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MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is a hugely popular platform for forex traders around the world. In this article, I will show how the MT4 terminal can be used to create sound and email alerts. These alerts can be triggered by price levels and by technical indicators.
At the bottom of the article, I give a link to download a free EA that will enable you to program your own email alerts.
Why Should we Use Alerts?
Traders are notoriously bad at sitting in front of their trading screens for hours on end, waiting for the perfect time to enter or exit a trade. Unless you are being paid by the hour, it is almost always better to take regular breaks from your screen.
Taking a break from staring at a computer screen might mean going for a walk, picking up the kids or just sitting in the garden.
For other people, it is simply not possible for them to monitor a trading screen all day. For those people with young families or another job, they may only have an hour a day to keep track of the markets.
Almost everyone can cut down the amount the time they spend in front of the screen and make just as much if not more money. Technology exists to make our lives easier and simpler and we should take advantage of it.
One way to cut down our trading time is by using alerts. These can be configured so that we can receive them as a sound message if we are close to our trading desk. Alerts can also be delivered as an email message when we are away from the computer. These emails can be received on a smartphone, freeing us up to do other things without the fear of missing a trade.
Sound Alerts for Prices Using the MT4 Terminal
The simplest way to get price alerts is to use the inbuilt MT4 alert function. To do this click on the Terminal button and select the Alerts tab. Then right click and select Create.
Select Enable. The Action should be set to Sound. Now choose the currency and conditions for the alert.
Timeout refers to the period of time before the alert is repeated. Maximum Iterations is how many times the alert will be repeated.
This sound alert is useful but it does not help us move away from our desk. Therefore the next step is to look at how we can set up an email alert.
Email Alerts for Prices Using MT4
Email alerts can be triggered in the same way as sound alerts. These emails can be received on a smartphone such as iPhone, Android or Blackberry. The alert is a signal for us to open our charts and consider whether to open or close a trade.
The first step is to set up MT4 to send emails. To do this select Tools and then Options and then click on the Email tab.
First, check the Enable box and then fill in the details for an email account. I use Yahoo mail. Note that I have used the same email account to send and receive the email alerts. The settings are:
smtp.mail.yahoo.com:465 (this is the SMTP server and the SMTP port separated by a colon)
your email address
your email password
your email address
email account to receive the alerts
Click on Test and check to make sure you receive the test email.
Now go back to the Alerts tab and select Mail. For Source click on the … and write the title and content you want for the email message.
You have now set up an email message price alert.
Using an Expert Advisor to Create an Indicator Email Alert
Expert Advisors (EAs) are programs that work in MT4 to automate trading tasks. One of the ways that they can be used is to create an email alert based on a technical indicator.
I have created a simple EA that makes a sound alert and sends an email alert when there is a crossover of the MACD. When the EA is attached to a chart it is constantly monitoring to check whether the criteria for triggering an alert have been met.
The signal criteria I have used are simple:
- If the current MACD signal line is greater than 0 and the previous MACD signal line was lower than 0, send an alert saying there is a long crossover
- If the current MACD signal line is lower than 0 and the previous MACD signal line was greater than 0, send an alert saying there is a short crossover
If you want to see a demonstration of the EA and the price alerts described above, check out the accompanying video:
Get the Email Alert Expert Advisor
If you want to get the Email Alert Expert Advisor simply subscribe to my website using the Subscribe page and I will send you a link to download it for the free.