Day Trading – What Type of Equipment Do You Need?

Day trading requires you to make instant split-second decisions under intense conditions and immense pressure. In order for you to be at the top of your game you’re going to require the right equipment, the right training and the right attitude.

What kind of equipment do you need? Well, first off, we’re talking about online day trading here. You’re not going to be sweating it out on the floor of some exchange shouting bids and offers. That means the first thing you’re going to need is a computer. For some reason a lot of people think you need the biggest, fastest, top-of-the-line computer with multiple monitors while 3 TV’s are spitting out news. Forget that; we’re just starting out here, right? What you mainly want to worry about is processing speed. You don’t need the prettiest looking graphics, but you need your computer to process information as fast as it comes in. Honestly, I don’t think you can even get a new computer these days that would be considered too slow for day trading. The one place you don’t want to skimp on is the RAM. If you can afford more RAM, get it. As far as monitors go, you only need one, but two is nicer. If you’ve only got one, make sure it’s large enough to hold at least two readable charts, and their time/sales, as well as a reliable news feed.

What about charting? Your broker provides charts based on its datafeed, and from what I have seen most brokers are reliable, and generally pretty functional. For a slightly better experience, I recommend Ninja Trader as a third party charting option. I find them easiest to use, they are clear and reliable, and most importantly they are free if you don’t wish to trade straight from the chart. However, trading from the chart is a very nice feature, so you might want to pony up the bucks to upgrade. Also, if you’re into paying for charting, you might want to check out eSignal; they are widely used and feature rich.

And how about TV and TV news? Dump it. Seriously. That stuff will only distract you and slow you down. Don’t worry about what Cramer is shouting about today; keep an eye on the stocks you picked out prior to the days open and stick with them. Until you get your feet under you, you need to minimize the information you take in, and TV news is the first to go. As a matter of fact, never turn on TV news. Concentrate on your market news feed. It will provide you with the objective bites of market news that you actually need.

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