What is the Difference Between MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5

Whether you are new to financial trading or you’ve dabbled in the stocks and forex markets in the past, it’s highly likely you will be aware of the MetaTrader platform. It is considered one of the industry’s most comprehensive trading platforms, enabling retail traders to execute automated trading strategies at the touch of a button.

Interestingly, most of the leading trading brokers support MetaTrader 5 as well as the long-standing MetaTrader 4. You might wonder whether MetaTrader 5 is an update on the platform that’s been in existence since July 2005. In some ways, it is and in others, it isn’t. Put simply, it’s horses for courses as to which platform you choose. Within this article, we will outline which traders will benefit most from using MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 respectively.


Pros and cons of MetaTrader 4

First and foremost, it’s important to recognise that MetaTrader 4 was originally designed for retail trading the forex markets. If you have never dabbled in foreign exchange before, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with some of these popular forex trading books, given that knowledge is one of the best tools for trading success.

What this does mean is that MetaTrader 4 is not a piece of software you can depend on to trade the stock and futures markets. However, if you are a forex trader or you are looking to starting trading forex pairs, you will find there are more than 750 brokers available online which individually license the platform to retail traders like you. You will also find that there are many brokers offering demo accounts to new clients that accept the use of MT4 even when you are trading risk-free with demo money. It’s a great way to familiarise yourself with the platform, which is fully compatible with Windows, MacOS, Linux and Android on desktop and mobile.

It’s also widely available for free download, whilst supporting a global audience of users in over 30 different languages. The intuitive interface of MetaTrader 4 makes it easy for retail traders to spot trends on the move. However, one of the main issues that holds MetaTrader 4 back compared with MetaTrader 5 is the number of chart timeframes available. MetaTrader 4 offers nine different chart timeframes, but its successor includes an impressive 21 which gives you the ability to analyse market movements in granular detail.

When it comes to the execution of trades in the forex markets, MetaTrader 4 only handles hedging. Meanwhile its successor permits hedging by request, as well as netting.

Pros and cons of MetaTrader 5

It has to be said that MetaTrader 5 has not yet secured the notoriety of its predecessor, which is to be expected given its relatively new arrival to the financial trading industry. However, it is sure to make waves eventually given that it is designed not only for executing forex trades but stocks and commodities too.

MetaTrader 5 is considered an advanced, multi-asset trading platform. That’s because it is designed to enable you to place trades using multiple accounts via multiple brokers. Programmed by the new MQL5 language, this fast and robust platform gives users a chance to review up to 100 charts on stocks, commodities or forex pairs simultaneously. Combine that with a raft of technical indicators – 80 to be precise – and 44 analytical objects, and it’s easier than ever to monitor the most modest of market trends.

Traders can build their own algorithmic trading programs using MQL5, but it’s important to note that any algorithms previously built using MQL4 for MetaTrader 4 are incompatible with the MQL5 platform. Nevertheless, the MetaTrader 5 platform is faster and more efficient than its predecessor in many ways. It is a 64-bit multi-threaded system, compared with MetaTrader 4’s legacy 32-bit mono-threaded system.

In summary

With such positivity and functionality surrounding MetaTrader 5, why would we suggest that MetaTrader 4 should be your first port of call when trading the financial markets for the first time? Put simply, its simplicity is much needed to get your head around the markets. Many financial traders consider earning their stripes with MetaTrader 4 before upgrading to the MetaTrader 5 platform when they have the expertise to fully utilise the advanced tools available in MT5. MetaTrader 4 is just as accessible as its successor, with smartphone and tablet functionality making it easy to monitor the markets and open positions 24/7, with a full complement of trading orders, indicators and signals under the bonnet.

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