In this article, we are going to delve into the topic of how you can change leverage on the MT4 platform. Leverage enables traders to operate more significant amounts of funds on their balance. Basically, it is trading using borrowed funds, usually from your broker or their liquidity provider (most likely banks). 1:100 leverage means that a trader can trade with funds 100 times higher than he actually has, or in other words, for every U.S. dollar that he has, he can open a $100 position. That’s the power of leverage that you can harness for better or worse.
If you are a risk-averse trader, you can change your leverage to 1:20, or even smaller, 1:10. If you like taking risks and have the stomach to endure sharper losses, you can increase leverage to 1:200 and with some brokers even to 1:500. Naturally speaking, the higher the leverage, the higher the risk; the smaller the leverage, the smaller the risk you take. Having said that, let’s figure out the steps how to change leverage on the MetaTrader 4.
Changing leverage on MetaTrader4 depends on your broker
MT4 is a trading platform, and by default, it does not have an option to change account leverage for an existing account. So, if you downloaded the MetaTrader 4 platform from its creators metatrader4.com for practicing on a Demo version, you will not be able to change leverage for that. However, do not despair because the necessary leverage settings can be adapted on your broker’s user portal. Not all brokers have the same way of doing it, and you have to check with your broker through which you have downloaded your MT4 platform to figure out how the leverage changing settings are set up.
The most typical way to alter your leverage settings on MT4
The most straightforward way to increase or decrease leverage on your MT4 platform can be done through your broker’s web portal. Every broker has their web portal, and it will look different, but here’s an example of how I can MT4 leverage on my Fusion Markets account.
Follow the steps:
- Go to the “Accounts” section of your “Secure Area” on your profile.
- Click on the “pencil icon” next to the MT4 account number.
- Select new leverage.
The maximum leverage ratio might depend on the securities being traded. Some may utilize a fixed leverage system based on the position traders established on the MT4 trading platform.
The images below illustrate the spots on the platform you need to click. The broker is ‘Fusion Markets’.
Go to the “Accounts” section on the Fusion Markets web portal and click on the “pencil icon” next to the MT4 account number.
Select new leverage for your MT4 account and click on “Submit changes”.
It may take some time for the change to take effect, as different brokers have different procedures for changing leverage. Some even do not allow retail traders to use higher than 30:1, and you have to fill in a special form to request the enabling of higher leverage. With others, depending on regulation and the country of origin, it may be done immediately.
However, if you decide that you want to decrease your risk/reward ratio and shift to lower leverage (for example, from 1:500 leverage to 1:100), and you have some open trades, you need to double-check if you won’t get a margin call with your current open positions as margin requirements differ for different types of leverage.
How do you change leverage in Forex?
Different Forex brokers have different rules for the use of leverage on their platforms, and not all of them allow you to change leverage easily by simply going to a user portal. With some Forex brokers, you cannot do it right after you have your account opened, yet others tell you to contact customer support so that your request for changing leverage can be implemented. Lots of bureaucracy, but still, if you patiently follow your broker’s instructions, you will be able to choose the best leverage for you.
More peculiarities about selecting leverage on the MT4 platform
Typically, you can select leverage when opening a new account, which means you have to be extra careful not to overleverage your trades right from the start. With some brokers, you can open not only live but also a demo account with your preferred leverage directly through the MT4 platform. Yet others require you to log in to the user portal to open a new demo or live account.
Leverage regulation also differs from country to country. In Europe, retail traders can have up to 1:30 leverage, while in the U.S., the max leverage for retail traders is 1:50. Higher leverage is allowed for traders who can prove they are seasoned pros. To get higher leverage, such as 1:500, you need to trade with brokers established offshore, so make sure you choose a reputable broker with a good reputation. One example is Fusion Markets which holds an Australian Financial Services Licence and is regulated by the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC).
On the other hand, you can fill in a special form asking them to increase your leverage with most brokers. In that case, you will need to prove to them that you have been trading for quite some time and can be regarded as a pro. If you successfully do that, the broker will remove your leverage limits.
Key takeaways on changing leverage on the MT4 platform
Leverage is like a double-edged sword; it can increase your profits and risks. Therefore, when you register with your broker, be sure to check what leverage is set on the platform by default. If you are very much risk-averse, then start with lower leverage, possibly 1:10, and when you feel comfortable with it, you can increase it bit by bit.
It is not recommended to use more than 1:100 leverage as you can quickly get a margin call if the price goes against you. Yet, if you are a high-risk lover, you can experiment with 1:500, possibly even with 1:1000. But be careful. You can burn all of your equity in a matter of a couple of minutes. That’s the price you should be willing to pay when you trade with borrowed funds.
Anyway, as you have learned from the article, changing leverage is a relatively easy thing to do; with most brokers, you can accomplish it in just a few clicks of your mouse.