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Best MT4 brokers UK: Your Guide to Using MetaTrader 4

MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is one of the most popular and sophisticated trading platforms for CFDs and forex trading.

Though it makes it relatively simple to trade and conduct in-depth analysis on forex and derivative markets, you first need to decide which broker is right for you.

Of course, there are plenty of CFD and forex brokers that support the MT4 trading platform, each bringing its own set of benefits. But which best suits you? Well, continue reading to find out some of the best MT4 brokers UK.

Also consider: CFD Trading For Beginners

10 Best MT4 (MetaTrader) Brokers

Pepperstone

Pepperstone

  • Spreads from 0.0 pips*, fast execution, deep liquidity
  • Available in iOS or Android for mobile
  • 1,200+ instruments across forex, crypto, indices, commodities and shares
  • ETFs available for trading in CFDs and spread betting

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

IG Investments logo

IG

  • One of the best forex brokers in the UK
  • Excellent web platform for trading
  • Low trading fees

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

ActivTrades Logo

ActivTrades

  • Multi-regulated broker, online since 2001
  • Spreads as low as 0.5 pips
  • Award-winning customer support

Spread betting and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread betting and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Capital.com logo

Capital.com

  • Invest in over 1000+ most popular stocks
  • Minimum deposit £20 (except wire transfer)
  • 0% commission & tight spreads

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 83.45% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and/or CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Professional clients can lose more than they deposit. All trading involves risk.

Markets logo

Markets.com

  • Low spreads, rapid execution
  • World-class trading tools
  • Expert support available 24/5

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Forex logo

Forex.com

  • EUR/USD spread as low as 0.5
  • Performance Analytics tool driven by behavioural science technology
  • Operating since 2001

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 80% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Ovalx logo

Ovalx

  • Commission-free trading on popular stocks CFDs
  • 5,000+ markets available
  • Spread betting (UK Only) and CFD trading

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 73.85% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting or trading CFDs with ETX. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets or CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Admiral Markets logo

Admiral Markets: Admirals

  • Get up to 50% cash back on your spreads
  • Hundreds of stocks & stock CFDs
  • Trade and invest in 8,000+ markets

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

City Index logo

City Index

  • Choice of 12,000 markets from one account
  • Smart Signal tool driven by statistics
  • Tight spreads from 0.5 points on FX

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 73% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

IronFX logo

IronFX

  • MT4 and Webtrader 4 platforms available
  • Over 200 tradable instruments available including forex CFDs
  • Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority – FCA No. 585561

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70.51% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Comparison list of MetaTrader (MT4) brokers UK

  Minimum Deposit Regulated in the UK? Maximum Forex Leverage Trade Costs Number of Currency Pairs Number of CFDs on Offer
IG £0 Yes 30:1 $6 80 19,000+
ActivTrades $500 Yes 200:1 $5.70 50+ 1000+
Capital.com $20 Yes 30:1 $0 138 3,600+
Markets.com £100 Yes 30:1 $7 67 2,000
Forex.com $100 Yes 50:1 Varies 80+ /
OvalX $100 Yes 30:1 Varies 62 5,000+
Admiral Markets £250 Yes 30:1 $8 50+ 3,200+
AvaTrade £100 No 30:1 $9 55 625
City Index £0 Yes 30:1 $5 84 5000+
IronFX £50 Yes  30:1 $22 80+ /

Please note: information sourced from broker websites and is accurate as of 14 July 2022.

Which UK forex brokers allow access to the MT4 platform?

As you will soon see, there are a plethora of different forex trading platforms for you to choose from.

Before deciding on one, you should first compare all the different features each offers and figure out which best suits your investment strategy and experience.

IG Investments logo

IG

Potentially one of the most known forex brokers in the UK, IG allows users to trade derivatives or on forex markets using the MT4 platform.

Its platform is regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and has a wide range of different educational materials for you to use. This could make it an ideal forex broker if you’re still a beginner trader.

You will typically only be charged $6 for forex or CFD trades made on IG through the MT4 platform, and better yet, you aren’t required to make a minimum deposit when you first open an account.

