Of all the tools a trader must have in his/her arsenal, an intuitive and easy-to-use platform is secondary to none. The right platform can easily aggregate information, analyze large data chunks, provide technical indicators and signals, and overall can make the life of a trader simpler. Comparing all the available Forex trading platforms today, MetaTrader 4 is unarguably the most popular among the slate. This guide is ideal for both the complete novice who just signed up for a trading account recently and to intermediate traders who have only scratched the platform’s surface and have yet to access its full potential.
What is MT4?
Short for MetaTrader 4, MT4 is a digital trading platform that is widely used to trade the trillion-dollar Forex market. Although free to use for different market participants, the platform is used predominantly by retail traders, those who trade for themselves and are usually stationed at a home office. MT4 was created by MetaQuotes Software and was launched in 2005. Instead of being sold as a financial product directly to clients, MetaQuotes Software licensed it to Forex brokers like Royal Capital Pro who then provided the platform to their clients.
Why is MT4 Essential?
MetaTrader 4 is distinguished from the rest of the available trading platforms in several ways, one of which is its functionality. User interface is integrated with an editor and compiler along with access to a large library of software. The software is open source and free to use so it’s a great tool for traders who are looking to build trading systems and scripts themselves. To be able to write these systems, MT4 comes with its proprietary language called MQL4/MQL5. This scripting language allows users to create Expert Advisors, which as the name implies advises the user when a predefined set of parameters are triggered.
Various Components of MT4
The full MT4 package includes a variety of components designed to provide the user with a wider set of functionality and mobility. The one discussed previously is the Client Terminal. This component is the one seen from the user-end. IT is provided free of charge by brokers for real-time trading through the web. Two accounts can be opened – Real and Demo. The latter is designed for traders who want to test out their skill or knowledge of the Forex market but is not prepared to risk real money for the experience. Another component is the Mobile version of MT4, which enables traders to monitor and execute trades remotely via mobile devices including smartphones and PDAs.
Other Benefits of MT4
MetaTrader 4 is lightweight, meaning the memory you need to download, install, and maintain it is minimal compared to other platforms. In addition, user interface is very easy on the eyes. There are few pop-up windows prompted after logging in, the tabs are neatly organized and categorized, the charts can be customized quite extensively relative to what other brokers allow. This gives you a clearer perspective of price action. Last but not least, MT4 is free to use so you don’t have to pay to use the full extent of the product. Some platforms cost a onetime fee or require you to pay along the way to use “advanced” features and tools.
Summary on MT4
MetaTrader 4 is a robust platform with both the beginner and advanced trader in mind. It has simple to understand features and layout that makes it easier to learn as you go in the world of trading, but also have the flexibility to adapt to changing needs as you become a more adept and diversified trader.