Forex Course

167. Multiple Timeframe Analysis – Key to your Success

Before defining what multiple timeframe analysis is, we first need to understand what timeframe in forex means.

What is Timeframe in Forex?

In the forex market, the timeframe shows the change in a currency pair’s price over a given period. For example, a 1-minute timeframe shows how the price of a given currency pair changes minute by minute, while a 1-month timeframe shows monthly changes in the pair’s price.

No matter which trading platform you use when trading forex, there are several timeframes provided. For example, the screengrab below of an MT5 platform shows the different timeframes provided to forex traders.

Therefore, in the forex market, multiple timeframe analysis is a chart analysis technique that involves observing a currency pair’s trend under different timeframes.

Importance of Multiple Timeframe Analysis in Forex

Another type of forex trader would employ a different timeframe analysis to determine their trade entry and exit positions. Any forex trader knows that the price of a currency fluctuates continuously. Thus, the trend observed in a 1-minute timeframe will be different from the 5-minute timeframe and so forth. The table below shows different timeframes for different types of forex traders.

In timeframe analysis for forex markets, it is advisable to adopt a top-down technique. This technique involves beginning your analysis with a larger timeframe, depending on your trading style, to establish the overall price trend. Subsequent smaller timeframes then follow to show how the observed trend can be broken down to find preferable entry points.

Let’s take a forex day trader, for example. Such traders do not hold an open position overnight. Thus, for their timeframe analysis, they would start with the 8-hour timeframe, then to 4-hour the 1-hour timeframe.

With multiple timeframe analysis in forex, the larger timeframes, like the 1-month timeframes, are used to show a longer-term trend of a currency pair. In a single glance, you can see how the pair has been trading for years.

GBP/USD 1-Month Timeframe Analysis

From the above 1-month chart of the GBP/USD, you can notice the pair’s longer-term downtrend from August 2014 to August 2020. Short timeframes are ideal for showing the more recent changes in the price of a pair. Most forex traders use shorter timeframes to find opportunities to enter a trade and identify ideal exit points.

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Forex Trading Platforms

MT4 Vs. MT5 – Which One Should I Use?

Forex traders can choose the trading platform they want to use. However, this choice is interrelated with the choice of the Forex Broker, as not all types of trading platforms are offered by all brokers. In addition, some brokers do not have real compatibility with certain Forex trading platforms, but giving access to them via a bridge, which is a way a software connects a Forex broker trading system to the platform. This may work satisfactorily, but if the bridge is malfunctioning or slow it may adversely affect the implementation and management of trades.

The trading platform MetaTrader 4 is well known and can definitely be said to set the industry standard. I have never seen a Forex broker who does not offer to trade directly through the platform or through an internal bridge to the platform, although this may be at the cost of a slightly higher spread and/or commissions. The MT5 trading platform is something less common, although it is produced by the same

Essentially, MT5 was designed to be able to operate in markets other than Forex, such as the stock or commodity market, basically because it is more able to connect to a centralized trading exchange. Forex is a completely decentralized market, with a number of major players providing liquidity to this huge market at slightly different prices, uncoordinated. Shares and commodities, the latter is traded largely as a futures contract (in fact, several contracts with different maturity dates), it should usually be negotiated through a centralized process before the property can change hands with full legal effect. At the time of the development and publication of MT5, it can be assumed that Metaquotes foresaw a boom in trading in equities and retail commodities, and designed the software to suit that market.

The other important factor of the differential design was the compliance with the “no cover rule” of the U.S., which states that clients of Forex brokers in the U.S. must negotiate on a F.I.F.O. (first-in, first-out) basis. This means that if, for example, an operator is going to buy 1 batch of EUR/USD, and then buys an additional batch of EUR/USD, the first transaction must be closed before the second can be closed. While Metatrader 4 records each transaction individually and allows the management of each individual position separately, Metatrader 5 automatically adds all positions. Therefore, only the Metatrader 4 can deal with coverage: Metatrader 5 does not.

