Stock Indices Trading Platform Tutorial
After opening a stock index demo account the next thing a trader needs to do is to learn how to navigate the indices trading platform.
The stock index platform interface looks like the example below, the various components of the platform interface are explained below.
The first thing you will need to know about is the main navigation menu that is shown below. Just like this website has a main navigation menu at the top where traders can navigate to the various sections of this website, the stock index trading platform also has a main navigation menu that traders can use to navigate the MetaTrader 4 platform.
The main navigation menu on this platform has the following sub menu items:
These are the main sub menu items that you will use to navigate this platform. Let us look at each one of them so that you will have the basic idea of how to navigate this stock index trading platform.
Once you click the "File" menu the following drop down menu items will be listed and can be used for doing different tasks.
New Chart - New chart button is used to open a new chart, for our tutorial using the demo account that you opened you may choose to open Group 6 instruments where you will find all the stock index instruments that are available for trading.
Open Offline - Used to open an offline chart.
Open Deleted - Used to open a chart that had been deleted.
Profiles - Profiles is used to save a workspace, this way you can load the same workspace at another time, or you may save 2 work spaces and can choose to switch between these 2 work spaces by loading the particular workspace that you want at any given time.
Close - Used to close an open chart
Save As - Used to save a chart
Save As Picture - Used to save a chart as a picture
Open Data Folder - Opens data folder which is used to store automated trading programs that are known as Expert Advisors.
Open an Account - For Opening Demo Accounts
Login to Trade Account - For Login in to trade account
Login to MQL5.community - Login to MQL5 community where a trader can buy Expert Advisors as well as subscribe to trading signals.
Print Setup, Print Preview and Print - For printing stock index charts.
Exit - For closing trading platform.
The "View" menu is the next navigation menu after "File" and it is used to display items on the platform as well as on the charts.
On the view menu a trader can do the following tasks:
Languages - a trader can use this option to change the platform language to another language.
Toolbars - toolbars are used to perform various tasks on the trading platform, the various toolbars are:
3. Line Studies
These toolbars will be explained at the bottom of this tutorial.
Status Bar - this is the bar that shows internet connection and a trader can use this to button to display the internet status bar.
Charts Bar - This is the charts navigation bar that is displayed below the chart window and it has a list of all open charts and traders can navigate to the various open charts using this bar.
Symbols - This is used to display all the instruments available for trading based on their grouping, a trader can open this symbols tab and get access to all financial instruments provided within this platform.
Market Watch - displays a list of all financial instruments available for trading
Data Window - used to display data about a particular object
Navigator - used to display navigator window, navigator window shows accounts the accounts whose login information have been saved within the platform, this window also shows the indicators list from which a trader can select an indicator and place it on a stock index chart. This window also shows a list of the available Expert Advisors.
Terminal - this window shows the account balance, the account profit and loss summary, free margin as well as a statement of all opened and closed trades for a particular account.
Strategy Tester - this is a programming environment used by Expert Advisor programmers to back test the results of their Automated Expert Advisors.
Full Screen - used to maximize the screen are to full screen
The insert menu has the following options and it is used to place various tools and indicators on the stock index charts.
The insert menu can be used to place indicators, line studies, channels, Gann studies, Fibonacci studies, Shapes, arrows and Text labels on indices charts.
The charts menu is shown below:
The charts menu can be used to show a list of indicators on any particular chart.
The charts menu can be used to change the chart from bar chart to line chart to candlesticks chart.
This menu can be used to change the chart periodicity - the time frames that are used in trading for example 5 minute time frame or 1 Hour time frame.
The template button is used to save a trading system and this template button is also used to load the same trading system on another chart.
Grid is used to place or remove a grid on the chart, volume is used to display tick volume, Auto Scroll will shift the chart to the most recent price bar automatically, Chart shift will be used to move a chart towards the center so that the chart leaves some margin space to its right side.
Zoom in and Zoom out are self explanatory, Step by Step is used to move the chart step by step usually for the purpose of back testing trading systems.
Properties button is used to adjust various chart settings like the color of the chart.
The tools menu has few options; it is used to show the history center of price data, there is also the language editor where traders can use for programming Expert Advisors and the last button is the "Options" button where traders can adjust different trading options such as server settings, chart settings, trade settings, Expert Advisors settings and also access to the MQL5 community of traders and programmers.
Window menu is specifically used to arrange widows vertically, horizontally, cascaded or as icons. The open chart windows are also accessible on this window menu appearing as a list.
The help menu is can be used by traders so as to get help topics about the MetaTrader 4 platform.
You can practice navigating the stock index platform using the above tutorials and with a few hour of practice you will have known how to navigate this platform.
The most commonly used buttons that are discussed above can be found on the toolbars at the top of the platform as shown below, as a trader you can use these toolbars to get quick access to the various tools, just hover your mouse over any button to get an explanation of what that button does.
Toolbars on Stock indices trading platform - Shortcut to quickly access the most commonly used buttons on the trading platform.