If you want to set up a trading desk, you've come to the right place. In this guide, we will walk you through every step of the process, from choosing the right computer and monitors to setting up your furniture. We'll also discuss some critical aspects of trading desk etiquette, such as avoiding distractions and creating a comfortable work environment.
So whether you're just starting trading or you've been trading for years, this guide has something for everyone.
How do I set up a trading desk?
To start setting up a trading desk, you must first consider what kind of trader they are. For example, beginner traders may not need a specific setup as professional traders.
What do you need to consider?
As a beginner, you might realize that long-term investing is your preference after a few weeks of day trading. On the other hand, if you are a professional or full-time trader, you will want to consider your trades before deciding on your desk setup.
You need to know how many monitors you will need, what kind of computer best suits your trading style, and what furniture will be the most comfortable for you. Think about the software you will be using and how it will integrate with your hardware.
Also, consider what other tools you might need, such as a second monitor or a high-performance keyboard. By understanding how many additional tools you need, you'll be able to measure the rest of your furniture better and ensure everything fits perfectly in your trading space.
Trading desk set up
The first thing you want to do when setting up a day trading desk is to select the best room. If you are sharing a living space with others, having your trading desk in the kitchen, for example, might not be the best idea.
You probably won't want to hear the sound of the blender while you're trying to focus on your trades. The smell of food might also be distracting. It's also important to consider the angle of your monitors.
You'll want to see them clearly without having to strain your neck. By holding the monitor at eye level, you can avoid neck pain and headaches. The next thing to consider is your computer. For day trading, you'll want a powerful computer that can handle multiple programs.
When it comes to day trading, the most important thing you need is a computer with a high-speed internet connection. This is because you'll constantly be accessing real-time data and placing trades.
If you're just starting, you may not need more than one monitor. But as you become more experienced, you may want to add additional monitors to have multiple windows open simultaneously. We'll go over these trading desk essentials in more detail in the section below.
What do you need for a trading setup?
We briefly mentioned some things that you need for a trading setup earlier, but it's essential to go into more detail so that you have a better understanding.
1. High-speed internet
This is critical for day traders who need to access real-time data. Even a few moments of lag could mean the difference between a successful and unsuccessful trade.
The type of computer you need will depend on your trading style. If you're a day trader, you'll need a powerful computer that can handle multiple programs. This is because trading often requires a strong processing ability to run the best software.
If your computer is outdated and it is trying to run the latest software, your computer will likely crash. If you are someone who is constantly updating their software or adding new programs, then you might want to consider upgrading your computer.
If you're just starting, you might be able to get by with a single monitor. But as you become more experienced, you'll probably want to add additional monitors to have multiple windows open simultaneously.
This will allow you to keep track of more information and make better trading decisions. Vertical monitors are a good option for day traders because they allow you to see more information at once. Although they are not required, many traders find them to be helpful.
4. Trading desk furniture
As far as furniture goes, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, your desk should be large enough to accommodate all your equipment. Second, it's crucial to have a comfortable chair that supports your back and neck.
An ergonomic chair is a standard and recommended option for many traders. Some posters or timeless trading wisdom quotes can also be hung on the walls to keep you motivated and focused.
A vision board is also an effective way to keep your goals top of mind. By creating subconscious triggers around your trading desk, you can help to increase your focus and motivation. If a trading journal benefits you, make sure to have a clean shelf nearby and some writing supplies to document your progress.
On this shelf, you can also keep some of the best books about trading to remind you of different strategies and concepts. A standing desk is also an option if you find that sitting for long periods is uncomfortable.
Many traders find that they are more alert and productive when they are on their feet. Some standing desks are automated, which allows you to change the level throughout the day. Although this furniture can be an investment, it can be a worthy addition to your home trading station.
Mindset is also essential when it comes to trading. Remember to stay focused and disciplined, and don't let emotions get in the way of your decisions. This means having furniture that does not distract you or cause discomfort. For example, a bright green desk might be too stimulating, while a cramped and cluttered workstation can lead to feelings of anxiety.
How to build a trading room
Building a trading room is relatively simple. Start by finding a space in your home that has enough room for all of your equipment. Then, set up your computer and monitors on the desk. Finally, add any other furniture or accessories needed to create a comfortable and functional workstation.
Some people like to have a separate room for their trading desk, while others prefer to set it up in a corner of their living room or bedroom. If you have the space and budget for it, a dedicated trading room is a great option.
But if you're tight on space or you don't want to spend a lot of money, setting up a trading desk in another room is perfectly fine. For example, if your living room also serves as your home office, you can simply set up your trading desk in one corner.
Just try and make sure the room is free of distractions. And if you have kids, it might be a good idea to set up your trading desk in a room where they can't disturb you while you're working. Next, start measuring the size of your room and decide what furniture you need.
A desk, a comfortable chair, and enough storage space are the essentials. But you might also want to add additional furniture or accessories, such as a standing desk, a whiteboard, or posters. Creating a budget is also vital. Furniture and equipment for a trading desk can be expensive, so it's essential to set a budget and stick to it.
You can always add more later as your needs change. Once you have all the furniture and accessories you need, it's time to start setting up your trading desk.
First, set up your computer and monitors. Then, add any other equipment you need, such as a printer or scanner. Printers and scanners are helpful if you need to print out trading documents or charts.
Finally, arrange your furniture and accessories in a way that makes sense for you and your workflow. For example, you might want to keep your trading books on a shelf beside your desk. Or you might want to have a whiteboard where you can write down your trading goals.
How To Use Your Trading Desk More Efficiently
Once you have your desk set up, it's important to create a routine and stick to it. This means setting regular hours for trading and taking breaks when needed. Although the market is open from Monday to Friday from 09:30 am to 4:00 pm EST, you don't have to trade all day long. Most successful traders only trade for a few hours each day.
Setting a timer for about 40-50 minutes is a great way to stay focused while trading. Once the timer goes off, take a short break to stretch your legs or grab a snack. Then, you can get back to trading. Listening to music without lyrics during this time can also help you stay focused.
As mentioned earlier, it's also helpful to have a good lighting setup. Trading can be stressful, so you want to ensure your desk is well-lit to help reduce eye strain. However, you also don't want to set up your monitors at an angle where glare from the sun or artificial light can disrupt your vision. This can lead to misjudgment in the markets due to perceptual errors.
Specialized eyewear designed for computer use can also help reduce eye strain. These glasses have a yellow tint that helps to filter out blue light, which can be harmful to your eyesight. Although not required, they can be a great addition to your trading desk.
Supporting your overall circadian rhythm will help you think clearer as proper light exposure helps to regulate your hormones and sleep schedule. It's also crucial to avoid distractions while you're trading. This means turning off your phone, closing any unnecessary tabs on your computer, and silencing any notifications that might pop up.
If you have a door to your trading room, close it so you won't be disturbed by family or roommates. Finally, make sure to keep your desk clean and organized. This will help you stay focused and efficient while you're trading. You may not want to go through a cleaning process at the end of a long trading day, but taking a few minutes to tidy up can make a big difference.
By following these tips, you can create a functional and comfortable trading desk that will help you be more successful in your trading career.
Even if you are only a swing trader and are not in front of the screen for hours each day, the time spent trading still adds up. Taking the time to create a productive and enjoyable space will undoubtedly pay off in the long run.