This is fine for operators in the U.S., as they are legally prohibited from coverage in any case, but in almost all the world, many operators find the difficulty of not being able to carry out coverage operations a very annoying and unnecessary handicap. It is probably the main reason why many traders have become annoyed by being “pushed” to use Metatrader 5 instead of Metatrader 4 by their brokers and possibly by Metaquotes as well. So, to sum up, MT5 was developed to attract US markets. and to meet the needs of this market better than MT4 could. This is the story of MT4 vs. MT5.

What are the differences between MT4 and MT5 Forex platforms? The two main differences have already been covered, but there are others worth mentioning within any comparison between MT4 and MT5.

MT5 uses a programming type called MQL5 compared to the MQL4 used by MT4. The best thing about MQL5 is that it allows programming “black box” which, in a nutshell, means it is easier to program and therefore, logically will be a better framework for users and developers of trade robots and other expert advisors. However, Metaquotes expanded this capability in MQL4 in 2014, so it is no longer a difference between platforms, although there is a likelihood that if the language is updated at some point in the future, Metaquotes will not extend any updates in MQL4 as well as MQL5

It should be noted that there is no retroactive compatibility. Programs written for Metatrader 4 cannot run on Metatrader 5. This can be a serious inconvenience for traders who wish to “upgrade”, and is a key reason why such a change should not be seen as an update.

It is true that the Metatrader 5 retains two key advantages related to programming over the Metatrader 4. First, its backtesting functions, where you can test the scheduled trading strategies, run at a much faster rate, which is a feature that can save you a lot of time if you are the type of trader that needs to run a large number of backtests. It also allows for the simultaneous testing of multicurrency peer retrospectives. Overall, this can speed up back-testing procedures immeasurably.

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New Trader’s Guide to MetaTrader5

MetaTrader 5 was released back in 2010 as the successor to the hugely popular MetaTrader 4, it has gradually been gaining popularity and is not one of the most used trading platforms available. MetaTrader 5 is slowly being picked up by more and more trading brokers, the majority of which have a white-label version which basically means it is a licensed version from MEtaQuotes which is designed to only work with their own broker, this would need to be downloaded from the broker directly.

MetaTrader 5 was built on the foundation that was created by MT4, it manages to retain a lot of the same features while building on top of them with some additional functionality. While most brokers have their own version of it, you can still download the standard version which is good for testing out as it allows you to pen up a free demo account to test out new strategies and trading features. So we are going to take a little tour around the platform to get to understand exactly what it offers and how some of the features work.

When we load up the platform, we will be presented with a screen with a number of different sections. At the very top will be the control bar as well as a number of different options on the toolbar. In the centre is the main graph, there may be one large graph or multiple smaller ones. At the bottom of the screen is a blank section which has your balance written as well as equity and margin, at the bottom of this there are a number of different tabs that we will look at later. To the right there are two sections, the top one will be the Market Watch which contains all the assets available to trade, and just below that is the navigator which will show you your accounts, expert advisors and more. As MetaTrader 5 was designed to be accessible and customisable, you can move these sections around making them larger, smaller or completely changing the overall positions of them, you are able to set up the user interface to look exactly how you desire it.


The largest section on the screen initially is the charts, and they will be the thing that you are using the most, they are there for you to analyse and to see the market movements. You can have the charts setup in three different views, on the toolbar at the top there are three little images of charts, they are the Bar chart, Candlestick chart, and Line chart, these will change the way that the charts look, but not their functions. Right-clicking on the charts will give you a number of different options, this includes things like making trades, auto-scrolling, removing any indicators or expert advisors active, adding trade volumes, and more, it is a way of adding a little customisation to the charts without actually changing their functionality. If you decide to make the charts full screen, then additional tabs will appear at the bottom of the charts which allow you to change between the open charts. There are also a lot of options available in regards to timeframes, an improvement over MT4 is that there are a lot more options available, they range from 1 minute all the way up to monthly.

