The ChoosaBroker Trading Academy

13.1. Getting Started on MetaTrader 4

MetaTrader 4 is amongst the most widely-used platforms for online trading in Forex, futures and contract for differences (CFDs). Developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation and released in 2005, MT4, as it is typically referred to in the trading community, can be directly downloaded at no charge from the MetaQuotes website or from a whole host of online Forex brokers. MT4 comes laden with numerous tools and resources that enable traders to not just analyze price and place trades, but also implement automated trading strategies. This tutorial contains basic information that you need to know to start working with the MT4 platform –

MT4 Features

MT4 is a favoured trading platform because of its many features:

  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Mobile trading through Android and iOS apps
  • User-friendly interface
  • One Click Trading
  • Real-time quotes in Market Watch
  • Wide range of underlying assets
  • More than 50 technical analysis indicators and charting tools
  • Market news and alerts
  • Reliable data protection
  • Option to automate trades via Expert Advisors (EAs)
  • Multi-language support

Terminal Installation

The MT4 Client Terminal can either be downloaded from MetaQuotes’ dedicated MT4 website or through any of the leading Forex brokers that offer the platform. With high-speed Internet connectivity, installation should take only a few minutes. After clicking on the “Download” tab, a MT4 Setup window will surface as shown in the screenshot below. Read the license agreement carefully, and click “Next” to launch the installation process.

A new window should next appear, providing the trader the option to either continue with the default installation folder or prescribe a new destination. There are also options to generate a desktop shortcut and to initiate the program once installation is successfully completed. By default, both of these options are checked. Click “Next” to proceed. A new window will pop-up, displaying the progress in installation. Click “Next” once all the tasks have been accomplished.

Following successful installation, the MT4 platform will launch with its default parameters. The trader will now be prompted to open an account.

Opening of Account

MT4 allows a trader to work with two types of accounts:

  • Demo accounts
  • Real accounts
Demo accounts are primarily used by traders to test and fine-tune their trading strategies. They do not involve real money, yet possess all the functionalities of the real accounts.

Opening a Demo Account

A demo account can be opened by the “File – Open an Account” menu command in the MT4 platform. The process of opening a demo account consists of several steps:

Selecting Server: The first step in opening an account is selecting a server to connect to. The names of all the available servers and their ping are listed in the window. Traders should opt for the server that demonstrates the lowest ping. Click “Next” to continue.

Account Type: At this stage, a user can choose the “New Demo Account” option and press the “Next” button, upon which, the trader will be asked to furnish personal details.

Personal Details: Fill in the fields for name, email, phone number, account type, currency, hypothetical deposit and desired leverage from the drop-down menus. To activate the “Next” button and complete the registration process, the trader needs to flag “I agree to subscribe to your newsletters.” Once the account is successfully created, real-time quotes begin to stream and the price charts come to life.

Opening a Real Account

Unlike demo accounts, real accounts cannot be opened from the MT4 terminal. You need to enlist the services of a forex brokerage firm and adhere to their terms and conditions to open a real account. Real accounts can be opened from the “Navigator – Accounts” window.
To start working with them, authorization is necessary. Authorization is simply connecting the terminal to a server through a “Login” and a “Password.” A trader has two accesses to the real account: a normal password and an investor password. If the normal password is utilized, the trader gets full rights for working with the terminal. Authorization through an investor password allows a trader to only view the account status and analyze prices, but not trade.

Live Update

The MT4 terminal is pre-programmed to search for updates to the platform, and promptly install newer versions of the program. As soon as the terminal connects to a server, it checks for new version. If found, it will be automatically downloaded in the background mode. To apply the updates, the terminal has to be restarted.

Few Final Thoughts

MT4 has been a staple of Forex brokers and traders for more than a decade. Since its launch 13 years ago, the platform has rapidly grown in popularity on the back of rave reviews from professional traders. The easy accessibility, large asset index and boatloads of in-built technical indicators have made trading newbie friendly. Check out our best forex trading platforms article.

Need a broker? We reviewed these excellent online brokers and top forex brokers for you!

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