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MetaTrader 4 explained
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is an online trading platform best-known for speculating on the forex market. Available for download on Mac, Windows, and mobile apps, it’s offered by most brokers in 2020. Here we’ll explain how to trade on the MetaTrader 4 system, as well as running through expert advisors (EAs), demo accounts, tutorials, and support.
MetaQuotes Software, the developers behind MetaTrader 4, released the system in 2002. It’s since undergone a number of iterations, with the 2005 version giving it real traction in the online trading community. It’s now so popular brokers offer the platform as an alternative to their proprietary software.
Today the MetaTrader 4 platform isn’t just popular among forex traders. The software is used for trading futures, CFDs, stocks, commodities, and cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ripple (XRP).
How To Open A MetaTrader 4 Account
Getting started on MetaTrader 4 is straightforward. You can download a zip file with the platform from the MetaQuotes website free-of-charge. You can also download the system from an online broker when you register for a real or demo account.
MetaTrader 4 works on macOS and Linux. The software is also compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10 on 32-bit and 64-little bit processors. Alternatively, you can trade directly through a web browser on your MacBook or Chromebook, for example.
Once you’ve downloaded the free platform, register for a new account and sign in with your login credentials. You can then personalise the MetaTrader 4 platform, from chart set-ups to choosing between the light and dark mode.
Details of trading costs, commissions and spreads are normally highlighted when you sign up. Some new users are surprised to see swap fees charged against their account each day. For those asking ‘what is a swap?’, it’s interest charged or received at the end of each trading day, based on your position.
Head to the terminal to view your account balance and margin levels. If you don’t have enough funds to meet a leverage requirement, a ‘not enough money’ error will appear when you place a trade.
When it comes to how exactly to deposit and withdraw funds, simply select ‘deposit’ or ‘withdraw’ from your account area. Then choose from the payment options available. Payment charges vary between agents, but there is normally a free option. Deposit and withdrawal payment times depend on the broker and method selected.
How To Trade
We’ve looked at how to create a MT4 accounts, but how do you use the platform to trade?
To make a trade, select ‘tools’ and then ‘new order’. This will take you to the purchase window. Alternatively, utilize the keyboard shortcut F9. The order window can appear intimidating, but the components are straightforward:
- Symbol – Here you can choose between markets, for instance, forex, gold, or stock indices, such as the S&P 500
- Volume – Decide on your trade size – how many lots or CFDs do you want to trade? Note, 1 lot is equal to 100,000 units of the base currency
- Type – Choose ‘instant execution’ to place a trade as soon as you hit ‘buy’ or ‘sell’. Alternatively, opt for ‘pending order’ to select the point at which a trade is opened
- Stop-loss – This risk management tool will limit the size of losses, automatically tracking pips and closing out trades when they reach a set level
- Take-profit – This does the same for profits, meaning trades are automatically exited when earnings hit a certain point
- Comment – Here you may leave trade commentary, which you may want to add to your trading journal, for example
- Slippage – You can limit slippage through the ‘deviation’ setting
- Monitoring & Closing Positions
Check out the MetaTrader 4 terminal by selecting ‘view’ and ‘terminal’. Now click ‘trade’. From here, you can exit a position by selecting the ‘x’ to the right of the income column. You may also modify stops and limits by right-clicking on the position or pending order you’d like to change, and selecting ‘modify’.
To draw on charts, select the object you’d like from the toolbar and click on the chart. To amend the timeframe on a price chart, right-click on the chart and hit ‘timeframe’. After that you can select from the drop-down menu:
M1 (1 minute)
M5 (5 minute)
M10 (10 minute)
M15 (15 minute)
M30 (30 minute)
H1 (1 hour)
H4 (4 hour)
D1 (1 day)
MN (1 month)
Note, you are not limited to the 9 standard timeframes. Custom timeframes, for instance, 2 minutes and 8 hours, can also be added.
Indicators & Add-ons
On top of the 30 built-in technical indicators, there are thousands of additional chart indicators that can be downloaded from MetaTrader’s Code Base and Market. The Elliot Wave indicator, Bollinger Bands, and pivot points are just a few examples.
Third-party add-ons allow investors to start programming the MetaTrader 4 system to suit their trading style. Stealth Orders and Alarm Manager are two popular examples. Stealth Orders anonymises trades while Alarm Manager provides a window to coordinate alerts and notifications. You can even use Java API to build extensions onto the MetaTrader 4 platform.
Learning how exactly to trade off the MetaTrader 4 platform may feel daunting to begin with, however the trick is practice.
One of the main draws of the MetaTrader 4 platform is its automated trading functionality. Robots, also known as Expert Advisors (EAs), analyse FX price quotes, for example, and take positions predicated on pre-determined algorithms.
Trading bots with guides can be downloaded for free from Code Base. On the other hand, they can be rented or bought from the Market, or freelance designers. Tech-savvy traders can also build robots on the MetaTrader 4 platform with integration through Raspberry Pi 3 and Python. Virtual hosting through MetaTrader 4 VPS also lets you run trading bots 24/7.
