I have been hearing a lot of questions on my computer set up for online trading. First of all, the computer hardware set up has very little to do with success (i. e. profitability) of online day trading.
I am constantly amazed at all of the multiple monitors that online traders hook up to their computer systems. I am also amazed at the amount of CPU's and other goodies that are integrated into the systems.
There are several companies that cater to this niche computer market because they know that when people first start online trading, they go into a buying frenzy and spend big bucks to get a system, “because it is built for online trading. "
Beginning traders tend to buy the latest technology at a high price points and use the excuse that they need it to make a profit. This brings me to a point that you should write down read before you buy any computer system for your online trading business.
Point Number One:
It's not the computer equipment or setup; it's the trader, that makes money online trading.
Now with that out of the way, Let me make a few points. Your internet connection should be with a reputable company. If you are going to spend some money, this is the place to do it. If you cannot connect to your online data services or your brokerage accounts, you cannot trade.
Also, why you don't need the latest and greatest technology, you also can't use the oldest and worst computer from 1995 still running Windows 95.
A good rule is to check with your charting/data feed and even your high speed internet provider and see what minimum specifications they recommend and make sure you are above them.
Let's begin to look at all of the items that you need. This is a very simple list so you are not overwhelmed.
- 1) A reliable high speed internet connection. (DSL, Cable, Satellite),
- 2) A Computer over the minimum specifications as stated by your charting/data feed company. (I like to have at least 4GB to 6GB of memory on board since I have many windows open at once)
- 3) A monitor that is at least 19 inchs. The bigger the better. I do not believe in multiple monitors since I try to keep my trading plan very simple, multiple monitors tend to create information paralysis since there is such a thing as too much information. Multi monitors also add considerable costs to your system since you need each one as well as buy higher end or multiple graphics cards
- 4) A UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) This will keep your desktop computer, monitor, modem powered if there is a power outage at your office. Believe me you don't want to have a trade placed online and then not be able to manage it because you have no power.
Costco has all of these items (except for the internet connection) at very good prices. They also have a 90 day return policy and a concierge service which is why I buy my systems from them.
Just an FYI, I went to Costco and configured a HP desktop computer. I took the same configuration and went to one of the computer companies that focus on trading computers for online traders with multiple monitors and cool, “Trading" computer names. Guess What? For the same specifications, Costco was $747.67 cheaper. Just some food for thought. (I am not affiliated with Costco in anyway except for holding a membership card. This example was used to prove a point)