Whether you’re a beginner or an old hand, making a success of forex trading is a whole lot easier if you have the right tools to work with. Nothing has a bigger effect on your success than the way your trading station is set up, and creating one that’s just for you allows you to customise everything so it suits your approach as perfectly as possible. It means that you’ll have no distractions as you focus on identifying and assessing the deals on which your fortunes depend.

Why trade from home?

Unlike some other trading spaces, the forex markets run 24/7, so if you really want to make the most of them, you have to be able to trade at any time. Naturally you can’t be awake continuously and it’s also important not to trade for too long at once because you need to be fully alert, however, when it comes to closing individual trades, you can sometimes predict that the best time to do it will be in the middle of the night, and in that case it’s good to have the option available to trade then. The trick is not to get sucked into opening new trades while you’re there.

The hardware

To keep pace with the big players from your home trading station, you’ll need the fastest computer you can reasonably afford. It’s best to use it only for trading so that it’s less at risk of picking up viruses or developing other problems that might slow it down. You should avoid leaving it switched on for too long at once (even hibernated) and defrag it frequently. Use the largest screen you have for carrying out your trades and add a second screen for keeping track of wider events. Clicking between displays can cost valuable time when you’re close to  clinching a deal, so you need to have as much useful data as possible visible at a glance.

The software

The first thing you will need to manage your trading is a reliable set of live forex charts that give you all the information you need in a format you can easily get used to. You’ll also need to be able to keep track of the time in all the different locations where trades are based and do quick time zone conversion – a graphic aid is usually faster for this than a simple list of numbers. Keep the main time zones you use visible on your screen, so you don’t need to type anything to check them.

Add a trading calendar with the facility to help you keep track of what you expect to be the best closing points for your trades. All too many traders focus on opening trades and fail to close them at the optimum time. If you’re engaging in forwards or futures trading, this will also help you to adjust your day to day trading to take into account the risks involved when these trades go through.

In addition to this you’ll need a position size calculator to enable you to calculate the risk associated with each trade and to identify very quickly which ones fall under your threshold. A pivot point calculator is also useful to help you keep track of your trades over the course of the day and to better assess your trading performance.

The connections

A fast computer is no help unless you also have a fast internet connection. Fibre optic broadband is really the only option, and you should make sure that your trading station is directly wired, not reliant on Wi-Fi. You’ll definitely need a reliable ISP. It’s advisable to have a business account that entitles you to expedited service if anything goes wrong, and you should keep careful track of any planned periods of downtime for maintenance work.

Having a mobile phone alongside you at your station means you can use it as a back-up modem in case of emergency. It offers an additional screen in situations where you simply can’t fit everything you need on the main ones, and it makes it easy for you to keep in touch with other traders, including those with whom you share a PAMM account or similar arrangement. Use a hands-free system so that you won’t have any extra distractions when you need to move fast.

There is no one perfect trading station because every trader has slightly different requirements. Building one that’s perfect for you, however, can really give your trading work a boost, making it more interesting, more enjoyable, and more likely to deliver success.

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