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Questions from noob about trading from home!

Discussion in 'Beginner's Lounge' started by Aussiest, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Aussiest

    Aussiest

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    Hi everyone,

    I've been perusing these forums for the past few weeks and i must say, there is some good collective wisdom here ;)

    I have some questions you might be able to help me with. Nothing too strenious, just technical stuff:

    In relation to trading from home...

    1. How many computer screens, and what size, should i have?

    2. What would i typically use those screens for (eg, one for charting, one for platform, one for news)?

    3. What is the best trading software?

    4. What does this software typically do? Would i need to subscribe to ASX 'end of day' data? Can you keep the data so you can chart later?

    5. If you use a premium trading platform (I am considering MQ Prime), is there any point in having trading software?

    6. Which share trading course would you recommend? (they are all so expensive, don't know whether i should lay down my $$$)...

    7. Is it possible to do well / trade profitably without doing an education course?

    8. What is your hottest tip?! Only joking about this bit, but it would be great to gain some insights on the other stuff ;)

    Many thanks in advance

    Aussie Trader
     
  2. professor_frink

    professor_frink Moderator

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    Hi aussiest,

    welcome to ASF. Glad you like the forum so far:)

    The type of computer/charting package, etc you buy will depend on what type of trading you do. So you might want to fill us in a little more about what you are/plan on doing before you get any suggestions. Personally I have a desktop with 2 monitors for trading, plus the laptop for general browsing, emails, reading etc. Nothing flash.

    Personally have never done a trading course. Most of my information comes from books, the internet and talking with other traders. I make enough money to buy the finest wines you can get in a box at the local bottle shop, so I guess you can do fine without having to do a course:)

    And as for tips, be good to your mother!
     
  3. korrupt_1

    korrupt_1

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    Check out the forum's resident grumpy day trader TremblingHand's blog on his setup ;)

    http://tremblinghandtrader.typepad.com/trembling_hand_trader/2007/12/index.html

    But as the professor said.. its really a personal thing on how you setup your station and how you intend to trade - Are you a day trader/scalper, short/medium/long term investor?

    I have 2 x 22" WS LCD running my trading platform, multiple charts, news feed from bloomberg, etc, emails, general web browsing and online chat are just some of the stuff on my screens.
     
  4. Aussiest

    Aussiest

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    Hi Pro Frink :p:

    I am strongly considering trading from home full time. Going for jobs at the moment, but none seem to be working out. Am very tempted to get job in hospitality so i can trade Aussie Stock Exchange during day, so my question mainly relates to trading on the ASX on a full-time, daily basis.

    I've already got two screens and my computer died today (briefly), so i missed some sell points, so i can relate to what you're saying about a laptop.

    Now, if only i could hang on to positions longer to maximise my profits. I find i sell out too early, it's really hard!

    Thanks,

    Martine
     
  5. MichaelD

    MichaelD Not fooled by randomness

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    (all the wrong questions culled)

    BY FAR the least important factor for trading success is the equipment required.

    If you can't trade profitably with a minimalist equipment set, buying the biggest screens and fanciest data feeds will only help you lose your money faster.

    Why not use what you already have and use your trading profits to buy all the fancy equipment you think you need? Chances are that by the time you are actually profitable, you'll find you don't need actually need all that much.
     
  6. Aussiest

    Aussiest

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    This is what i need as well.

    Do you find it directly influences prices on the ASX? Or do you mainly use it for commodities?

    Can you use the Bloomberg data for commodities?

    And, do you have to pay for the Bloomberg service?

    (and thank you for link, i will definately check it out later tonight)

    Sorry about all the questions,

    Martine
     
  7. professor_frink

    professor_frink Moderator

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    Pro. HA!

