Successful forex trades are dependent not only on trading strategy and understanding of the market, but also to a large extent on the trading software or platform used. Using the right day trading tools and software, including one for charting, scanning and trading, ensures that traders are well equipped to carry out their trading strategies.
One of the most successful and widely used electronic trading platforms by brokers today is MetaTrader 4 or MT4. A newer version, MT5, is also available, for smartphones. Used by online retail foreign exchange traders across the globe, the software developed by MetaQuotes Software was first released in 2005. Another popular trading platform option for professional traders is offered by Interactive Brokers, a leading online forex trading service provider. Let’s find out more about these two popular trading platforms.
While both MT4 and Interactive Brokers’ Trader Workstation platforms have been designed to provide traders the maximum information and tools required for implementing their trading decisions quickly, each platform caters to the needs of different categories.
While MT4 is targeted at new as well as experienced traders, which makes it highly popular amongst most forex brokers, Trader Workstation is aimed at professional players.
MT4 trading software consists of two components, one each for the client and the broker using it. While the server component is run by the broker, the client component of the software is provided to the trading customers, who can use it to see live streaming prices and charts, and to place their orders, besides managing their accounts.
This highly popular platform is based on Microsoft Windows and allows the end user to write their own trading scripts and robots for automatic trading. Offering advanced technology and enhanced security to allow traders to open and close their positions without worrying about the stability of the platform, MT4 comes with over fifty technical indicators, charts and Expert Advisors that allow automation of trades.
On the other hand, aimed at active and sophisticated traders, Interactive Broker’s trading platform, Trader Work station or TWS, allows trading in stock options, futures, forex, foreign equities and bonds. Offering traders access to instruments ranging from stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities to simple and complex derivative strategies using options and futures, Interactive Broker’s trading platform is powerful yet customisable. The platform’s default experience is called Mosaic, but clients can also access the Classic TWS.
While MT4 comes equipped with a variety of tools for mark-ups, TWS has only eight basic ones, including trendlines, notes, zooming and Fibonacci. Other important tools, such as support and resistance lines and channels, etc., are, however, missing on TWS.
Inclusion of other trading tools, such as Algo trading, Options Strategy Lab, Volatility Lab, Risk Navigators, Market Scanner, Strategy Builder and Portfolio Builder in TWS, offers an additional advantage for traders well versed with forex trade. Also, the number of order types available on TWS is 63, probably the highest in the industry. These include the most basic limit order to advanced trading and complex algorithmic trading orders to allow users to execute a wide variety of trading strategies.
MetaTrader 4 provides two types of trading orders, pending orders and market orders. While the former is executed only when the price reaches a predefined level, market orders can be executed in one of the four modes, Instant Execution, Request Execution, Market Execution and Exchange Execution.
Trader Workstation operates with an open API, and there are several third party analytical programmes for order entry, charting and other options that allow execution of orders through the Interactive Brokers network.
MetaQuotes Software, the developer of MT4, although not a part of Interactive Brokers’ Investors Marketplace for compatible programmes, offers the oneZero Hub Gateway in collaboration with oneZero Financial System to connect MetaTrader 5 with TWS. Several other software that act as a bridge between MT4/5 and TWS are also available in the market. This combination of TWS and MT4/5 offers access to 15 of the top 20 forex exchanges across the world.
To conclude, MT4 and TWS are both powerful platforms, offering traders excellent opportunities to trade in currencies. Both platforms come equipped with special features that offer access to charts and other trading tools, besides allowing customisation, so the choice depends on the trader’s scale of operations.
If you liked this educational article please consult our Risk Disclosure Notice before starting to trade. Trading leveraged products involves a high level of risk. You may lose more than your invested capital.