Market Watch

The market watch window is there to show you very brief details on the assets that are available to trade, it will show you the asset available along with the Ask and Bid prices for it. If you right-click on the market watch window you will get a few options such as hiding or showing different assets. You can also check asset specifications from here. If you were to double click on an asset within the market watch it will then bring up the new trade window. Right-clicking on an asset will also then give you the option to open up a new chart for that specific asset.

New Trade / Order Window

The Order window is where you will place your trades, at the very top is the option to select the asset that you want to trade, if you right-clicked on an asset to bring this up then it should already be selecting the correct one, but it is good to double-check. You can select either instant execution or pending order depending on the type of execution that you wish to use. If you are using instant execution then simply fill in the volume of the trade, the stop loss, the take profit, and the comment for the trade. If you are using a pending order then you have the options for a buy limit, sell limit, sell stop, buy stop, buy stop limit, or sell stop limit. Once selected you are able to put in the volume, the price, the take profit level, the stop loss level, an expiration time for the order, and a comment. Once everything is set up, click on the place button, and the trader or order will be placed.


The navigator window will simply show the files structures and the files that are available for you to use. It will have your accounts available for easy switching, it also shows any subscriptions that you have along with the available indicators, expert advisors, scripts, and other services. It allows you to simply drag them onto the charts in order to activate them. If you have recently added any indicators or EAs but they are not showing, be sure to right-click and then refresh the navigator, they should then turn up.

Data Folder

The data folder is where you will be placing any new Scripts, Indicators, or Expert Advisors that you wish to use so that they appear in the navigator window. In order to access it, simply go up to File on the main window and then Open Data Folder. Within this folder, click on MQL5, there will then be a number of different folders, simply drop your file into the appropriate one, so EAs into Experts, Indicators into Indicators, and so forth.

Bottom Tabs

You may have noticed that there are a lot of tabs at the bottom of the platform, these all offer slightly different functionalities, some ou may use a lot, some you may never actually use in your trading career, but we will briefly look at each one so you can have an understanding of what they each do.

The Trade tab simply shows you your active trades and pending orders, they will appear here, you are able to order them using any of the column titles including time and current profits. This page also gives an easy to read mention of your balance, equity, free margin, and margin percentage.

The next tab is Exposure, this will show you the currencies that you are currently buying or selling, the majority of people will never use this tab, but it can be relevant when trying to maintain margins.

The history tab does what it states, as it simply shows you all of your past trades and orders, just like the open trades tab, you can order it however you like, you may need to double click to change the settings if you want to see the entire history of your account.

The news section is also very straight forward, it will be letting you know any upcoming news events., It is often taken from a couple of different websites including MQL5, and will often take information from the Economic Calendar that can be found on the MQL5 website. 

There is a calendar section available, this outlines some of the upcoming news events that may have an effect on the markers, it is worth keeping an eye on this if you are not already using one on another site, as it can give a good insight into how the markets may move as time progresses, it can also be used as an indication as to which pairs to avoid trading during the high-risk news events.

The next two sections are Alerts and Mailbox, the alerts section will show you any alerts that you may have set up and when they have triggered, the Mailbox is where you will receive messages from both the platform itself and your own broker, these are often in relation to changes of trading times when there are bank holidays and things like that. Different brokers send out messages for different things, so it will be different for each one.

The Articles section simply lists articles that are available to read on the MQL5 website, the code base section allows you to download codebases for a number of different indicators and expert advisors, the Expert and Journal tabs offer different bits of information surrounding your account and any EAs that you are using, these sections can often be used to help debug any issues that may have occurred.

Two of the other tabs on the bottom section are the Market and Siglan sections. These are where you can purchase, rent, or try out various expert advisors, indicators, and signals. The market section allows you to browse through thousands of different bits of software that you can use to enhance your trading from automated trading to assistance in the analysis. Many of them cost money to use, clicking on them will bring up an overview of what they do and how they can be used.

The signal section does what it suggests, it allows you to view and browse the various signals that other MT4 users are providing, this is where you will be copying the trades that the others are making, the signals section gives you a basic overview as well as an insight into the current performance of the signals. 