IG even has a relatively decent number of currency pairs for you to choose from – there are 80 currency pairs available, with all the major ones covered.

When it comes to derivative trading, IG offers a vast selection of over 19,000 CFDs. In fact, IG is one of the largest CFD brokers in the world.

The maximum amount of leverage you can receive is only 30:1 when you use IG, though this is fairly standard for individual traders on trading platforms like this.

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

ActivTrades Logo

ActivTrades

Potentially one of the most known forex brokers in the UK, IG allows users to trade derivatives or on forex markets using the MT4 platform.

Its platform is regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and has a wide range of different educational materials for you to use. This could make it an ideal forex broker if you’re still a beginner trader.

You will typically only be charged $6 for forex or CFD trades made on IG through the MT4 platform, and better yet, you aren’t required to make a minimum deposit when you first open an account.

IG even has a relatively decent number of currency pairs for you to choose from – there are 80 currency pairs available, with all the major ones covered.

When it comes to derivative trading, IG offers a vast selection of over 19,000 CFDs. In fact, IG is one of the largest CFD brokers in the world.

The maximum amount of leverage you can receive is only 30:1 when you use IG, though this is fairly standard for individual traders on trading platforms like this.

Spread betting and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread betting and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Capital.com logo

Capital.com

If you are looking for trading platforms that will allow you to trade forex or CFDs on MT4 and don’t want to spend money on trades, then Capital.com may be what you’re looking for – there are no fees on trades whatsoever.

Better yet, you are only required to make a minimum deposit of $20 when you first open an account.

This CFD and forex broker even offers a decent range of educational materials and analysis tools for you to use, so may be perfect for beginner or casual traders.

With 138 currency pairs and 3,600 CFDs on offer, you have a wide variety of options to choose from, even if you are just planning on trading major currency pairs.

As for leverage, Capital.com offers the standard 30:1 rate that is common among many different brokers. While this may not seem high, you are unlikely to need higher leverage as it can increase your chances of losing money rapidly.

You can also rest assured that your investments are protected with Capital.com, as it is regulated in the UK by the FCA.

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 83.45% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and/or CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Professional clients can lose more than they deposit. All trading involves risk.

Markets logo

Markets.com

Markets.com is another forex broker that offers access to the MT4 trading platform.

Regulated in the UK by the FCA, the broker has a reportedly high level of customer service. Better yet, all traders are assigned an account manager who aims to give you assistance whenever you need it.

Trading costs and minimum deposits are also relatively low too – you are required to deposit £100 when you first open an account, and you are only charged $7 for every trade.

Again, the maximum leverage you can receive on Markets.com is 30:1, though as has been previously stated in this guide, this should be more than enough if you’re an individual investor.

When it comes to the choice of instruments, Markets.com has a decent selection – there are 67 currency pairs on offer and 2,000 CFDs for you to choose from.

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Forex logo

Forex.com

If you’re looking for a broker that offers a slightly higher maximum leverage, then Forex.com could be the answer.

The broker offers 50:1 leverage, which is slightly higher than the typical 30:1 leverage that most other brokers provide.

The minimum amount of money you must deposit when you first open your account is $100, though you should keep in mind that trading costs may vary.

This is because the cost for trades is typically built into spreads, so if you were wondering why Forex.com has tighter spreads than other brokers, this may be the reason.

There are more than 80 currency pairs when you trade on the forex market using the MT4 platform on Forex.com, as well as a selection of CFDs to choose from.

The forex broker is regulated in the UK by the FCA.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 80% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Ovalx logo

OvalX

Another user-friendly forex broker that supports the MT4 trading platform is OvalX.

If CFD trading is your main goal, then you’re in luck – OvalX has over 5,000 CFDs on offer. The FCA-regulated platform also has 62 currency pairs available, so you have a wide variety of choices on both the derivative and forex markets.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you use MT4 on OvalX is its fee structure. While the minimum deposit is only $100, trading costs vary depending on the currency pair.

For example, you will typically be charged $12 for positions on GBP/USD markets, or $13.90 for EUR/USD equivalents.

