What is the Metatrader online trading platform and how to use it

Metaquotes’ Metatrader is one of the most popular, if not the most well-known, online trading platforms for forex traders. It represents the harmonisation and sets the industry standard for a multi-brokerage platform, allowing traders to use the same platform through a large number of different brokers. Metatrader has grown in popularity since its arrival in 2002, not only due to the host of excellent tools for analysing forex charts, but also the ability for traders to develop and share indicators and systems through the use of the Metatrader script editor. Metatrader also supports the use and back-testing of automated Expert Advisors (EA) which can be designed using the Metatrader language of MQL4 and applied to all currency pairs with a vast range of variables for both testing and historic analysis of trading systems.

What is Metatrader?

Metatrader can be downloaded free of charge from a large number of brokers and used as the primary trading platform for all currency pairs. The platform provides multi-window trading and the ability for traders to view charts across a number of different timeframes. The data that is provided for these charts is also extensive and, unlike custom platforms, this can be applied over several years even on the smaller timeframes. The charts are fully-customisable and these can be conveniently saved as templates and applied to any individual chart window. Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of the Metatrader platform is it’s simplicity and, despite being an incredibly powerful trading resource, it has maintained a simple and easy-to-grasp interface.

Customisable indicators

The freedom for forex traders to design and implement their own custom indicators is a very large part of the success of the Metatrader platform. The fact that there are currently thousands of custom indicators, designed using the Metatrader language, which can be applied by any trader using the platform. Although Metatrader has a number of the most popular indicators in-built, such as the MACD, Stochastic and Moving Average, it is very much designed for traders to import their own indicators in addition to these. Following this, Metatrader indicator files have become the standard format shared amongst traders, downloadable from forex websites and exchanged on web-forums. This has not only exposed forex traders to a new generation of indicator but has diversified and supported the development of mechanical and automated trading strategies for which it is the leading trading platform.

Comprehensive back-testing and strategy design

Automated trading has grown in popularity due to the ability of traders to code and run their own custom strategies through their broker and via the Metatrader platform. Whilst those Expert Advisors (EA’s) advertised with claims of vast profits overnight should be avoided, the development of automated systems through Metatrader has allowed traders to develop their own forex robots. Again, these are all fully exchangeable and customisable between Metatrader users but the most important aspect of this is the capability to back-test EA’s thoroughly using historical price data. The strategy testing facility on the Metatrader platform is not only useful for the development of EA’s, but its straightforward coding gives the opportunity for all mechanical strategies to be tested. Of the Metatrader features most highly credited, this facility is perhaps the most popular and explains why the software has established itself as an industry standard.

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