Setting up Your

Trading STation

The Computer

Personally I prefer to work on a Laptop. That gives me the option to set up shop and trade when travelling.

I am still working on a 13″ Apple MacBook Pro (late 2013) with 8GB of RAM, Solid Stat Drive (SSD) and 2GB on board graphics. 

To my surprise it works better than expected and even runs fluently with four 24″ 1080p Monitors attached. Not to mention my Trading Software and all the peripherals attached to it.

Look for a Gaming Computer

If you are looking for a (new) laptop, I recommend you use one that is declared a gaming computer. This will make sure you have enough resources to power a quality day trading setup. 

Especially the Charting Software can be a heavy load your computer needs to handle.
Hence you need a some good graphics with 4GB of RAM.

REcommended

  • Gaming Computer
  • 15 Inch Display
  • 8GB of RAM, better 16GB
  • Graphics Card with 4GB RAM
  • Solid State Drive (SSD)

Mac or pc ?

Lenovo
Legion
Y520 or Y720

When settling for a Laptop PC, I can recommend a Lenovo Gaming Laptop. Their series is called Legion with the current 15″ models Y520 or Y720. A 17″ model is also available, but imho too large to carry around. Have a look at Amazon. They usually offer the current models.

Apple
Macbook Pro

With Apple’s BootCamp it is easy to run Windows 10 on a Mac.

This allows me to run all the needed Trading Software and use Windows 10 strictly for work. Convenient to limit my distractions.

At some point in the future I will be upgrading to a 15″ MacBook Pro. Whenever that will happen. I could use the extra monitor space when travelling.

Whether you go Mac or PC you won’t get around installing Windows 10. All my Trading Software is running on Windows.

The Monitor(s)

You can never have enough screen space. No matter how much, I could always use more. 

Even now I can’t wait for another upgrade. 

You need room for all the charts, your broker, a market scanner, a chat-room and what not.

Four 24" Monitors

is what I am looking forward to. 

Currently I stare at a 27″ Monitor from Asus with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 on which I have my charts. 

Right next to it, and on top of each other, I rock two slim 24.5″ 1080p monitors from BenQ.

With 2ms they are very responsive.  The bezel is tiny slim and just sets you back a rough $150,- a pop. 

If even. As soon as I have more space on my desk I will replace my 27″ with another two of these babies. 

I should add that I put in quite some time researching what monitors to get at the end of 2017. I am happy with my decision. But have a look for yourself. Whatever monitors you have or get, please, make sure you get fitting cables and adapters to hook them up.

The
Monitor
Rack

A couple years back it was expensive to find a stabel Monitor Rack like the ones I used to have at the office. 

Now you can get very good ones with four arms below $100,-. 

I have Quad Monitor Mount this one and was surprised how well it was built.

Depending on how many arms you need, I can just refer you to Amazon and just look what Multi-Monitor Mounts are available at your destination.

Since my monitors all have VESA-mounts it was easy to set everything up. 

As a side note, if I was only to have two monitors, I would choose a monitor with a “lift-engine”. That gives you more flexibility.

Keyboard & Mouse

Something you might already have and so did I. Nothing fancy. It just needs to be reliable. I got a pair from Logitech with a bluetooth USB-Adapter a couple years back.

The Touchpad of my MacBook Pro acts a little bit funny running Windows 10 and I prefer to use an external mouse instead. The mouse is small enough to carry around and has a small compartment for the USB-receiver as well.

Useful
adapters

To hook everything up and get it working, the chances are good you might be needing some of these adapters. 

Hooking up four monitors to a laptop with only so many plugs can be a challenge. Here are some suggestions of adapters that worked out great for me. 

I really hope this gives you some ideas and possibilities. 

Hit me up if you need some assistance. Happy to help.

USB 3.0 DISPLAY VIDEO ADAPTER

A Display Video Adapter allows you to attach a monitor to one of your USB-ports.

Attach one monitor to the, in this case, DVI-port of the USB 3.0 Display Video Adapter. From the USB Display Video Adapter an USB-cable runs to your computer.

Now think further! How many monitors do you think you can run using an USB-hub? Plenty! I promise.

Not cheap

USB Display Adapters are not as cheap as I would like them to be. 

The best solution is to first use up all video ports your computer has to offer

Connect your monitors to available HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort (DP), Mini DisplayPort (Mini DP) etc. with standard cables. 

Should you run out of ports fall back to a USB Display Video Adapter.

(Active) USB Hub

The most convenient way to hook up all monitors at once is to go with the USB Display Video Adapter.

Just attach each Monitor to one USB Display Video Adapter and the USB Display Video Adapters to an USB-Hub. Then you only have one USB-plug to attach to your computer.

For your convenience, you can also attach all other peripherals you need and use. The wireless adapter for the keyboard and the mouse for example.

If you ever plan to go mobile and trade while travelling, it is very important to get an active USB-Hub!

INternet

Contrary to what you might think, a super fast Internet connection is not needed. 

It helps, but is not necessary to spend a fortune on it. The Data Feeds for the stock quotes and your Market Scanners do not need much bandwidth.

A good and fast Internet connection is needed in case you are joining a chat room with a live video feed. That kind of traffic needs some speed and can also slow down your computer’s graphics.

Wifi or Ethernet ?

There are discussions whether to use a hard wired ethernet cable to connect to your modem or use Wifi. To be honest, my MacBook Pro doesn’t have an ethernet port and I always use wifi. I never had an issue with that. 

Matter of choice I suppose. These  days at least.

If I ever have an issue with my connection, it is due to problems on side of my broker or charting provider. 

A Backup Internet Connection is helpful.

backup INternet
connection

There is always the possibility your main internet connection breaks down while you are in a position. 

In that moment you feel a little panic running throuth your system. You can’t get out of it and don’t see what is happening and some sort of backup is helpful.

Old school:
Your Telephone

As a safety guard, write down the phone number of your broker and keep it close.

I fancy a written note on the enclosure of my laptop. 

Even if it turns out being an expensive call, it is probably cheaper than being stuck with your position until your connection is back up. 

In these cases the market never runs in your favour. Never!

Better:
Your smartphone

A second measurement is using your smartphone as a hot spot. 

Please try and set it up before things turn sour. Usually when everything must work, it doesn’t. Not on the first attempt at least. 

A typo in the password for the hot spot your smartphone offers might be the easiest to fix. Although that also will be some precious time while you won’t be able to watch your position.

Therefore make sure you set up and connect to your hot spot at least once. 

In the best case your OS remembers the hot spot and password and connects as soon as you turn it on.

To connect to your broker platform and close out a position, a simple internet connection is enough. You just want to get out of your position. No need for LTE or what is hot these days. 

Wondering if Edge would be enough. I’ll test that some time and let you know how that went….