As is common for many CFD and forex brokers, the maximum leverage you can receive is 30:1.

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 73.85% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting or trading CFDs with ETX. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets or CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Admiral Markets logo

Admiral Markets: Admirals

Admiral Markets is another forex broker that supports the use of the MT4 trading platform.

The broker is regulated in the UK by the FCA and offers relatively low-cost trading accounts. In fact, while you do have to deposit £250 when you first open your account, you are only charged $8 for trades.

The maximum amount of leverage you can receive while using Admiral Market’s trading account is 30:1, though they do offer a relatively wide selection of CFDs and currency pairs.

Indeed, the broker offers over 3,200 CFDs and more than 50 currency pairs for you to invest in.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

AvaTrade logo

AvaTrade

AvaTrade is one of the few brokers on this list that is not regulated in the UK by the FCA.

Typically, when a broker isn’t regulated in the UK, you can expect to see higher maximum leverages on offer. However, this isn’t the case with AvaTrade, as the maximum leverage you receive when using their trading accounts is 30:1, which is fairly standard for trading platforms like this. Again, if you aren’t sure how much leverage you ideally need, you can read more about this further in my guide.

As for trading costs, you will typically be charged $9 for every trade made on their platform, and you are required to deposit £100 when you first open the account.

While AvaTrade may not be regulated by the FCA, it does have an extensive suite of educational materials on offer. However, even though it does offer a wide range of educational materials, if you’re less experienced with forex and derivative trading on MT4, you may want to choose a CFD and forex broker that is regulated in the UK.

When it comes to currency pairs, AvaTrade has 55 on offer. The broker is slightly lacking on the CFD front though, with only 625 available on their platform. So, if you are looking for a broker with a wide variety of CFDs, you may want to consider other trading platforms.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

City Index logo

City Index

City Index is another forex broker that allows the use of the MT4 trading platform.

If you were looking to use a forex broker with low trading fees, then City Index may be what you’re looking for – the FCA-regulated broker only charges $5 for trades.

In fact, with no commission, and no minimum deposit required when you first open an account, City Index may potentially be one of the cheapest brokers on this list.

It even has a fairly decent selection of financial instruments for you to invest in; the broker offers 84 different currency pairs and more than 5,000 CFD options.

The maximum amount of leverage you can receive with City Index is 30:1, and it even offers an in-depth suite of educational materials for you to use, making it a good all-round broker if you want to start trading with MT4.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 73% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

IronFX logo

IronFX

Last but not least, we have IronFX. One of the best things about this broker is its low minimum deposit amount – you are only required to deposit £50 when you first open an account.

However, you may find IronFX expensive to use, as you will typically be charged $22 for every trade you make. This means, if you were planning on making large volumes of trades, this may not be the platform for you.

The broker has over 80 currency pairs on offer, and though they don’t specify an exact number, there are CFDs on offer too.

Regulated in the UK by the FCA, this CFD and forex broker has a maximum leverage of 30:1 which, again, is fairly standard for forex brokers.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70.51% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

How to decide which CFD and forex broker is best for you

As you can see, you have a lot of different brokers to choose from if you want to use MT4 to trade CFDs or on the forex market.

So, which one should you choose? Well, each comes with its own set of benefits, so you should ideally compare the different features of each broker and decide which best suits your investing strategy and experience.

Continue reading my comprehensive guide to discover some of the key things you should keep in mind when comparing different CFD and forex brokers using the MT4 platform.

Trading costs

As the name may suggest, the trading costs are charges you will typically face when you trade forex or derivatives.

Depending on the broker, you may find that trading fees and commission on trades are built into the spreads, which could result in a tighter overall spread.

However, some brokers list a flat fee for every trade instead of building them into the spreads. Before opening an account with a broker, you should double-check their charges and commissions – tighter spreads could potentially result in less profit on forex trades.

If you are planning on making high volumes of trades, you may want to consider using a forex broker that has low trading fees. Otherwise, you could end up spending a lot of money on charges.

Regulation

When it comes to regulation, most of the brokers listed above are regulated in the UK by the FCA.

