The abundant amount of forex brokers gives a large choice of different kind of trading platforms for traders. Just like any online service, not every forex platform is effective, trustable and informative. Which forex platform is popular among traders? Why does it make it stand out in the crowd? Which tools are necessary to successful trading?
One of the favorite trading platform which covers all the necessary features needed in forex, is MetaTrader 4 (designed by Metaquote Software). Any forex trader should try out this free, limitless open source software.
MetaTrader 4 is a popular Forex trading and analysis platform, which allows trading currencies, shares, precious metals and CFD on stock indices. In this section, LiteForex clients can download MetaTrader 4 trading platform and its mobile applications for PDA, iPhone®, iPad ™ and Android.
MetaTrader 4 interface doesn’t have flashy buttons and shiny currency rate tables, so it might seem difficult to use in the beginning, however it combines many powerful features, including multilingual trading interface, lots of technical indicators and analyzing tools, variety of expert advisors, unlimited charting capabilities, fast and accurate performance and much more.
Apart from available indicators, an experienced trader can write a new indicator and install it on MetaTrader 4. As a result, there are thousands of different indicators, written by other traders. This is, indeed, a true advantage of MetaTrader 4 over other platforms available today.
Metatrader 4 offers expert advisors, strategy testers and indicators, which allow forex traders to perform series of tests on real historical data. With the available graphics, traders can examine market conditions and perform technical analysis. To make things more convenient, it is possible to open as many windows as needed with the selected information (for example, you can analyze the same data simultaneously on different types of charts – candle, bar and line).
Speaking of expert advisors, via MetaTrader 4 it is possible to run the expert advisor on the past data. This allows traders to check the performance in the past, for example last year, before running it on the live data.
Metatrader 4 platform allows a complete customization of the interface, including colors, sizes and chart representation according to your personal needs. This is very important for traders that spend numerous hours in front of the computer screen. After all, forex trading is mostly about analyzing and comparing charts!
Metatrader 4 is surely not the only platform with the advanced features. Well-developed platforms offer same features and many other interesting options; however MT4 still remains the popular platform among many traders and contributors.
An interesting feature of MetaTrader for testing expert advisors is the ability to run an expert advisor for a past period of time. For instance, before running the expert advisor with live data, it is possible to check the past performance of this expert advisor, e.g., during the past year.
Bare in mind that MetaTrader4 platforms offered by different brokers have different configuration. Despite the honorable name the platform has, it is still necessary to try it out via demo account. After couple of weeks, you will be able to figure out which broker offers a better configured platform. Pay attention to requite requests, trading and connection errors. Definitely stay away from brokers whose demo account doesn’t match the performance of the live account.
Why should I use MT4?
MT4 is a software developed by MetaQuotes Software which can be used by both traders and investors to open, close, and manage market positions through the use of a financial mediator. You can use MetaTrader 4 to perform advanced trading operations while also analyzing the financial markets.
- MetaTrader 4 is the most popular trading terminal in the world
- Traders are very familiar with the combination of a user-friendly interface and an advanced charting package that comes “out of the box”
- The ability to create and use automated trading programs (Expert Advisors) make MT4 a firm favourite among retail traders
- Traders managing multiple accounts simultaneously like that MT4 caters for this
- Using a mobile device to trade and control your account in real-time is easy with MT4, mobile trading is very popular with younger traders
- With over 15-years in the online trading space, MetaTrader 4 has a huge online community of traders with a wealth of knowledge, tools, plugins, tips along with a library of useful video guides & written manuals
Why is mt4 so popular?
Server stability: The MT4 server is a lot more advanced than the previous version and the rest of the competition. It can support tens of thousands of trades simultaneously. Minimal resources: The MT4 uses very little resources from your computer and it works well, even with a low internet bandwidth.
Is MetaTrader 4 or 5 better?
MT4 is designed for CFD forex instruments, whereas MT5 is an all-in-one state of the art multi-asset trading platform, covering both centralised and non-centralised financial markets, including, stocks, futures and FX trading instruments. MT5 is faster and more efficient than MT4.
The two major differences have already been covered, but there are a number of others worth mentioning within any MT4 and MT5 comparison.
