Got a Mac? Want to trade forex? Unlucky! Mac users hoping to use popular trading software have long struggled with frustrating compatibility issues…until now.
The popularisation of foreign exchange trading over the past decade has been something to behold. Forex (FX) is now the largest financial market in the world, with an average daily trading volume in excess of $5 trillion. Its popularity can be attributed to a number of factors: its volatility, its high liquidity, the promise of tax-free profits, and the value-boosting potential of leveraged trading.
Another important factor has been accessibility. The gates to the forex market were flung open to non-professional traders years ago. Trading platforms have succeeded in enabling a slick, easy-to-negotiate forex trading experience that’s accessible to novices. Everyone wants to learn how to invest in forex, and even more so now that you can use the new programmable ‘auto traders’ for forex and bitcoin alike.
Yet somehow, in the midst of this forex boom, Mac users have felt marginalised.
The problem? The best and most popular trading platforms were developed for Windows-based operating systems. Mac users who wanted to take advantage of forex trading software like MetaTrader were therefore faced with a tough choice: use Wine to run a Windows native platform like MetaTrader on their Mac (which usually results in buggy, sub-standard performance), buy a PC for forex trading, or simply forego the software.
MetaTrader 4 (widely known as MT4) has been around for years but remains the go-to trading platform, whether you’re a complete novice or a trading veteran. If you’re interested in trading forex and other financial instruments such as CFDs, futures, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies, MT4 is well established as the standard platform, despite the fact that MetaQuotes released MetaTrader 5 in 2010.
Some MT4 functionality has become almost intrinsic to the FX trading experience, not least the Expert Advisor (EA) feature that enables you to set up algorithmic trading programs to monitor forex markets. Consequently, MT4 is the preferred platform of most brokers, so you’re pretty certain to encounter it if you’re entering the forex market at any level.
Bottom line: Other forex trading platforms are available, but there are plenty of compelling reasons why MT4 remains the gold standard.
MT4 on your Mac
Some popular brokers, like IG, advocate MetaTrader 4 as a preferred trading platform but fail to offer Mac users anything better than a Wine-enabled solution, which they concede may be unstable. Happily, some brokers – belatedly realising the value of giving Mac users easy access to the standard forex trading platform – are now offering native MT4 solutions for Mac users, without any of the hassle of virtual machines.
Currently, XM and Admiral Markets offer native MT4 for Mac, which could be a game changer if you’re a Mac user who doesn’t fancy jumping through hoops to take advantage of an industry-standard trading platform.