Discovering The Technology And Data Feed Hidden Behind My Office Door
An Insight Into My Trading Room
In this post I want to show you the ins and outs of my trading business. People are often curious about what I require to be able trade tens of thousands of different markets worldwide. When you say you trade the financial markets whether it’s stocks, commodities, foreign exchange, bitcoin or anything else people automatically get the impression you’re sat behind a desk in the city watching a handful of screens filled with flashing lights and ever-changing numbers. It all sounds very professional and perhaps glamorous to some.
The truth is though, that desk in the city with all those screens, and my own office, are as different as night and day
So Why Don’t I Need Multiple Screens?
City Traders who trade full time are watching many different markets at once. Not only are they looking at lots of price charts, they’re looking at live prices and even watching live news feeds coming from all around the world. Sounds stressful? I can’t speak from experience but I’m told it is. Not my cup of tea thank you.
So with all that information needed simultaneously they require more than just the one screen. But I don’t trade the live markets.
My market analysis and trading decisions are made during the hours the markets are closed, at my leisure.
I’m happy to say that the only screen I require to look at is the one on my laptop. Compared to the huge multiple monitors, not only does it save on space (and probably my eyes!) but it’s also highly portable.
High Speed Internet?
Nope! Definitely not needed for the way I trade. When I open my software after the markets close, it updates the prices from the trading day within seconds. Any broadband connection is adequate.
I have used the free WIFI in Starbucks and even connected my laptop to my Iphone to use it’s data connection when there was no WIFI to be found
What Software and How Much Does It Cost?
I have written another blog post that covers the topic of what software and data is a available and my preferences, so you can read more about it here.
I pay nothing for the services I require to trade. I don’t need real time data, just free EOD or end of day data. I don’t need live worldwide news feeds either. All I require is one charting package.
My choice, which has remained for the past few years is ProRealTime.
It’s a great charting package which is highly customisable. In addition to charts, it has a screener. This allows me to program in the rules for a particular strategy I am using and search a massive database of stocks to find potential trades within seconds.
There is also a backtesting function which allows you to program in a strategy and then test how it would’ve performed using past data. This isn’t something I have really used as although I like to backtest, I tend to do it manually. More time consuming but gives me a feel for how the strategy works.
I have probably only just touched on the features available. They are the only ones I currently require. You can check it out yourself here at ProRealTime.
I run my trading business as I would any other proper business and so should you.
I trade to make money month in, month out. Like all businesses, detailed records are kept. Primarily my most detailed records are on the performance of individual strategies. I like to see profit and loss for each trade, each month, each year and equity curves etc.
The majority of my records are kept on custom designed spreadsheets. I use a great free feature supplied by Google for this called Google Docs. Their spreadsheet facility is just one of it’s many features. I’d like to add here that all the documents are stored on the cloud online. Benefits for me include the ability to access my accounts from any other computer with an internet connection. If my own laptop was to break or be stolen, I could carry on my trading as normal with another computer.
- My Macbook
- A Notepad
- A Pen
- A Calculator
That’s pretty much all my office consists of to run my trading business. All this leads to pretty much ZERO overheads. You could argue the internet connection but in this day and age everyone has it whether they trade or not. It’s a nice business model. Something that initially attracted me to trading when I started years ago.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief insight into my trading room, thanks for reading. If you have any comments or questions then leave them below or email me at email@example.com. Why not send a picture of your trading room however basic or complex it might be?
Featured image by Michael Stern via Flickr.com