Metatrader 5 uses a programming language called MQL5 as opposed to the MQL4 used by Metatrader 4. The exciting thing about MQL5 is that it allows “black box” programming which, in a nutshell, means that it is easier to program and so will logically be a better framework for users and developers of trading robots and other expert advisors. However, MetaQuotes expanded this capability into MQL4 in 2014, so it is not a difference between the platforms any more, although there is a likelihood that if the language is upgraded at some time in the future, MetaQuotes will not extend any upgrades into MQL4 as well as MQL5
It should be noted that there is no backwards compatibility. Programs written for Metatrader 4 cannot run on Metatrader 5. This can be a serious drawback for traders who were wishing to “upgrade”, and is a key reason why such a change shouldn’t be seen as an upgrade.
It is true that Metatrader 5 retains two key programming-related advantages over Metatrader 4. Firstly, its back testing functions where you can test programmed trading strategies execute at a much faster speed, which is a feature that can save you a lot of time if you are the kind of trader who needs to run a large number of back tests. It also allows simultaneous multi-currency pair back testing. Together this can speed up back testing procedures immeasurably.
Metatrader 4 Desktop
Metatrader 4 is highly customisable. It includes charting tools, market indicators, scripts and EAs, advanced risk management, real time market execution and more.
The most popular forex trading platform
Metatrader 4 (MT4) provides robust technology and high security to enable traders to choose Forex or CFD positions without worrying about the stability of the platform. It offers instruments to follow price fluctuations, identify trend patterns through charts and graphs, and also deploy automated trading techniques to manage trades.
Why choose Metatrader 4?
This electronic trading platform is used by new and experienced traders alike. It’s trusted by individual traders as well as large introducing brokers and trading companies. It offers excellent trading and analytical tools, and is flexible enough to implement simple as well as highly complex trading strategies. The platform supports trading in Forex, CFDs and cryptocurrencies.
Is trading easier with Metatrader 4?
- Flexibility: There are several choices of currency pairs to trade in, as well as cryptocurrencies and CFDs.
- User-friendly: MT4 has a user-friendly interface that is suitable for traders of all levels.
- Customisation: Develop your own Expert Advisors (EAs) and technical indicators on Metatrader 4, to match your trading needs and practices. Windows and charts can be arranged for each profile according to your preferences.
- Efficiency: MT4 doesn’t slow down the performance of your PC or mobile, keeping disruption to a minimum.
- Charting tools: Advanced charting tools help analyze the technical aspects of the market.
- Expert Advisors: Trading robots enable the automation of trades and access to the platform’s algorithmic trading benefits.
- Language: The platform is available in multiple languages.
Metatrader 4 – OS and Device compatibility
Metatrader 4 is available as a web platform that’s compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac OS. MT4 can also be accessed from a smartphone or tablet, whether it has an iOS or Android operating system. Trade anytime and anywhere, and have access to trading information 24 hours a day, even while you’re traveling or on vacation. It is super-easy to download and install the terminal on any compatible device.
Having the ability to enter the market at desired levels, unhindered by the trading platform’s order system, is a necessity for all traders.
The Metatrader 4 (MT4) platform offers 2 market orders, 4 different pending order types (buy stop, buy limit, sell limit and sell stop), 2 stop orders, and trailing stop.
The Metatrader 5 (MT5) platform offers 2 market orders, 6 pending order types (buy stop, buy limit, buy stop limit, sell stop, sell limit and sell stop limit), 2 stop orders and trailing stop.
A market order is an order that permits entry/exit at the next available price. The execution price is not guaranteed as available bids/offers may be limited at the time of execution.
Sometimes referred to as a limit order, a pending order affords the option of selecting the purchase (or selling) price. In times where the market fails to reach the pre-determined limit value, the order remains in situ, unfilled. Bear in mind, though, thin liquidity may result in the limit order still remaining unfilled, despite having tested the level.
Protective stop-loss orders help retain profits and reduce losses. These orders are used in combination with market or pending orders, as well as with trade positions.
Trailing Stop effectively tails price if the position trades favourably. An unfavourable market move will see the trailing stop suspend movement until either price recovers, or tests the stop-loss order.
