MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is by far the most popular platform or an application that is well known for forex retail traders. They plot trends in trading price fluctuations and offer a plethora of charting options. Over 95% of forex brokers offer MT4 on their website. MT4 also trades other financial instruments such as stocks, Contract for Differences (CFD), commodities, futures, and cryptocurrencies which include Ripple and Bitcoin.
MetaTrader 4 was created in 2005 by MetaQuotes Software, a leader in the financial software market. They are a private company founded in 2000 in Russia. They licensed out their software to brokers like Juno Markets who then provide that software to their own traders. The platform comprises a server component (runs by the broker) and the client component, provided to traders (access to charts, live streaming prices, and place orders).
Trade on The Go
Thanks to the advance of technology and the internet, mobile devices are getting smarter and more functional, so was trading. You can now download MetaTrader 4 on your mobile or tablet and trade whenever and wherever you are. No longer tied to your desktop to trade. They have turned smartphones and other gadgets into convenient trading tools. The functions of the platform for the mobile versions are very similar to the desktop version. There are even additional chat functions and push notifications.
Where to Start?
There are a few ways you can download MetaTrader4 and it is free!!
- You can download the zip file of the platform directly from the MetaQuotes website.
- If you have already registered with a broker, you can download it from the broker site. We highly recommend Juno Markets because they have customized the platform with their own feeds and trading tools.
- Get the application from your Apple or Android store.
iOS: 9.0 or later
Android: 5.0 and up
Windows: 2000 or later
When you first run MetaTrader4 on a new device, it should immediately request you to enter your account details. If not, log in manually by clicking on the ‘File’ tab at the top left of the platform. Then click on ‘Login to Trade Account’.
For anyone new to MT4, to sign up click on the ‘File’ tab at the top left of the platform, then click on ‘Open an Account’.
Few details needed for setting up an account.
- Select a server – Choose the highest ‘Ping’ to guarantee a fast and smooth connection.
- Pick an Account – Existing trade account, new demo account or new real account.
- Fill in your personal details.
- Name – full name.
- E-mail address.
- Contact number.
- Account Type – select from the list defined by the brokerage company.
- Deposit – the amount of money that you want to invest in. The minimum is 10 units for each currency.
- Currency – set automatically based on the account you have chosen.
- Leverage – the ratio between the amount borrowed and owned funds for trading.
- When you are done, click ‘Next’ then ‘Finish’.
Once your account has been successfully registered, it will get authorized automatically.
Choosing an Account
If you are new to trading, we highly recommend you to open a demo account first. It will allow you to experiment with the trading platform and its many features. It has the same functionality, same live charts as the real account, but you’ll be trading with fake money. That is the only difference between the demo and real account, you can open the account with no investment at all. Think of the demo account as training, you can test different trading strategies, find the one that suits you without risking losing actual money.
We recommend this for an experienced trader. Unfortunately, you can’t open a real account directly from MT4 terminal. You can only do it through a brokerage company under their terms and conditions. Check out Juno Markets you can register both demo and real account directly from their site.
Now that you are all set up, you can start trading! As mentioned earlier in this article, you can use MT4 for trading different financial instruments. To keep things simple for this guide, we will only focus on trading Forex.
What is Forex?
Foreign exchange (Forex) is buying one currency and selling another or trade two currencies against each other. Traders normally gain their profit by speculating about the changing value of a currency. For a complete guide to the forex market for beginners, we recommend you read this article.
What is Currency Pair?
Pairing up two currencies and valuing them against each other. In forex trading, all trades will take place through a currency pair. An example of a common currency pair, GBP/EUR 1.3602. The first currency will be the base currency, and the second currency is the quote currency. For this example, GBP is the base currency and EUR is the quote. 1.3602 is the ratio price, meaning one GBP will trade for 1.3602 Euros. The ratio price shows how much it cost of the quote currency to purchase one base currency.
Order – Ways to Place a Trade
Buying or selling or trading at the current market price. This is the quickest and most stable way for you to enter the market because there will be no stipulation of a particular price or timeframe. You bet on what you see. This order also incurs a lower commission compared with the other orders.
Pending order or Limit order
Buying or selling or trading at a specific price. This order is beneficial when you have a prediction on a particular market. But you don’t have time to constantly watch the market price like a hawk, set your pending order, and it will be executed automatically once the price reaches your chosen order.
There are four types of pending orders available on the platform:
- Buy limit – order set to buy a currency at a lower price than the current market.
- Sell limit – order set to sell a currency at a higher price than the current market.
- Buy stop – order set to buy a currency at a higher price than the current market.
- Sell stop – order set to sell a currency at a lower price than the current market.
This order is very useful in managing your risk. It designs to minimize losses when the market moves towards an unprofitable direction. This order automatically closes your trade when it reaches the set level, appointed by you.
