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Tools for Traders: Hardware and Software

Aug 17, 2007
Online trading is gaining popularity because of its efficiency and ease of use. If you are on the trading business, it is important to know the right tools of the trade. Doing trade at home should not pose any problem as long as you have the right hardware and software to assist you in your online trading. One should invest in a sound computer with suitable hardware specifications and software.

To get you started with online trading, here area the minimum requirements that your personal computer should have:

Hardware specification

A Pentium computer with a processor speed of 1 gigahertz (GHZ) or a Mac OS 9 is good enough. If you can afford one with a higher processor speed then so much the better. Random access memory (RAM) should be 1024 MB at a minimum. Your hard drive, where you would store all your files, should have 100 GB. Operating system should be Windows XP or similar software. Of course for connecting online you need to have a modem and a network card. For better viewing of web pages, a high-standard video card and a 19-inch monitor would work best.

Internet connection

The last thing you want to happen is to wait for several minutes before you can do online transactions like ordering, confirming orders or answering emails. You also need the Internet to get updates on trading news and the current market data trend. It would be quite frustrating to wait long for web pages to load and lose precious seconds. Online trading is in such a fast-paced world that you need to adapt with, else, you would be left behind. A cable or a broadband (DSL phone line) connection would be sufficient. In case there may be problems with your Internet service provider, you should always have your 56k modem ready as a dial-up connection for back up.

Software for online transactions

One could opt to use online order execution provided by internet-based discount brokers like Waterhouse Securities and E-trade. This kind of brokers may differ on how long they accept and review orders, confirm trades and execute them. Some of these brokers sometimes route customers to a third party or a similar broker for execution, which can be a cause of delay.

If you want faster transaction and can pay a slightly higher fee another alternative is to use an Electric Direct Access Trading also simply referred to as EDAT. It is an online system that would direct your customers to an online exchange through a dedicated phone and modem. The EDAT system provides direct communication with a specialist and ordering is directly done in the market, which results to an efficient and faster trade.

Other Software for Trading

There are several software that you can buy that can help you with online trading. These software offer real-time information on market index, stock quotes, market updates and news, price alerts and much more.
Investing on a good computer and the proper tools for trading is surely worth your money. But of course, what good are these things without an excellent trading skill. On top of these hardware and software, invest in valuable information and knowledge to help you succeed with online trading.
About the Author
James Lee is a full-time day trader specializing in the mini-sized Dow futures. His core trading strategy is based on pivot point clusters and Market Profile. Find out how to identify high probability trading opportunities at http://www.traderslaboratory.com.
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