Using Trading Computers to Profit
Don’t be a fool and believe that any computer is good enough for day trading. The fact of the matter isthat professional day traders use professional trading computers, and they do so for a whole multitude of great reasons. In this article we’re going to talk about what a trading computer is and how you can use a trading computer to make your day trading or FOREX trading business more profitable.
Day trading, as a general rule, revolves around being able to quickly make important decisions and then act on those decisions on a moment’s notice. In other words, you don’t really have time to mess around once you’ve decided that you need to make a trade. This is why having the appropriate equipment is so important. This day in age, there is no reason for a day trader to have a computer with a processor slower than the i5 from Pentium. Likewise, you should not even consider operating with less than 4 GB of RAM (or memory.)
The number of monitors that you use is important. I can’t stress this enough. Using a single monitor computer is not enough. You need at least 2 monitors to sufficiently view all of the charts, graphs and programs, however, most day traders prefer at least 4 monitors. There are several ways you can accomplish hooking up multiple monitors for your trading computer. If you’re only using two monitors, then you are in luck because most video cards have two monitor outputs and can handle 2 monitors without too much trouble. However, if you want to use more than 2 monitors then you either need a special video card that allows you to hook up multiple monitors (and has sufficient GPU power to run them), or an adapter that will allow you to hook up multiple monitors. Both options will work, however, if you’re building a new trading computer, then ideally you’ll just add the video cards you need as you piece it together. Either the video card or the adapter will cost upwards of $350, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Personally I use 4 monitors to trade and that’s plenty for my needs. Each monitor is assigned a specific function that doesn’t ever change. In fact, when I start my computer, those programs that I use automatically load up to each of the monitors for the function that they’ve been assigned. This works great- I don’t have to think about anything- I just hit the on switch. Furthermore, I only use my trading computer for stock trading, nothing else. No other programs, no other functions. I have a small laptop that I keep nearby for personal use. I’ll get more into why here in a few minutes, but you must know that your trading computer shouldn’t be used for any other function.
Another thing to keep in mind when you are building your trading computer is your internet connection. You need to have a solid, fast connection as well as a solid backup connection. 10Mbs should be your minimum, but I really recommend that you go with a 20Mbs or upward. The last thing that you want is to get a connection that isn’t fast enough to handle all the up/down data and lag a transaction. Most cable companies are now offering 50Mbs connections and honestly, these are perfect. Verizon’s FIOS service is another great option (although they aren’t available in many areas yet. Keep in mind too, you should never do trading in public places where connections may become unreliable. The library, Starbucks, etc- these are bad ideas. Make sure you stay away.
For your back up connection, it’s a good idea to use another provider. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve been working and my cable internet goes down (I’m in Florida, so thunderstorms are common and we often see our cable go out.) My back up is an 6Mbs DSL connection. It’s not super fast, but I can usually count on it being up in the event that I need a quick backup. It’s setup on its own router, so in the event that I need to use it, all I have to do is switch over via my desktop settings. As a little tip, make that if you use this setup, you label your routers something easy to remember, like Router 1 and Router 2 or “main” and “backup” – the last thing you need is to worry about which router you want to connect to in the mean time.
Something that a lot of people just getting into day trading may not realize is that you need access to real time data, which you can’t simply get free. Most of the stats you see elsewhere are delayed 10-15 minutes, sometimes more. This simply will not do for a day trader, so you must purchase a data feed from your broker or another service. It will end up costing an additional $100 a month, but it is a must have if you want to be successful.
If you’re considering building a day trading computer on your own, then more power to you. Seriously though, I recommend you do something more productive with your time and leave the computer building to the experts. Here’s what I suggest, go visit multi-monitors.com and browse around. Check out the basic prices that they offer on some of the varieties of computers that they have. Then give them a call. Talk with one of their staff about what you are going to do and let them help you come up with a solid custom day trading computer for you. There’s no need to worry yourself to death over buying the right components when you can talk with an expert about what you need to make your day trading computer work properly.
Hopefully you’ve found this article about day trading computers helpful. It’s not supposed to be a substitute for a solid education on day trading, but it should get you going in the right direction.
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