    I was mainly referring to what style of trading you plan on doing. When I was position trading, I only had 1 screen, as it was all I needed. I'd do my analysis at night, would check on what happened OS before the market opened and then would have live data running so I could keep an eye on things during the day. 1 screen was fine for this. These days I daytrade, so have the 2 screens full of charts/quotes and just use the laptop for web browsing and to keep the econ calendar on so I know when scheduled news is due. It's also useful as a back up if my desktop goes down during the day.

    I can only gather that if you are thinking of trading full time that you've been trading part time successfully?
     
  8. Aussiest

    Aussiest

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    Hi Professor Frink,

    Well, not successfully at start. I bought in at the beginning of the recent dead-cat bounce in April, had a good run, got greedy, used too much leverage, bought way too many stocks, didn't set stop-losses, got burned BIG TIME!

    I am now taking small positions, diversifying sectors (some financials, some resources, eg), set stop-losses, something i still have trouble doing, and sell out before it reaches top. That's what i am having trouble with now. Because of my early losses, i sell out of winning positions way to prematuraly...

    So, i wouldn't say initially successfully, but the past few weeks i've been a lot more careful, taking small positions, spreading my positions around, probably selling out before realising a good profit, but the first few months scared me. I have yet to take a 'short' position, so far, i've been relying on blue chips stocks that seem low priced and go long.

    I'd really like to work full time and be a 'frequent trader', but if i don't get this job, i am tempted and would get a job in hospitality as a retainer.
     
  9. Whiskers

    Whiskers It's a small world

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    Glad you said it first korrupt... I get into enough trouble as it is. :eek:

    But gees I laughed... I had been chatting with him today, trying not to aggrevate him or maybe it was because I was also annoying my cat on my desk by letting him have a sniff of a vicks inhaler and watching him pull faces. :D

    Back on topic, actually I agree with MichaelD. While you obviously need enough equipment to do the job, one of the key aspects of successful businesses is to keep your costs under control. Be careful not to over-capitalise on equipment.

     
  10. Aussiest

    Aussiest

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    Yeah, thanks Whiskers. I've already got enough stuff in terms of screens, which is good. All i need is the laptop and perhaps some software, but am wondering if professional set-ups like Comsec and MQ Prime eliminate the need for that?

    Am also curious about the iphone and Comsec platform, but i think that's a question for another thread ;)
     
  11. Trembling Hand

    Trembling Hand Can be found on the bid

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    Ha! LOL. Love it.

    Most important piece of equipment is trading capital. Buying equipment before your business can fund its own way is a bad idea.

    And Comsuc isn't a pro platform.

    And news feeds will just tie you in knots.

    IMmostHO
     
  12. Aussiest

    Aussiest

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    Thanks Trembling Hand. Are you grumpy today? Shouldn't be, the markets weren't that bad :eek:.

    I've already got 2 screens from when i did music production. I was thinking of scaling down the 19" and getting 2x17", but i think i'll stick with what i've got, thanks to some cost-savings advice here :p:.

    I will still get the laptop, a < $1,000 Dell job should do the trick, or a 2nd hand no. from Ebay...

    The most important thing is charting software. So far, i've been getting course of sales data from Comsec and putting it into a SS. Not good enough.

    Any suggestions?
     
  13. korrupt_1

    korrupt_1

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    Aussiest

    I think you are going about this the wrong way...

    What's wrong with your current setup? Is your hardware not sufficient for what you want to do? Are you missing out on potential trades because the information wasn't easily accessible?

    Do you think by having the fastest computer, with the largest screens and live up to the second data makes you a better trader?

    Does Greg Norman win the golf because he has the best clubs and balls? No. It's about his skills and how he copes under pressure...

    My suggestion is that you should read books from successful traders. They give you an insight into their psychology and how they think - IMHO, trading is 90% a mind game...
     
  14. white_goodman

    white_goodman BOC

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    can someone explain to me the idea behind 2 monitors?

    whats so hard about minmising and opening another window on the same monitor?...ive always been confused by this
     
  15. professor_frink

    professor_frink Moderator

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    when you are trading small timeframes, have 4 or 5 charts open, and 2 DOM's that you are entering orders on and adjusting up to 20 times a day, having everything laid out across a couple of screens is essential.