When a broker is regulated within the UK, you can typically expect to see stricter limitations on leverage. These brokers are also audited regularly and must provide a “negative balance protection” to all traders, which means you can’t lose more money than there originally was in your account. This is a brilliant facet of UK-regulated brokers, as it can prevent you from getting into excessive debt.

Of course, there are brokers out there that aren’t regulated within the UK. For example, some may be offshore brokers, such as in Seychelles, Mauritius, or the British Virgin Islands.

When a broker isn’t regulated in the UK, you can typically expect to receive higher leverage on trades. Though, you should keep in mind that there will likely be fewer protections, thus making them a riskier option.

Educational materials and customer support

Some brokers may also provide more educational material to their users. This should ideally be seen as nothing but an upside, since it doesn’t detract from the level of service you will receive.

You may also find that certain brokers have far more attentive customer service which, again, is always a benefit.

Something else that may be worth keeping an eye out for is copy trading. This feature allows you to mimic how other, potentially more experienced, investors are trading; if you are a newer trader, copy trading could help you realise some of the best markets to invest in.

The MT4 forex trading platform can be complex and tricky to understand, especially for newer or more casual investors. So, a broker that offers educational materials and has a helpful customer support service should be something you take into consideration when deciding which broker to choose.

Analysis and trading tools

As well as education materials, you may want to consider choosing a forex broker that offers different analysis and trading tools for you to use.

For example, some CFD and forex brokers may offer plugins for the MT4 platform that provide pattern recognition which could make it easier to stay on top of ever-changing markets.

Of course, analysis and trading tools aren’t essential when it comes to trading forex or CFDs, but they could go a long way in assisting you, especially if you are still a beginner to the MT4 platform.

What is MT4?

MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is an external trading platform that allows you to trade several financial instruments, such as foreign currencies (forex) or CFDs (contracts for difference).

The MT4 platform offers many advanced tools for the technical analysis of forex or CFD markets which allows you to better keep track of typically complicated markets.

This is the beauty of MT4 – the platform aims to help users spot trends in currency markets.

MT4 itself doesn’t host trades though – this is where the CFD and forex brokers come in. The brokers will host the MT4 platform, and all trades will be conducted by the brokers.

So, even though you’re making trades on the MT4 platform, you’re technically trading with the broker you signed up with.

Trading forex on MT4

The foreign exchange market, which is more commonly referred to as the “forex” or “FX”, is the global marketplace that deals with exchanging currencies.

When you trade on the forex, you will see that currencies are listed together. For example, GBP/USD, USD/EUR and USD/JPY. These are called “currency pairs”, and they are typically split into major currency pairs, like the examples listed above, or minor currency pairs, which are typically between two less commonly traded currencies. These minor currency pairs include GBP/CAD or GBP/JPY.

Trading on the forex involves speculating on currencies, with the aim of selling your positions when the value, which is also known as the spread, has increased. This is how investors typically turn a profit when investing in forex.

Unlike the regular stock market, the forex market is open at all hours of the day, seven days a week. Also, since there isn’t a central marketplace for foreign currencies, all forex trades are conducted “over the counter” (OTC) and take place electronically on computers.

Forex trading can be slightly more complicated than regular trading on the stock market and there is even some technical jargon commonly thrown around.

So, if you want to join other forex traders and start using the MT4 platform, continue reading to find out what this jargon is, and what it all means.

Leverage

Leverage, like that seen in derivative trading, is also present in forex trading.

This is when investors are “borrowing” money from brokers that enables them to trade on the forex for larger amounts of money than they initially pay in.

You will commonly see leverage presented as a ratio – for example, 30:1, 50:1, or even 200:1.

Say, for example, you were to trade one lot of GBP/USD for £100,000. If your broker offered you a leverage of 100:1, you would be required to pay £1,000 to make the above trade. This initial investment amount is called the “margin”.

Of course, while leverage may allow you to make larger trades with less money, this can also work against you. You could, for example, end up losing far more money than you initially paid in.

This is why leverage is such a double-edged sword, and you should only use higher leverages if you’re confident that the advantage is on your side.

