Your day trading platform is the hub of your trading activity. So, the way you set it up is important. The key consideration is to make it comfortable for you and your style of trading.
Don't worry about the pictures online of traders who have spent $20K getting brand new monitors and desks. You don't need that starting out. While your physical environment for trading is important, it's not going to make or break you as a trader.
The most important thing is your trading platform, meaning "what you see when you look at your computer screen". If you glance at the screen and you've got so many indicators and watch lists that you are confused as soon as you sit down to your computer, then that's not going to work. Don't put every indicator you stumble across on YouTube on your screen. Test a few and see which combination of indicators makes sense to you. And don't throw it all out the window once you have a bad trade.
Some platforms will allow you switch between paper accounts and real money. For example, here's an image from TC2000. It shows how you can toggle between paper (practice) and real money. Just be sure you're on the right screen when you want to use real money!
Ideally, your day trading platform should help you become organized and efficient. You don't want to search for your order screen. You don't want to be fumbling around as you take action to exit a trade that's moving against you.
A day trading platform is simply your trading desktop. It is what you see on your computer screen as you trade stocks. While this may not seem like an important consideration, it is part of your office environment and therefore deserves some attention.
Organization is important when you are starting a day trading business. As a day trader, you will be filtering through a lot of information very quickly. You will be watching news, charts, stock lists, scans, and technical indicators - all geared toward making you a more profitable trader.
But, if your day trading platform is cumbersome to navigate, then this will create confusion and frustration for you. At the very least, it could slow you down a bit. And, for the day trader, seconds matter.
If you've already opened an account with a broker, or purchased some charting software, then your trading platform will come with a default setting. This is seldom appropriate for the day trader. So, the first thing is to make sure you know that you can change this platform. You can resize charts, add or delete various indicators, etc. This is your platform and you can create the perfect set-up for yourself, based on your trading strategy.
Many brokers will provide free training on navigating through their trading platform. So, whichever broker you choose, take the time to view the available webinars and attend the online classes. Your goal is to be very comfortable with the day trading platform you create.
Whenever you reset your platform, be sure to give the platform a name and save it. You can create multiple platforms or chart settings, all based on the strategies you're using.
One of your options in starting a day trading business is your computer hardware. Investing in a second computer and a second internet connection might be good investments for you. If you've ever had the unpleasant experience of a power failure or a neighborhood network failure, while you're day trading, then you know what I mean.
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