MetaTrader 4 is a trading platform developed by MetaQuotes Software for online trading in the forex, contract for differences (CFDs) and futures markets. MT4, as it is commonly known, can be downloaded at no charge directly from the MetaQuotes web site (metaquotes.net) or through dozens of online forex brokers. MT4 provides tools and resources that allow traders to analyze price, place and manage trades, and employ automated trading techniques. This tutorial will provide an introduction to many of MetaTrader 4’s features, including chart settings, technical analysis tools and trade placement.
The MT4 platform can be downloaded directly from MetaQuotes Software’s dedicated MT4 web site (metatrader4.com) Installation only takes a few minutes with a high-speed Internet connection. After clicking on “Download”, a MetaTrader 4 Setup window will appear, as shown in Figure 1. Read the license agreement, and then click “Next” to begin the installation.
A new window, will appear, giving various options. Simply click the box to uncheck the selection. Click “Next” to continue.
A new window will appear that shows the installation progress. Once all the tasks have been completed, click “Next” to continue.
|Figure 3: Installation progress.|
Following successful installation, MT4 will launch with its default parameters, as illustrated in Figure 4. A pop-up window will appear, prompting the trader to open an account. Fill in the relevant fields. A Demo account is an account where traders can practice using the program without risking real money. Once the account has been successfully created, the data will automatically begin to update, and the price charts will be available.
Opening and Modifying Orders
Once a client is ready to enter an order into the market, the “Order” window is opened. This can be accomplished in one of three ways, as illustrated in Figure 1:
- Right-clicking on a currency pair in the “Market Watch” window and selecting “New Trade”
- Right-clicking on an active chart and selecting Trade>New Order; and
- Clicking on the “New Order” button in the toolbar.
Any method will open the same “Order” window, shown in Figure 2. Here clients must select the:
- “Symbol” from the drop-down list at the top (this will automatically be set to the symbol on the active chart). A corresponding tick chart appears in the left pane.
- “Volume” in terms of lot size. 1.0 is equal to 1 lot, or 100,000 units.
- “Stop Loss” and “Take Profit” if the platform supports this option. If MT4 is downloaded through certain brokers, these fields will be user-definable. Otherwise, these fields will remain blank (but the orders can still be entered later).
- “Type,” either “Market Execution” or “Pending Order” where the trader can specify the desired entry price. Choose “Sell by Market” or “Buy by Market,” depending on the desired trade direction.
- Click “Okay” to close the window.
The open order can be viewed in the “Terminal” window by clicking on the “Trade” tab. To modify an order, such as to add a protective stop loss order and/or a take profit (profit target) order, highlight the trade in the “Trade” tab of the Terminal, right-click and select “Modify or Delete Order.” This is shown in Figure 3.
A window will open where traders can manually specify stop loss and/or take profit levels. The “Copy As” buttons can be clicked to populate the stop loss and take profit fields with the current price. Changes can then be made to the prices to achieve the desired stop loss and take profit levels. Once valid levels are specified, the trade can be entered by clicking on the long, horizontal bar at the bottom of the screen. This bar will be highlighted only when valid stop loss and/or take profit levels have been entered (at least 10 pips away from the trade entry level); otherwise, the bar will remain grey and inactive. Figure 4 shows an example of the “Modify or Delete Order” window.
Once stop loss and take profit values are specified, they will appear on the chart as horizontal lines at the corresponding price levels. This makes it easy for traders to monitor open trades. An example can be viewed in Figure 5. A trailing stop can be added in conjunction with the protective stop loss order that allows the stop level to move up (in the case of a long position) or move down (in a short position) a specified amount. A trailing stop can be entered by right-clicking on an open position in the “Trade” tab of the Terminal, and selecting “Trailing Stop” and the desired stop level.
Figure 5: Stop loss and take profit (profit target) levels will appear as horizontal lines at the appropriate price level.
Closing Orders and Checking Transaction History
From here, the trade will be closed once price hits the stop loss, trailing stop or take profit level. The trade can be closed at any time by highlighting the trade in the “Trade” tab of the Terminal, right-clicking and selecting “Close Order,” as shown in Figure 6.
After selecting “Close Order”, a window will appear prompting the trader to confirm that the trade should be closed. This window can also be opened by double-clicking on the trade in the “Trade” tab of the Terminal. Once the window appears, the yellow horizontal bar at the bottom of the window can be clicked to close the trade, as shown in Figure 7.
All open trade activity can be viewed in the “Trade” tab of the Terminal, and all account history will appear in the “Account History” tab of the Terminal.
Charts and Settings
The price charts can be customized to reflect the trader’s style and colour preferences. Right-click on any price chart and select “Properties” to customize the appearance of the chart. Several default colour schemes appear in the “Colour Scheme” drop-down menu at the top of the “Colours” tab. Traders also have the option to specify colours for each variable, including background, foreground, grid, and bar colours. The “Common” tab allows traders to select if they would like certain features, such as volume, to appear on the chart.
Any price chart can be closed, maximized, minimized or restored by right-clicking on the chart’s tab under the chart windows. Figure 8, for example, shows the window and corresponding choices that appear after right-clicking on the tab for the EURUSD currency pair
Disclaimer: Kindly note that the provided information is only for information purpose and does not represent any investment advice. Independent advice should be considered prior to making an investment decision