There is a VPS tab which was not available in MT4, this is where you are able to rent a VPS server directly from MQL5, this will then host your platform so you do not need to keep your computer on all the time, this is perfect for those that are using expert advisors for things like automated trading.

Automated Trading

One of the key advantages to using MetaTrader 5 is the access that it has to thousands of expert advisors which allow you to perform automated trading, while other platforms also offer this, both MT4 and MT5 are way ahead of the game in regards to the number of software that is available to use. Automated trading needs to be enabled within the options menu, there is also a convenient button on the toolbar at the top of the screen to turn automated (also known as Algo) trading on.

Push Notifications

Something that a lot of people miss about the MT5 platform is the ability to set up push notifications for your phone, these will activate whenever you open or close a trade, as well as things like deposits. You will need to download the MT5 app for Android or iOS and then input the MetaQuotes ID from the app into the Notifications section of the Options menu within the desktop version. You can then toggle notifications on and off from this same menu.


The options box offers you a number of different ways that you can change the functionality or look of the platform. The server section allows you to change your passwords as well as logging in and out of different accounts. The charts section can allow you to make small alterations such as showing objects or trade levels. There are basic settings for trade defaults, expert advisors (previously mentioned), sound effects for events notifications, email, FTP, your community account login, signal options, and storage.

Expert Advisors and Indicators

One of the things that brings a lot of people to MetaTrader 5 (and MT4) is the number of expert advisors and indicators that are available to use, there are thousands of them available on the MQL5 marketplace and thousands more available on various other websites. An EA allows for automated trading, while the indicators can add a lot of functionality and information to the charts, things like Bollinger Bands and Fibonacci levels can easily be added to the charts and they update automatically, meaning you do not need to do any of the work yourself.

Mobile and Web Versions

That is about it for the desktop version of MetaTrader 5, there is also a mobile version for Android and iOS as well as a WebTrader which can be used within your internet browser. The mobile version allows you to trade on the move, it offers a lot of the same functionality but without a lot of the bells and whistles, it allows you to check charts, make trades, unfortunately, it does not have the huge amount of EAs or Indicators available to it. The Web version allows you to trade from an internet browser, it is a very stripped-down version of the platform, good for quickly getting on to place a trade that you want, but it is not really sustainable as an independent platform as it is not compatible with the EAs and indicators that the desktop version is, it is nice to have, but certainly not a necessity.


MetaTrader 5 is certainly a powerful and easy to use trading platform, perfect for both those just starting out as well as people who are experienced and have been trading for years. It was built on the foundation of a great platform so it holds the same level of standards as its predecessor. It is packed full of features that will allow you to do whatever it is to do and to analyse pretty much any asset that is available. 

MetaTrader 5 is a fantastic platform and hopefully, now you will have a better understanding of exactly how it works and what it can offer.

Forex Trading Platforms

What is MetaTrader 5?

MetaTrader 5, also known as MT5 for short, was developed and released by MetaQuotes Software in 2010, it was designed as an upgrade to its younger brother MetaTrader 4. The software is now licensed out to a large number of foreign exchange brokers who then, in turn, provide the software to their clients. The client that the user uses is a windows-based application that initially gained popularity due to its ability to allow users to create and write their own trading scripts and robots in order to automatically trade for them. MetaTrader 5 comes in various forms such as a desktop download, mobile application, or mobile application. MT5 has been designed as a platform that covers both centralised and non-centralised financial markets, including, stocks, futures, and FX trading instruments

How to download MetaTrader 5

The MetaTrader 5 website offers the base and generic versions of MetaTrader 5 ready to download, this version is great to download if you are looking to try out the software as it does not require any broker accounts, it is also a way to look into developing EAs or indicators without needing a brokerage account.

