We’re often asked about how we trade and especially which computers and hardware that we include in our trading setup, also called a trading station or a day trading computer.
Since this happens to be a rather complex subject, we decided to create a guide on how to set up your day trading computer. The TradingGide team intends to help you locate the tools and software that you need to excel.
Naturally, a beginner doesn’t require the same advanced set up as a professional day trader. However, regardless of your level of knowledge, you have to equip yourself with the proper tools.
What is a Trading Station?
A trading station – not to be confused with the forex platform Trading Station nor the trading platform TradeStation – is the computer and associated tools that you use to trade.
Therefore, the trade station includes the computer you use to access your platform and broker. It also includes at least one (but usually two) displays as well as anything else you need to efficiently analyze any market and place profitable trades.
What’s important is that you create a day trading computer setup that reflects your needs and your style of trading. Your goal is to create a solution that enables you to trade to the best of your ability.
Set up a Day Trading Computer Based on Your Need
When setting up your first day trading computer you must respect your needs and budget. There are hundreds of flashy and expensive computers that you can invest in, but it’s usually not necessary.
In fact, you can get quite far with very little as long as you have a plan on what you’re going to trade as well as the tools that you rely on in your trading.
Let us explain further:
The main component of your trading station will be a computer. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s a laptop or a stationary desktop computer. As long as the device can handle your prefered trading tools without issues, you’ll be good to go.
Most of the online trading platforms today are offered through web-based platforms meaning you usually don’t have to download any software. What’s more, brokers in the UK always offer trading platforms for both Windows (PC) and Apple computers, meaning you can use any of the most popular computers on the market to trade.
You might have already noticed that many professional day traders have several screens in front of them when trading. This is to give themselves the option to analyze assets using several different platforms, but without having to switch screens.
Several screens allow traders to have several graphs, tools, and trading software open at the same time, thus increasing their efficiency.
This is not a necessity, especially as a beginner, although it will make it a lot easier to trade. That being said, you shouldn’t invest in screens when first getting started. In fact, using a single screen when first getting started is advisable since it won’t be as overwhelming.
Besides your regular trading station where you’ll do most of your trading, you should have access to a trading app. This will allow you to keep an eye on your open positions as well as open and close new ones, whenever and wherever you are.
There is a huge range of trading apps available on the UK market in 2021. Luckily, all the brokers that we recommend have mobile trading platforms, meaning you can stick with the broker you pick.
In other words, there is no need to do additional research just to find a trading app in addition to your broker. Just keep in mind that some brokers are better suited as mobile brokers than others.
Lastly, you want to make sure you have everything you need close to you. Back in the days, calculators were a common trading tool and many traders still rely on “traditional” regulators in favour of the ones offered on today’s computers.
Paper and a pen is also advisable to keep at hand for whenever you have to take note of something.
The more you trade, the more you will understand your need in terms of tools and devices. And you will most likely see your trading station grow quite a bit initially.
Software to Include in your Trading Setup
Regardless of how advanced your physical day trading computer is, it will be worthless without the right software.
Today, most retail trading is done online meaning you need software and access to the Internet in order to trade.
Tradingguide.co.uk was created with one main goal: to help UK traders find the best online brokers and trading software. Thus, we’re experts on all things trading software.
Arguably, the most important piece of equipment you’ll ever need is your trading platform since it’s your door to all the markets. Today, most trading platforms are online-based meaning you don’t have to download any software. Instead, you access the platform through your browser.
A good trading platform provides all the tools that you need to analyze markets and place trades. However, they should also help optimize your efforts with additional services such as market updates, robots, alarms, stop-loss orders, etc.
There is a range of different trading platforms available today. Many brokers develop their own software and even more brokers rely on third-party platforms, for instance, MetaTrader 4. Lately, it’s become more common with brokers combining the two types of platforms.
In the end, you should pick the platform that you feel the most comfortable with, and as long as it’s an FCA regulated broker that we recommend, you can rest assured that the broker will be reliable.
If you want to test different platforms, you can open demo accounts with online brokers and get access to all their tools using virtual funds.
It’s also advisable to combine your desktop platform with a trading app. All the top trading platforms today come in mobile versions. Thus, you only need one broker account to trade using your computer and/or your smartphone.
Unsurprisingly, trading apps have started playing a more important role in the trading industry and many of them are just as good as their desktop counterparts.
App trading provides several benefits and allows you to keep track of markets, price movements, and your open positions regardless of what you’re doing.
As mentioned, any good trading platform should provide you with the analytic tools you need to trade efficiently. Still, some traders recommend that you use additional analytic tools to ensure that you have the most accurate market data.
TradingView is an example of a well-regarded analytic platform that some use in addition to their broker’s own tools.
Financial News Updates
Financial news is an important part of most trading strategies and you should have access to the latest market news at all times.
And with all that being said, we hope you have a better idea of how to set up your day trading computer.
Remember that your trading station can be as personal as you want to as long as you can trade as you want to. Just ensure that you’re using a reliable and regulated broker.