The MetaTrader 4 app lets you maintain complete trading control from your own phone, without compromising on functionality. Mobile traders will find three types of charts, 9 timeframes, 30 specialized indicators, market news, plus a chat box to interact with other traders.
For Android users, the MT4 APK file is available to download from the Google Play Store. The MT4 mobile app is also appropriate for iPhones, iPads, and some Windows devices, including Windows Phone 8.1. ‘How to install’ guides and tutorials with download instructions can be found on the respective application stores.
The MetaTrader 4 demo account is an excellent way to try trading the XAU/USD pair, for instance, before risking real money. The functionality is very similar to that of a genuine live account, except you use virtual cash. The login process is the same, you can still access historical data and indicators, plus copy trading is available through Signals. Professional Advisors may also be used on demo accounts.
With regards to how to open a MetaTrader 4 demo account, just choose demo from the new account options.
For problems using MetaTrader 4, customer support is obtainable. The Help section is a good place to start if you want the basics explained, including keyboard shortcuts. For specific questions or if you want to speak to a manager, head to the Contact Us page.
Online PDFs and training courses that users have put together are also helpful. In fact, the MetaTrader 4 online community is extensive. You’ll find help on everything from trailing stops and negative balance protection to tips on how to make money on your accounts during weekend trading hours. The online community is also a good place to go for advice on the plugins you must have.
Head to the Technical Support Centre for help with any of the following:
The platform keeps saying ‘invalid account’
Cannot place new orders / no trade option
The platform keeps freezing and crashing – not working, loading, updating or responding
Note, glitches or problems with the platform going down can be a result of outdated software. In the system, you can check to see if it’s waiting for an update to be installed. Additionally, if your laptop has frozen, a trusty old restart can often solve the issue.
MetaTrader 4 vs MetaTrader 5
MetaTrader 4 came out in 2005, offering a straightforward platform, predominately for online forex trading. The aim of the MetaTrader 5 system, released in 2010, was to give traders a powerful and comprehensive multi-asset system. How then, do they both compare and what are the differences?
Both MetaTrader 4 and 5 allow for customisation, cellular trading, and automated trading. However, when it comes to analysis, the MT5 system has 38 technical indicators while the MT4 server offers 30, although both contain popular EMA, b-clock and zigzag indicators. The MT5 platform offers 21 timeframes vs MT4’s nine. Additionally, the MT5 software program has more drawing tools than its predecessor, including a more advanced Elliot Wave indicator. Overall, MetaTrader 5 wins on analytics.
When it comes to automated trading, both are excellent choices. But key differences are that MQL5 is usually thought to be easier to make use of than MQL4 and MQL4 functions on an order program while MQL5 follows a positional system.
In terms of trading and orders, both offer similar execution models. But when it comes to pending orders, MetaTrader 4 has four purchase types to MetaTrader 5’s six. Both MT4 and MT5 investors can use MultiTerminal to manage multiple trading accounts.
So should you use MetaTrader 4 or 5? For beginners or those primarily interested in forex, MetaTrader 4 may be the obvious choice. Traders wanting extra, sophisticated tools may prefer the MetaTrader 5 system. General though, the MetaTrader 4 system will meet the needs of most traders and remains the most popular choice.
Brokers That Offer MetaTrader 4
As our brokers list below shows, most large legitimate providers offer MetaTrader 4, particularly in established forex markets, like the UK, USA and Europe.
MetaTrader 4 is the most popular online retail trading platform. The program is accessible via a download or through a browser. It promises a wealth of tools to assist technical analysis while making automated trading readily accessible. It’s unsurprising after that MetaTrader 4 regularly tops user reviews, meeting the needs of both the beginner and advanced trader.
How do I download MetaTrader 4 about Mac?
Download the MetaTrader 4 document from the MetaQuotes site 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 up’. 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 application from the respective app store. Then register or register on the login web page. Once in, navigate to the order windows to enter and exit positions. From the primary terminal page, you can open charts and equipment to conduct technical evaluation. Deposits and withdrawals can be made from the account area.
Is MetaTrader 4 a legitimate platform?
Yes – MetaTrader 4 is the best online trading system. It is one of the most well-known and well-regarded retail platforms in the world, especially for forex trading.
How does MetaTrader 4 work?
MetaTrader 4 facilitates access to financial marketplaces through its online trading platform. The platform is definitely split between a client and a server module. The server component can be licensed to brokers as the client portal is utilized by the broker’s clients.
Is MetaTrader 4 free of charge?
MetaTrader 4 is free to download and use. However, some agents do offer wider spreads on MT4 than on the proprietary platform.
Whilst MetaTrader 4 is considered a relatively safe and secure system, trading itself is risky. To ensure you only lose what you can afford, make use of MetaTrader 4’s risk management alerts and tools.
Is MetaTrader 4 a broker?
MetaTrader 4 is not a broker like Galore Pro. It is an electronic trading platform licensed to online brokers. The brokers then provide platform to their traders.