Market Watch Window, from a chart or by using the one-click trading option.

Trading from the
Market Watch Window

The MT4 platform has a Market Watch window that displays the symbols for all the securities or instruments
for which quotes are available from the broker’s server. Both the bid and the ask prices are visible here.

The Market Watch window will display options for:

  • Placing a new order while specifying the stop loss and take profit details

  • Opening the chart for the selected symbol

  • Opening the tick chart for the selected symbol

  • Depth of the market

  • Specifications for the selected symbol

  • Hide option for removing unused securities or instruments from the quotes window

  • Option to hide all except the one with open positions or the ones whose charts are open

  • Show all securities or instruments available for trading

  • Symbols and sets showing the different categories of instruments being traded currently

  • Spread

  • High and low daily prices of the security being traded

  • Time of incoming quotes

  • The auto arrange option, which allows the column size to be auto arranged when you change the size of the window.

  • Pop up prices

Once you have selected a symbol you wish to trade, for instance USD/EUR currency pair, you can go to the Contract Specification window. This gives you access to the terms of trading. This window can be accessed by clicking on specifications in the context menu of the Market Watch window. The following items are displayed in this section:

  • The spread in points or if it is fixed. For floating rates, this parameter mentions 0.

  • The number of decimal places in which the price of the symbol is mentioned.

  • Stop levels showing the channel of prices where you cannot place either a stop loss or a take profit or a pending order. If you try to place an order within this channel, you get a message saying ‘Invalid Stops’.

  • The freeze level, which is a level too close to the market price. If your order price is close to the market price or less than that, you cannot modify, delete, or close the order.

  • Lot size

  • Margin currency, which is the currency in which margin requirements will be calculated.

  • Profit calculation mode for forex or contracts

  • Margin calculation mode

  • Margin hedge, which refers to the margin that is charged from the orders that have been hedged for one lot.

  • Margin percentage

  • Trade, which refers to whether you have full access to close or open positions in this symbol or can only close or cannot carry out any kind of trade.

  • Execution mode, which refers to instant, request or market execution.

  • GTC mode, which is the expiration mode of the orders placed for this symbol.

  • Status of pending orders. These can be preserved even after the end of the trading day or can be valid only on one trading day. In some cases, all stop loss and take profits orders may also get deleted while in others they may be preserved.

  • Minimum and Maximum volumes of a deal for this symbol.

  • Type of swap calculation in points or in the base currency, in margin currency and in percentage terms.

The segment also displays information about the quoting and trading sessions of this symbol.

The MT4 platform also shows the depth of market for each instrument being offered for trading. Accessible through the Market Watch window of the platform, this segment displays the current market for the trading symbol selected by you. Information provided here can be used to manage your orders. Items mentioned in this segment include:

List of prices: This segment displays the bid and ask prices. While the current bid and ask prices show the best depth, one can also look at the level where one can place buy and sell limit orders keeping in mind the stop level.

Trading commands: This shows the commands for market and pending orders. The market commands include sell, close, and buy options at the best available price in the size specified in the volume field. Pending orders can also be placed here.

Trade operation settings: These include the stop loss level for placed limit orders, the volume of the created market, the number of limit orders and the take profit level for placed limit orders.

Context menu: This provides the buy or sell limit orders and a sell stop or buy stop orders at prices at which this menu is called. This menu also includes a take profit command if the trader has an open position for the selected symbol with a take profit level set, and a stop loss command if the trader has an open position with a stop loss level set.

Traders also have an option to create an alert for a specific price.

How to Place a
Trade on MT4 Without
Going to the Market
Watch Window?

New traders often find it too time consuming to place a trade from the Market Watch window. This is because it gives a plethora of options that a novice trader may not even use. To place an order without going to the Market Watch window, a trader can simply go to the tool bar and choose New Order or simply press F9 on the keyword. Doing either of these opens the New Order popup.

The New Order popup displays all the details required for you to take a decision. The main elements of this window are:

Symbols: This is where you need to choose the market or security you wish to trade.

Volume: If you are trading CFDs, here’s where you can select the number of contracts you wish to enter. Each contract is of a specific size, so ensure that you are filing the correct number here.

Stop loss: For traders who wish to limit the loss they would incur if the market moves in the direction opposite to their predictions, the stop loss option is chosen here. The level where you wish to stop your trade needs to be selected.

Take profit: Again, if you wish to automatically execute an order in case the price reaches a certain level and book your profits before the direction changes, here is where you need to enter the take profit details.

Comment: This is used if you wish to leave any special or specific comment related to your trade.

Type of order: Here is when you need to decide whether you wish to place your order instantly or keep it pending for a later or more suitable time. You can choose between the instant execution mode (if you are satisfied with the current prices) and the pending order option (if you wish to open your trade at a specific price level).

