Sam Evans, Co-Founder and CEO
When it comes to setting up your trading desk, there is no one-size-fits-all. While we emphasize that simplicity is key, it does come down to personal preference. The goal, no matter your preference, is to create an environment that is conducive to implementing your trading and investing strategy effectively.
In this article, I’ll go over seven tips you should consider when setting up your trading desk. I’ll then share photos from some of our students on how they have set up their trading desks. Then, the rest is up to you.
Invest in a powerful computer
Apps such as Robinhood has made it possible to place trades from your smart device. However, if you are serious about trading then you really need a home-set up and powerful computer. I personally use a Surface Duo laptop for TradeStation and an Apple Mac Desktop for Think or Swim. You don’t have to use two different machines… I’m just an Apple guy and as my friend, Ed, says “I love to live in the Apple eco-system.”
If you travel a lot, then going for a laptop over a desktop machine is a good idea. This way you can take your machine with you when you travel. I take my laptop with me everywhere, even on vacation!
Monitors, monitor height, and desk space
How many monitors you use is up to you but too many and you’ll just have too much to look at. I like to be streamlined and use just two monitors. Daniel X. Bustamante and Graham Spruce both prefer three while Ryan Watkins uses four monitors.
Monitor size is important. You’ll want to look at around 24” and ensure that you go for high definition. You want to be able to see and read the charts with ease. Ryan uses 32″ QHD monitors.
Finally, when it comes to your monitors, you’ll want to ensure that they are positioned at a good height. You don’t want to be tilting your head up or down too much. This is a sure fire way to get a sore neck! If you do have three or more monitors, then we suggest investing in a monitor arm. There are plenty out there. Vari sells a number of them. You can see
The right desk for you
Your trading desk may have to do double-duty. It may be your work-from-home desk, especially this year), or your general home desk. You may have to share with someone else. If you’re going to a more hands-on trader or using your desk for other work, then having the perfect desk is essential. It must be large enough, especially if you plan on using a number of monitors.
Also, consider the ergonomics of your desk. I use a standing desk, and these are growing in popularity. Many standing desks can easily adjust up and down. I personally have a high stool that I use and keep my desk the same height all the time.
A good ergonomic chair
If you go for a sitting desk, you’ll want to invest in a good quality chair. Posture is so important, and you’ll feel it if you don’t have good support for your spine. Check that your chair fits with your desk. Some chairs have high arms that may not fit under your desk.
Internet connection and speed
Having reliable and fast internet is crucial when it comes to trading at home, especially if you are leaning more towards day-trading. The last thing you want is for your internet to drop when you’re in a middle of a trade. The minimum you want is 250mg speed. It is also worth considering a mesh system such as MeshForce. These systems help to bolster the signal through your house.
Location, location, location!
We are still talking about your desk and not your house! You may be constrained by your environment, but the location of your desk is paramount If you plan to spend a fair chunk of time at it. Somewhere that has natural light works well. If you can’t have a home office in a separate room, then somewhere out of the way is crucial. It’s hard to concentrate if you’re in the way of foot traffic.
The less clutter the better
Have you heard the saying a cluttered desk makes for a cluttered mind? Take it from me, it pays to have a clean, tidy desk! Plus, remember that location that we talked about earlier? Having your desk surrounded by mess is also not going to help you focus. Get organized and keep your desk and surrounding space clear, giving you the ability to focus on the task at hand.
Examples from our students
We asked our students to share their trading desk setups with us so that we could share them with everyone else. Here are a few of them. It’s always great to see how everyone is set up. Everyone does it their own way. It’s also great to see a couple of standing desks in the mix! Remember, as I said at the start of this article, trading desk set up is a personal thing.
Feel free to share your trading desk setup photos with us
We always love seeing what everyone is doing so feel free to go ahead and tag us on your social feeds with #StockAbilityTradingDeskSetUp
Until next time, be well,