Taking a break from the Trader’s Tech series, Writing Your Own EA , I want to take a brief look at the new Trade Management features of MT4. As I’ve opined before, these features have been a long time in coming. I suspect the MetaQuotes folks thought MT5 (which has these features, as well as a few other cool ones, and has been around for a couple of years now) would roll out a little faster, so they didn’t want to put a lot of extra work into a legacy product. But in light of the fact that most of their brokers are still using MT4 and don’t even offer MT5 (I’m not exactly sure why that is, except that many EAs and Indicators would have to be rewritten – maybe if some of you readers have some insight into that subject, you would be so kind as to share it below) it’s not surprising that they’ve decided to roll out features that probably should have been available long ago.
MetaQuotes has added draggable (is that even a word?) trade management lines to their flagship product MetaTrader 4 – better know to all of us as MT4. When you enter a market order, the order opens and, if you have specified a Stop Loss (SL) or Take Profit (TP) on your trade, MT4 will place dashed lines on the chart at those locations. You can click and drag either of those lines to a new location and POP! (the same sound it uses when opening the order, you have adjusted your SL or TP values. This is a very handy feature for those of us who use price action to determine the location of our stops and targets.
So, what if you use the new Trade Panel to open your order and it opens with no SL or TP on it? You can do any of several things, you can double-click on the trade line or the trade itself in the terminal window below to open the trade modification dialog box. Once that is open, you’ll notice the tick chart window on the left is slightly different. It now shows both the Bid and Ask levels. As you add SL and TP , it will also show you those levels in the tick chart window. Very sweet!
Or you can just click on your trade line in your main chart and drag in the direction of your TP and drop where you want the TP. Then drag in the direction of your SL and drop where you want the SL.
If you want to open a pending limit order, just right-click on the chart where you want the order to be. If you are above the current market price, the context menu will offer to open a Sell Limit order at that price. If you are below the current market price, you will be offered to open a Buy Limit order at that price. If you want a pending Stop order, you will have to select the Trading… submenu from the context menu.
With pending orders, you will have to open the Order dialog box by right-clicking on the trade line and selecting Modify… to add SL and TP. But once they are added you can click and drag those lines to adjust the levels. One sorta cool feature is that once your pending order has SL and TP attached to it, dragging the Entry level will move the SL and TP lines with it.
The downside of pending orders on MT4 is that you have to distinguish between Limit orders (orders that anticipate market reversal – for example, a buy limit order would go below the current market price and trigger the buy if price drops down to it) and Stop orders (orders that anticipate market follow-through – for example, a buy stop order would go above the current market price and trigger the buy if price goes up to that point.) If you have a buy limit order below the market and try to drag the line above the current market price, you will get the familiar “bong” sound that MT4 gives you when it thinks you did something stupid.
If you’ve rejected MT4 in the past because it was unfriendly to scalpers, you might want to give it another look. It still may not be your cup of tea, but it’s getting closer. 😉
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