The MetaTrader4, commonly known as MT4, is the most popular trading platform among retail traders. Its simplicity, elegant interface and fantastic features have kept it relevant and unleveled up to this day. This article aims to provide a comprehensive beginner’s guide on how to use the MT4 platform and fully enjoy its potential.
How to install the MT4 platform
To begin with, installing the MT4 trading terminal is 100% free! The process takes only a few minutes and is very simple. All you have to do is find an online broker that provides it. To clarify, the product belongs to MetaQuotes Software, a renowned Russian company that focuses on the development of software for foreign exchange trading. MetaQuotes provides licenses for the MT4 software to the online brokers that request it. However, the brokers receive the license only if they are eligible and respect the imposed criteria. This proves that the product sets a standard of professionalism in the industry and only reliable brokers can have access to it.
For instance, TradeFW.com is one of the online brokers that offer the MT4 platform to its clients. To install it, all you need is an e-mail address; fill in some personal data, click the download button and the installing process will begin! Apart from the desktop version, the company included the mobile version and other web platforms in its portfolio. This flexibility, along with the plethora of forex trading tools for beginners and other benefits make it a great online broker, especially if you are new to trading.
MT4 Interface features, navigation and main functions
Technical analysis – default trading tools, indicators & trading theories
The MT4 terminal gives you access to a large list of forex instruments. Trading them is so easy, because you can use technical analysis. This means that the platform will give you the standard trading tools, indicators, and trading theories that help forecast future prices. To clarify, the platform comes with default indicators, oscillators, and some trend indicators; but you can always import more of them in order to strengthen your strategy. To do this, access the “Open data folder” option from the File tab available in the main menu, insert the desired indicator in the Indicators tab, close the terminal and reopen it.
The MT4 was one of the first platforms to encompass the automated trading functions. You can enjoy the automated trading feature with a simple click. First, you need to upload the Expert Advisor (EA) and then use the Strategy Tester to test the strategy on historical prices. To explain, the EA system will automatically open and close trades based on preset rules. However, keep in mind that even if it has a great success rate, it doesn’t always work!
Smooth navigation and a highly-customizable interface
One of the reasons the MT4 platform is highly-acclaimed is its simplicity. Once you download the platform, you will see the layout of all components makes the navigation flawless. Moreover, you can customize pretty much everything, even charts and toolbars. In this way, you will be able to organize your workplace and have the functions you need to use on a daily basis only one click away.
How to use the MT4 platform
After you log in to your account, several charts and windows will appear. This might be confusing at first, but don’t worry! As mentioned above, the platform is highly customizable and you can add or change almost every feature to design the perfect trading terminal for you. Here are the main things that will help you organize them:
- From the File tab, you will be able to open charts, open an account or log in to your trade account.
- If the list of instruments doesn’t show the ones you want, press Ctrl + U and a window with all pairs will appear. You can select the desired ones by clicking Hide/ Show.
- Under Specifications you can find information about your instrument. Use this data to calculate your margin requirement.
- You can activate the Market Watch window through the Ctrl+M key combination.
- Toolbars are fully customizable. Just Right click on the toolbar you want to customize and add or remove functions.
- The Navigator window (Ctrl + N) enables you to see and apply all Indicators and Expert Advisors. Double-click on the indicator to adjust its parameters.
- Profiles represent the function where you can save your favorite customized charts. If you want to save a chart as profile, click on the bottom of the screen where it says “Default”.
- To open a new position, Right Click on a chart and select Trading or press ALT + T. Then select New order or place a Pending Order at a price above or below the current market price.
Pro & Cons of the MetaTrader4 platform
The popular trading platform isn’t perfect, as it has a few disadvantages, too. As closing remarks, here are its main pros & cons:
- Free software, available in all languages.
- The availability of automated trading.
- Standard set of tools, indicators & the possibility to upload more.
- User-friendly interface.
- Flawless navigation.
- The possibility to set up 4 different timeframe charts for one instrument.
- The possibility to have multiple accounts available in the navigator window.
- Lack of level II Market Data.
- The full-size tick chart isn’t available.
- Bad quality of the panoramic view on a mobile display.