How to Start Trading on MetaTrader 4

 January 30, 2021

By  BC Editorial Team

MT4 was unveiled in 2005, which makes it a real veteran. However, it has not lost its appeal. Even today, this brainchild of MetaQuotes Software is one of the most popular systems for forex trading around the world. The secure system can be downloaded for free, and it has everything a trader needs. Here is an overview of its impressive capabilities.

Cross-Platform System

MetaTrader 4 comes in three versions supporting 20+ languages. You may install it on a desktop computer or use the mobile terminal for tablets and smartphones, whatever the OS (Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS are all compatible). Finally, there is a web-based dimension — it works inside popular browsers and does not require any downloads at all.

As you can see, the system is remarkably flexible, so you may switch devices easily during the day. In our modern fast-paced world, this is essential. Traders are not tethered to their desktop computers any more. They may analyse the market at a glance using a smartphone, initiate a position from their laptop, edit it from a tablet, etc. All versions connect to the same servers, so data is shared instantly.

Fundamentals of Trading

A trading platform or terminal is the virtual environment where trades are placed. MT4 is a comprehensive system that includes analysis tools, trade management and risk control features, account management, and more. It allows you to develop a diversified portfolio of assets for high profits and lower risk across markets. This is the basis of lasting trading success. In South Africa, MT4 is accessible through global brokers like ForexTime.

Live versus Demo Accounts

MetaTrader 4 may be used in two modes — demo and live. The first system is designed for training purposes. Users unlock the trading simulator which replicates real market conditions and provides them with a sum of virtual money, so they can try applying strategies safely. Reputable brokers provide unlimited demos, so clients may polish their skills before putting real capital at stake.

Beware of brokers that encourage you to open a live account right off the bat. This is a red flag. Responsible intermediaries help clients build competence, so they have better results when they start using real money.

Both types of accounts are registered through brokerage sites. For demos, the process is the easiest. All you need is to fill in a simple contact form, and the broker will generate and email your login and password immediately. You can then open the simulator straight away. Live accounts require identity verification. Hence, you will be asked to upload a few documents for the broker to comply with the industry regulations.

Range of Instruments

Generally, MetaTrader 4 supports a range of instruments that includes currencies, spot metals, stocks, commodities, CFDs and market indices. However, its interface is relatively simple compared with MetaTrader 5. As a rule, beginners explore the currency market using MT4 and transition to MT5 when they start expanding their portfolios.

Tools for Analysis

Traders analyse trends using the fundamental or technical approach. Each requires a specific set of digital aids. MT4 facilitates both systems, which makes it universal.

Fundamental traders analyse media information. They need instant access to news, so they can foresee changes. Technical traders use price charts with different time scales. They seek out patterns — price trajectories that hint at the next likely movement. Technical traders love the system because it has:

  • interactive charts reflecting real-time quotes;
  • over 30 indicators like Moving Averages (MAs).

Secrets of Success

Whatever the software, only some traders make their profit consistent. Forex rewards those who can follow consistent strategies and keep calm under pressure. These users calculate every step and measure the risks carefully. They know it is not advisable to risk no more than 1% of your capital per trade. They always set stop loss and take profit values to secure the best price levels.

Trading psychology is another important aspect. It is not enough to know how all the features and controls work. When the going gets tough, and panic sets in, market participants tend to make impulsive mistakes on the spur of the moment. For example, when the price is going down, they may short sell for fear of bigger losses. However, when the price recovers, they only have themselves to blame.

BC Editorial Team


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