Etrader 4 – trade execution modes
An order is an instruction to perform a trade. There are three trade execution modes on the MT4 platform:
- Execution by Market: Your order opens a position at the latest price, even if there’s a deviation from what is visible on the platform. This results in much faster execution of orders, as it doesn’t involve requotes with most of the brokers.
- Instant Execution: The system tries to execute your order using the current price on the platform. If the exchange rate changes while the order is being processed, a requote option becomes available, which the trader can accept or reject.
- Execution on Request: Prices are requested before the order is placed. Once the exchange rates come in, order execution can be confirmed or rejected.
Metatrader 4 Automated Trading available
The MT4 platform allows automated trading. A trader can develop his own set of rules for trade entries and exits with the help of automated trading robots (Expert Advisors), which helps avoid instinctual blunders while trading. As the system trades mechanically, based on predetermined conditions, a trader’s performance won’t be affected by second-guessing and losses. Trades are also automatically executed with faster reaction times, leading to lower chances of slippage costs.
Expert advisor aka trading robots built in MT4
An Expert Advisor (EA) can help traders make more informed decisions. They can be programmed into the platform to automatically execute trades on a live platform. EAs are written in a proprietary programming language called MetaQuotes Language Version 4. These flexible software utilities can assimilate all the information available on the platform to conduct market analysis and Forex trading. This means it’s possible to develop, test and apply EAs to eliminate obstacles in analytical trading activities.
For example, OctaFX forex broker offers automated trading using an Expert Advisor to place buy or sell orders with specific market conditions, typically based on price movements and technical indicators. Automated trading helps traders to enter and exit positions much faster than with manual trading.
Drawbacks of Using MetaTrader 4
In spite of the benefits that you can reap from using MetaTrader 4 as your trading platform, there are still some drawbacks that you must first consider to avoid any possible regrets over deciding to use the MetaTrader 4 platform:
- MetaTrader 4 offers limited flexibility when compared to the other platforms that you can find in the financial industry today. So it’s important to remember that once you put up guidelines, the platform will strictly adhere to implementing them, which can also lead to another drawback.
- The set of rules and guidelines you implement in this program might cause you to not be able to realize the big gains even when they’re right in front of you.
- Sudden changes in the foreign exchange market do not immediately show in the MetaTrader 4 program. For example, if a press release was made regarding the economic status and the market reacts to it, MT4 might not immediately react to this change.
- Not every operating system out there can run the MetaTrader 4 platform. It is strictly limited to major operating systems Microsoft, iOS and Android. So, if you don’t have any device that runs on this operating system, it won’t be possible for you to use it.
How do I download MetaTrader 4 on Mac?
Download the MetaTrader 4 file from the MetaQuotes website or your broker. Once downloaded, open the XM.dmg file and drag the app to Applications. Next right-click the MetaTrader 4 application and click ‘open’. You will then be taken to the login page.
How do I use the MetaTrader 4 app?
To use MetaTrader 4 on a mobile device, download the app from the respective app store. Then register or sign in on the login page. Once in, navigate to the order window to enter and exit positions. From the main terminal page, you can open charts and tools to conduct technical analysis. Deposits and withdrawals can be made from the account area.
Is MetaTrader 4 a legitimate platform?
Yes – MetaTrader 4 is a legitimate online trading platform. It is one of the most popular and well-regarded retail platforms in the world, particularly for forex trading.
How does MetaTrader 4 work?
MetaTrader 4 facilitates access to financial markets through its online trading platform. The platform is split between a client and a server module. The server component is licensed to brokers while the client portal is used by the broker’s clients.
Is MetaTrader 4 free?
MetaTrader 4 is free to download and use. However, some brokers do offer wider spreads on MT4 than on their proprietary platform.
Is MetaTrader 4 safe?
Whilst MetaTrader 4 is considered a relatively safe and secure platform, trading itself is risky. To ensure you only lose what you can afford, use MetaTrader 4’s risk management alerts and tools.
Is MetaTrader 4 a broker?
MetaTrader 4 is not a broker. It is an electronic trading platform licensed to online brokers. The brokers then offer the platform to their traders.