The internet has made it possible for any UK resident to access the global currency market. Previously open exclusively to institutional players, it now brings profits to shrewd retail traders. Dedicated software is indispensable, and there is a range of products to choose from. Here is how the leading Forex trading platforms in the UK compare.
The Use of Trading Platforms
Trades in the currency exchange marketplace may only be opened via a platform. MetaTrader 4 and 5 are two popular picks due to their wide functionality and ease of use. Not only do they give the opportunity to trade, but they also facilitate decision-making thanks to their multiple graphic aids and other features.
With a demo account provided by your broker, you may first explore the software in the training mode. This risk-free arrangement brings neither profit nor loss, as no actual money is involved. Until you gain sufficient experience, it is worth learning the underlying logic of Forex trading safely. With FXTM, account registration is simple and fast.
Similarities and Advantages
Both versions of the software may be easily downloaded for free — just head to the broker’s website. In comparison with competing platforms, the brainchild of MetaQuotes Software Corp. has an impressive number of benefits. Consider these key features:
- wide choice of trading instruments (currencies in MT4; stocks, commodities and CFDs in MT5);
- wide range of visuals (bar charts, line graphs, tables, etc);
- quick execution;
- streaming prices in the live mode;
- compatibility with different operating systems;
- mobile versions in the Google Play Store and App Store;
- access to finance news;
- audio alerts.
The Role of a Broker
Although the software is distributed freely, it is useless without a registered account. The only way to acquire it is to sign up for the service online. Brokers provide both demo and live accounts, and registration is usually quick. The program will often prompt you to enter login details upon the initial run, and you can always switch from the demo to the live mode once you feel ready for real trading.
Aside from opening your account, the broker will provide educational material and guidance. Remember that all finance flows (e.g., transfers to and from your account) will also be done through them. Therefore, it is vital to ensure the provider is officially registered and licenced to operate in the United Kingdom.
How the Versions Compare
Since MT4 is five years older, you may suppose it is obsolete. However, if this was the case, it would not be used by millions of traders today. In fact, the versions have their distinct applications. While the earlier one is perfect for currency traders, those who deal with stocks, commodities and CFDs choose MT5.
In general, the two versions have a similar layout, and they are easily customizable. MT4 and MT5 both have audio alerts and finance news. However, the richer graphic analytics in the fifth edition is obvious.
The reason why newbies are advised to pick MT4 is that complexity is irrelevant. As long as you are learning the basics while sticking to a single trading instrument, advanced features may only be confusing. Once you are ready to diversify your portfolio of investments, switching to MT5 begins to make sense.
Unique Features of MT5
Here are the most obvious improvements:
- More timeframes (+12).
- More embedded technical indicators (+8).
- More graphic objects (+13).
- More execution modes (+1).
- More pending order types (+2).
- In-built economic calendar.
- Depth of market.
The two versions are incompatible with one another due to the difference in languages. While the earlier one is built on position, the logic of MT5 is order-based. The algorithms of two programming languages — MQL4 and MQL5 — determine different operating procedures. For instance, MT5 allows a trader to create and edit scripts. Unlike the predecessor, it requires just one function for operation.
Although the efficiency of the later version is obvious, rookies may find it overly sophisticated. This explains why MT4 is still considered the best choice for inexperienced users. Its relative simplicity makes it easier to explore market indicators and build up trading foresight. As long as you focus on currency pairs, its functionality is adequate.