Friday, 5 December 2014

Multiple Monitors - How many do you need for Day Trading?

My life has changed over the last few years.  From Management Consultant to Forex Day Trader, from living in cold Canada to warm Thailand, from living in Excess to enjoying simple life where less is more.

Back in the consulting days I always had 2 or 3 monitors.   Heck I even had 6 PCs at one point working out trading algorithms, back testing, etc... but that's another story. 

When I started trading it seemed natural to trade with at least 2 screens.  One to focus on my charts, another for surfing the web, reading emails, and doing whatever else to keep busy waiting for a trade setup. 

That progressed into 6 whopping screens.  It was quite the setup, I'll have to see if I can dig up a picture.  I remember when I first plugged them all in I could feel my face getting a burn. (Canada Eh!)  It was cold outside and my trading station was warm now.

From 6 I went to 3, then 2, then 4, and well now as I relocated to Thailand I just had my laptop and I got pretty used to just using it.   Granted I can hook up one of my may TVs....  and sure I use my Media Player Laptop to play movies on the TV and occasionally toggle over to my charts.   I even had ChromeCast  display charts on another TV in my office...

Then I started programming more and scalping again and though hey why not get another monitor, it'll make it easier.   The only reason I have been holding back is that monitors are pricey here, even used ones.  So I have been waiting and waiting and now I am okay without one.

You see "Less really is More".   With just the one screen I navigate around quickly and focus on just what's on my screen.  I don't get overwhelmed with action across all screens.  I don't get annoyed with dragging from one screen to another or Windows changing my monitor settings, AND when I travel I have exactly the same setup as I use at home.  In other words, I don't miss my monitor when I don't have it and work just as well, if not better than with multiple monitors.

How many monitors are right for you?   Obviously everyone has their personal preference.  I would say really think about why you need that monitor and then see if there are other creative ways to do without one.

If you have just one screen then here are some tips:
  • Alt-Tab to switch between windows
  • Ctrl-Tab to switch between tabs in your browser
  • Resize your windows
  • Dock your windows to the right and left of your screen
  • Learn your Trading Platform's Shortcut Keys, for MetaTrader:
    • Ctrl-T hides/shows the Terminal Window
    • Ctrl-N hides/shows the Navigator Window
    • Put frequently used Scripts in your Navigator Favorites
    • Ctrl-B brings up Object Browser
    • Enter on any Chart lets you switch to another Currency and Timeframe
    • Ctrl-Tab Toggles between your Charts
    • F9 Brings up the Order Screen