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Why your trading set-up matters – and what devices you need

by Matt
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The stereotypical image of a trader is of the Wall Street or City financier sat in front of a desk with a whole range of screens in front of them. This is not necessarily too far from the truth even for a smaller-scale trader working perhaps out of a co-working office or from their spare room: monitoring graphs is a key part of the job, and without the screens required to do it, you could be at a disadvantage. This article will delve further into the world of the ideal trading set-up, and help you come to some conclusions about how to achieve your goals.

Why it’s important

Having a good trading set-up in place at your workstation is important for a whole host of reasons. Firstly, it’s good for your comfort levels: if you spend all of your trading hours hunched over a laptop, for example, then it’s likely that you’ll begin to struggle after a while and you may even negatively impact your health. 

It’s also important to get a good trading set-up because of the nature of the job. Trading any sort of financial instrument is an information-dense exercise: it requires lots of analysis of graphs, news articles and more, and it’s not something that can be done half-heartedly. Relying on a small phone screen is not enough: this is something that takes computing power and screen space in order to be really worth doing. It also requires reliability: while portable devices such as laptops are getting better and better, rarely do they beat a big screen and a constant power source. After all, you don’t want your trading set-up to crash when you’re right in the middle of a crucial trade, as it could cause big problems for your open position and even, in some cases, lead to financial losses.

A range of screens

When trading, it’s crucial to think carefully about every node in the process. You should, for example, run due diligence reviews on potential brokers – and reading articles such as this StormGain review from the highly reputed site ForexTraders makes sense as a way of arming yourself with all of the information you might need. 

However, it’s also important to think carefully about devices such as screens – and to relate your purchasing decisions to your chosen trading strategy. Whatever you’re trading, you’re likely to need at least two screens: this set-up gives you the chance to see price chart data according to several different timeframes in order to work out both longer-term and shorter-term sentiment. If you’re the sort of trader who keeps open many different positions at once, perhaps as a day trader looking to make a higher volume of shorter-term profits, then you may need enough screens to see all of your positions at once so that you can strike while the iron is hot when it comes to closing them for a profit. 

Ergonomic design

Finally, don’t forget to assess all of the items you intend to buy for ergonomic quality. Your desk chair is likely to be the item in your set-up that is most important from an ergonomic point of view, as it’s the device that your body will spend the most time in contact with while trading. You may want to consider a chair that moulds your body into an upright position, for example – otherwise, those long hours spent in front of screens placing trades at all hours of the day and night might end up taking their toll on your comfort and posture. 

It’s not just chairs that ought to be ergonomic, however. You can now also purchase devices such as ergonomic mouse mats that give your wrists a safe place to rest while you navigate from graph to graph. It may be worth making an ordered list of important items for you based on your health concerns and comfort levels – and then going from there.

Overall, the trading set-up you need and the devices you require will vary depending on your trading approach. As a baseline, most traders will need several monitors – but if you’re a trader who often has multiple open positions to juggle, then you may need way more than a couple. It takes some analysis on your part to get your trading set-up right – and you may well need to experiment and be willing to adapt before you get to the perfect point.

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