Many brokers often offer locally created web, desktop, or even mobile platforms for their users. However, none of them could be a match for the MetaTrader (MT4) platform, which has been a favourite choice for millions of traders since 2005. Even though it is by default used as a Forex platform, you can trade other financial assets such as indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies, or even stocks.
How to use the MT4 platform?
The popularity of MT4 arises from the fact that it is highly personalized for any trader’s trading taste, style and needs. You can trade on it manually opening each trade on your own. Alternatively, you can automate your trading utilizing expert advisors or simply algorithmic programs that would open and close your trades according to your specific pre-et parameters.
Without further ado, let’s delve into how you can use the MT4 platform.
Creating an account and downloading MT4
You can download the MT4 platform straight from the metatrader4.com website or the broker yu plan to trade with. First, you will have to open a live account with them, and then download the platform and login with your initials into the MT4 terminal. If you just want to test the platform, see how things work, you can simply download the platform on your desktop and use a demo version of the terminal to trade under real market conditions without risking a single penny till you make up your mind to trade with real money.
How to open a position?
Go to the ‘Tools’ section on your menu bar and click it. From the available options, press ‘New Order’. Alternatively, you can press F9 on your keyboard, and the ‘Tools’ section will open.
An order window will pop up, where you will have to choose a specific instrument you want to trade. You can do that by clicking the ‘Symbol’ section in the window, and all the available choices will be presented to you. Select the pair you want to trade, then mark all the available options for your trade:
- Volume: determine how many contracts you want to trade
- Stop-loss: decide where to exit the market if the price goes against you
- Take profit: where you want to exit your profitable position
- Comment: typically left untouched, unless you want to make a comment about the trade
- Type: if you’re going to buy or sell at the current price, just leave ‘Instant Execution’option.
Then, click ‘Sell’ or “Buy’ depending on whether you believe the asset will fall or rise.
If you don’t want to open a trade at the current price, you can select ‘Pending order’, in the ‘Type’ section. Then you will be presented with the following options: Buy Limit, Sell Limit, Buy Stop, Sell Stop.
Select the pending order you want to use, and then choose the price at which you want the order to be executed. Select Expiry date at which the order will no longer be valid. Click ‘Place’, and your pending order is awaiting execution.
Monitor and close your trades
You can monitor your trades, edit stop-loss or take-profit, or simply close your transactions on the bottom of your terminal under the menu item ‘Trade’. Click on the open trade, and you can close the open trade by clicking close, or modify your stop-loss and take profit orders changing the parameters in the same opened window, just like it is shown below.
Close your trade
Modify your trade
Using MT4 charts
Charts are an invaluable tool for any trader. With MT4, you can customize them to your advantage. You can use them in your preferred image or shape: bars, candles, or lines. And you can create orders straight from your charts, as you may see from the example of a chart of EUR/USD below.
Drawing, writing, or placing indicators on your charts are fully integrated on the platform so that you can benefit from technical trading with these technical tools like a professional market technician. In less than a second, switch from minute charts to hourly charts to daily or weekly/monthly charts. The stuff you put on your charts will stay there despite switching from one-time frame to another.
How to add indicators on your charts on the MT4 terminal?
MetaTrader platform can justly boast of the abundance of technical indicators it offers to traders. You can find a bundle of all indicators on the ‘Navigator’ window that is usually on the left side of your terminal. Click a specific category of indicators, and the entire range of indicators under the category will open up. Select the one you need by double-clicking on it. An indicator setting window will appear. Choose the settings you need, click ‘OK’, and the indicator will appear on your chart.
If you want to remove some indicator from your chart, go to the top menu bar, choose ‘Charts’, and select ‘Indicators’. An indicator list that you currently have on your charts will pop up. Click on the indicator you want to remove, then ‘Delete’, and you have removed the indicator from the chart.
How to set up a price alert?
If you can’t monitor your charts all the time, it is wise to set up a price alert with specific conditions for a particular instrument, which will alert you when the conditions are met for the instrument to be traded. For that, go to the ‘Terminal’, select ‘Alerts’ on the menu and right-click within the window. Select the ‘Create’ option and customize your price alert according to your preferences.
The following article covered the essential and most important aspects of using the MT4 platform. You can do many more things within the MetaTrader as you get more used to it. Later, you will probably need more advanced features for performing analysis or trading. Those will take more time to master and more skills to deal with. Dip your toes with the main features that have been discussed in the article, master them, and then go on with the more advanced stuff. Enjoy using the MT4 platform.