How to Set Up Your Trading Screens

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How to Set Up Your Trading Screens

Modern markets have developed into massively complex creatures with hundreds of data points vying for attention. It is our responsibility to convert this information flow into an effective collection of charts, tickers, indices, and indicators that support our profit goals. Part of this effort needs broad market dynamics to be observed, while the balance necessitates a focused focus on individual securities utilized to implement our plans.

Most traders have real-life jobs and commitments away from home, requiring them to access the markets through tiny cellphones, acquiring the information required to take on new risks and manage open positions to a lucrative or unprofitable end. These individuals will profit from the screen-saving suggestions I explain in Top Strategies Remote Traders Should Follow.

Key Takeaways

  • If you’re a trader, your trading platform is your workstation, and customizing your screen layout will allow you to make the most of the information at your disposal.
  • Whether you have one, two, three, or more displays, make sure you can access the tools and data you need with a quick scan so you can respond when a signal occurs.
  • Many systems include customisable and modular screen modification, as well as pre-set settings tailored to certain user types.

Trading from Screens

A privileged minority trades full-time from home or in a private shop. Because they are taking on more risk, these people need more thorough on-screen information. The supplementary data covers the same ground as the distant participant, but in much more detail. Furthermore, these traders must set aside room for the incubation of future prospects, with a concentration on market groupings that are not actively traded.

How many monitors do at-home traders need to effectively monitor the markets? The solution has evolved over time as monitor costs have plummeted and graphics cards now frequently handle multiple monitor configurations. Given the cheap cost, it makes sense to install as many monitors as you can comfortably accommodate in the area designated for the function while not exceeding your budget or your capacity to quickly evaluate the information you place on them.

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Building Effective Trading Screens

In general, traders fail to capture the three pieces of information required to conduct a thorough visual analysis: market monitoring, position management, and incubator. In an aggressive trading approach, every square inch of screen space spent with extraneous charts or data adds to an incomplete perspective, which may be expensive. Almost every trader has made the most frequent error at some time in their careers (i.e. loading up screens with too many charts and not enough tickers).

Charting should be reserved for must-follow tickers, with a second group set to various time periods and linked to a single symbol from the watch list. If you’re short on space, add a time frame toolbar to fewer charts and toggle through various parameters on those charts. The time ranges used for this study should correspond to your market strategy. While not set in stone, the following options are a decent place to start:

Must-have charts may include the following:

If feasible, retain two sets of S&P 500 futures charts, one for the U.S.-only session, which begins at 9:30 a.m. ET and ends at 4:15 p.m. ET, and another for overnight activity in Asia and Europe. This second chart will help you get up to speed quickly when you open your desktop in the morning.

How about a live news ticker? This is a personal preference since certain methods depend on breaking news to execute positions, whilst the bulk function just fine with a standalone third-party service or a properly selected Twitter feed. As a general guideline, keep news out of your charting and data packages to save room for charts and securities tickers.

Sample Setups

These photographs illustrate strategies for effectively using screen space, regardless of the number of monitors needed to observe the financial markets. When adding more displays or filling up a tiny laptop for travel, the panels in these instances scale effectively. Reduce the amount of charts and stocks while preserving the whole collection of indices and indicators when space is limited.

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The top panel (1) displays extensive information on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, Russell 2000, and Nasdaq indices. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures contracts are placed at eye level so that traders may monitor them in real time throughout the trading day. The open, high, low, and latest data columns show how the current price interacts with significant levels, which also serve as intraday support and resistance.

The center-left panel (2) deconstructs the Level 2market depth screen, removing unnecessary columns in favor of a more simplified layout that shows just price and size. Market center statistics are no longer meaningful since, thanks to high-frequency trading algorithms, the great majority of intraday transactions never make it to this screen (HFT).The right-side time and sales ticker has also been pared down to essentials, displaying just time, price, and size.

A streamlined portfolio view for long-term holdings is shown in the center-right panel (3). It is not essential, but it is incredibly handy when a position blows up and the trader’s concentration is required. The bottom panel (4) displays extensive information on open positions as well as securities under consideration for entry. Price and percentage change reflect intraday performance, whilst volume and average volume represent the degree of activity relative to previous sessions. In many situations, open, high, low, and last columns replace charts, providing for simple representation of the daily trend.

Scaled-down data on secondary ticker listings is shown in the top left (1) and top right (2) panels. These are accumulated throughout time as a result of news, scans, homework, media play, and all of the various ways we discover potential trade setups. Volume and average volume statistics are particularly essential on these lists since they quickly identify active equities. The green symbol in the top left of the chart (3) connects to tickers on all of the panels. Traders may also change time frames by clicking on the top toolbar, which ranges from two minutes to monthly.

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The top left (1) and center-left (2) panels reveal market internals and important indices that are not shown on the first screen. Learning to properly understand this background information takes time, but the work is well worth it since it develops important tape reading skills.

The top right (3) panel comprises the same columns as the other secondary listings but concentrates on a single market category… in this example, energy and commodities. Finally, the bottom left (4) chart displays the VIX in real time, while the bottom right chart (5) displays basic security that you’ll monitor for years or decades.

The Bottom Line

Well-organized trading screens summarize intraday market activity, breaking it down into bite-sized chunks that help speed up difficult trading choices while also revealing situations that can develop into full-fledged rallies, sell-offs, and reversals. When built properly, these screens may provide a definite trading advantage that can last a lifetime.

Whatever kind of trader you are, the best arrangement for your trading screens will be determined by the indicators and oscillators you pick to examine. To understand more about these techniques, visit theInvestopedia Academy’sTechnical Analysiscourse, which contains on-demand videos and interactive information to help you improve your trading abilities.

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