- when you download chart/trading software from a broker you usually get the MT4 platform and their own platform e.g. OANDA provides the MT4 platform with an OANDA account linked to it and their own platform… you can trade from either depending on preference?
*** Depends on what you mean. At OANDA you need to open a sub-account for MT4. This is done in a couple of seconds. When you have that account you can use it in MT4. So you can use either of the two, but for MT4 you need one extra step.
- MT4 can be used to access accounts you have with multiple brokers (I assume these accounts can be managed within MT4 somehow)?
*** There is the Metatrader for managers, with that you can handle multiple accounts with the same broker. But I don’t think this works between brokers. To handle multiple accounts with MT4 you need to open an instance for each account and have them talk to each other, for example via a pipe or a simple realtime file synchronisation program. With the last (als the easiest) you communicatie through a text file that is picked up by the program and copied to the other directories. At the next tick your script reads the file and acts accordingly. Kinda like a master/slave set-up.
- the broker’s own platforms can be used for charts and trading but are generally more primitive than MT4?
*** No often they are more complex than MT4 to make working with the software more intuitive for the trader (it does more for you). But MT4 is more versatile and robust. No fancy charts, just functionality and the ability to make it your own. The Broker software looks nicer, but is more for manual trading (although some semi-automated options are available). The problem is that you have to work with different packages when you work with multiple brokers. There is no Master/slave setup possible (You can, but it requires programming). When your account is big enough you can Apply for the FIX API, but that is another story.
Does this help you?