If you are new to trading, whether it be forex, stocks, options, or even something much newer like crypto, you may be wondering if you can do this from a home PC. Well, in the vast majority of cases the answer is yes. Many charting software now allow retail traders to trade easily from home. In the past, only institutions had access to such software and data, but luckily it has now never been easier or cheaper from you to start a trading career from home.
What Do I Need?
Well, firstly, you are going to need a good PC set up. Whilst it is possible to trade from a laptop, the small screen size makes it not ideal.
From personal experience, you need a good desktop computer for trading. It doesn’t need to have huge processors or memory, thanks to the cloud based nature of most charting software, however, it is a really good idea to only get a trading desktop which allows for multiple screens; this will make it much easier for you to chart as your skill set grows. (Although if you’re a newbie, don’t worry about having more than one screen to begin with.)
You’re also going to need a PC which will easily run charting software. As mentioned previously, most charting software is now cloud based and available online without download, however, you will also need a platform to execute your trades which is usually downloadable from your broker.
These platforms do require a certain level of CPU usage, but more importantly, if you plan to use features like a trailing stop, you will need to leave your PC turned on all the time, so you should probably consider the energy output of the PC and cost effectiveness of running it at all times.
An alternative to this would be to use a VPS to run your execution platform, which will allow you more freedom when choosing your desktop computer.
A VPS costs as little as 5 dollars per month, and allows you to essentially access a ‘virtual computer’ which is on 24/7. This means you can easily run software that requires 24 hour power, without having to leave your own PC switched on at home. It also protects you against updates where your own PC may automatically switch off. It’s a great option all round.
Thanks to software companies recognizing that more and more people are now wanting to trade from home, most charting packages are now easily run on a home PC. The only limitations are potentially the screen size / capacity and also software that requires 24 hour power.
If, however, you are looking to mine crypto, this is a different ball game all together and you would require a huge amount of processing power to do this. The best thing you can do is seek the help of a PC expert (for example Lenovo’s online chat) who will help you match a desktop to your trading needs.