Still, it can be very difficult to precisely predict whether your trade is advantageous, which is why casual or beginner investors typically don’t need high leverages.

Spreads

Meanwhile, “spreads” are the difference between the bidding price and the asking price of a particular currency pair. These spreads are often measured in “points”, or “pips”, as they are sometimes referred to.

When you trade on major currency pairs, such as GBP/USD or USD/EUR, you will typically see tighter spreads. This is because they are usually traded in higher volumes.

On the flip side, minor currency pairs may have much wider spreads since they aren’t as commonly traded. This can come with its own set of issues though, like increased market volatility.

As previously mentioned, you can sometimes expect trading costs to be built into spreads. This is quite common – even some of the best forex brokers will do this.

Spreads are subject to change frequently and can sometimes be tricky to keep track of. This is why platforms like MT4 are ideal for forex trading – it gives you the tools to properly track spreads, so you know when the perfect time to close your position comes.

Before opening a brokerage account, you should first check the typical spreads prospective forex brokers offer on certain currency pairs – many brokers offer live spread updates on their websites, which could give you a rough idea of the spreads they offer.

Trading derivatives on MT4

Another popular method of trading on the MT4 platform is derivatives, though this is where things tend to get slightly more complicated.

Derivative trading is often done by either spread betting or using CFDs, and essentially involves you placing a “bet” on how a currency’s value will change.

It is vital to keep in mind that spread betting and CFDs are complex instruments. In fact, more than half of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs, so you should ensure you’ve done adequate research before you decide to invest this way.

Spread betting

As mentioned, spread betting is a method of investing that involves you placing a “bet” on how you predict a currency’s value will move.

When you do this, you aren’t purchasing any currency whatsoever and don’t own any of the underlying assets you’re betting on. You are instead speculating on the movement.

For example, if you were to spread bet on the GBP/USD currency pair, a broker will typically quote an asking price and a bidding price.

Say, for this example, that the asking price was 1.0015, and the bidding price was 1.0010. If you believed the value of the pound would decrease, then you could open a position that stakes 50p for every point the pound decreases below the asking price of the broker. As you’re betting that the value will decrease, this is called “shorting” or “going short”.

If the GBP/USD spread later dropped by 10 points to 1.0005, you would earn £5 from your 50p position.

Of course, if this were to go the other way and the value of the pound increased by 10 points to 0.0025, then you would lose £5.

One of the advantages of spread betting is that you can take full advantage of leverage without needing to place a trade.

While this leverage does allow you to “borrow” money to meet the margin requirement to finance the bet, this does mean you could end up losing far more money than you originally put in.

This works both ways though – you could end up earning more money than you originally invested if the bet goes your way.

Also consider: What is Forex Spread Betting?

CFDs

Meanwhile, “contracts for difference”, or CFDs as they are more commonly referred to, are another way of trading derivatives.

Trading CFDs is similar to spread betting, with a few key differences.

You are still “betting” on how the value of a currency pair will move when you trade CFDs, though, unlike spread betting, you will instead receive the difference in price from when you opened the position.

For example, if you predicted that the value of the pound was going to increase, you could open a position against the GBP/USD currency pair.

So, say you purchased £20,000 worth of contracts stating the value of the pound would increase, and at the time of purchase, the GBP/USD spread was 0.00050.

Depending on the margin rate of your broker at the time, you wouldn’t even need an initial investment of £20,000 to buy that many contracts. If the margin rate of your broker was 3%, you would only need £600.

While this does mean you can make larger bets with a lower initial investment, you could also end up losing more money than you initially bet if you’re overexposed.

If the value of the pound did indeed increase by 30 points to 0.00080, you would earn profits of £6. This is because the new spread is 0.00080, multiplied by your £20,000 contract, minus £20,000 multiplied by the original spread of 0.00050.

This is where the name “contracts for difference” comes from – while your profits would be calculated from the number of points the pound increased by with spread betting, CFDs instead calculate your profits from the final spread value.

