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How To Set Up The Perfect At-Home Trading Station

How To Set Up The Perfect At-Home Trading Station

Whether you’re a stay at home mom, a student with some extra cash or you just want to get started trading, you need to make sure you have the right equipment to succeed. Trading is not easy, and you don’t need your technology failing on you. Plus, certain aspects of trading may demand different things of a workplace than a traditional job require.

Rather than give yourself a disadvantage in the world of trading, learn how to maximize efficiency and function for your trading. Here is some advice on how to set up the perfect at-home trading station.

The Hardware

Day trading is about working quickly, which means your equipment has to work quickly too. There are conflicting suggestions about what kind of computer to get – some recommend a Mac Pro for its spectacular specs, while others decry all Apple products as fundamentally incapable of meeting a day trader’s requirements. Obviously, opinions differ.

What is important, however, is that your computer can boot up Windows 7 or 10. Apple’s OS is incompatible with most critical day trading tools.

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Your computer is going to need some impressive stats. A fast processor is a must, as is enough memory and RAM to avoid lag. Experts recommend a minimum 1 gig of RAM, and a 40 GB hard drive to start. A laptop is not going to cut it for this task. Go for a desktop.

Multiple monitors can be a valuable tool for daytrading, and worth investing money in. Between three and four monitors is common, but some investors have reported seeing traders using 12 monitors at a time. This is unnecessary; if you’re using 12 monitors, you probably need to get rid of a few.

When you set up your monitors, take the time to adjust brightness settings to avoid straining your eyes throughout the day.

The Software

You’re going to need a lot of data and platforms to ge started in day trading. One highly-recommended option is Bloomberg Anywhere, which turns your browser into a complete Bloomberg Terminal.

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You’ll need a broker. Speedtrader is highly recommended, and suitable for day trading, but Suretrader and Lightspeed are both excellent brokers as well. You will need to evaluate the brokers based on your individual needs, goals and plans.

Stock scanners are also critical tools for day trading, as they enable you to scan and analyze stock behaviors quickly. Trade Ideas is highly recommended for this job.

Charting software will also help you observe patterns over short- and long-term periods. Stockcharts.com is a free online tool that allows you to track stock changes. There are many online options that can accomplish this, often for free.

Finally, stocks, Forex and other investments are often affected by news, particularly on a day-to-day basis. A breaking news provider like Benzinga Pro can help you react to news within your stocks quickly.

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Other considerations

Your internet connection needs to be stable and strong in order to day trade successfully. Don’t skimp on your internet provider, and go for a high-speed connection. If you’re unlucky enough to be in an area with poor WiFi, consider a signal booster to increase your reception. When checking your internet, you want to make sure that pages can load immediately and you don’t experience any lag in data.

A surge protector is also important for a station; the last thing you need is your technology getting fried.

A backup computer and backup internet access are both important ways to prepare in case of disaster. If you are planning on taking day trading seriously, an internet outage cannot stop you from trading. Make sure you have a plan should an outage occur. A smart phone with mobile data makes a satisfactory backup for short-term use.

When you’re getting your at-home trading station ready, make sure you’ve done all your research. Double check that you know what software is compatible with what hardware, and that everything you own works to its full capacity. Replace computer parts that need replacing, make sure your screens are comfortable, have a good chair.

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Although you’re working from home, you’re dealing with the professional world, and you need professional tools.

Featured photo credit: Robert Freiberger via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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