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Navigating Your Trading Platform

Aug 19, 2008
Understanding your trading platform is important to producing profits. A trading platform is the place of business for traders, where all the information of each trade is listed with charts, data, and newsfeeds for trading. In any market, and with any kind of trader, knowing your trading platform is extremely important. Your own trading style has much to do with the importance of knowing the platform. Scalping requires that you know exactly how to order in split second trading, and investing means that you need to know where to find good financial data, such as annual reports or analyst outlooks.

The platform is a place of business

Professional traders know the importance of navigating their trading platforms. Many go so far as to edit their platforms to fit their own trading style; some change the colors on bars and charts to get a better feel, while others rearrange everything altogether. Brokerages and banks also understand the importance of a custom trading platform and give investors the ability to change colors and layouts to suit their needs.

You should look at your platform as a place of business. Whether day trading, swing trading, or investing, you will use the same program and much of the same orders to place the bulk of your trades. Professional traders often use multiple monitors and computers to look at many different charts at once.

Swing trading

As a swing trader, you'll want a very streamlined trading platform, usually with plenty of technical study applications. Swing trading by definition entails many short time period trades, thus the ability to make trades as quickly as possible is very important. Swing trading platforms are usually the most simple, with many different charts, but limited research tools. Trading execution is also made very important as traders want to get in the market as soon as they place a trade, as opposed to waiting valuable seconds with many deep discount brokers.

Day trading

Day traders have much the same setup as swing traders, but focus a bit more time and energy on fundamentals, largely because they can do it. Swing trading makes it almost impossible to watch anything but the extremely short term technicals, while many day traders profit from the fundamental changes throughout the day.

Investors

Investors need a very simple trading platform and do not need the instant execution or graphing capabilities as the short-term trader. Focusing on fundamentals and research into a business is much more important than the rest of trading. Many investors favor the deep discount brokers to limit their costs when making smaller, long term trades. Investors are the least demanding of these three classes.
About the Author
Leroy Rushing is an active, professional day trader; trading coach; and author. He is the Founder and CEO of Trading EveryDay, a provider of educational trading products and services that are available worldwide. Trading EveryDay has complimentary/FREE products, a Tools of the Trade eBook and a Trading Room Report , that are downloadable for your convenience.
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