MetaTrader 4 is regarded as the world’s number 1 Forex trading platform.
One of the key reasons driving this is how intuitive the platform is for new users.
When it comes to trading platforms, simplicity is crucial. MT4 continues to thrive as a result of doing the basic things well but also allowing the flexibility for power users to implement advanced strategies.
Many traders get overwhelmed when looking to learn a new trading platform.
But the reality is, most trading platforms only require you to learn six key things to get the most value from the platform.
- Placing an at market trade
- Knowing how to place stop loss
- Being able to apply a take profit order
- Configuring your charts
- Being comfortable with accessing and reading your account statements
- How to place contingent orders
In this column, we are going to have a look at three handy MT4 platform tips.
These are useful tools within MT4 to make your trading day more streamlined.
Tip 1 – Know how to apply a chart template & save it to the cloud
You likely have a few of your favourite indicators you like to apply to your chart.
If you use technical analysis for your entry and exit signals, then applying indicators can become a monotonous task.
MT4 has a handy function allowing you to save your charting templates.
Let’s say you like to apply a slow stochastic, a long term moving average and the Average True Range (ATR) indicator.
Instead of having to do that on every individual chart by applying one indicator at a time, you will be pleased to know you can create a template and apply them all at once.
Here’s how you can do it.
- Open up your favourite chart, say the
- Click and drag your preferred indicators across to the chart.
- Once all your indicators are applied, right click anywhere on the screen and then left click on ‘Template’ and then ‘Save Template’.
- Give your template a name which includes the details about your indicators. This makes it easy to remember, especially if you use a lot of templates.
Now a real handy tip is to back up all your templates to the cloud.
You can do this by saving each template to a cloud service like Dropbox.
This provides a perfect backup in case something happens to your PC.
It also allows you to upload it to another MT4 platform if you so choose.
This is a real time saver.
Tip 2 – Create a new profile of the charts you like to view
You may like to trade Forex, Indices and Commodities.
But you may not want to view them all on the same screen.
So instead of having 30 tabs open at the bottom of your MT4 charts, you can create three individual profiles like this:
- Forex profile
- Indices profile
- Commodities profile
Or you could have:
- FX Majors 5min chart
- FX Majors hourly chart
- FX Majors daily chart
Here are the steps to create a new profile.
- Open up all the trading instruments you wish to view.
- Go to File > Profiles > Save As and then give it a name.
- You can then save this to the cloud as a backup like with tip 2.
Tip 3 – One click trading
The third tip is to allow you to execute your trades into the market with just one click.
It is called one click trading.
A very simple process, which is easy to activate.
Here’s how to activate one click trading
- Right click on any chart you have open.
- Left click on ‘One Click’
- Depending on your broker, you may have to agree to certain terms and conditions.
- Once you have accepted those, an internal window will appear, usually in the top left corner.
- Now all you have to do is click on the buy or sell, and you can execute trades at market with just one click.
- As you can see, the three tips mentioned above are simple and will make your trading life much easier.
Hopefully, they will help you with your trading.
5 Ways to generate trading ideas (and avoid getting stale as a trader)
One unquestionable fact about the markets is they are unpredictable.
Even at the best of times, some trends (prices moving up or down) could come to an abrupt end quite fast.
As a trader, how do you cope with the markets’ whims?
And more importantly, how do you take advantage of those price movements that could come at any time?
If you are used to trading the markets only on the long side, chances are you could be missing out on opportunities that come when markets are trending down.
Or if you are trading only one type of instrument, you could be giving away a lot of potential profits from other markets.
Victor Niederhoffer, a hedge fund manager and trader who counted George Soros as one of his clients, recognised that market patterns are ever changing.
This means to be profitable and successful, traders need to be always looking for fresh opportunities.
This means changing, adjusting and fine-tuning your trading systems as market patterns change.
In this post, we will look at five ways you can generate trading ideas and strategies that can complement your existing trading style.
Here are the 5 ways to generate new trading ideas:
#1. Look for opportunities within the market you are trading
If you’re a forex trader who mainly trades the major currencies, you may want to develop a system to track currency crosses or emerging market currencies.
Having two or three different forex systems will help you capture trading opportunities in the various segments of this market.
If you’re a commodity trader mainly trading oil, you may also want to develop a trading system that will track currency movements – mainly the US dollar – because of the correlation between forex and commodity markets.
#2. Use and trade in different time zones – Asia, Europe and the US
Another trading system you can develop is one based on the different market time zones.
For example, some traders prefer to trade the Asian markets to capture the moves in the Japanese Yen or Chinese Yuan.
While other traders like trading the European/ London market time zone when the global forex market is at its busiest peak.
Trading the various time zones calls for different trading strategies and ideas as each time zone presents diverse market patterns.
#3. Trade using different time frames
Whether you use fundamental analysis or technical analysis to make your trading decisions, you can generate trading ideas and develop systems that will capture some trends and patterns as they unfold.
For instance, some commodity traders foresee the long-term uptrend in the price of oil due to fundamental economic reasons surrounding oil production (supply).
On the other hand, some traders are taking advantage of the short-term price pullbacks, which also present profitable trading opportunities.
There are also traders who deliberately use different timeframe-based trading systems.
They may use an ultra short-term system to capture hourly moves in some currencies while using a long-term weekly trading system to trade CFDs or commodities.
#4. Trade different economic themes
Central bank decisions, employment, inflation, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and other economic indicators can affect market movements.
As a trader, you can develop trading ideas and systems to capture market movements around these major price movers.
For example, some traders have systems to trade before the release of major economic data, while others use systems that track the price movements after the events.
There are traders who develop trading systems specifically aimed at trading high-impact events.
Though this strategy may not be for everyone, it may be worth studying the price movements around those market moving scenarios.
#5. Trade different market patterns – breakout, reversal
Despite the seeming unpredictability of the markets, there are identified patterns that can help you develop trading ideas other than what you usually use.
For example, those who use technical analysis may use systems based on price breakout, reversals or pullbacks.
There are hundreds of market patterns you can use to capture price movements in different market sectors.
In conclusion, if you want to make the most of your trading and increase your chances of success and profitability in the markets, you need to develop an ongoing interest for trading ideas and new trading strategies.
This will help ensure you can capture various market movements and opportunities.
Given the nature of the markets, you need not just one but two or more trading strategies.