MT5 Trading Platform

The MetaTrader5 platform, otherwise known as the MT5 platform, is the latest in the series of forex trading platforms which were created for the retail segment of the market by Metaquotes Inc. Developed for the first time in 2010, the MT5 platform was created to succeed its highly successful precursor, the MT4 platform. The MT4 became the gold standard of retail forex trading when it was created in the mid-2000s, and became so popular that it was adopted by virtually every retail forex broker in the market.

The MT5 platform did not have a smooth transition into the market, as brokers and traders were unwilling to make the transition from the MT4 to the MT5. After a number of tweaks on both the MT4 and MT5 platforms, Metaquotes Inc has opted to force the transition by ending all technical support and updates for the MT4. This has also been followed with some changes to the MT5 platform in order to increase its user appeal.

Platform Versions

The following versions of the MT5 platform are now available for use:

  1. MT5 Desktop version, available only for Windows computer users.
  2. MT5 Browser version, allowing users to access the MT5 from any web-browser using a simple login process.</li
  3. MT5 Android app for Android based devices, downloadable from the Google Play Store.
  4. MT5 iOS app for iPhones and iPads.
  5. MT5 Multi-Asset Institutional platform for asset portfolio managers and multiple account traders.

Here is a synopsis of what each platform has to offer.

MT5 Desktop Terminal

The MT5 desktop terminal is the downloadable version of the MT5 platform. It features the following:

  1. More than 100 charts, 80 indicators and 21 time frames. This means that the range of indicators and time frames has been expanded in the MT5 desktop client.
  2. One-click trading function
  3. Depth of Market price quotation system (unavailable in MT4).
  4. Faster executions as a result of connectivity to an expanded range of trading servers.

MT5 Webtrader

The MT5 Webtrader is the browser-based version of the MT5 platform. By simply using your user details to login from your broker’s webtrader URL, you can trade on MT5 without the need to download anything. The MT5 Webtrader (used for this tutorial) carries only 30 indicators and 24 graphical objects.

The MT5 Interface

Here is a snapshot of the MT4 interface as taken from SimpleFX.

The various function tools on the interface are labeled accordingly:

Navigation Bar: Has tabs which control most of the functions that will be used by the trader on the MT5 platform.

Navigator Window: Allows traders to choose between accounts, log in to account, select indicators and expert advisors.

Terminal Window: Contains tabs which can be used to look at open and closed positions, active trades, account history, margin information (used margin, available margin, etc), trade exposure, market news, alerts from the broker, mailbox, Codebase (connects to the MQL5 Community), and trade journal.

Market Watch: Displays the currencies and other assets available for trading. To display an asset here, click Ctrl + U to display the symbols and select the asset as already described above.

Chart Window: Displays the active chart of the asset being analyzed, asset name and time frame of the chart. The chart type selected will determine how price information is displayed (either as candlesticks as in this example, or as a simple line).

Placing Orders

Just like the MT5 you can set 6 order types on the MT5:

  1. Market orders (Buy, Sell)
  2. Pending orders (Buy Stop, Sell Stop, Buy Limit, Sell Limit)

Limit orders are used when the trader wants to get a better pricing for the asset than what is currently available in the market. In other words, limit orders are used to secure pricing which will reduce the number of pips given up to the market before the expected move occurs.

Stop Orders are used to catch market moves that have broken beyond a limiting market support/resistance area.

Market orders are used to catch market moves as they are immediately.

 

Market Orders

Right click on the asset you want to trade, then click on the “New Order” tab (see platform interface snapshot).

  • Select the asset in the space marked “Symbol”.
  • Under Order Type, choose “Instant Execution”.
  • Under the “Volume” box, select your lot size.
  • Set your stop loss and take profit price targets.
  • Select Sell or Buy to go short or long on the asset respectively.

This executes the market orders for the selected asset.

Pending Orders

To set the pending orders on MT5, do the following:

  • Select the asset in the space marked “Symbol”.
  • Select “Pending Order” under order type.

  • Under the “Volume” box, select your lot size.
  • Set your Pending order type (Buy Limit in the picture above)
  • Set your entry price for the pending order.
  • Choose the expiration type (if you want the order to expire after sometime if conditions for entry are not met). You can set the expiration to Good till Cancelled (GTC), End of Day (Today) or a specified date and time.
  • Set the “stop loss” and “take profit” price targets.  
  • Click “Place” to execute the order.

Selecting Indicators & Expert Advisors

The procedure for adding and selecting indicators on MT5 is as follows:

  • On the MT5 navigation bar at the top of the platform interface, click on InsertIndicators.
  • A drop-down menu appears. Choose the indicator type (trend, oscillator, volume, Bill Williams or Custom). Select the indicator of your choice.

A pop-up window appears prompting you to adjust certain parameters for the indicator. The snapshot below shows that of the Bollinger bands.

Click OK, and the indicator attaches to the chart automatically.

You can also select indicators from the Navigation window on the left side of the platform interface.

Other tools can also be selected using this method.

Opening A Chart

On MT5, an addition has been made to the Navigation Menu. The Charts tab has been added to enable traders select chart options directly.

Click on the Charts tab on the Navigation Menu, then perform the following functions as you desire:

  • You can choose the chart type (bar, line, candlestick).
  • You can enable/disable the auto scroll function using by the click of a mouse button.
  • You can also select time frames for the chart.

Choosing and Changing Time Frames

You can choose any of several time frames on the MT5 webtrader by using any of the two options shown on the snapshot.

Other Functions

Other functions are available:

You can now choose your preferred language from the Nav menu.

Login to your trade account, switch between demo and live accounts, change your password or open a new chart from the File tab.

Programming Tools

A) MQL5 IDE

The Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is an improvement on the programming interface of the MT4. The MQL5 IDE features a combination of C# and MQL5 programming languages, resulting in an advanced algorithmic trading suite of programming tools.

A new tool is the Development Assistant, which allows novices with no experience in coding robots whatsoever to compile simple forex robots for use on their personal accounts.

Programmers with advanced skills can use the IDE to create new indicators, scripts and robot projects, and upload them for sale on the MQL5 Code Base marketplace.

B) Strategy Tester

The Strategy tester is now integrated with the IDE and offers robot testing and optimization before application on live accounts. Potential buyers who want to buy an EA from the MQL5 marketplace can use the Strategy Tester to test any software that are intended for purchase.