Of course, if the value of the pound decreased by 30 points to 0.00020, and you predicted it would increase, you would lose £6. Again, this is because your initial stake of £20,000 is multiplied by the opening spread value of 0.00050, minus your initial £20,000 investment multiplied by the new spread, which in this case would be 0.00020.

Similar to spread betting, when you purchase CFDs, you don’t actually own any of the underlying assets. You are just betting whether or not the value will increase or decrease.

8 steps to using the MT4 platform

Now that you understand what different brokers bring to the table, and the difference between trading forex and derivatives, you will most likely be itching to start trading on the MT4 platform.

If this is your first time trading on MT4, the process for doing so may seem slightly complicated at first, but follow the simple steps below to set up MT4 and finally start making trades.

1. Decide which broker you will use

First things first, you should decide which broker you want to use. As mentioned, this is because MT4 itself doesn’t actually host trades, it’s just an external platform used for technical analysis and trading.

There are various different CFD and forex brokers for you to choose from, and each comes with its own set of benefits and disadvantages.

For example, some brokers may offer in-depth educational materials and superb customer support services, which could make it ideal for beginner traders.

Or, if you were planning on making large volumes of trades, you may want to consider using a broker with low trading fees so you aren’t charged too much every time you make a trade.

Of course, there are plenty of other factors you should consider before you open an account with a broker, so you should use my comparison guide further above in this article if you are still undecided.

2. Download and set up the MT4 platform

Now, it’s time to download the actual MT4 trading platform.

Depending on your broker, you should see a “MetaTrader 4” link on the broker’s website. This will usually redirect you to the MT4 website, where you will find the download link and instructions to get everything set up.

MT4 is free to download, and once you have downloaded the file, you simply run the .exe application to open the installation wizard, which will guide you through installation.

Of course, there are extra steps involved if you use a Linux or Mac operating system. If you do use an operating system other than Windows, continue reading to find out how to properly download and set up MT4. Otherwise, you can skip to the next step.

Mac OS

Unfortunately, since MT4 is designed to run on Windows operating systems, using MT4 on an Apple device is slightly more complicated.

You will first need to download a virtual machine emulator that allows you to run a different operating system, and acts like another computer within your computer, so to speak.

There are several of these Windows emulators for you to choose from, including:

  • Boot camp
  • VMWare Fusion
  • Parallels Desktop

Once you have downloaded one of the above emulators, you can then install Windows onto it. Then, when your virtual machine is set up, you can install MT4 and continue to set it up.

Linux

Linux is another operating system that, sadly, can’t run MT4 without setting up a virtual machine.

For Linux, you ideally want to use the open-source operating system Ubuntu distribution kit. Then, to set up MT4 on Ubuntu, you need to download the Wine software, which allows you to run Windows programs on your Linux OS.

To download Wine, you simply need to input a command into the terminal, which is as follows:

  • sudo apt-get install wine-stable

After inputting this command, the most recent and stable version of Wine will be installed. Then, you will be able to download and run MT4 through Wine.

3. Create an MT4 account with your chosen broker

When MT4 is set up, the next step is opening an MT4 account with your chosen CFD and forex broker. This is because, as mentioned, you technically make trades on MT4 through your broker.

This may vary between brokers, but you should see a link to establish a live MT4 account on your broker’s website.

You may be asked to supply your tax details and some other identification documents, but once this is done and everything has been verified, you should be able to login to MT4 with the details your broker has supplied you with.

4. Open a position on the platform

Now you’re finally ready to open a position on a currency pair using the MT4 platform.

You should first figure out what currency pair you will actually open a position on. As mentioned, major currency pairs, such as GBP/USD or USD/EUR, will have tighter spreads, but there will typically be less market volatility with these pairs.

Or, if you want to trade currency pairs that have wider spreads but with potentially more volatility, then you may want to think about trading minor currency pairs.

When you’ve decided which currency pair you want to invest in, all you need to do is select the “tools” tab on MT4, then click the “new order” function.

You will then open the order window. This page can seem slightly intimidating at first glance, with several different components to the window.

You shouldn’t be disheartened though – continue reading to find out what these components mean, and how to use them when you make an order.

