One of the frequent questions I get asked by readers is how many computer monitors are required to begin day trading. In this article, I’m going to explain why day traders use multiple monitors, my suggested monitor setup for beginning traders, and how to know when it’s necessary to add additional monitors to your trading setup.
Why Use Multiple Monitors?
Day traders use multiple monitors to increase the amount of information (charts, indicators, filters, alerts, etc.) they can have readily available. As day trading is all about gathering and analyzing information to make quick trading decisions, multiple monitors allow day traders to avoid having to inefficiently switch between minimized windows due to a lack of screen space. Having easy access to the trading information you need allows for faster decision-making and fewer keystrokes.
How Many Monitors You Need
While the number of monitors you may need will depend on your trading style and what tools and services you use, my general recommendation for beginning day traders is to use two monitors. On the main monitor, I recommend that you place your trading platform so you can always have your order entry and positions immediately accessible. The second monitor is where I recommend you keep your charting platform (or the charts from your trading platform if you also use it for charts). This way, you’ll have easy access to both your trading platform and your charts without having to squeeze everything onto one monitor or switch between windows.
When To Add Additional Monitors To Your Setup
As you progress as a trader and refine your strategies, it’s natural to find additional indicators, filters, or alerts that help you in your trading. With these newfound tools, however, comes an increased need for screen space. The easiest way to determine if you should add additional monitors to your trading setup is if there is information that you need to trade that is difficult to access due to the limited amount of screen space. As I’ve added tools to my own trading toolbox, I’ve also added on additional monitors in order to have those tools immediately accessible at all times. Given the relatively low cost of computer monitors, I’ve found that these monitors have been an excellent investment as they will pay for themselves with a single winning trade.
The purpose of your trading setup is to give you easy access to the trading information you need. While your trading style will ultimately determine your monitor needs, a simple two monitor setup as described above will suit the vast majority of beginning day traders. Regardless of how many monitors you decide to use for your trading setup, it’s important to remember that your trading needs should determine how many monitors you need and not the other way around.