Learn Forex Trading for Intermediate Traders

Intermediate
Trading101
20 Lessons
20 Hours

MetaTrader4: Tips and Tricks to Make Your Life Easier

Forex trading is the place where investors, speculators, banks, brokers, and other entities meet to exchange currencies freely. The purpose of exchanging them varies from pure profit-making to long-term portfolio building and day-to-day activities like in the case of commercial banks.

The problem with Forex trading (a.k.a. access to the interbank market) was that the retail traders didn’t have access to it. It was too expensive until technological breakthrough made it possible for the retail traders to tap into it.

Via a Forex broker that charges a fee, retail traders participate too in the world of Forex trading. But make sure you understand something: there is no way in this world for the retail trading industry to have the slightest influence on the price of a currency pair or the valuation of a currency.

How come? The explanation comes from pure math.

Statistically, the daily volume in Forex trading exceeds trillions of dollars. Out of that, only five or six percent belongs to retail trading.

However, retail traders still give it a shot. In a way, it is understandable, because sometimes illusions are more comfortable than reality, meaning that if we don’t dream, we can’t make it, we shut down the desire to succeed and progress stops from that very moment.

The other entities part of Forex trading access the interbank market via different trading platforms. However, renting a Bloomberg terminal, for example, comes at a high price for the retail trader.

As such, trading platforms dedicated to the retail trader appeared. Forex brokers offer them for free and represent the interface to the interbank market.

MetaTrader4 – The First Choice Among Forex Retail Traders

The MetaTrader4 is a multi-facet trading platform for all types of traders: scalpers, swing traders, and investors. It offers the possibility to import custom indicators, to build robots or expert advisors and even to run automated strategies.

While we covered most of the aspects related to it, this article aims at offering some tips to make a trader’s life easier when using the MT4 platform in Forex trading.

Restarting the Platform

There’s nothing more frustrating than losing your work. Unfortunately, it happens when trading with the MT4 as the platform automatically saves the changes only when restarting it.

In other words, any trendline, channel, indicator, etc., added on a chart, will stay there only if you close the platform and open it again. You might say…so what?

Well, when things go wrong, they go wrong. Imagine the electricity shuts down. Or, the computer freezes.

If there are recent changes, they won’t appear when the problem is solved. Hence, the work is lost.

While it isn’t a big deal in most cases, in others, it requires a long time to build the trading setup again. This is especially true when trading the market with the Elliott Waves Theory.

A proper Elliott analysis implies counting from a top/down perspective, starting with the monthly timeframe and coming down to lower ones like the four-hour charts or even the hourly ones.

Such a process requires time, and you don’t want to lose the hours of long hard work only because you didn’t shut down the platform every few hours.

Drawing Trendlines

A trendline is the line of the trend. Traders adapt their strategies based on a trendline’s angle, and it is the first tool you should know how to use when charting a market.

In Forex trading where the market changes so often with multiple intraday swings, the need for drawing a trendline appears regularly, making it useful to know how to use it. The first thing to do after you open a new MT4 platform is to draw a trendline, select it, and under the Parameters tab, deselect the Ray option.

Once Ray is deselected, you can draw trendlines with custom lengths, so they fit the overall technical analysis.

Copy/Paste Trendlines

In many instances, the technical analysis requires the copy and paste of a trendline, to use it as a parallel line, or as an extension to the current one.

If that’s the case, follow these steps:

  • Select the trendline
  • Push the CTRL tab on your keyboard
  • Click on the trendline again
  • Drag the trendline anywhere on the screen

The process described above was repeated three times, resulting in three parallel lines.

Select an Object with One Single Click

Still, with the default settings, in order for a trader to select an object (like the trendline from the chart above, for example) they will need to click it twice.

While there’s nothing wrong with this, few traders know that the MT4 offers the option to select an object with only one click. It may not seem like much, but for retail traders that do this for a living, or for anyone that spends a couple/few hours a day in front of the screens to analyze the market, it represents fifty percent fewer clicks. Hence, time spared.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to the top menu and find the Tools tab
  • Select the Options tab
  • Search for the Objects tab
  • Check the box that says “Select object with a single mouse click.”

Use a Template

The MT4 offers the possibility to chart any currency pair. Simply go on the MarketWatch, select a currency pair and drag it to the main window.

Or, right click on currency pair, select Chart Window, and it’ll appear on the main charting window, just like below.

While we have an idea about the price action, the charting window is fully customizable.

Right click on it, choose Properties, and you can fully customize it.

From the background to the color of the candles, traders can change anything. However, you don’t want to repeat this step every time you open a new chart, right?

You don’t need to, as there is a possibility to save the template. Here’s how:

  • Make sure you customize the chart in such a way to be of further use on any future analysis
  • Right-click, Choose the Template option, then Save Template
  • Open a new chart, in any timeframe
  • Right click, choose the Template option, then Load Template, and select the one just saved

You can save multiple templates using different names and use them on any future chart. This makes it easier when switching brokers.

For example, if you switch from one broker to another, you can take your analysis with you, providing both brokers offer the MT4 platform. In doing that, not only a template but complete profiles can be exported to the new MT4 platform.

Conclusion

The features presented in this article only come to highlight the possibilities offered by the MT4 platform. They are not the most important ones for a trader, but just some tricks to make a trader’s life easier.

The MT4 is not the only choice retail traders have in Forex trading. In fact, other trading platforms have appeared, like the cTrader, MT5, among others.

But the main features remain the same, with the new platforms merely replicating the MT4. In the case of the MT5, for example, brokers were forced to offer it due to restrictions in some parts of the world. More about this in a different article later on in the Trading Academy.