What's Your Trading Setup Look Like?
I often think about and wonder what and how technology could have reshaped our present lives if it existed centuries ago. Along those lines, I wonder what sort of setup Jesus might have had if He used a computer.
I've been experimenting with AI technologies and have been using a platform named Writesonic. I used it to generate this image of Jesus and His disciples in front of a computer. It produced several variations but this one was closest to what I was imagining...
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is “Tom, what computer do you trade from and how many monitors do you have setup?”
My answer surprises most people and may surprise you as well because you’ve probably seen some of the elaborate setups that some traders have with gaming like PCs running 6 to 8 monitors…
Well, I’m here to tell you that as a tech geek at heart that can be nice, but I simply trade from a laptop and that’s it.
I use a MacBook Pro 16” with 16GB RAM and it does everything I need. Plus, that means I can trade from anywhere in the world that I can access the internet with it.
For me, less really is more when it comes to my trading technology. Like many traders, I'm able to work and trade from my home office. Recently, my wife and I were at an estate sale in a historic part of Columbia, SC and found this magnificent rounded antique desk and and lamp. The desk is estimated to be over 100 years old and while considering it I thought of the perfect location to setup a new trading location in our home. I told our sons that I was promoted to the corner office with a great view!
As a backup / alternative I have a Dell Inspiron 2 in 1 15.6" touch screen laptop with 12 GB RAM that I can connect to an external monitor.
My go to platforms are Think or Swim for charting, Tradovate for trading futures, IG for trading Forex, and Think or Swim for trading equities and options.
I’m also comfortable charting and trading on NinjaTrader 8 and also have extensive experience trading on Nadex as well.
But when I think about how far and how fast technology has advanced in my lifetime it makes me stop and wonder how previous generations managed to accomplish the great things that they did without the type of technology we have today.
I remember the very first computer I ever had. I was a college freshman in the fall of 1982 and my grandparents bought me a Timex Sinclair model 1000 for my birthday. Total cost was $99…
For that I got a unit about the size of a small tablet that came standard with 16K of RAM memory. That’s not a typo, it literally had only 16K of internal memory.
In fact, it didn’t even come with a monitor or any internal disk storage. To view the display you had to connect it to your TV. And if you wanted to actually save anything you could connect it to a cassette tape player and save data to that… Yeah, some of you may be thinking jeez, I never even had a cassette player and may not even know what that is!
So by now you may be wondering what was this computer used for? Compared to today’s standards the answer is not much.
I was able to create computer programs using BASIC programming language (Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). I can still vividly remember to this day watching my grandmother’s face and see her tears of joy when I made the screen endlessly scroll with “Thank you grandma and grandpa for my computer!”
After completing my Associates Degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) Broome in Binghamton, NY and taking as many computer science courses as they would let me I had my sights set on finding a school that offered a degree by combining both business administration and computer since. During my college search in the spring of 1984 that was a very small list. When I visited the University of South Carolina and toured its brand new computer lab in the business school that had just purchased and installed 35 IBM AT Personal Computers I was convinced that their Management Science program was the perfect fit for me! From there I went on to complete both my B.S. and MBA degrees.
Another question I want to address… “Tom, do you trade or chart from your phone?” (I currently have an iPhone 13 Pro)
The answer is emphatically NO!
And that’s because I learned the hard way that it’s way too easy to “fat finger” a buy when you mean to sell or a sell when you meant to buy and quickly get upside down on a trade. In other words, I lost money when trading on my mobile device more than once so I decided not to do that anymore. I will close and update stop losses for a trade I’m already in however, I do not initiate new trades from my mobile device. Nor do I chart from my phone because I simply can’t get the same precision or snapping of drawings on my phone.
So now that you know what my trade station is and my current setup looks like I’d really like to hear from you and see what your setup consists of and looks like. Drop a line in the comments with a description and picture or email me directly at twinterstein (at) StockChartPros.com
Tom Winterstein, MBACertified Mental Performance CoachChartPros Founder