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A reader of our blog recently asked if he needed an expensive computer to join our room and begin trading. After hearing our response he was amazed of the simplicity of our set-up and what kind of money you can make day trading.
There’s a huge misconception among the general public that day traders use 20 screens to day trade. My guess is that it is due to trader’s on social media sharing pictures of their day trading set-up, which includes multiple monitors. The reality is that having more than two monitors is probably overkill and simply does not fit our style. Overtrading can be dangerous and when you are just starting out, we recommend a one trade a day approach.
Our Thoughts on Day Trading Computers
When you run a trading platform like Think or Swim along with our trade room, plus a web browser like Google Chrome, your computer can get what I call resource heavy and might begin to slowdown. I experience this a lot with my laptop at home. It’s a laptop that I bought 5 years ago, work’s perfectly fine when you are web browsing and such, but when the opening bell comes around (6:30 PST) and I have Think or Swim and the trade room open, it drags big time. So I try not to place too many trades until I get too work.
At work, I have a pretty new desktop in which I can run anything and it will not slow down. Total cost for the desktop? $300 for the tower. I kept the old keyboard and monitor just to save money.
A more common set-up I have and that I use when I know I will be around the computer most of the day is a desktop with a laptop, whereas my desktop I have Think or Swim running along with my main watch, and on the laptop I have Think or Swim with 6 smaller charts for the stocks I have on my watchlist plus the trade room.
Another perk of trading the way we do is that you can take your laptop anywhere in the world and trade. If you are able to nail the open (that’s where we find most of our trades) , you can call it a day in the first hour and enjoy the rest of your day. This works when you’re on vacation. Our head trader and founder of The Lincoln List recently took a trip to Alaska and would drop in for the first half hour before enjoying the Alaskan wilderness. Here is an image he shared on twitter:
Finally, if you decide to go with a more higher end computer tower, don’t go overboard. I would stick with a gaming tower that can be purchased online at eBay. These used to cost thousands of dollars but the cost of computers have come down significantly.
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