There are many options on the market when it comes to selecting the right trading platform. Anything from smaller companies all the way up to well-known names in the industries, which leads us to this article. MetaTrader is arguably one of the most well known names when it comes to trading because they offer so much to their users.
Not only that, but there are two variations of their product, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. Each with different services they offer, this article will be a dive into what each offer and if one may be better than the other. Ultimately it is your choice but after this, you should have the knowledge to make an informed decision.
As stated, MetaTrader 5 is a popular trading platform that allows its users to trade various assets, including Forex. Many brokers are compatible with the trading platform, making it one of the most well know platforms in the game. Within the platform, MetaTrader 5 allows you to perform various technical and fundamental analysis, along with qualitative research as well.
One thing to keep in mind that each platform is different and maybe shouldn’t be viewed as an upgrade from the other, rather one offers services the other is unable.
MT 5 offers users the various options you would expect from a well-known trading platform, such as various chart layouts including candlesticks, and many of the popular technical analysis tools. Also within the platform, you are able to create a watch list, which allows traders to gather stocks or assets that may present itself for a trade and put them on a list so there is no need to write down the tickers.
Lastly, if you are looking into algorithm trading or you are an advanced trader then MetaTrader 5 may be for you. With the vast amount of usability and customization, while the options aren’t limitless, you won’t become bored or frustrated by the platform.
Next on our list is MetaTrader 4, which as with MetaTrader 5 is very user friendly and offers a variety of services to their users. MetaTrader 4 is popular among the Forex community not only for the usability but also for the compatibility with many brokers.
Another reason many people find MetaTrader 4 useful are the order execution speed, tools, and the ability to analyze Forex pairs. Some of the benefits to consider with MT 4 include the large-scale use and accessibility to many around the world. The various charting tools you can use for technical analysis of the Forex pairs. Also, for those looking to utilize algorithm trading MetaTrader 4 offers the ability to utilize and build algorithms that can be used for trading. Overall, the customization of this platform attracts many.
Same with MetaTrader 5, you have access to many of the market products including Forex and CFD’s. Overall, at the basic level they provide traders are similar, but now we’ll go over in detail the differences.
Differences Between MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5
While there are many similarities between the two trading platforms, there are several differences to keep in mind. First off, MetaTrader 4 is arguably more geared towards Forex traders. While you can certainly access other markets, MT4 offers users different trading options that MT5 does not. MT4 allows for hedging and MT5 implements FIFO by default.
Another difference you will notice is that while both are widely accepted, some platforms offer MetaTrader 4 only, giving it more exposure naturally. Not to say that MetaTrader 5 isn’t widely used in its own right, you’ll likely find MetaTrader 4 to be used more.
On the side of MetaTrader 5, this platform offers more timeframes than MetaTrader 4, allowing for a more customizable charting experience. Also, MT5 offers their users unlimited number of charts to be open. Other items to consider include MetaTrader 5 can have 6 pending order types whereas MetaTrader 4 can only have 4. Depth of market and an economic calendar are included with MT5. Also, with MT5 you can have 38 technical indicators instead with MT4 you can only have 30.
There are many differences but many still regard MT4 as the go to for Forex trading. While each have their own unique services, it is always best to test drive each platform before making a final decision. For example, you may find that you never come close to 30 indicators or care about how man charts can be open. With that case you may simple go off usability of each platform.
As financial technology has continued to expand, mobile trading has continued to grow in popularity and necessity. Having the ability to trade and access your portfolio on the go is critical for those who are active in the market. Knowing you can enter and exit a trade with a wireless connection is important, if not essential in today’s landscape.
Both MT4 and MT5 offer their users a mobile platform that allows them to manage their positions. Starting with MT4, they offer their users both an Android and iOS application that allows you to have a full experience. MT4 touts their mobile apps to be the “world’s most functional platform”, allowing you to choose from hundreds of brokers and access to many technical analysis tools. MT4 mobile also offers complete control over a trading account, symbol charts, history of trades, and free mobile chat and email.
Moving on to MT5, you will note there is also an app for both Andriod and iOS. In todays landscape it is uncommon to have only one app for one mobile platform. MetaTrader 5 mobile gives traders to option to support two accounting systems, netting and hedging. Beyond that, MT5 offers many of the same features the MT4 mobile app does such as history of trades, and the ability to buy and see your desired assets.
Now the driving question is which one is better and that is dependent upon which platform you use. Certainly throughout your review process you may find that the mobile platform of one may be more useful but the desktop version is not. Ultimately it is up to you and your style to decide, but either seems to give traders the ability to have detailed access to their account on the mobile platform.
MetaTrader for Mac
For those who utilize Mac products and the iOS operating system then you likely know the difficulties of finding compatible platforms. Unfortunately this seems to still be the case but luckily, MT4 and MT5 are both compatible with Apple products.
One thing to keep in mind is that MetaTrader was intended for Windows and Mac users will need to download some sort of software that will allow the MetaTrader platform to work on their system.
Starting with MT4, Mac users have the full capabilities Windows users have without needing a virtual operating system. This means Mac users can trade CFD’s to Forex with the same functionality if they were using the Windows operating system. Also, utilizing the platform is free, however, you’ll have to keep in mind any broker fees and trading fees.
MT5 also have the ability to offer their users a full experience on Mac products. You’ll have access to the markets and products as you would if you were utilizing a Windows operating System. However, keep in mind that as a Mac user, you will need to download software that allows the product to run.
Overall, you’ll have to test both and find what works best for you. However, it may be advisable to test MetaTrader 4 as this is the more known of the two platforms. Hopefully in the future, Mac users can simply download the software and press on.
Now that you have an in depth review of the platforms, here is a quick recap of all the service supported by each.
- Order fill is a “Fill or Kill” method
- 4 pending orders available
- 30 technical indicators
- 9 time frames
- Order fill is “Fill or Kill Immediate” or Cancel Return
- 6 pending order types
- 38 technical indicators
- 21 time frames
MT4 Drawbacks Compare to MT5
- Lesser amount of time frames, indicators and pending order types
- Lack of depth of market and time & sales
- No exchange trading
- Limited symbols
Overall, MT4 is the tried and true platform that many have come to know and enjoy. However, if you are looking to invest into algorithm trading the MT5 may be your option. Also, if you plan on utilize several different time frames then you may enjoy the offers of MT5. Keep in mind though among the community, it is widely agreed upon that MT4 is a good choice for Forex as that is what it was intended for.
As with any product, each have their own benefits and drawbacks. If this is your first go at MetaTrader, it may be beneficial to start with MetaTrader 4 and test it from there. You can always move to MetaTrader 5 if you find you need more of a certain aspect of the platform. No matter your choice, you can’t go wrong as these are both widely known and used throughout the trading industry.