Meta Trader 4 (MT4) is one of the worlds most popular trading platforms that, over the past 13 years, has cultivated a unique online trading culture with a huge ecosystem behind it.
MT4 offers you the flexibility to build and backtest strategies through a range of automated trading algorithms and bespoke apps. What’s more, you can buy and sell trading automation programmes through the MT4 market space. A lot of the software available is open-source allowing you to code your own programmes and share them with other traders.
This article is a guest post by leading MT4, CFD and spread betting broker ETX Capital.
The key difference, when compared to proprietary platforms, is that MT4 is not intrinsically linked to any single broker. Instead, Meta Quotes, the software developer behind MT4, licence their platform to brokers, who in turn offer it to their clients.
The practical upshot is that with an MT4 licence smaller brokerages are able to compete with larger, more established firms effectively lowering trading costs. However, with an ever-growing number of brokers offering MT4, either as their main platform or alongside their own solutions, it can prove difficult to choose a provider.
Most traders tend to act on recommendations, however, there are a few key features to look for before opening an account.
Automated Expert Advisors allow you to take positions automatically, based on pre-set trading parameters. You can program Expert Advisors to follow a very specific set of instructions, allowing your positions to be automatically opened and closed without you needing to be present.
Some MT4 brokers may limit access to EAs so make sure you check before signing up.
Multiple chart capability on MetaTrader
This feature enables you to open multiple charts at the same time, all providing you with real-time data giving you the ability to live-stream the latest market fluctuations.
This is somewhat of a standard feature, however, make sure your chosen broker is offering a comprehensive charting package with built-in indicators alongside specific custom indicators.
The ability to trade micro-lots on MT4
With MT4 you can choose to either trade in standard lots or micro-lots, which allows you to trade in smaller increments and limit your overall exposure.
Some brokers may not offer the ability to trade micro-lots so make sure you ask as it’s a great option to have.
MT4 Free VPS
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) allows you to use Expert Advisors (EAs) 24/7. The VPS means you no longer need your home computer continuously running for your EAs to execute trades, ensuring uninterrupted trading day and night. If the VPS provided is in close physical proximity to your brokers MT4 servers then you will also benefit from much faster execution times, allowing you to catch that price before it changes.
Some providers charge for this service, but some offer it for free. You have choice, so why pay.
Execution speed on Metatrader 4
This is the area where the broker really comes into their own. MT4 is not owned by the broker, however, the broker is responsible for the price feeds and the infrastructure behind the scenes that actually execute the trades, so always choose a well-established broker with the free VPS.
When comparing MT4 brokers ask to see their execution stats; for MT4 and Expert Advisors you should be looking for execution speeds of sub 25-30 milliseconds.
Added benefits when you trade through an MT4 broker
You know as well as they do that MT4 is available from other providers, so look for the added benefits of choosing them over the others. These may include free trading courses, dedicated customer service or high levels of account security.
How to choose an MT4 broker?
You know as well as brokers do that MT4 is available from other providers, so look for the added benefits of choosing them over the others. These may include free trading courses, dedicated customer service or high levels of account security.
Do the background research and find a broker that has been operating for a good number of years and is FCA regulated. You will be able to find information online regarding annual turn over, number of active clients and overall trustworthiness to make an informed decision.
At ETX Capital we have a dedicated MT4 team who work to develop our backend technologies in order to keep us competitive on pricing and execution speed. Last month 99% of our MT4 trades were executed in 12 milliseconds or less which the hard work we do behind the scenes. We have been operating in financial markets for over 50 years based out of London. If you want to find out more about MT4 and what we can offer as your broker, contact our team or sign up for a free account on our website.