Some time ago, we posted an article listing day trading as a favorite high-risk investment. To clarify, while there is certainly a lot of risk and stress involved in making minute-to-minute decisions on temporary investments, day trading is actually a fairly common profession among those who see the stock market for earnings potential rather than savings opportunities. It’s easy to see the appeal. If you feel prepared to take on the market, you can work from home and possibly work your way into a sustainable or even high-earning job.
However, to do so you need the right equipment and tools at your disposal. You can’t just open up a laptop or boot up an old desktop computer and start trading stocks. At least, if you’re going to be taking things seriously. Instead, here’s a look at some of the recommended equipment to have on hand.
A Strong Computer With Multiple Monitors
You don’t need to splurge on a powerhouse of a computer just to run a trading platform, but if you’re just starting out as a day trader you will probably want something new. Computer technology is constantly evolving and anything that isn’t recent will become outdated even more quickly. You’ll want a fresh hard drive and a decent amount of RAM to make sure you can store and run everything you need with minimal slowdown. You’ll also want multiple monitors (at least 19” with an LCD screen), because as one write-up put it, you can only trade what you see and the goal is to see as much as possible. Being able to visualize multiple charts on different monitors is invaluable, and you’ll want at least two to start with (and probably more if you really dive into day trading).
Recommended Trading Software
There are more options than you might imagine when it comes to the software program you’ll use to view the market and initiate trades. You want your software to provide a real-time window to market activity, with tools for charting and analysis while also providing a smooth means of executing your trades. This is what most platforms strive to offer, though there are still little differences that make choosing a program a matter of personal preference. If this is something you’re looking into for the year ahead a thorough online analysis chose ten strong platforms out of 30 that were reviewed, which can help give you an idea of which direction you may want to go.
Reliable Internet Connection
This may go without saying, but a day trader is nothing without a reliable internet connection. Faster and stronger internet service can cost you more money but it’s absolutely worth it when getting into a business that requires real-time decision-making. It may also be wise to take some time to familiarize yourself with some basic troubleshooting that could come in handy if and when the connection falters at some point. Even the strongest networks can experience glitches or outages.
A Small Television
Finally, you may also want to invest in a small TV to have in your home office to listen to market-related news. Plenty of day traders are religious about having CNBC on, and while it can get a bit loud and distracting, it’s also another way of keeping a finger on the pulse of the market. It can be a great way to follow breaking news and being able to hear the latest headlines and expert analysis can make a real difference.
These are just some of the pieces of equipment that, in addition to a comfortable home office setting, should be enough to get you started on your way to becoming a professional day trader. Of course, no amount of equipment is a replacement for research and know-how but with the right tools for the job you’ll be halfway there.