When you think of being a trader what comes to mind? What trading resources do you think you need? Large monitors stacked side by side with multiple charts on each, fast-paced thinking, quick on your feet to make trading decisions in seconds? Having thousands of dollars on the line at one time?
If this is what you think of when you think of trading, you may be in for somewhat of a disappointment, or what I’m about to tell you may come as a relief.
When I first started, I listened to all the hype, watched all the videos and saw all these people having crazy monitors and the nerd inside of me went crazy figuring out what I had to do to create a monstrosity of a wall of monitors to put up charts of the SPY. It was completely useless. A huge waste of money. Luckily, I bought my monitors used from eBay and I ended up donating a couple of them.
Truth is the only trading resources that you really need is one monitor, one computer and yes a smartphone. If you really wanted to get down to it you really could get by with just a smartphone. There are so many good apps out there you can get by without even a laptop. I just prefer to have a computer so I can type easier and have more screen real estate. For me, it makes it easier to look at charts and draw lines on them. You can easily put all of your orders through your phone though. Actually, if you use Robin Hood, that’s the only way you can put in an order. It’s a mobile-only platform, geared more for investors and swing traders. For a while when I was using TD Ameritrade, I actually disliked their PC software so much I only used the app to place my trades. I made several successful trades using that. I know that some may argue that phones are way slower with connection speeds and you could miss out on a trade due to slow quoting, but I’ll get to more on that later.
So many people believe that you have to have multiple monitors to be successful at trading, but that’s completely false. All it does it create a distraction for most because you are unable to focus. The more successful traders admit they made better trades when they worked off of one single monitor when interviewed about their set-up. Too many monitors are distracting, that’s why I got rid of mine. Unless you’re a broker taking multiple orders at a time and managing clients, it’s all for nothing. And if you’re just starting out, the last thing you want to be worried about is putting on multiple trades.
Now what I’m about to tell you is biased because I’m a swing trader myself, if I can’t hold a position for at least 5 days, I don’t want it. Why? Because I’m not fast enough. Some people think they are, and some actually maybe, but I’m a realist here–I can’t make millions of calculations a second and I’m not going to try. There are computers making algorithmic trades faster than you can get your quotes into view much less make your trade. Therefore, I don’t play the rat race. I choose my trades carefully and plan them out. If the price is off a penny or two when I buy, I’m not worried about it. I’m looking for larger, bigger moves, more than 5 or 10 cents here and there.
Once you decide to make longer-term trades, the need for a lot of trading resources goes away. Like having a massive, incredibly expensive computer, or expensive subscriptions of level II quotes. Now I’m not saying you have to make trades that are going to be a year-long hold. I mean, I’ve had trades that I’ve placed from a phone and they played out and made money in 15 minutes. (Disclaimer it was an options trade and they tend to move a lot quicker than stocks themselves.)
The point I’m making here is this: don’t go out and buy a bunch of things you do not need. You do not need a massive computer that fills your basement with monitors. If you want it, by all means, set it up, but if you’re looking into what trading resources you do or do not need to get started-just a regular laptop, a pad of paper, and a smartphone will do. Save all the other money you were going to spend on a computer and put it into your trading account.
Now once you’re making money and you want to upgrade hardware, by all means, do so. But this is directed towards someone who is just starting and going around reading that you need some expensive set-up if you want to be serious, and it’s just simply not true. If you’re looking to get started and you’re not sure where to start, check out my free 3 part email course on what you can do to get started in the right direction. Sign up below.