Pick the Right Trading Hardware - dummies

Pick the Right Trading Hardware

By Barry Burns

The trading hardware you require depends on the type of trading you’re doing. In this context, hardware refers to your computer, monitors, network, power supply, and so on.

Be sure to check the hardware recommendations of your trading software provider to see the minimum computer requirements for using its software.

If you’re simply investing for long time periods, the type of computer you use and the type and number of monitors you employ aren’t as important as for short-term traders. You can often get by with a single monitor and use websites, rather than software, to analyze the markets and execute trades.

Day traders require the most robust hardware configuration. The type of software used for charting, running quote screens, scanning markets in real time, and executing trades is resource-intensive.

Day traders often use more than one monitor. For example, dedicate several monitors to charts of the markets you like to trade most frequently, use one monitor for watching the overall market signals (net volume, advancing/declining issues, $TICK index, and the net gain/loss of the major sectors), and reserve a final monitor for your trade execution platform.

As a short-term (day) trader, investing in a computer designed specifically for that task optimizes you for day trading. It provides proper memory allocation, the processor type and speed you need, and the absence of a lot of extra software programs that often come with most retail computers.

Search online for trading computers and/or call computer retailers. Tell them the type of trading you’ll be doing and the charting software you’ll be using. They can give you specific recommendations based on your needs.