Symbol

The “symbol” button will open a drop-down menu when you click on it. This menu simply allows you to choose which market you would like to trade.

Volume

There is also a section in the order window named “volume” and, as the name suggests, this allows you to input the volume of CFDs or currency you would like to purchase.

If you are trading CFDs, the volume you input is the number of contracts you wish to purchase. Meanwhile, if you plan on spread betting, the number you input is simply the amount you wish to “bet” for every unit of price movement.

Stop loss

“Stop loss” is another important feature of the order window you should take into consideration. This allows you to designate a value that your order will be automatically sold at should the value move against you.

Since you typically can’t view price movements at all times of the day, this type of automated trading is vital to ensure you don’t lose too much money if you are busy with something else.

Take profit

The “take profit” option works similarly to a stop loss, except it automatically sells when your order earns a certain profit.

This is also an important feature to set up, as your order may reach your desired profit amount while you are away from the platform, then drop back down again.

You could miss out on profits if this happens, so you should establish the profit value when you open your order.

Type

Finally, the “type” option allows you to establish what sort of trade you wish to open.

As the name suggests, the “instant execution” option means you wish to place the order immediately.

Or, if you select “pending order”, you can select the value at which your trade will be automatically opened.

5. Monitor your positions and pending orders closely

Congratulations, you’re now officially trading on the MT4 platform! However, the work doesn’t end here – you still need to monitor your positions closely.

When you have an open order, you can open the “terminal” window either by pressing Ctrl + T, or by clicking the “view” menu in the toolbar, then select “terminal”.

This page allows you to monitor your open positions, or any pending transactions you may have.

6. Customise MT4 charts as you see fit

As previously mentioned, one of the beauties of the MT4 platform is the range of analysis tools it provides.

One of these tools is chart customisation. You can draw lines on your charts to try and predict trends, add indicators to said charts, or change the time frame.

To draw a line on a chart, all you need to do is select the object from the toolbar and click on the chart.

To edit or remove pre-existing objects on your chart, right-click on the chart in question, select the “objects list” option from the menu, choose the object you wish to edit or remove, and select the “edit” option.

Indicators

You can also add indicators to charts, such as stochastic oscillators or Bollinger bands. Stochastic oscillators give you an indication of a particular market’s momentum, while Bollinger bands give you a rough idea of the moving average of a price. By using these indicators, and many of the others that MT4 provides, you can get a more well-rounded understanding of how a market could potentially move, so you can see why they’re so important.

To do this, select the “insert” option from the toolbar, and choose the indicator you wish to add.

To edit or remove existing indicators, the process is similar to lines – right-click on the chart, select “indicators list”, then click the “edit” option.

7. Establish price alerts on your positions

Even though you can set up stop losses and profit takes on your orders, it’s also vital you establish price alerts.

These alerts will notify you when the price of an instrument reaches a certain point and can help you stay on top of price movements.

To set up price alerts, simply open the “terminal” window again. Then, you should right-click within this window, select the “create” option from this menu, and then select “alert editor” to customise price alerts.

8. Close your position when you want to sell

Finally, when you feel happy enough to sell your instrument, you are ready to close your position.

Doing this is simple enough – just reopen the “terminal” window and navigate to the “trade” tab.

You should see a small “x” on the far right of the profit column; select this “x” to finally close your position.

Best MT4 Brokers UK FAQs

What is MT4?

MetaTrader 4, or MT4, is a popular trading platform that specialises in forex trading, CFDs, and spread betting.

The MT4 platform offers advanced technical analysis tools for you to use – in fact, the platform is highly customisable, so you can edit it to meet your individual needs and take the complexity out of forex or derivative trading.

MT4 also gives you the option to automate your trades, or opening and closing positions according to the information you input.

Can I use MT4 in the UK?

Yes, you can use the MT4 trading platform in the UK. There are even many UK-regulated brokers, overseen by the FCA, that support the use of MT4.

Please note

CFDs are complex financial instruments and more than half of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. Please make sure that you know these risks before you start trading and that you’re aware there’s a high chance of losing money rapidly on your investment.

The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.

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