The ways stock traders follow the market have evolved as the years have progressed. In 1867, the first stock ticker and ticker tape were used and have continued to change over the last 150 years. Today, most traders have dedicated stock trading computers which are critical tools for any person who is serious about stocks.
Why Do You Need a Trading Computer?
Have you ever been watching a video online and had to wait while the video buffers? That’s a result of a time delay between when the computer downloads the video from the outside server and when it displays the video on your screen. It’s a little annoying in recreational pursuits like that one, but can be detrimental if it happens in your stock trading. Trading computers are designed specifically to keep up with the flow of real time data coming in from the market, something that over the counter computers are often not built to do.
All data from the stock, futures, or forex markets must be displayed to traders in real time in order to guarantee that they are seeing accurate prices. If data is delayed, traders can experience slippage, seeing a difference between actual market prices and the prices on their screens, or make bad executions, buying and selling at slightly different prices than expected. In many cases, a processor must benchmark above a certain score to even qualify for a trade.
How Do You Find the Best Computer for Stock Trading?
There are certain components that come highly recommended for stock trading computer systems, which will be outlined momentarily. Aside from those particular components, traders should try to buy from a company that offers premium tech support and warranties. In the event of a crash, you should always have a backup computer preloaded with trading software and should be able to speak directly with a technician who can help you get your trading computer up and running again quickly. When looking at trading computers, look for these particular features:
- Opt for a desktop. Laptops are not as fast, and are built for compact sizing rather than speed. Laptop trading computers can get you by when you’re away from your desktop or travelling, but should not be permanent solutions.
- Secure an extremely fast processor. Without one, you won’t be able to benchmark above the score that qualifies you to trade on or might experience slippage and bad executions.
- Buy a dependable machine. The components should be tested for intense use, passing military grade testing.
- Have a discrete processor on your graphics card. The graphics card should do its own processing for rendering charts and other date in order to free up your main processor to handle real time market data.
- Use at least two monitors. For the most part, serious traders have at least four monitors so they can keep all their charts and quotes running.
- There should be at least 8GB of RAM. Very serious traders have 16GB, giving plenty of room for trading platform apps to do intense calculations.
- You’ll need fast and dependable storage, so most trading computers have solid state drives acting as their boot drives. It’s also a good idea to have a separate drive for all your data. Protect yourself by also having backups for your boot and data drives.
High quality trading computers are essential for serious market traders. Be sure you purchase a computer system that can keep up with the market in real time in order to help you make the trades you want to make.