All posts for the month February, 2015

Metatrader4 trading platform

Metatrader 4 Platform

MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is one of the most popular software trading platforms among Forex traders. It was released by MetaQuotes Software in 2002 and since then went through numerous revisions becoming a tool of choice for traders across the globe. Today, practically any reputable Forex broker offers Metatrader 4 as one of the trading platforms. The popularity of MetaTrader 4 comes from the fact that this feature rich software comes completely free, not tied to any particular broker and – most importantly – allows algorithmic trading. As any other commercial trading platform MetaTrader 4 can be used for traditional or manual trading. However, its real power is in allowing traders to automate their unique strategies, back-test them on historical data and then launched them in entirely hands-off mode on demo or live trading account. Automated strategies developed and run on MetaTrader 4 platform are called Expert Advisers. These are software programs written in mql4 language (programming language created specifically for MetaTrader 4 platform) and in order to automate your strategy you have to … well, you have to program it in mql4. Those traders with programming background get powerful tool in their hands. But those who lack programming skills are out of luck. Maybe until they wander to your website where they automate their trading system without writing single line of code.

In this post we will walk you through the process of installation and configuring MetaTrader 4 platform on your Windows computer. As we already said before, many of online forex brokers support MetaTrader 4 platform and offer it free to download. If you already have a broker, go to its website and navigate to it download page. If you haven’t yet picked your broker, there are tons to chose from. Not every broker who offers MetaTrader 4 platform is a good broker. We are not going to recommend anyone in particular in this post. If you are going to open live trading account, you have to do your research online and pick the one you can trust with your money. The good news is that to open demo account, you don’t have to worry too much about trustworthiness of a particular brokers. Opening demo account is easy, you don’t have to provide any personal or banking information (in most cases), don’t have to fill any forms, and you can do it from within the platform itself with one or two mouse clicks. You can even open multiple demo accounts with the same broker if you wish. Furthermore, if your goal is to run your system only on historical data (backtesting) and polish it before starting demo or live trading you don’t even need any account.

MetaTrader 4 download and installation

For our walk through tutorial we chose online Forex broker. Disclaimer: has no affiliation with this broker and we chose it solely for example sake. Browse to home page and scroll down to the bottom. Locate Download section and click MetaTrader 4:


This brings you to software download page where you click on MetaTrade4 for Windows link:


This brings you to the next page where you click on blue bar saying


The following dialog box will show up:


Here you click Save File and download starts. Once download is completed (should take few seconds on broadband connection), locate the downloaded file on your drive, run it and click yes at the dialog box shown below:


This will launch MT4 Installer and the dialog box shown below will open. Click Next.


This will open License Agreement window:

Read carefully License Agreement and if you agree with its terms, check Yes and click Next. The following window will show up:


Please pay attention to the installation folder. You may use the default one suggested by the installer, but keep in mind that you might want to install more than one entity of Metatrader on your computer. Usually the suggested folder includes the name of the broker who you downloaded MT4 installer from. However, you may want to setup 2 or more entities of MT4 from the same broker. More on the reasons why you would want to do this can be found here. If you do plan on multiple installation entities of the platform, give the installation folder some unique name. Once you okay with the folder, keep check marks checked and click Next. This start the installation process with the progress shown in the window below. Once the installation complete, click Finish.


Opening MetaTrader 4 demo account

Now we are done with installation and after clicking Finish, the platform will open automatically (the next time you will open it with the shortcut on your desktop). You will be presented with a number of opened price charts and an Open An Account dialog box:


What’s following next is a guide on setting up a demo account with your broker through Metatrader platform. You can skip all following steps if you plan only back test and optimize your strategy without doing demo or live trading. If so, you can click Cancel now. You can always return to Open Account wizard through File menu. Click here to see how to setup Metatrader for back testing only.

This dialog box lists a number of trading servers available at the selected broker. If there is more than one, pick the one with smallest value in the Ping column (the smaller the ping, the faster is your communication with the trading server). If no servers listed or if Ping value is 0, click Scan button to get an updated list. Often brokers provide different servers for live and demo accounts and restrict demo accounts to dedicated servers. Keep this in mind when picking the server for live or demo trading.

Select a server and click Next. This opens a new dialog box:


If you already have an account you should select “Existing trade account” and enter your login and password here. For our example, we will open a completely new demo account. So we select “New demo account” and click Next. This opens up a form shown below where the broker asks to fill some personal information and certain account parameters. Remember, as long as you are opening demo account you don’t have to provide your real personal information. Just fill in something to match the expected format (see the image below).


There are 3 fields in this form that we want you to pay attention to:

  • Currency – enter the currency symbol you intend to “fund” your demo account. The choice is often restricted by the broker. We will use USD for our example.
  • Leverage – even if the form provides many choices in this drop down field, stick to the leverage provided by your broker for live accounts. We will set Leverage to 1:200.
  • Deposit – there is no point on going wild here. Enter deposit amount you would use for opening live account.

The last thing that you need to do on this form is to agree to subscribe to newsletter. Yes, you have to do it in order to proceed with opening demo account. But if the email you provided is you don’t have to worry too much about it. So check the newsletter check box and click Next. You will be presented with the last dialog box which includes your Login and Password.


Click Finish. You demo account is created and you are automatically logged in.