When starting a new hobby or endeavor, it’s easy to get suckered into buying things that you think you need but eventually find that you don’t, at least not in the beginning.
Jake, for example, bought the fanciest treadmill, a Thighmaster, his own Shake Weight, and a full set of Under Armour gear after deciding to adopt a healthy lifestyle at the beginning of the year. Ditto for his friend, Eve, who bought half the hardware store when she decided to take up jewellery-making.
Both could’ve furthered their goals with much less investment, but chose to buy unnecessary items anyway because it’s what they see on YouTube tutorials and it makes them feel more comfortable, more confident in taking on their new ventures.
This happens all too often in forex trading. It’s not unusual to hear about newbie traders who end up buying new computers, a bajillion monitors, and fancy softwares and EAs because they think it will help them get pips. Luckily, you don’t necessarily need all these in order to be a consistently profitable trader. Here are three tips you should consider when setting up your trading station:
1. Stick to the essentials
Start with a good laptop or PC and a solid internet connection. Then, pick a good trading platform and install it on your unit. Mobile devices could work for checking on your open trades, but are barely any good if you want to check the news, your charts, your trading journals, and your trades simultaneously. No need for multiple monitors yet, unless you already have some experience and you know that you’ll need it.
2. Invest where it counts
Sticking to the essentials doesn’t mean scrimping on your investments. Just like a chef or an engineer invests in the right set of equipment, forex traders should also invest on the best tools available to maximize your trading skills.
Investing on a sturdy desk and comfortable chair, for example, helps you stay in the zone for longer periods of time. Choosing good charting software and trading platform could help you identify setups easier and backtest trading systems and execute orders faster. Likewise, subscribing to reputable forex-related journals and newsletters could give you economic insights and the edge that other traders don’t have. In an aggressive market like forex, you’ll need all the edge you could get.
3. Minimize distractions
There’s no use spending money on good trading software if you’re using your laptop to look at your friends’ Facebook updates and YouTube pranks half the time. Remember that trading is a business and it requires focus, discipline, and consistency in order to make money from it.
You can start by placing your trading station at a corner where there’s the least amount of distraction. It could be your in basement, your second bedroom, or even a big closet. Try not to face your Xbox, PS4, or your cat.
Use your TV only to catch the news and avoid bringing non-trading-related stuff into your station. That means no nerf guns, mini trebuchets, or VRs (feel free to show it if you have them, though!). There are tons of ways to be distracted from your trading pursuits, but you have to remember to treat it like work – no distractions until you’re done! If you find that you need help with this, I’ve got four tips that might help.
Although it also needs focus, discipline, and consistency, forex trading is not just a hobby. Unless you’re in it for the pretty charts or the thrill of risking real money (in which case you’re a gambler, not a trader), then you should treat trading like a business. This means ensuring you have the best set of tools to maximize your trading skills.
How about you? What does your trading station look like? Feel free to share a description or a snapshot of your own little corner!