Those of you who read these pages (thank you!) must have noticed that most of the charts I post are generated using the Meta Trader 4 trading platform. While I have several trading accounts with different brokers, the core of trades I find suitable for the blog are executed with the broker offering MT 4. This is the most widely used charting software in the Forex industry, one could even call it a “standard”, so most readers are familiar with how to use it.
For all its flexibility, the platform is not the simplest to use, especially for beginners. The manual accessible through the “Help” tab is rather cumbersome to navigate and is located outside the platform – user must open another window and go through often-difficult process of locating the topic of interest to find the answer. Most brokers offer own manuals, which greatly simplify this process. The problem is that those instructions are typically located on the provider’s main website, not the platform itself.
Recently, one of the largest brokers in the industry, InterbankFX or IBFX, addressed these issues by incorporating new functionality to the platform itself, and asked me to try it out and write a review. Upon first opening the platform, I found new tabs in the “Default” profile. One of them is the “Welcome “tab. This is a fully functional web page, featuring a welcome video from the company’s CEO Todd Crosland. It is a very nice touch, but more importantly, on the right hand side you can find links to videos explaining how to operate the platform. There are about 15 links, in effect creating a video library or a manual for MT 4. Answer to any question you might have about the platform can be found in a hands-on, video format. It is great, because these tutorials can be accessed at any time, without leaving the platform itself, while having chart windows open.
Another, and perhaps the most important, addition to the platform is the IBFX Connect tab. It opens a window with multiple links in the form of icons at the top of the page. The “News” icon offers a choice of news feeds, which are customizable, with a choice of six sources. The news can also be filtered, for example, only ones mentioning the Euro, or Gold, or, well, whatever. The “Calendar “displays scheduled economic announcements, with importance designation, indicating which events are most likely to move the markets. It is based on ForexFactory.com economic calendar.
From the IBFX Connect page, you can also access “Twitter” feed. Just like the “News“, this is fully customizable – you can add/delete whose twits you want to follow. Not just the ones offered by IBFX, but any Twitter user. Useful, since many believe that Twitter is the fastest news delivery venue of the internet. By using the “Dashboard” icon, you can publish trading results from the account to MT4i Live website. It is a free service for those wishing to publicize their results. Just be aware that this is an EA function, so all EA functions must be enabled for the “Dashboard” to work properly.
Another service accessible from the IBFX Connect page is the “Daily Trading Edge”. The DTE is the company’s in-house analysis and educational site, where you can find information on latest research and webinars offered by IBFX. Clicking this icon opens a new browser window. The next icon on the page is “My IBFX” which opens a drop down menu to the most used sections of your account.
There is also the “IBFX Training” icon, which can take you the educational section of the website. From here user can connect to articles, archived webinars and sign up for upcoming educational events. The last option on the IBFX Connect page is the “PRS” icon, which takes you to Autochartist, an automatic pattern recognition tool. It scans currency pairs in search of recognizable chart patterns and offers price projections based on these findings. Very handy tool for technical traders.
The revised MT 4 platform also includes the IBFX tab. This is a fully functional website, embedded in the platform, so there is no need to open a new browser window – it can be entered from the trading application. There are also marketing links in the bottom left hand corners of active charts. If you do not want to see them, they can be easily disabled, or restored, from the “Custom indicators” menu, under the name “IBFX info”. All of the new features can be closed when not in use, and pulled up if needed, either from the “Custom indicators”, as mentioned before, or from the “Templates” menu.
Some of the new features overlap to some degree, creating redundancies. On balance, however, this is an improvement over other MT 4 platforms. In a simple and clever way, IBFX managed to combine its website with the trading application, facilitating navigation between the two. These enhancements should make for a more user-friendly experience for most traders.