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What kind of tools do you need to start trading?

Whether you’re studying trading on your own or in a business education class, there are essential tools that are a prerequisite for success. This article only scratches the surface of the many devices that professional traders use, but it should help you get started on the right foot in your quest to become a full-time trader. Preparation is crucial every time you get in front of the computer, whether it’s your first day of trading or your twentieth year of trading. You can’t be too prepared.

One of your main concerns will be the computer you choose to operate with. Your six-year-old laptop with 2Gb of RAM is probably not a good option to operate on. I have a clear preference for desktop computers for my work. They are sturdy compared to their laptop counterpart and hold their own for a period of time. Also, a desktop computer can use cross-firing graphics cards so you can expand the number of monitors you decide to use. I don’t want to jump the gun on the monitors, which we’ll discuss later in this article. For your first business computer, I would lean towards a business oriented box and avoid the variety business computer that is loaded with all kinds of social media oriented programs and multimedia programs. The more basic the computer, the better. These are the minimum specs you would be looking for:

Intel i5 or i7 processor or a comparable AMD processor (in fact, I prefer to use AMD gaming chips in my computers)

8GB of DDR3 RAM and 16GB would be even better.

· A good quality motherboard, I prefer ASUS motherboards because they are workhorses and relatively inexpensive compared to Intel. The goal is to achieve a quality motherboard that will withstand long hours of use.

I would put my operating system on a solid state drive and store data on at least a 500Gb physical drive.

A high quality graphics card, although you don’t need anything close to a $ 200 gaming card, just a good quality card. Most of the sound cards are on the motherboard and that’s fine.

· A good quality surge protection unit, and I don’t mean the little plug-in strips. I’m talking about a surge protection unit that will really protect your computer.

I prefer to operate on 4 monitors, but two monitors are enough to get started. Acer makes some great 21 “monitors and they are priced right. A second monitor allows you to view multiple time frames without having to switch a single screen back and forth.

I am a firm believer in carefully monitoring your operations so that you can review them and learn from past mistakes. There are several excellent commercially written spreadsheets available and which one to use is a matter of personal choice.

Lastly, find a nice, quiet workspace where you can work without interruptions. Trading requires a lot of concentration and interruptions generally cost money.

Proper preparation will mean one less detail to worry about when operations get hot and heavy, and you will have a computer setup you can trust. As always, good luck with your operations.

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