It will execute this order when the last traded price reaches your desired profit price. It’s a useful short-term strategy for traders who want immediate profit from a quick bump in the security cost.
How to Place an Order
Placing an order can be daunting with the multiple tabs and buttons on the MetaTrader4 platform, especially if you are a new user. Here is a simple guide on how to do it.
- Click on the ‘New Order’ button on the toolbar
- Select your currency pair from the drop-down list
- Pick your preferable order type
- Include the position size you want to open with
- The last step, decide if you wish to buy or sell the currency pair. Once decided, a box will appear to confirm your trade.
Modify Your Order
Once a trade has been confirmed, you can still change your order following these steps below:
- On the terminal window, you will find information on your current trades such as your entry prices, stop losses, and position size on your ‘Trade’ tab.
- Right-click the ‘Trade’ tab and modify it.
To change your pending orders or set up stop loss/take profit,
- Repeat step 1 & 2, make sure it’s in changed order.
- Insert the stop loss and take profit box to your preferred level.
- Hit the ‘Modify’ button once you’re satisfied with the changes.
Closing Your Order
Usually, a trade automatically closes when it reaches the price set in the stop loss, take profit or pending levels, but this can also be done manually.
When closing an order, you can either close it fully or partially. Partially closing your trade means leaving some of your trade open in the market and hope that the market will progress in the right direction. This is comparable to dividing your trades into two or more portions. It’s a risk management strategy – securing minimum profit from the first portion you close, and the profit gets bigger with the second portion and so on.
To fully close your order, right-click on the ‘Trade’ tab on the terminal window and select close order.
Partially close order
- Repeat the first two steps in fully close order
- Amend the amount of your position on the ‘Volume’ box
- Once you are happy with the changes click ‘close order’
MetaTrader 4 Indicator
Indicators are powerful technical analysis tools used to forecast changes in the currency market. By using an indicator, traders can identify market trends, prediction on future market movement, and decide about market entry and exit points. With the right tools and indicators, you might be the next master of trading!
There are around 40 built-in technical indicators on MetaTrader 4 platform and if none of them suits you, there are hundreds of other free indicators that can be downloaded online and applied in MT4.
Top 5 free MetaTrader Indicator to try
- (Relative Strength Index) RSI – a momentum indicator. Used for evaluating the current market strength.
- Bollinger Bands – a volatility indicator. Useful in highlighting extreme short term price, e.g if the market is in oversold or overbought conditions.
- MACD – a technical indicator. Used to identify recent trends, whether it’s bearish or bullish.
- Stochastic – a momentum indicator, used to predict trend reversals.
- Money Flow Index (MFI) – some might say it’s a technical indicator, but others might call it a momentum indicator. It’s used to identify potential reversal trends by generating overbought or oversold signals using both prices and volume data.
Apply Indicator on MetaTrader 4
- Download your prefer indicator from a site
- On MT4 platform, click ‘Open data folder’
- Click on ‘mql4’ folder
- Open ‘Indicator’ folder and copy-paste or drag the downloaded indicator into the folder
- Restart MT4
MetaTrader 4 Charts
On the terminal window, you can open up to 99 charts at the same time. All the charts demonstrate the price changes on a specific currency pair. Understanding the chart, being able to see the price changes of a market with the time will allow traders to respond faster to any prospect of opportunity.
Bar chart – normally used to detect short-term breakout. It’s also very suitable to draw trend lines.
Line chart – the chart only displays current and close price hence is not suitable to use in stop loss/take profit order. It’s useful for determining trends in a short time.
Candlestick – Display the correlation between the closing and the opening prices within the same trading day.
Advantages of MetaTrader 4
We can use MT4 on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
Allow brokers like Juno Markets to post messages and communicate with their traders, and for the mobile user, MT4 has a chat option that allows traders to speak to each other on the platform.
If the indicator given is not enough, you can add your own to the platform. Able to set your preferred language and fonts, imagine how hard it would be to trade in a language you can hardly understand.
Security and Stability
MT4 encrypted all personal data using a 129-bit key and all traders IP addresses are well hidden. MT4 has been around for 15 years, a very stable platform allowing traders to trade with minimal negative slippage.
Very handy for people who don’t have the time to analyze each strategy and read the charts.
Useful for beginners who want to trade like a pro but don’t know-how. Essentially this tool allows the expert advisor to make trading decisions on your behalf.
Last, the Disadvantages
The design and layout of MT4 look very dated and complicated. MT4 rarely receive updates.
Lack of indicator
MetaTrader4 only has around 40 built-in indicators, while other platforms like cTrader have hundreds to choose from.
Only allow manually saving tick history
This is a major difficulty if you’re trying to perform backtesting.
MetaTrader4 is a great platform for both beginners and advanced traders. No matter what you trade, make sure you know the basics of that securities.