If you’re new to Forex trading, you’re probably wondering where to even get started. Well, the first thing you need to do is download a trading platform. This will allow you to start to mark up charts and demo trade (practice) until you have your strategy nailed and are ready to go live. This article will explore the pros and cons of the MT4 trading platform.
What is MT4?
MT4 is the shortened name of Metatrader 4. It is made by Metacorp who also make MT5 and is probably one of the widest used platforms when it comes to Forex trading. This is primarily because it is a free software to the end user and brokers can easily white label with their own branding.
It is extremely simple to use in comparison to some professional charting software such as Sierra Chart, which makes it a great choice for beginners. An MT4 download is simple to acquire either via their website, an affiliate or through your chosen brokerage.
Benefits of MT4
MT4 is extremely easy to use, it’s a free software for the end user which means its accessible to everyone, and there are hundreds of free and paid indicators and expert advisors (automated trading software) available for MT4, which is largely why it is still in use.
It also has good functionality for a free tool; there are lots of drawing tools and commonly used indicators (such as RSI, MACD etc) pre-installed, which means you can get your head into the learning process rather than trying to install lots of indicators and tools you may need.
It also has an app which means you can easily track your trades on the go from your phone.
Negatives of MT4
In comparison to some of its competitors (we will talk more about these later) it can feel a little clunky. It can be difficult to draw trend lines and Fibonacci retreatments precisely.
It’s also being slowly phased out, and at some point in the future, it may disappear from the market altogether. This is primarily because Metacorp are trying to get more brokers to move over to their newer MT5 software, which certainly is a much nicer platform to use.
However, they have not stopped brokers downloading it for use yet; at present, they have only stopped support on the product for them, but it shouldn’t affect your trading in any way in the near future.
So many people have money invested in custom built indicators and expert advisors for MT4 that the phaseout will likely be a very slow one.
Competitors & Summary
MT4 is probably still the most widely used platform for retail traders; however, MT5 does have the edge in terms of seamless charting and it’s also free, but there isn’t as much availability of indicators and experts for the newer version (although still lots!)
If you want a paid charting software, you have options like Sierra Chart, which many professionals use. Sierra chart is a beast to master and not recommended for beginners.
A good intermediatory would be something like Trading View. Trading view has free and paid plans (although you do get ads on the free plan) and it has a lot of options for built-in indicators, but if you’re interested in semi-automated trading, you’re really looking at MT4/MT5.
In short, MT4 is a great beginner platform that allows for both the charting and execution of trades.