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Designing Your Office for Trading

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How would you feel if you were sitting at your desk, you placed a trade and your computer screen went black? You may be feeling shocked, angry, or helpless. What would you do? You didn’t have a chance to enter your stop and you don’t have a clue as to what is happening in the market after the screen blacked out. At the same time, you may have lost data stored on your computer.

If you are an active trader, there are some things to think about when setting up your office for trading. This is not a complete list but it will give you some ideas.

Have more than one computer. Some traders have a desktop computer and a notebook computer. If one stops working, they have a backup computer. Notebook computers have batteries so if there is a power outage, the notebook on a charged battery will run for a while during the power outage.

Invest in a battery backup unit for your desktop. Some units will keep your desktop running for at least 20 minutes and sometimes 1 hour. Research the best unit for your desktop based on your system configuration. Some of these units are also great surge protectors so you get this benefit as well.

Have an alternative internet connection. Consider alternatives such using your cell phone as a backup. Many brokers have apps that you can download to your mobile devices. Have a dial up internet connection.

Keep a list of your broker’s phone numbers. Store these phone numbers in your phone for quick access.

Backup your computer data! We all know this is important but how often do we do this. These days you can pay a reputable service to store your data. Your data is backed up automatically with their program and you have no worries. An alternative is to purchase an external hard drive and backup your data daily or at very least weekly.

Get a computer that will handle the type of trading you are doing. When buying a computer talk to a technical person and ask what configuration they would recommend for your trading needs. A computer with limited RAM storage, for instance, can slow down reaction time in placing trades and displaying real time price information on charts.

Be prepared, have the right equipment for trading and you will have peace of mind.


Petra Hess runs PetraPicks.com. She is a technical swing trader and long-term investor in domestic and Canadian stocks and ETFs. 


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