Many forex brokers have prevented their trading accounts from being accessed from the basic version of MetaTrader 5, they have subsequently created their own branded versions of the platform, as an example, if you are using Pepperstone, you will need to use the Pepperstone MetaTrader 5 trading platform, if you are using FXTM, then you will need to use the one branded by FXTM. These platforms are exclusive to the broker offering it, so you won’t be able to use a Pepperstone account on the FXTM branded MetaTrader 5 client and vice versa. Whichever broker that you are using, there will be an option to download their platform, most likely from within the client area, but some brokers also offer it directly from the homepage or trading platform pages.

How to install MetaTrader 5 on Windows

MetaTrader 5 was designed as a windows based application which makes it fairly straightforward to install onto a Microsoft Windows-based operating system, firstly, you will need to download the installation file as outlined in the section above, once this has been done we are ready to install the platform.

Simply run the .exe file and the installation wizard should start. The wizard is self-explanatory, so simply follow the steps that it presents, select the installation location, any additional software that is offered (some brokers add in further options with their installation files). Once the installation is done, just double click the shortcut on your desktop or run the terminal.exe file and the MetaTrader 5 platform should open up.

How to install MetaTrader 5 on a Mac

It can be a little complicated to install MetaTrader 5 onto a Mac computer, the complexity needed will depend on the broker that you are using as some offer additional software while others do not.

Hopefully, your broker will be one of the ones that offer a direct Mac compatible download, if this is the case then it is as simple as downloading the application and running through the installation process, just like with a windows installation. If however it does not, it can be a little more complicated to get installed.

In order to get it installed correctly, you will need to download some additional software that will let you install it and run windows programs. Initially you will need to download and install a program called “Wine”, this is a free bit of software that allows Unix-based systems to run applications that were developed for Windows systems, there is a version specifically for the Mac OS. Once downloaded, you will then also need to download a program called “PlayOnMac”, download the software, and then run through the installation, following the prompts and downloading any necessary additional software (through the installation process).

Once everything has been installed, make sure that the latest version of Wine is installed, this can be updated through its menu system. You can then download the MetaTrader 5 Windows installation file, running this file will automatically open it with PlayOnMac, follow the onscreen prompts, and once finished, you should be able to launch MetaTrader 5 from within the PlayOnMac interface, or from a created a shortcut on the Mac desktop.

How to install MetaTrader 5 on a Linux system

If you are running a Linus based system, then you will have a few additional hoops to jump through before you can start using MetaTrader 5, just like we did on the Mac OS installations. This little guide will be based on the popular Ubuntu version of the Linus operating systems.

We will start out the same way as with the Mac installation, you will first need to download an application called “Wine”, this application makes it possible to run Windows applications on a Unix-based operating system. Wine is already included within the Ubuntu system, so in order to get it installed you will need to execute a single command line within the terminal, this command line is:

sudo apt-get install wine-stable

If your Ubuntu version did not have the repository available, then you can obtain it by running the following commands one by one:

wget -nc
sudo apt-key add Release.key
sudo apt-add-repository

You will then need to update the software with the following command:

sudo apt-get update

Then finally you will need to install it:

sudo apt-get install –install-recommends winehq-stable

Once this has been completed, you can download the MetaTrader 5 windows installation file, be sure to choose to open it using Wine, the MT5 installation wizard will then start up and you can just follow the prompts available to install to your preferred location and any other settings that may be available. Once it has been installed, simply run the terminal.exe file, Wine will automatically load up the windows based program and you should be good to go.

How to install multiple MetaTrader 5 platforms

If you have accounts with different brokers then this is nice and straight forward, you can simply install the MetaTrader 5 client from each respective broker, as long as they have their own branded version they will both install without any issues.

If you, however, have multiple accounts with the same broker that you wish to trade at the same time, it can be a little trickier. You can install the first platform following the normal routine, simply follow the onscreen instructions. When you want to install the second platform when the option to change the location of the installation is available, you must use this to install the platform onto a separate folder to the original one, this can simply have a number at the end or name it whatever you like. Once this has completed, you should be able to open up the two platforms separately without any issues.

