Protect yourself from unnecessary trading risks with the right computer setup
The barbarians are at the gate once again and you’ve been sent to meet them. Grabbing your sword you pledge to savagely crush this uprisal once and for all. As an honored knight and member of the king’s guard, you’ll have heads on spikes before the sun sets.
Except you forgot about your armor and met your adversaries in a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. The confrontation lasted 10 seconds, the city fell and your family crest will be burned in effigy for eternity.
If going into battle with the best trading platform is your sword, your PC and internet connection are your armor. One is very difficult to benefit from without the other — yet millions of retail traders try. Worse yet, you leave yourself open to avoidable risks by not having the right equipment.
Make sure your PC is equal to the task of processing and displaying the data you need to effectively trade with the institutions. Failing to do so could mean you’re unknowingly heading into battle completely exposed with nothing more than a sling-shot to defend your trades.
Going into battle with more than flimsy candles
Heading into battle with the right armor was the difference between life and death. Too light, and there wasn’t enough protection from long swords and crossbows. Too heavy and it would have been hard to move, making you a tired, sitting duck.
As your PC sits on your desk, probably glistening heroically in the morning sun, you need to make sure it’s an asset — not a hazard — during the trading day.
For millions of retail traders, simply watching candlesticks and waiting for their indicator to beep, a basic PC will probably do the trick. If you’re going to trade with the institutions, using the data they use to generate profits, you’ll need more than a screen and an internet connection.
The streaming data required to reveal the real-time positions being assumed within each candle is at least 10 times greater than your basic retail chart. Just looking at the depth of the data provided demonstrates this. These demands are multiplied with every chart you open.
Simply monitoring two markets with the chart data you need to generate consistent profits will require more horsepower than your typical retail trader demands.
If the institutions can see this data, then you need to see it as well — when they see it — without interruption. Confirming that you have what you need takes less than two minutes. If you don’t know, you should do it now.
Confirm your PC can handle the fight in two minutes
A full suit of medieval armor could have as many as 50 components and weigh around 100 pounds. Give or take a few accessories, there were a few things you couldn’t live without — namely the breastplate and helmet.
Your PC may have plenty of bells and whistles, but to trade effectively it should at least have the following:
- Operating System: Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10
- Screen: Minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768
- Processor: Minimum P4 or higher running at 2+GHz
(Recommended is Intel i5 or i7)
- Memory: Minimum 8GB RAM (recommended is 16GB RAM or higher)
- Drive: Minimum of 30 GB free hard drive space (an SSD Hard Drive is recommended)
- Internet Connection: Minimum 20 Mbps DSL or Broadband Internet with download and upload speeds of 20 Mbps or faster (wireless/Wi-Fi is NOT recommended)
- NinjaTrader: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5. For NinjaTrader 8, Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5. (Note this is pre-installed on most PCs.)
It’s also recommended that you use a workstation rather than a laptop. If you’re not sure what you have, you can quickly check at crucial.com.
Immediately eliminate unnecessary risks that can kill your account
Generating consistent profits throughout your trading day presents enough of a challenge. Shortcutting any of the above requirements introduces unnecessary risk to your operation that can be completely avoided.
If your PC can’t efficiently process and display the detailed market data you need in order to see what the institutions are doing, you run the risk of missing trades or assuming faulty/losing positions. All because you can’t see what’s happening.
If your internet connection doesn’t have the bandwidth or isn’t reliable, you could be late to respond to shifts that take place with each second and tick. Worse, you could be frozen in a position and sustain a loss.
The institutions that drive the market would never accept these risks. You shouldn’t either if you expect to trade with them and profit.
Why your aging laptop won’t get it done
So you’ve already made the investment and would prefer to keep costs to a minimum. You may figure: since everything happens online, why can’t a machine that simply takes an internet connection do the job?
Trading with a laptop, however appealing it may seem, presents immediate risks that are difficult to mitigate:
- Display: With one smaller screen you usually can only view one, or potentially two, charts at a time. Toggling between charts and views means you could miss opportunities as they develop.
- Limited Memory / Capacity: Many laptops simply don’t have the physical storage space available that you need to install more RAM or hard drive space. This means that data can only be processed, cached and stored using the machine’s physical capacity.
Imagine having most, or potentially all, of your upgrade options permanently limited simply due to the fact that you’re using a laptop.
The right armor to protect your profits
Use of the right swords and armor made the fighting power of one knight equivalent to that of 10 ordinary men. While the swords inflicted the damage, it was the armor that kept them alive.
Keep your account and trading career alive by having the right equipment. Simply check your current PC to make sure you at least have a:
- Recent version of Windows
- Pentium Processor
- Hard drive with 30 GB of free space and at least 8 MG of RAM
- Internet Connection that’s 20 Mbps or faster
If you’re not sure what processor you have, how much hard drive space is free or how much RAM you have, you can run a safe, free diagnostic check at crucial.com.
Skipping or shortcutting these requirements only means additional risk for you and your trading career. If your PC can’t process the vital data fed to you in a timely manner, you’ll miss market opportunities to execute trades and make a profit.
Remember that the data being ingested by your PC is increasing dramatically with Order Flow Sequence Tracking Intelligence. You’re going into battle with a thousand swords, not just one flimsy foam imitation in the form of your old candles.
Protect your investment and profits with equipment that’s equal to the task.