Metatrader 4 is the most widely used Forex trading platform in the retail FX trading space. Metatrader trading platform was developed by MetaQuotes in 2005.
This software is used by forex exchange brokers who provide the software to its clients. Metatrader comprises of both a client and server elements. Forex trading brokers use client-based MetaTrader while the retail traders use client-based.
Although MetaTrader 5 was introduced to the market in 2010, the majority of the brokers still use MetaTrader 4 (MT4). MetaTrader 5 allows you to trade several instruments apart from forex like – stocks and commodities.
MT5 might be more useful to those who have programming knowledge as it has some advanced features for creating your indicators and robots.
MT5 does not allow hedging and it operates on FIFO (first in first out) basis. It means you cannot place another trade against the first trade unless the first trade is closed.
In a nutshell, MT4 is still one of the best trading platforms and there isn’t any reason to not use it. If MT4 doesn’t fulfill your requirements and if you need advanced programming and backtesting features you can switch to MT5.
Some of the reasons why MetaTrader 4 is so popular:
1. User-friendly Interface
Everyone will have to admit the fact that MT4 provides one of the best user-friendly environments for traders to trade such a complex market. New traders can easily understand how MT4 works within a short period of time and start trading right away.
In MetaTrader 4 you will have access to very high-quality interactive charts. You can customize almost everything that you see on the chart. MT4 has more indicators than you will ever need.
3. Expert Advisors
Because of MT4, retail forex traders are able to automate their trades. This is also called algo-trading or algorithm trading. Traders can code/customize their own robots to trade for them. This is one of the most advanced features of MT4.
4. Backtesting and Optimization
Not all traders are aware of these features but they are extremely useful. One can actually backtest and optimize any particular indicator/system so that he/she gets the most appropriate parameters for the indicator.
For example, in a particular currency pair moving average crossover of 5 and 20 might work great but it might not work with another pair. Therefore, moving averages have to be optimized for the different pairs because they need different parameters. MT4 has made this job easier.
These are a few of the reasons why MT4 is popular and successful. Besides these features, there are other features too which keeps this trading platform above the rest. I have been using MT4 since 6 years and I didn’t have any problem with it. Personally, it is the best trading platform for me.
Related Article: Install Indicators in MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Guide
Getting Started with MetaTrader 4
1) Download MT4
You have two options to download MetaTrader 4. You can either download from the MT4 website (www.metatrader4.com) or from your broker’s website. Once you download the MT4 file, run the file and following steps:
2) Fill up the details
If you are opening a demo account you can easily create from here but if you are thinking to open a live account I suggest you to open through the broker’s website. After all the details are filled up, click next.
3) Saving Login Credentials
Always remember, the above login credentials are very important so keep them safe and click finish.
Now make your charts look cleaner by maximizing it and remove the grids by pressing Ctrl+G. Also, press Ctrl+Y to remove the time divider. To change the background and color of the candles, right-click on the chart and select properties.
Basic MT4 Tools
1. Trade Execution
To open position on any currency pair, first, open the chart and press the F9 button. You will see an order window like this:
If you want to sell click the “Sell” button and if you want to buy click the “Buy” button. Select the required volume size and set your stop loss and target levels.
2. Trade details and Trade history
You can see the status of your current trade and trade history in the terminal window.
Click on the Account History ribbon to see your trade history.
3. Market Watch
Press ctrl+M to see the market watch. You can see various currency pairs in the market watch. To see the chart of a particular pair you should drag it and drop to the chart window.
4. Other important tools
Timeframes, zoom in/out, chart types, adjusting chart position are the important things to know when using MT4.
I believe these pieces of stuff are enough to guide a beginner to start trading right away. Congratulations and all the best traders!