How to download the MetaTrader 5 Mobile App

The mobile app that is available for MetaTrader 5 is a universal application, unlike the desktop version, it does not matter which broker you are using, you will be able to access your account from the standard application. In order to download it, you will need to load up the app store that is relevant to your device. It is available on both the Android Play Store and the iOS Apple Store.

Simply put in a search for MetaTrader 5 and it should pop up. Click to download and you will be all set to input your broker, server, username, and password

How to use the MetaTrader 5 WebTrader

The WebTrade is a feature that comes with many brokers that allows you to trade using your MetaTrader 5 account without having to download and install any software or applications. All that you will need is a compatible web browser (any modern browser will work) and your account number and password. If your broker supports it, there should be a link to their version of the WebTrader somewhere on the site.

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Overview of MetaTrader 5

MetaTrader 5 is an online electronic trading platform, it is often referred to as MT5 for short. Designed as an institutional multi-asset platform, it offers the user a wide range of trading possibilities and technical analysis tools, it also enables the use of automated trading systems (known as robots or expert advisors) as well as copy trading from signals. The MT5 platform was released to the public in 2010 and has been steadily growing in popularity ever since, it now stands as one of the major trading platforms along with its older counterpart, Metatrader 4.

MetaTrader 5 was designed as a Windows-based platform and so comes in the form of a windows application, there are ways to get it to work on other operating systems such as Mac OS or Linux, but it is not natively supporting on those operating systems. The platform is also available as an application on both iOS and Android devices, as well as a WebTrader that can be accessed from any modern web browser.

MetaTrader 5 Features

Overview: The MetaTrader 5 platform comes with a whole host of available features, as a brief overview these include things like partial order filling, multiple fill policies, six different order types, depth of market view, 38 built-in technical indicators, 44 built-in graphical objects, 21 different timeframes, a built-in the economic calendar, as email system (with attachments), the ability to transfer funds between accounts, chat, a strategy tester, multilingual code, supports netting accounts, hedging is ok, an unlimited number of symbols supports Forex, Futures, Options, Stocks, and Bonds, and it also supports exchange trading.

The MetaTrader Market: The MetaTrader Market offers thousands of different expert advisors, indicators, and trading signals to users of MT5. The market can be accessed directly within the MT5 platform, making it quick and easy to get anything purchased up and running quickly, it will also ensure that things are compatible with the platform. You are able to purchase items outright, rent them for a certain time period, or download them absolutely free.

Trading Signals: MT5 has a built-in signal service, you can view and purchase a number of different signals and your MT5 platform will copy them directly into your account, you can view the detailed stats and history of each available signal, so you know exactly what you will be getting. All signals are constantly monitored and any that are not showing satisfactory results, will not be shown to the public for rental or purchase.

Mobile Trading: Trading on the go could not be easier, it is made possible through the use of iOS and Android devices which can easily be purchased and downloaded within the respected platforms application store. The mobile platform supports two position accounting systems (netting and hedging), features Market Depth, and all types of trade orders. The mobile application enables professional technical analysis through the built-in set of indicators and analytical objects. You can also control your account, monitor the history of your trades, buy and sell currencies, and exchange securities with just a single click.

WebTrader: MetaTrader 5 also comes with the popular WebTrader platform. You can load it up within your compatible web browser (any modern one will work) and then trade on your live or demo account. There are some limitations such as the number of indicators and you cannot use automated trading with it, but it is a good tool to check your accounts and trades should you be away from your usual place of trading.

Automated Trading: The MT5 platform offers a host of features that allow you to trade automatically, these are mostly performed by Expert Advisors that use technical indicators to look a the markets and will then enter and exit the markets based on the set parameters. The MetaEditor which is built into the software allows you to design and develop your own trading robots as well as test their compilation and performance.

Indicators: MetaTrader 4 has been designed to work with many different indicators and there are new ones appearing every single day. The marketplace offers over 3,000 indicators that you can purchase, rent, or download for the platform. Technical indicators that incorporate things like Fibonacci Levels, RSI, Bollinger Bands, Moving Averages and more are available, whatever you are looking for, it should be available to download.