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This post was most recently updated on May 15th, 2019

The best Forex trading platform in nearly 15 years of Forex trading is still Metatrader, particularly Metatrader 4   Its  the Microsoft Windows of FX trading thats been the gold standard and what all other trading software in Forex has been  compared to.

When I began my Forex journey, Metatrader 3 was just coming onto the scene.  Metatrader 4 in short time took over and here we are nearly 15 years later and Metatrader 4 has held up and has easily done a lot of the heavy work and heavy lifting for traders around the world.  This really is unprecedented with any type of computer software.  Software versions like Microsoft 3.1, Win 98 come and go.  Theres that one version though that stands out. With  Microsoft Windows, its Windows XP.  With Metatrader, its Metatrader 4.

For the past few years Metatrader 5 has already been introduced both on a desktop and on many mobile devices, however, youll find with many Forex brokers, whether in the US or abroad. Metatrader 4 is still the standard.  I believe its because like Windows XP, its very robust, very stable, fast, and it just does everything you need it to do.

Metatrader is available with almost every Forex broker you intend to trade with.  With the exception of a few brokers like ThinkorSwim and Merrill  Forex EAs will be functional with very little modification across Forex brokers that use Metatrader for Forex trading.ThinkorSwim by TD Ameritradeis also a fantastic full featured trading application, however, its way more than what you need for Forex trading and better suited for futures and options trading.

Metatrader works on almost every computer or device.   Microsoft Windows, Mac, Mac mini, newer and older Ipads,Linuxdesktops, Android tablets, and phones.

Theres no learning curve if you have one Forex broker, two, or more.  Metatrader will be familiar, along with all its features and functions

Its very fast and streamline. You will not notice the lag flipping through various charts, even if the charts are cluttered with forex trading indicators, even during very busy trading and volatile trading hours.

Best doesnt always mean its perfect or that  it doesnt have some weak aspects about it.  Lets start with the obvious.

I was going to install Metatrader on my Mac, and unlike the Windows version, it isnt just a typical download and install.  The process is a lot more like Linux Metatrader, where you have to install a wine window emulator named playonmac that runs Windows applications on your Mac  Even compared to its Linux counterpart, Playonmac and running Metatrader really is terrible IMO.  If all I had was a Mac machine, then yes Id go through with all the aggravation with the install, but since I use Linux about 85% of the time and Metatrader on Wine is rock solid, I wouldnt even bother with using it on Mac.  If anything Id just use the Web version of Metatrader when using my Mac , or just connect to my Virtual Private Network with my Mac  and just us Metatrader live on the VPN.

The other not so great thing about  Metatrader is with regards to automated trading. With mobile devices like iPhones, Androids, and tablets, you wouldnt really be able to use an EA robot, unless the EA was running on a VPS(Virtual Private Server), which is basically a dedicated server thats always on running Metatrader and your Expert Adviser in a remote location.   I suppose its always best to run Mt EAs on virtual private servers anyways, but some people prefer running simple day trading EAs on their local PC desktops. If automated trading is your primary strategy, Metatrader on mobile devices would be a supplement and not your primary tool.

Charts and charting are also a big factor in Forex trading since technical analysis is all about analyzing charts.  Charting is where I believe desktop trading platforms will always shine.  I love th

e convenience of mobile trading apps when Im on the go, but when I want to see the big market picture, the best charts are on my desktop computer. I can add more indicators, save and configure charts on a desktop far better and faster.

Regardless of the of some of these features that arent readily available on the mobile trading platforms, mobile technology in Forex trading has come a long long way in a short time.  Its difficult to say where the trend is going as far as the next significant innovation.  In my own trading, its certainly been more towards automated Forex trading systems. I think as recent as 5-10 years ago, there was still a dominant skepticism as to how expert advisers could perform.   However, as the technology has improved, I suppose its natural for some of that skepticism to recede.  Just as automated, driver-less cars are going to make it into the mainstream, automated trading has already arrived.  For newer traders, it still pays to start manually trading. I would certainly focus on the money management of manual trading where you can look at metatrader reports and understand all the metrics in it to evaluate where the strengths and weaknesses are in the manually trading system you are implementing.   Whats a drawdown mean?  What is the profit factor and why does that matter?  Are these metrics heavily affected by a trending market?  How about a flat ranging market, what do these stats tell you about what may be  the outcome of your trades?

So you see, if you just start trading with robots right away and bypass all these things, how will you be able to objectively determine whether the robot is profitable over the long term, or that it just had a string of few short term losses?

When I first started trading Forex there were trading platforms that basically just gave you the profit and loss.  There was no real back testing, you couldnt just run a test of your trading system with old data.  Now Im not saying the Metatraders backtest are absolutely accurate, but what Metatrader did was introduce the backtest into the conversation.  It made the trading community think about testing something first before just blindly implementing the system.  Backtesting is rarely something professional gamblers can do and maybe thats another difference between trading and gambling.  Gambling and trading both involve risk, but unlike gambling, trading involves calculated risk.

So versatile a trading platform,  Metatrader 5 will run on most web browsers today.  Though at this point its a scaled down version of the desktop Metatrader.  The web based version  will at least give traders another way to access their Forex trades. This may be handy if say youre on the road, dont have your laptop or cant get a good connection with your other mobile devices.   Youd be able to use someone elses computer to monitor your trades.

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Filed Under:Forex trading,Forex Trading Software,Metatrader,UncategorizedTagged With:best forex trading software,ea,expert,forex,metatrader 4,mt4

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