Looking for the Most Popular Forex Trading Platform? Let us Introduce MetaTrader 4.
There are a number of things you will have to consider when you first start Forex trading. One of those will be finding the best Forex broker, because without one, you will be unable to trade. Another will be picking the best Forex trading platform to use, and there is one particular platform you will encounter more than any other…
What is MetaTrader 4?
Metatrader 4, otherwise known as MT4, is a trading platform that was developed by MetaQuotes Software. It was first introduced in 2004, and is used for online trading in the CFD, futures, and foreign exchange markets. There are a number of MT4 Forex brokers, but the software can also be downloaded directly from the MetaQuotes website at no charge. MetaTrader 4 provides traders with various tools and resources to help them analyse prices, place and manage trades, and use a variety of automated trading techniques. The MT4 we know and love today wasn’t initially as popular, though. In fact, it started life as a simple charting package that evolved over a number of years into what it is today.
It has become the most popular trading platform by far, and more than 95% of Forex brokers offer it on their websites. So why has it become so popular?
MetaTrader 4 has become popular for a number of reasons:
MetaTrader 4 comes from very simple beginnings. In 2000, it was just a basic charting package, and online Forex trading was still very much in its infancy. When MT4 was released in 2005, online retail trading was still generally unknown, which meant that the variety of software was very limited. The fact MT4 was one of the first trading platforms in the industry has obviously been a major factor in its success; because there was no other choice for retail traders it was pretty certain they would use MT4 and become hooked. There are a number of other reasons why most traders will have tried MT4, though, either via a demo account or a live one.
- MetaTrader 4 is free – There are very few other trading platforms that are free to use, which is always going to have an impact on its popularity, even when compared with other platforms that might be more advanced. What you rather do? Have more money to fund your account with, or spend the cash on a fancy platform and extra programs with far too many bells and whistles?
- MT4 comes with a great range of features – When MT4 was first introduced it had a number of innovative features that are now considered market-standard. These included multiple chart set-ups, a navigator and Market Watch window, the Pepperstone Market window, the Indicators window, automated trading, and more than 80 pre-installed indicators. MT4 have introduced a number of other features over the years, including a Signals section, a News section, one-click trading, and a range of additional tradeable instruments.
- It’s easy to use – When a trader decides to go live they want all their attention focused on beating the market and ending up in profit; which can be hard enough to achieve, without the worry of finding their way around the trading platform. This is the reason MetaQuotes tried to simplify the process, and we have to say they certainly achieved this goal. MT4 has everything you could possibly need, but is nevertheless simple and easy to navigate. On the left-hand side are the symbols and rates; on the right-hand side are the charts, and at the top of the platform are the indicators and other features. All this comes with the addition of one-click trading and the ability to customise it to your preferences, so making it even easier.
- MT4 uses the programming language MQL4 – Because MT4 uses the programming language MQL4, it has made it much easier for programmers, third-party participants and also traders to create and use trading robots and Expert Advisor indicators. MetaQuotes does provide its own selection, but there is also a great choice of third-party robots and indicators that have been developed and built just for MT4.
- Convenience – The MT4 server is extremely stable, and can support tens of thousands of trades at the same time. MT4 also uses very few resources on a trader’s computer, and works well even if the Internet bandwidth is low. MT4 has a mailbox section that brokers can use to communicate with their clients, saving time and a lot of hassle. It also boasts the best possible security measures.
- Easily customisable – Traders can save a lot of time by customising many of the features of MT4; in fact, almost everything can be customised to a trader’s own preferences. The way the windows are displayed can be changed, along with chart appearance and the arrangement of the symbols. It is also possible to input a variety of internal and external indicators and signals, and switch between accounts effortlessly. Once the changes have been saved, a trader can open the platform, and it will appear just as they left it.
- MT4 is the most popular trading platform to date – The more popular a trading platform becomes, the easier it is to get new customers on board. Everywhere you look in the Forex world you will find mention of MetaTrader 4. There is also a great range of material available for anyone wanting to understand how it works.
Now you should be able to appreciate why MT4 has gained such a reputation, and realise that it is well deserved. It didn’t become the market leader overnight, and it wasn’t a complete fluke that it became so popular. MetaQuotes continue to update their top trading platform, and there are always new features being added, so it looks set to be a high-ranking platform for many years to come. If you think you’d like to give it a try there are plenty of MT4 Forex brokers, and there are options to start live trading straight away if you’re confident about it. Alternatively, you could choose to try it out for size by opening a demo account.