Trading, whether in forex or stocks, has changed significantly over the years, with everything being done via the internet now. Traders no longer need to visit exchanges or even make phone calls. All that is required is a good trading platform that is simple to use and comes with various features like charting, trading tools, newsfeeds and automation. Another thing to look for when choosing a trading platform is the platform’s compatibility with various devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
One of the most popular and useful electronic trading platforms today is MetaTrader. It comes in two versions, MT 4 and MT5, with the latter specifically meant for mobile devices. Known for its simplicity, security, user friendly interface and reliability, MT4 offers a variety of relevant technical tools and all other resources required to analyse price dynamics of various financial instruments.
Recent years have, however, seen the introduction of several newer platforms, with faster execution and newer tools. In this article, we compare MetaTrader 4 with cTrader, a platform aimed at meeting the needs of no-dealing desk brokers by offering faster execution of trades.
The automatic trading feature of trading platforms makes them highly attractive, since they allow traders to transfer the management of transmitting accounts to a computer programme or Expert Advisor. The automated trading feature ensures that traders do not have to watch the markets on a continuous basis. Perfect execution of trades is another advantage arising out of the automated trading feature of MT4. Similarly, cTrader comes with the cAlgo functionality, which allows traders to generate robots, custom indicators and even execute a wide range of strategies and backtesting.
A major difference between MT4 and cTrader is that while the former is a ticket-based platform, the latter is a state-of-the-art trading platform that can be ticket-based or position-based. In MT4, each and every trade, whether buy or sell, is registered individually, so traders need to close each trade separately to ensure that their position is squared. But the “Closeby” option on cTrader allows traders to close an open “buy ticket’ by another “sell ticket” and square off their positions.
In terms of charting software, both MT4 and cTrader offer traders the option of viewing multiple tiled charts or fill the chart area with a single chart. Charts can be detached to a separate window, outside the platform itself. Now, in terms of time frames, cTrader offers wider options, with 2, 3, 4, 10, 12 and 30 minute charts, besides the commonly found options of four hour, daily, weekly and monthly time frames.
While MT4 offers only one kind of Depth of Market feature, cTrader displays three alternatives, including the Standard Depth of Market, Price Depth of Market and VWAP Depth of Market. These additional features of cTrader are highly useful for scalping strategies and traders who work in large and different volumes.
Ever since Metatrader 4 was launched in 2005, several plugins and programmes have been developed to work with it. The platform has a great deal of support and features available online, besides a vast range of custom indicators and Expert Advisors. But cTrader, being a later entrant, lags behind on this front. Besides being accessible in a web browser, cTrader comes with an added feature of cMirror, which allows mirror trading.
To conclude, both platforms come equipped with special features that enhance the trading experience and are compatible with desktops, laptops, mobiles and tablets. While users focused on Expert Advisors may prefer MT4, due to the wider availability and more online resources, others may choose cTrader for its ability to make modifications to the interface and the more advanced order options. However, the major determinant in choosing a trading platform is the investor’s individual trading needs and style.
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.