We can see why people are so attracted to the forex market, with an estimated $6.6 trillion traded globally every single day through this sector.
However, this market can be incredibly volatile and complex, while it also remains open to the threat of manipulation from high volume traders and communities on sites such as Reddit. With this in mind, you need to use the right trading platform to help you access the marketplace, with the MetaTrader 4 and 5 providing the most popular options overall.
But which of these platforms is better? Here’s a breakdown and comparison of what each has to offer!
The MT4 vs. the MT5 – Appraising the Key Features
The MetaTrader 4 (MT4) was launched back in 2005, while it continues to set the industry standard in forex and CFD trading.
As a result of this, it’s offered by most forex brokers throughout the Western world, while its familiarity and incredible ease-of-use continue to underpin its immense popularity.
As you can probably tell, the MT4 has been specifically designed for the purpose of trading currencies, through common investment vehicles such as spread bets and CFDs. Interestingly, it was the MT4 that also blazed a trail in terms of customisable charts, while a prominent online community has grown up around the app since its inception.
This negates the lack of technical support provided by the MT4, which is a key point of difference when compared to the MetaTrader 5.
Interestingly, the MT5 wasn’t designed as a successor to its predecessor, despite the fact that its specification is actually much improved. It also utilises the MQL5 language and supports more than twice as many time frames as the MT4, for example, while depth of market (DOM) data and economic calendar data is also included as part of its spec.
What’s the Future for These Two Trading Platforms?
With these points in mind, it seems strange that the MT5 (which was launched in 2010) is nowhere near as popular as its predecessor.
Some of this has to do with the degree of familiarity that’s synonymous with the MT4, which has amplified the simple and single-minded nature of the platform.
However, as the MT5 was primarily designed to trade new markets beyond forex through a centralised exchange, it’s considerably less popular amongst day traders and a little more complex in terms of range of options available.
Overall, you can trade stocks, commodities, futures and options through the MetaTrader 5, making it capable of doing things that the MT4 could not in the marketplace. However, this means that the MetaTrade 4 has been able to retain its core user base over time, while attracting new forex traders to its platform with relative ease.
The question that remains, of course, is which platform is best for you? In simple terms, you should definitely use the MT4 as a novice trader who’s focused on currency and CFD trading, as the platform will offer immense value in terms of its specification and ease-of-use.
Conversely, those of you who want to trade alternative asset classes or have to comply with US regulation (which is another key feature of the MT5), should make the MetaTrader 5 your trading platform of choice.
More experienced traders who regularly back-test their trading strategies may also find the MT5 to be a more viable option, so it’s important to keep this mind when accessing the marketplace.