    Apart from that it becomes a convenience thing too. If I'm reading a pdf and want to take notes on it, I can have the book open in one screen and a word processor on te other where I can copy bits of text and make notes on it. Once you've used more than one screen, you'll most likely find it hard to get by with one without being frustrated.
     
  16. MichaelD

    MichaelD Not fooled by randomness

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    Hear, hear.

    And the second most important piece of equipment is a POSITIVE EXPECTANCY TRADING PLAN.

    Is your trading plan;
    1. Written down?
    2. Known to have a positive expectancy?

    Or do you make it up as you go along?
     
  17. IFocus

    IFocus You are arguing with a Galah

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    Wouldn't worry about the laptop for now, depending on your broker phone access is maybe a better backup should your systems fail. I would spend the money on Amibroker charting software and Premium Data instead.

    But this will depend as already mentioned on your method of trading which ideally you should have tested before entering the market.
     
  18. nunthewiser

    nunthewiser

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    Keep your 57 screens and widgets attached too oojamaflips ....... personally use a laptop when not at home and my home pc when i am , oh also have a pencil , paper , ruler and calculator , often bring the crayons out when im really concentrating, know a bloke thats got 4 screens goin and yet he still losing cash by the week .... agrees with that other grumpy fella trembling hand about trading capital , wotever floats ya boats bur personally reckon less is more and i do allright :cool:
     
  19. Aussiest

    Aussiest

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    Thanks for all your responses, i truely appreciate them!

    Thanks also for pointing out i don't need state of the art equipment. The set-up i have is enough then.

    Just some more questions:

    1. MichaelD:

    I understand what a trading plan is. I don't necessarily have one, except to buy when i think a share is cheap (although i don't always follow it - see? that's where i'm going wrong) and to sell when i think i have enough profit. I am currently closing out far too early due to fear and anxiety. Perhaps i need to tackle that in the plan... Tonight, i am going to write out a list of lessons i have already learned.

    What is a positive expectancy? I think i'll Google it later, but some insight would be good :)

    How would i formulate a trading plan?

    Eg: (example purposes only): buy at support, quantity either 500 or 1,000. Stop loss at % loss, min. profit = xx% gain, use trailing stop loss at % under current price???

    Is this about right in terms of what i would write?

    2. IFocus:

    What is 'Amibroker' charting software? And, where do i get the premium data?

    Thus far, i've been using Comsec's market depth.

    Thanks in advance for your advice :)
     
  20. MichaelD

    MichaelD Not fooled by randomness

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    Aussiest,

    Do not take this the wrong way but

    STOP "TRADING" IMMEDIATELY

    You are not trading. You are gambling. Gamblers lose.

    If you are serious about making money trading, you have a long path ahead of you.

    Tasks you must complete before you even consider trading again;

    1. Learn what a trading plan is. It covers your entry strategy, your exit strategy, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, your risk management (where you will put your stop loss and how your stop loss evolves during the trade) and your money management (how much of a given share you will buy).

    You might consider a book like Trading Secrets by Louise Bedford. This covers creating a trading plan quite well. You're also likely to find useful information on ASF and via Google.

    You MUST know before you even start a trade what your exit strategy will be. You cannot make it up as you go along.

    Contrary to popular belief;
    - buy low and sell high is a poor strategy
    - buy high and sell higher is a better strategy
    - money and risk management separates the profitable traders from the gamblers, NOT entry and exit.


    2. Learn what positive expectancy is. This is a high degree of proof that your trading plan will actually make you money instead of losing you money before you actually use real money trading it.

    Again you'll find lots of threads on this here at ASF.


    ps You could also continue trading and have the market teach you the same lessons at a FAR higher price than the cost of a few good books and lots of reading.
     
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