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Developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation, Metatrader 4 (abbreviated as MT4) has become one of the most popular trading platforms for forex for the following reasons:

  1. It is completely free (zero upfront fees or monthly subscriptions)
  2. It is a widely supported by many brokers
  3. It includes many useful analysis tools
  4. It has a worldwide community of traders
  5. It has a powerful MQL4 programming language

MQL4 bears a similarity to programming languages such as C and Java. It resembles C in its procedural part and language constructs. It resembles a stripped down version of Java without classes.

Similar packages for equities and futures can cost over $1000 and/or have $100+ monthly subscription fees, whereas MT4 is completely free. Literally hundreds of forex brokers around the world have adopted the software as the platform of choice for their clients because of its popularity. Clients who do not want to program can use any of the advanced analysis tools in the platform. Clients who do want to program, or take advantage of the programming skills of others, can enter a worldwide community of traders and programmers who have developed hundreds of free and commercial indicators and expert advisors.There are many reasons for why a trader should try to learn how to program an expert advisor:

  1. Expert advisors can trade for you 24 hrs per day without food or sleep.
  2. Expert advisor operate on a set of rules without greed, fear, ego or bias.
  3. Expert advisors helps combat emotions by getting you in and out of the market based on historically tested strategies.
  4. Expert advisors are able to identify and react to opportunities faster.
  5. Expert advisors give you the potential to trade with complex systems that can include multiple conditions for their entries and exits, profit targets, protective stops, trailing stops, and filters, and have them all automated simultaneously.
  6. Expert advisors can monitor many currency pairs at the same time, giving you many more trading opportunities than manual trading.
  7. Trading with an expert advisor is a lot easier as the robot has taken over most of the tasks of the manual trader does.

It is important to note that the price feed provided by the MT4 platform for backtesting purposes is not of sufficient quality to properly assess the profitability of a trading system, especially for scalping strategies. Indeed the MT4 platform only have access to minute bar data and interpolate the “tick” data from this, effectively creating “fake” tick data. In order to have better reliability of the backtesting results, real tick data with 99% quality have been used in the result presented.