Immediately after a trader signs up with a brokerage company, the next step is to download the Meta Trader 4 platform as this is where the real action of trading in the forex market occurs. However, it is important to note that the Meta Trader 4 platform can be used to trade a variety of markets other than the forex market. The markets that can be traded using this platform include indices, cryptocurrencies, and commodities via CFDs.
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Since the establishment of the MT4 trading platform, the operations of the online trading sector have been redefined and improved. This article shall explain the origin of this platform and its functions so traders can maximize its potential.
What is MT4?
The Meta Trader 4 platform is an independent online trading platform developed by the software company MetaQuotes in 2005. This platform has become the preferred platform for traders all over the world. This is because of its simple-to-use interface, customizable settings, and detailed technical indicators. Hence, both novice and expert traders can navigate the operations of this platform.
With MT4, Traders can view live market updates and trends through technical indicators expressed in the form of detailed charts. These indicators determine whether a trade should proceed or otherwise with buying or selling. On this platform, traders can also copy the trade of other expert traders to minimize the risk of losses. Meta Trader 4 also can automate the trades of its users by executing the algorithms which are triggered by parameters set by the traders. Its other variant is the MT5.
The Meta Trader 4 can be termed a double-middleman. This is because the MT4 is the link that connects the trader to the forex market. And it is also the bridge between the client and the broker. This software has two components namely the server and client component. The broker manages the server component. On the other hand, the client software is provided to the customer of the broker. This client component is used to view live streaming prices, and charts, place orders and manage their accounts. How this works is that the software company licenses the software to brokers who in turn provide the software to their clients.
Understanding the functions of the MT4
Traders must familiarize themselves with the range of functions that this platform performs and they include:
1. Trading strategies
This is perhaps one of its most important functions if not the most important. On this platform, traders can execute any of their trades regardless of their complexity using different strategies.
Meta trader provides two types of trading orders. These orders are the Pending Orders and Market orders. The first type of order is only executed when the price reaches a predefined level.
Market orders on the other hand can be executed in any of the four modes. They include Instant execution, Request execution, Market execution, and Exchange execution. These execution methods have their pros and cons. Traders have the liberty to select the mode which is in line with their trading strategy. These modes can also be combined to perform trades despite the market situation.
Other features include stop orders and a trailing stop. All these features make trading flexible and convenient for the users.
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2. Analytical functions
MT4 has a lot of inbuilt indicators,(both free and paid graphs, and charts channeled at analyzing the current market situation.
Traders make use of these detailed charts to make certain decisions. Hence, these charts are useful in forecasting price dynamics and detecting various market trends.
In furtherance of these functions, traders can also customize the appearance of charts by adding various graphical objects and indicators to them. These chats are interactive. Hence, traders can zoom in and scroll through them.
3. Algorithmic trading
The aim of algorithmic trading on this platform is to automate trading. What this means is that traders can make use of technical indicators and expert advisors to analyze the market and carry out trades on their behalf. MT4 gives traders the leeway to develop, test, and apply their expert advisors. This function is achieved by the use of its inbuilt programming language termed MQL4. This programming language is targeted at developing an efficient and flexible trading strategy.
MT4 allows traders who have created tested expert advisors and technical indicators to publish it in the Code Base where millions of traders can use it for free.
Traders can also sell them in the market or offer their products to customers through a freelance service.
4. Copy Trading
On this platform, both novice traders and experts can benefit from the trading strategies of other pro traders by imitating their trade.
Many successful forex traders make their trades publicly accessible either for free or for a fee.
There are a lot of trading signals on this platform both free and paid. Once a trader clicks on the signal tab on the trading platform, a detailed list of signals is uploaded.
These signals are ranked according to their trading results, hence the most successful traders are ranked first. Once a trader subscribes to a signal provider, the signal does all the work for the trader according to some trading parameters set by the trader. Traders staying in extremely busy countries like Malaysia would find this feature more convenient. This is because they do not need to always be in front of their computer screens to trade. Once, they have set certain risk parameters, they are good to go.
5. Alerts and financial news
MT4 keeps traders updated on recent market news and trends. News like unexpected price movements is pivotal in shaping the trading decisions of users.
6. Mobile trading
Traders who do not have the time to always be in front of their computer screens can make use of the mobile trading option. All they need to do is install the android or IOS version of the MT4 platform to their devices. The mobile trading option offers the full set of trading orders, analytics, and technical details.
Traders can also access the terminal using their browsers. All that is required is a good internet connection.
Traders considering breaking into the forex market or those already in the market should familiarize themselves with the workings of this terminal.
This is because traders who have mastered the intricacies of this app have a higher chance of using products and resources offered by the app to make a profit.