How to Place a Trade with Instant

The MT4 platform displays a small box beside the bid and ask prices. This box is meant for enabling maximum deviation from the quoted prices. In case the price moves suddenly as soon as you place an order, this may lead to the rejection of your order. To avoid such a rejection, you can check the box for enabling maximum deviation from the quoted price and mention the maximum deviation in pips that you are willing to accept.

Now everything is set. You can click buy or sell depending on your prediction of the direction in which the market will move.

How to Place a Trade with Pending

On selecting the pending order option, a box will appear with the following fields:

Type of order you wish to place: The options available include buy limit, sell limit, buy stop, and sell stop. You can choose the buy limit if you wish to go long at a level that is lower than the market price and sell limit if you intend to go short at a level higher than the market price. Similarly, you can choose buy stop if you intend to go long at a level higher than market price and sell stop if you plan to go short at a level that is lower than the market price.

These orders mean that you do not wish to place your order at the current market price and prefer to wait till the price moves in a specific direction. While a limit order is visible to the market, stop order can be seen only when it is triggered. The limit order is filled at the specified limit price or better, while a stop order is triggered at the specified price and is filled at the prevailing market price at that time. This means that its execution may take place at a price different from the stop price.

The price: This is the price you wish your order to be triggered.

Size of the position: Here you enter the size of your trade or volume you wish to trade.

Stop loss and take profit: This is where you select the stop loss and take profit levels.

Expiry of the order: Here you need to specify the date and time for the order to expire if the desired price is not achieved.

Once you have filled all these fields, click the Place button to place the order.

How to Place a Trade
on MT4 Using Charts?

The Charts window is the main segment of the MT4 interface. This is the most customisable segment of the platform and here is where all the technical analysis takes place. This is the reason traders often find it easiest to place trades right from the chart that they are analysing. Traders can choose from various timeframes, like 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 4 hours, daily and weekly charts. Once you have made the selection, the active window will display the chart for the chosen security in the selected timeframe. A trader can place a trade directly from this window by right clicking, selecting Trading from the dropdown menu, and then clicking on New Order. Doing so leads to the order window opening. Traders can place the trade right here and set or modify stop loss or take profit levels by clicking on the order price level on the chart and dragging the same to the preferred price level.

MT4 has several in-built tools that allow users to customise their charts. Traders can draw lines, arrows and even Fibonacci retracements on their charts to get a better understanding of the market. Traders can also add various indicators like Bollinger Bands or RSI to their charts by dragging them from the Navigator window and dropping them on the chart. Users can even customise the background of the chart and the colours in which the trendlines appear.

How to Place a
Trade on MetaTrader 4
Using One-Click

An attractive feature of MT4 is that allows trading with a single click. That means no double-click required. The depth of market segment allows traders to manage stop loss and take profits levels and pending orders of open positions via the one-click trading feature. This option can be activated by going to the tools segment, clicking on options, selecting the trade tab, and choosing the one-click trading option. This allows a trader to send trade requests directly from the depth of market segment without showing a trading box. You can always choose to deactivate this option.

In the one-click trading toolbar, a trader can see the sell and buy buttons along with the corresponding bid and ask prices. You can choose the button as per your strategy after setting the order volume which is mentioned in terms of micro lots and standard lots.

How to Modify
Trades in MT4?

If you wish to modify your trade for any reason, you can open the Trade tab and view all your trades with details like entry price, size of position, stop loss orders and take profit targets marked by you. You can add or modify the stop loss or profit target or even close the trade.

For this, you need to select the trade that you wish to modify, right click on it, and choose the modify or delete order option. The next step is to fill the relevant fields with the new levels that you wish to set. Follow it up by clicking the Modify button. A confirmation that the changes made by you have been executed is shown in a dialogue box.

How to View Trade
History and Close
Open Trades?

MT4 users can, at any time, view their trade history and have the option of viewing all their trades since opening the account or the positions in the last three months or a single month. Traders can even put a date range or customise the search to check the history of their trades over a specific period.

Similarly, if you wish to close an open trade, you need to right click on the relevant trade and click the close order option. Traders also have the option of closing their entire position which leads to a change in the balance to reflect the profit or losses made by them on the recently closed trade.

What is Meant by
Automated Closure of
Your Trades?

Automated closure of a trade occurs when the price reaches the stop loss or take profit level set by you. Similarly, pending orders also get closed on their expiry date set by you.

Your broker may also close your trade position if the market goes against you and your account balance falls below the required level. This will also trigger a margin call which means you need to deposit more funds in your trading account. The broker will first close the position that is losing the most to minimise your risk.

Trading on MT4 becomes simple once you are familiar with the interface and aware of the various windows, features and tools offered. You can open a demo account and practice trading in a simulated environment to get comfortable with all the options available before moving on to a live account.

Start Trading
in Minutes

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bullet Auto open & close positions
bullet News & economic calendar
bullet Technical indicators & charts
bullet Many more tools included

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