MetaTrader 4: What is it – and how can it benefit traders?
MT4 is a trading platform developed by a company called MetaQuotes. Even if you haven’t heard of that particular organization, if you explore some of the popular brokers out there (Galore Pro and XM.com to name just two), you are likely to come across it.
Most often put to work in conjunction with forex trading, MT4 can also be used to trade commodities and indices via spread betting or CFDs and futures markets. It’s used on licence by many agents and essentially consists of an interface for placing and managing your trades. On top of this, the platform features a number of tools for putting automatic trading techniques into place – as well as for analysing prices and marketplaces.
Whereas some brokers offer a basic MT4 experience, many others (IG, for instance ), enhance it with a customised set of extra equipment. So METATRADER 4 is rather like an Android smartphone; the basic feel of it is the same no matter what the model, albeit a few manufacturers are more inclined than others to add their own touches to it.
Several Brokers also offer MT4 as an alternative vehicle intended for trading alongside their proprietary system. There’s a sound commercial reason for this; because of its familiarity among traders, it’s a good way of drawing new customers in.
From a trader’s point of view, getting to know the platform can make sense if you can see yourself switching brokers. Its universality means that if you want to hop from one broker to another (to take advantage of better rates or wider trading options ), assuming that both platforms present MT4 trading, you can make the switch without facing a re-learning experience.
The MT4 system
While METATRADER is available to download direct from MetaQuotes, it can make more feeling to use the download provided by the broker you are considering (or using). This generally implies that any free enhancements supplied by that broker are ready and waiting for you.
Executing a trade
This is a straightforward process. For a currency trade for example, you go to the New Order button on the program toolbar, select the currency pair, enter the size of your position, choose your buy and sell limits and stops — as well as your loss limits and profit targets.
Using Metatrader 4 automated trading – EA
An Expert Advisor (or “EA”) is a program that you put to work on the trading program to automatically take a certain action on your behalf if certain criteria are met. If you are using an off-the-shelf EA, you should always ensure it is from a trusted, reputable source. With MT4, it’s easy to create your personal EXPERT ADVISOR or store ready-made programs and put an EA to work by basically dragging this onto your interface. Crucially, the platform also enables you to back- test an EXPERT ADVISOR and put that to function in demo mode before you risk your capital to it.
how metatrader 4 works
Making sense of MT4 indicators
From both the broker and trader’s perspective, MT4 is highly customisable. Brokers are free to add their particular personal indicators to the system menu on top of what’s there already.
Traders simply go to that menu, choose which indicators they wish to add to their own charts and how they want each indicator to be visualised in terms of line style and colour.
In short, MT4 allows traders to control what information they rely on – and exactly how it is presented.
Why use Metatrader4?
Other reasons why MT4 has grown to become a market standard include the following…
- A large community of users – If you have a technical query – or perhaps are looking for different perspectives on the best signals to put to function in your trading activity, there’s an international community of users out there to help you.
- Whether you are a novice trader — or perhaps a seasoned trader looking to put together your very own automated trading aid, the MQL4 community site is worth visiting.
- Charts you can depend on – The combined trading and charting capabilities of the system mean that simultaneously trading while analysing the marketplaces becomes a straightforward procedure. You can trust that the current prices you are looking at are bang up to date.
- Stable, secure and mobile — Under the bonnet, MT4 is a relatively simple platform. It is not the type of system that will take its toll upon whichever device you have this installed about. With simplicity comes stability; one of the explanations why it’s favoured by broker agents and traders alike is usually that it is unlikely to cut out, leaving you unable to react at key trading junctures.
- On top of the desktop versions, there are stable and secure variants for Android, iOS ( mac ) and Linux.
Compare MetaTrader 4 with rivals
“How comfortable is I with this particular platform? ”
This is a key question you should be asking yourself as you scan the market. There’s no shortage of brokers who have built their user interface around METATRADER 4 – but it’s not really the only way of doing things.
It goes to show that by no means are all brokerages “ basically the same” in the way that information is offered.
So where next? Browse our updated program reviews – including a wide range of brokers who give variants of the MT4 platform — to find the package that best meets your needs.