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Tools you need: Day Trading Must Haves

By Charles Hopkins Published 03/13/2006 | Finance

Day trading previously had been only for the trading firms or the brokers who dealt in the physical market. But with the advent of the internet and a general advance of communication technology day trading has entered the homes of any interested individual who might have not visited the markets in person ever. But to be a successful day trader from your home you need to have the right gear. And by that we mean you need to have the proper hardware and software to build yourself a platform that could help you stay competitive against the market makers and other day traders. Following is a guide to the proper equipment you must have to do well.

Hardware

When you are trading online all you need is a good computer. You need to have only the basic items of hardware installed. But dont compromise on what you get yourself. Remember that while trading you would have to deal with a lot of numbers and figures and so you would require your computer to handle the data well. Get yourself a decent processor (anything above 1GHz) and plenty of memory. A 100GB hard disk drive is suggested as you would need to stack a lot of information. Higher memory also means better speed. Get yourself at least 1024MB of RAM as it would be necessary when you are crunching those numbers. You will of course need a modem to stay connected and a high quality video card would help you get the live feeds better.  

As you would be dealing with a lot of data you should get yourself at least a 19 monitor. You can even go for split screen and use two monitors for a single screen shot.

Connection Speed

While you are day trading you are doing business real time. So you cant allow for any time lag. You would be placing your orders and quotes and you have to get them done on time or else you might miss out on good trading opportunities. So  a dial-up connection isnt the best choice you have. To be a serious day trader it is always advisable to get a cable or DSL connection. That way you will get real-time data in your hand and can trade effectively.

Software

To make full use of the hardware you have got yourself you would also need the necessary software platforms to go with it. If you are in day trading you can go no where without the proper data in your hand. And even if you have the data you need to get the proper tools to store them well and have an easy access to them. The trading software platforms not only help you in getting the necessary data like the stock quotes, market indices, market stories and price alerts in real-time but they also store and present the data for you in an organized way so that it becomes much easier for you to make sense of it all when you read the spread sheets. You can buy these software platforms online or you can even get them from a few stores if you want to. You should however note that you may have to pay separately for access to the data that you need to download.