Why Having Multiple Monitors is So Important to Day Trading

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Decades ago, when you hear the term “stock market”, you picture thousands of busy people on the stock exchange trading floor staring at elevated TV monitors. These days, a visual representation of the stock market can be someone at a desk with a 3 to 6 monitor setup. In this article, we will take a closer look at the basics of stock market day trading and how multiple screens will provide you with more options as a day trader.

Day traders use multiple screens (usually a 3 to 6 monitor setup) to display important data at all times. The more information that can be shown constantly means less flipping through programs to find the vital details needed. Generally, the screens display timeframes, trading charts, communications, and news. There’s a lot of important information that a day trader should have access to all throughout the day.

The Day Trading Process

Day trading is simply the process of strategic buying and selling of stocks within the same day. Also known as equity, a stock is a security that represents the ownership of a portion of a corporation.  Moreover, this entitles the owner of the stock to a portion of the corporation’s assets and profits equal to how much stock they own. Stocks are broken down into units called “shares,” which is what most traders are working with.

A company’s stock will rise and fall almost constantly. The price changes daily, with altering prices providing opportunities for profits. It takes a long time to learn effective strategies and become familiar with market trends. Many day traders dedicate multiple screens (usually a 3 to 6 monitor setup) to closely monitor these trends as they rise and fall. Daily changes in stock prices are often displayed, as well as weekly and monthly records. By tracking these market trends, forecasting new ones, and leveraging surprise dips, day traders can make a lot of profit.

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The Fast Pace of Day Trading

Trends in the market are just a few pieces of information, and day traders need a lot of input from a lot of programs that they use multiple times per minute. Specially, these programs need to be cross-referenced so often that using a single-screen setup to access all of them makes the job extra challenging. Trying to find the right information from different tabs takes a lot of time and makes you lose a lot of opportunities. Day trading is such a fast-paced career that the few seconds it takes to switch tabs can lose you thousands of dollars.

Important Information for Day Trading

Other vital information that a day trader will want to check throughout the day includes trading charts, a live feed of shares being sold, and the prices of shares. These constantly changing numbers are where day traders will spot optimal opportunities for profit. Aside from the ones mentioned, day traders will also need to access the trading software in which actual transactions take place. Day traders are also expected to be active across multiple markets and currencies. Each market with its currency will have plenty of information that the day trader will need in order to stay active.

Another important factor for day traders is news outlets. Being up-to-date with current events can provide relevant market insight. For instance, a product recall or an unforeseen event can greatly impact a company’s perceived value and drive the stock prices down. This manic selling can create a cost-effective purchase opportunity for day traders who predict the business will bounce back. By watching breaking news, day traders can ensure they leverage these opportunities as soon as they arise.

The Advantages of Using a Multi-Screen Setup

It is completely possible to day trade with a single screen, but for many, having multiple screens (usually a 3 to 6 monitor setup) increases their flexibility to do their job better.

Having a multi-screen (usually a 3 to 6 monitor setup) can provide a huge advantage. Full-time day traders alternate between the same programs, day in and day out. They spend hours upon hours watching the same channels and monitoring the same stocks rise and fall. Having this information on constant display will save them hundreds of hours and clicks in the long run. Ask yourself this: which moves faster, your eyes or your hand?

Now decided that one screen won’t be enough, but how many screens would you actually need? Some day traders believe that 2 screens would be more than enough, while others swear by a 3 to 6 monitor setup.

The Dual-Screen Setup

Keep in mind that the dual-screen setup will still involve a great deal of clicking and alternating between programs. You’ll probably use one monitor to split-screen some type of trading charts and news outlet. The relevant information you want constant access to, once your needed information is on display, you won’t have too much clicking to perform on this screen.

Your second screen will act as your main monitor, and expect it to be a click-heavy one, alternating between your trading software, currency and market applications, and all of your communications.

The Three to Six-Screen Setup

For beginning full-time day traders, the triple screen setup may be the sweet spot. Three monitors provide you with a huge amount of flexibility with the important information that you have to display constantly. New day traders need to frequently refer to existing trades and the moves of more experienced players in the field.  

One screen will likely be dedicated to displaying multiple trading charts. Another screen will show the news, perhaps split-screen between live news and Google Alerts. It’s important that you get familiar with setting alerts, over time, much of your trading career will be automated. Eventually, you’ll develop your algorithm, and programs will alert you. Especially when certain stocks reach your criteria for a strategic call to action. The third screen will be designated for your trade applications and communications.

When having a three-screen setup just isn’t enough, it’s highly suggested to add extra monitors having the maximum of a 6 monitor setup. Adding extra monitors will provide you with comfort and ease of operation. All the important information you need will be on constant display. Moreover, this will allow you to be more focused and highly effective as a day trader. Your extra monitor could display different market information and currency. It could also display something as mundane as Youtube or Netflix, giving you a little break from the rolling numbers.

Conclusion

Day traders use multiple screens to minimise their time jumping in between programs and optimise the amount of information they can gather in a second. If you’re a part-time day trader, two monitors are often enough. However, as full-time traders tend to invest in three to six screens. Ultimately, there is no “right number” of screens. You need to find what works for you (and your trades) and go with it!