MetaTrader 4 (MT4) vs NinjaTrader
Is it better to compare apples with apples or apples with oranges when evaluating trading platforms? We’re comparing two of the most popular electronic trading platforms to see if there is enough of a difference between them to determine which is better.
One may be perplexed as to why anyone would consider utilizing a different platform given the enormous popularity of MetaTrader 4 (MT4). A year after NinjaTrader was introduced, MetaQuotes Software published it in 2005. Naturally, with everything moving toward mobile, the developers of MetaTrader created MT5, an online mobile trading platform that supports both the currency and stock markets. The truth is that NinjaTrader has been giving MetaTrader a run for its money despite its popularity and the availability of a mobile version.
The main distinction is that NinjaTrader is more frequently used by futures traders than MT4, which appears to be preferred by forex enthusiasts.
What is MetaTrader 4 (MT4)?
The MT4 trading platform was created by the Cyprus-based MetaQuotes Software Corporation. Since its debut in 2005, it has dominated the retail Forex market; previously, the MT4 was the only viable choice for the vast majority of traders. Management at MT4 saw an emerging trend in its early stages and successfully capitalised on it, becoming the first to shake up the online brokerage market. For Forex market makers, the initial MT4 design was created. The MT5 platform, which replaced the MT4 platform, was introduced in 2010. Regrettably, the absence of backward compatibility with MT4—a fundamental oversight by the development team—was the primary reason why the MT5 failed to take off as a multi-asset platform.
For more than fifteen years, MT4 has controlled the forex market. One of the most flexible trading platforms is maintained by practically all brokers. A full license starts at $100,000, but many new brokers choose to use a White Label solution instead, which is typically far less expensive. Although this makes it appealing to brokers, one of the most important factors in MT4’s ability to dominate the trading platform industry is its full support for automated trading solutions as well as its ability to be fully customized and upgraded via third-party plugins. More to the MT4 infrastructure than to the MT4 trading platform, retail and professional traders continue to be loyal, and this tendency is unlikely to materialistically change in the near future.
Another well-liked trend is social trading, which is made possible on MT4 via third-party add-ons. Some social trading firms solely provide their own solutions, ignoring the tens of millions of current traders who choose MT4. Brokers are able to provide in-house services using MT4 since bespoke solutions may be developed quickly. Finally, the % allocation management module’s retail account management is enabled by the multi-account manager (MAM) capability (PAMM). It enables hundreds of micro and small portfolio managers whose entire business is based on the flexibility of MT4 and its ability to deploy expert advisors (EAs) or trading robots, along with customized trading indicators. MT4 is reportedly offered by over 1,200 brokers, as opposed to only six brokers supporting it (as noted on the NinjaTrader website).
What is NinjaTrader?
The US-based NinjaTrader Group, which was established in 2003 in an effort to upend the trading platform market, is best known for its flagship product, NinjaTrader. It has only been able to draw in a little over 60,000 users over the previous seven years, a small portion of the tens of millions of people who identify as MT4 traders. The NinjaTrader’s 450+ developers, who produced over 1,000 add-ons, including 408 unique technical indicators, are amazing despite this.
The ability for users to design custom charts and switch plugins to create the ideal data environment for their trade is its key feature. NinjaTrader is a platform that has won awards and consistently scores highly in terms of both technology and aesthetics. In fact, this software suite will be of enormous value to experienced traders who operate in specialized markets. However, the majority of investors will find this platform lacking. Many of the features and assets that those traders will be interested in are absent, and full-service platforms that do not have NinjaTrader’s complexities offer the same tools. This is how it goes.
NinjaTrader vs. MT4
As a trader or investor, you should be aware that each platform excels at handling a particular market type. Both platforms also provide automated trading and backtesting. Therefore, you might base your decision on what you want to trade in.
The two platforms diverge in the following critical areas:
One of the main factors in platform selection is accessibility, and MT4 easily defeats NinjaTrader in this regard. Since many brokerages use MT4 and the platform is also available in its mobile edition, getting access to MT4 is made simpler. Many brokers actually offer MetaTrader in addition to their own proprietary platforms, or at the very least a “bridge” that connects the proprietary platform to MetaTrader.
However, only a tiny number of brokerages—many of which frequently demand big volume trading—offer NinjaTrader. The free version, which provides some of the platform’s functions but not all, can be downloaded.
Backtesting and Automated Trading
Trading automation is available through MetaTrader and NinjaTrader both. The distinction is that MT supports Expert Advisors, automated algorithms that can execute trades on the trader’s behalf and analyze predefined parameters. The fact that MT is written in MQL4/5 allows for the creation of extremely complex and potent trading programs.
When it comes to NinjaTrader, its testing suite—which is compared favorably to MetaTrader’s Strategy Tester in some ways—is what is most amazing about this platform. Trading scripts can be future and back tested on the earlier platform, even when using a real account. Simulated data feeds are another feature of NinjaTrader that can be used to test trend-following robots.
Types of Order
This may be the area where NinjaTrader comes out on top. This platform’s order capability enables the placement of immediate orders with concurrent cancellation at various prices. Scalpers may really benefit from this, especially as the platform also provides the true market depth.
Charts and Indicators
With significantly more overall functionality and a better level of chart customisation than MT4/5, The NinjaTrader triumphs once more. In reality, it appears that the platform was created with customisation in mind, allowing users to select the amount of charting indicators they want or the depth of historical data they require.
MT4 Pros and Cons
Given its adaptability and the fact that practically every broker uses it, MT4 is the most successful and well-liked platform. One aspect that sets it apart at a time when consumers want to spend the least amount of time studying and arranging deals is its capability for automated dealing. Additionally, MT4 supports social trading, a function that is growing in popularity as more individuals enter the forex market.
However, no platform is entirely faultless. Being the most well-liked has led some brokers to engage in dishonest tactics in an effort to entice traders to use their proprietary application. For instance, as brokers want to drive the highest volume to their products, MT4 can have expensive fees.
Additionally, there have been issues with the MT4’s order execution speed. It is not well suited for people wishing to invest in other asset classes, while being initially created for the currency and futures markets.
NinjaTrader Pros and Cons
For seasoned traders wishing to use cutting-edge trading tools, NinjaTrader is suitable. It has over 450 developers and over 1,000 add-ons to go along with more than 400 technical indicators that are excellent for analysis.
With a relatively limited user base, NinjaTrader is the less well-known of the two. As a result, there are few brokers who provide it, which results in its limited availability. The platform’s emphasis on the North American market, where it has a low penetration rate, is another factor undermining it. Additionally, consumers must buy third-party data feeds because the free data option is insufficient.
Conclusion: is NinjaTrader better than MT4?
Though MetaTrader 4 and 5 are fully free and consequently easier to access, NinjaTrader is typically regarded as a superior platform for professional traders. In addition, considering its capabilities and functionality, NinjaTrader could appear a little intimidating to a newcomer. And even if NinjaTrader is the master of customisation and charting, what MT4 has to offer is more than sufficient for the common trader. In other words, both platforms can be excellent choices for beginner and experienced traders alike.
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