MT4: Market Execution vs. Instant Execution

For those of you who have no experience using the MT4 platform but are planning to switch over, there’s one major difference that you should know about how STP brokers and dealing desk brokers execute your trades on the platform.

STP brokers use market execution when they accept your orders through their system. This means that you WILL NOT be able to place stop loss and take profit orders at the time that you are entering a trade.

When you are using the MT4 account, you’ll notice that the stop loss and take profit boxes are grayed out.

Market Execution

The only time you will be able to set stop loss and take profit orders is AFTER you have established a position in the market.

Modify Market Execution

Dealing desk brokers on the other hand use instant execution. With this type of execution, you can easily set your stop loss and take profit orders at the same time that you are entering the market.

Instant Execution

One issue with having different types of execution is that it can get confusing.
If you are used to instant execution, you will find it difficult to enter trades without at least setting a stop loss order. Also, take note that trading without stop loss levels can be very, very dangerous.

Let’s take Dan the Scalper who is used to trading using instant execution with Broker A. All of a sudden, Broker A changes their execution style to market, preventing Dan from placing take profit and stop loss levels the moment he enters a trade. This can be troublesome for Dan because as a scalper, he relies on small spikes in price to profit. If prices were to go against him quickly, he could incur a huge loss and his account would take a major hit.

Expert advisor programmers could also encounter problems with market execution. When they program, they must first get in a trade before the program can place profit and stop loss levels. This could lead to difficulties in both the actual creation and execution of the expert advisor.

So, before going live with a broker, ALWAYS – no ifs or buts – do your research. Demo trade first so you can get a feel of how the broker executes orders. “I was not informed,” is not a very good excuse in losing money.

  • Arctus Solaris

    Specifically, Market vs Instant execution depends on the MT4 Bridging tech and how it uses the MT4 server APIs. Ask your potential broker about Instant Execution(IE) vs Market Execution(ME). You can also ask them which MT4 bridge they use and whether they plan to change it anytime soon (many brokers in the US have switched in the past few years to a bridge that only allows ME). Some still use other bridges or their own proprietary bridge that allows IE. If you must use ME, you can immediately do an OrderModify. Of course, this means there is a microsecond where you have an order with no stop or tp. If your EA glitches, or other tech difficulties occur this could be bad! One more thing to note.. Stop orders are not affected. If your EA only places stop orders, it will work the same with IE or ME. Note that MT4 Strategy Tester (backtester) works with SL and TP whether your broker does or not. If you have an EA coded for IE only, it will backtest fine, then error in forward testing.  

  • Candle pip maker

    execution is very annoying it takes double the time to make trades, this can be costly if you are in and out the market quickly.

  • Schnitzel

    My broker seems to offer both, depending on the currencypair to trade.

  • Lite Forex

    I appreciate with your post. If your EA glitches, or other tech difficulties occur this could be bad! One more thing to note.. Stop orders are not affected. Currency Trading

  • Lefteris Eleftheriades

    Since MetaTrader 710 the specification of Stop Loss and Take Profit when opening a position for a Market Execution type symbol is allowed

  • Jules Chung

    This article is concise and easy to understand. However, under Account type, one would have an option of the above two, MT4 Instant and MT 4 Market. What would MT 4 Fixed Spread be in relation to the other 2. Any advice would be much appreciated and thanks.