Trading the Financial Markets with MetaTrader 4
The MetaTrader4 (MT4) is the leading trading platform in retail forex by a long shot. The majority of forex brokers include the MT4 app in their offering even if they have their own proprietary platform. It’s one of the most stable platforms in the industry and includes all the tool you would ever need to trade the markets. However, MT4 wasn’t always so popular. It took years of gradual improvements and several iterations to reach this point. It was released in 2005 as a basic charting tool and eventually became the full-scale trading platform it is today.
In fact, you will rarely read something about forex without a reference to MT4. The platform was released when retail forex was still in its formative years and it had the advantage of growing alongside the industry. Every investor who wanted to try his hand in trading forex would first download MetaTrader to do so. As the trading platform reached critical mass, development had to innovate to meet traders’ expectations. Eventually, the traders themselves would be able to participate in the platform’s progress by learning how to use MQL (MetaQuotes Language), the programming language available through the platform, to build custom tools and technical indicators that made trading even more accessible. This created a huge community of traders who now, 14 years after its release, still are reluctant to move to a different trading platform regardless of incentives.
MT4 on Multi Devices
MetaTrader 4 is also available for free with multiple versions that help you access your account on virtually every device with an internet connection. The MT4 app for mobile phones is a great companion for every trader since it allows you to trade and manage your account while on the go. Most importantly though, in case something happened to your computer or laptop, it provides you with an easy way to close any trades you may have left open before you incur losses.
The forex market involves a complex set of systems and as such traders prefer a minimalistic trading platform that doesn’t add to this complexity. Despite the numerous features available in MT4, the interface is very straightforward and user-friendly. If you aren’t completely illiterate when it comes to using technology in general, you should be able to place your first trade through the platform in seconds. As soon as you open MT4 and log on to your account, you will see the instruments available from your broker on the left along with their live rates and four price charts on the right which will take up most of the space on the screen.
Talking about space, MetaTrader 4 has a very small footprint and as such is very lightweight and ideal to use even on older devices without using too much of your storage or resources. MetaQuotes has also made it clear that they care about security and stability as well. The trading platform is constantly updated with new each new version bringing further optimizations to its performance and usability quite often. A speedy trading platform and a smooth internet connection are crucial for a forex trader since it means faster and more accurate price execution. The forex market is highly volatile and it only takes a few seconds for a profitable trade to turn into a losing one.
With MetaTrader 4, you can actually open positions directly from the market watch window with the live price feed. You will be prompted to enable one-click trading which is incredibly handy for executing trades quickly if an opportunity arises. It’s recommended that you open positions the long way though in order to be able to set your stop loss and take profit orders at the same time as well.
Why MetaTrader is so Popular?
One of the reasons MetaTrader 4 is so popular, is its huge marketplace that is constantly populated with new technical indicators, forex signals and expert advisors (EAs) which users create with MQL4. Automated trading is a great benefit for new traders as it allows them to copy the trades of successful traders or even having a super-trader robot find opportunities for them. If you don’t want to spend money on service through the marketplace however, there are several signals and expert advisors developed by MetaQuotes available for free in MT4 also.
As you can see, the programming language is a vital part of the MT4 platform. It has made it simple for developers and the third-parties to create their own trading robots and scripts and provides a way for traders to discover new ways to make their trading easier.
If you are interested in trying out MetaTrader, you can download the platform directly from the official website and create a demo account when prompted. This way you don’t even need to sign up with a forex broker before you start trading. When you feel comfortable enough on the demo and you are familiar with the platform, you can start searching for a regulated broker with favorable conditions to open your first live trading account.