MetaTrader is one of the most popular tools among retail traders in the foreign exchange (Forex) market. MetaTrader is a free-of-charge trading platform that allows retail traders to participate in the Forex market—the largest financial market in the world, with a value of $2.409 quadrillion and an average daily trade volume of $6.6 trillion.
Metaquotes Software Corp released MetaTrader 4 in 2004, and it is currently used by 90% of the foreign exchange speculative traders worldwide. Its ease of use, number of technical indicators, and adaptability to different types of investments contribute to the popularity of the MetaTrader 4. Some larger organizations hire a MetaTrader programmer to further customize the software to align with their trading strategies.
Connecting Forex to MetaTrader
You do not use MetaTrader 4 to directly place trades on the foreign exchange market. It serves as a broker that gives traders access to a platform for buying and selling on Forex.
Take the following six steps to use MetaTrader:
- Choose a Broker
Although the exact number is unknown, there are an estimated 1,500 Forex brokers available to choose from. Before choosing a broker, make sure you are comfortable with the following items:
- The broker is regulated by the appropriate authorities in your country (regulatory compliance differs by country)
- The broker offers the currency pairs you want to trade
- The account features offered by the broker (e.g., initial deposit, leverage, margin, commissions, and spread) meet your parameters
- Ease of deposit and withdrawal
- The trading platform and availability of customer support
There are websites, such asForex-Ratings, that review brokers and make it easy for traders to choose a broker that fits their requirements.
- Create an Account with Your Broker
After selecting a broker you want to trade with, you can proceed to their official website and create an account. Most brokers make opening an account fairly simple, often only requiring your name, contact information, email address, and password. As an alternative, you can decide to import your data using Google, Facebook, or Apple cloud.
- Create a Trading Account
There are two types of Forex trading accounts—live and demo accounts. These two accounts are either automatically created by your broker or you can create them yourself. Create a live and demo account for MetaTrader 4 connected to your broker’s platform and store the unique login details–these are different from the email and password you use to create an account with the broker.
Live accounts credit the broker with actual cash to trade, while demo accounts allow traders to experiment with fake money; profits on demo accounts are not withdrawable. However, if you are completely new to Forex trading, we recommend that you create and use a free demo account to practice and test your trading strategy before jumping into a live account.
- Download and Install MetaTrader
To download MetaTrader 4, visit its website and click Download MetaTrader 4 for Windows, Linux and macOS, or visit the app store from your mobile device to install MetaTrader there. You will also see an option to download MetaTrader 5, which is discussed below.
- Login to MetaTrader
The unique login details for your demo account is what you would use in MetaTrader–not your email and password used to create a broker account. To log into MetaTrader on your personal computer, follow these steps:
- Launch MetaTrader 4.
- Go to the menu bar and select ‘File.’
- In the drop-down list, select ‘Login to Trade Account.’
- In the pop-up window, enter your trade account login and password.
- Select the correct server for your broker that matches the account type you created.
- When you are successfully logged in, the bottom right-hand corner of your screen will turn green.
On a mobile device, navigate to the menu bar and click ‘Manage Accounts.’ Tap the ‘+’ sign on the top right hand corner, find your broker, and enter your login details. To get access to even more charts and extra perks, you can learn how to connect MetaTrader to Tradingview.
- Start Trading
When your Forex account is connected to MetaTrader 4, you can now analyze currency pairs and place trades on MetaTrader. You can fund the account by sending money to your broker using one of the many means available, including credit card, bank transfer, e-transfer, or even cryptocurrency, depending on what your broker accepts. Your funds will automatically appear on MetaTrader 4 when you credit your trading account via your broker.
MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5?
Following the success of MetaTrader 4, Metaquotes Software Corp launched MetaTrader 5 in 2010. For traders looking to trade contracts for differences, futures, options, and indices, connect to MetaTrader 5.
However, you should know that MetaTrader 5 was not created as an upgrade to MetaTrader 4, but rather as an alternative platform to give traders access to a broader spectrum of markets. If you’re looking for further guidance on connecting Forex to MetaTrader, Guru’s experienced MetaTrader programmers are ready to help!