Technology has come a long way in the last ten years. Computers today are faster and far more capable of tasks that were once close to impossible. We also have instant internet access at our fingertips, something that wasn’t possible not too long ago. The combination of these two things has created an atmosphere where high tech trading is much more possible than ever before. In the past, this kind of technology was available only to wealthy institutional traders. Today, we have the same information and tools readily available. It has evened the playing field quite a bit.
Using the Most Powerful Software
There is still a big difference dividing the regular guy from a high profile professional trader. The pros have the best analysis software and the knowledge to use it. As traders, we have the resources to get these things if we know where to look. What before might have cost thousands of dollars to get though, is usually available for very cheap. For Forex traders, for example, MetaTrader 4 is considered the top charting tool, and it is free to download. Stock traders might need to pay a few bucks in subscription fees for real time charting packages, but it’s still very cost effective.
When it comes to the software that helps us make decisions, a lot of these are free or cheap, too. MT4, as discussed above, is free. You can use an almost unlimited number of charting tools and technical analysis indicators to help form your decisions. There are a number of equivalent tools for trading stocks, although you may need to look around to make sure that they give you the same access to the technical tools you might be interested in. Many of these tools are web based, too, and you can access everything that you need without any downloads. There are also apps that perform the same functions, so you can make trading decisions while you are on the go.
How Much Hardware Do You Need?
You might have seen how Hollywood portrays professional traders. They have four or five computer screens in front of them, all showing charts and numbers. You don’t need to have this many screens up at once, but having a second screen hooked up to your computer can be helpful. However, with web access on smartphones and tablets, you can perform a lot of what you would need a second screen for on one of these while executing trades from your computer. This can help streamline your day considerably, especially because most people already have all of these tools available. You can go out to the store and buy a high tech computer system with multiple screens if you want, but thanks to mobile technology plus your own home computer, you don’t need to.
Your trading platform is of key importance. It can be web based or a downloadable platform if you wish, it really doesn’t matter as long as you are aware of the differences and how they affect your trading. Both have benefits, and some brokers offer both. Binary options brokers are typically web based with apps for mobile devices if you want to use these. Forex brokers often use a downloadable plug-in feature for computers, but they are starting to move toward web platforms, too, depending on who you go with.
For stock trading, do not go with a discount broker. These typically take away your ability to precisely time your trades in exchange for really low commissions. They are good tools for investors, but not helpful at all to traders. Instead, find a broker that you trust and that has the tools you need. This will help you far more over the long run.