MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform overview

The MetaTrader platform is arguably the most popular forex trading platform used by traders and corporations worldwide for the trading of currencies and CFD instruments. Originally developed as FX Charts in 2000, Metaquotes in 2001 and then MetaTrader in 2002, this software was developed as a broker-end trading platform with which forex brokers could provide their traders trading access to the forex market. The MetaTrader4 was released in 2005 and even though MetaTrader5 was released in 2010, the MT4 is still the most widely used platform. This software was developed by Metaquotes Software Corporation.

Trading Forex with the MetaTrader

Since the platform was built as a broker-based trading platform solution with a client terminal, anyone who wishes to trade forex on the MetaTrader4 platform has to do so via a forex broker who offers the software as a trading platform. The MT4 is free to use and is available in several versions:

a) The conventional PC version which is a Microsoft Windows based software platform solution. The client terminal is what is available to the trader for use.

b) MetaTrader4 Mobile which is a more modern development of the MT4 that came on board in response to the increase in use of smart-phones such as the iPhone, Android,Symbian, Android and PDAs.  This runs on Windows Pocket PC 2002 or Mobile 2003.

c) MetaTrader4 Multi-terminal for those who trade multiple accounts. This version allows trades to be placed in several client accounts at the same time. This is a favorite of fund managers.

In order to start trading with the MetaTrader4 platform, these are the steps to follow:

Demo Trading

Demo trading allows you to trade with virtual money for practice purposes. The trader not only has the ability to practice and test his skills and strategies before going live, but can also study how the MT4 trading platform works, and how to use the various functions of theMetaTrader4 client terminal to trade forex. The trader does not need to open a trading account to use the MT4 for demo trading. All the trader needs to do is to visit the website of a preferred broker offering the MT4 client terminal, and download the software. After download and setup, a pop-up window appears and prompts the trader to enter some basic details, after which a username and password is issued for use of the demo trading MT4platform. Subsequently, the username and password has to be used to login to the platform for demo trading.

Real Trading

The only difference between the real trading and demo trading process described above, is that this time around, the trader has to open a live trading account with the broker offering the MT4 platform. This can usually be done online. More information is requested from the trader, and the trader must also provide a proof of identity and proof of residence. Once the account opening is approved, the trader is then issued with a trading username and a trader + investor password with which to assess the trading platform as well as trading account statements.

After this, the trader can now deposit funds into his trading account with his broker using wire transfers or other means such as credit card deposits, Paypal, Moneybooker or other online payment methods. Once the deposit is reflected in the trading account, the trader can start to buy and sell currencies on the forex market, using the various functions on theMT4 platform.

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