Setting up your small trading desk

Dharam Chand Sethia Blog Leave a Comment

Do you want to set up your own small trading desk? It’s not difficult and it’s not going to burn a hole in your pocket. Remember trading is your business/ passion and you are investing into this. Let me start with desk and chair.

Desk, Chair & Lights – Health is the priority above anything and I have seen people losing out on health (specially their back) in this profession. So i have kept it before computers. Use a chair in which you can sit for longer hours comfortably. Lights should be enough not to give strain in your eyes. It’s a no compromise zone.Use these pages to improve your understanding-

COMPUTER– Use a computer with good processor and RAM. Your old home computer will not do. One suggestion is to buy a computer which is good for gaming and can support at least 2 monitors. It should be able to run multiple applications with ease. Assembling is preferred than buying a single brand.

For those using laptop only -it’s doable but using ALT+TAB very often takes away concentration (it totally depends on the amount of time you give in trading).A good point about laptop is you can trade while on-the-run.

I will not get into their numbers (how many) as they vary from user to user. One good combination is Laptop + Desktop with 2 monitors. As far as accessories are concerned, a front camera, and a good headphone is needed.

High Speed Internet – The faster the better. Period. Once you are used to 4g you will never go back to 2g. With money at stake you don’t want to be second (Read Flash Boys by Michael lewis) . You are not here to see quotes but to execute trades. If you are slow you will not get the desired fill and the frustration will grow. A good internet connection will let you concentrate on your trading position. If you are watching YouTube or working on heavy applications/ platforms it will smooth your work.

Monitors– Buy them on “need to have basis”. Number of monitors will not boost your P/L statement. If it helps in trade idea generation, definitely go for it. Trade execution screen; CHARTS; NEWS; Prices of related instruments like forex,indices,government bondsare few items necessary for traders depending on their style.

Broker and Platform – Keep an online as well as on offline platform. Cheaper brokerage, Timely support and advanced trading tools are essentials to look for while choosing a broker. With the arrival of discounted brokerage and trading on mobile cost has reduced dramatically. Offline broker – Care has to be taken in case of internet goes down/power outage – you can call your offline broker to square off /or hedge your position and some good offline brokers provide you timely support that are unmatched.

Important Resources – 3 types of resources are needed. Breaking news, Market commentary with analysis, Data Analytics live and historical data.

News sources-TV –CNBC (Morning and Evening Summary and it’s news ticker), Cogencies. In past few months Twitter has become really fast & useful in news dissemination; all you should know is who to follow.I use Tweetdeck in market hours to follow specific people.

Market Commentary –, (for international prices );,, investing .com (for economic calendar).

Data Analytics for live and historical data-, Amibroker,, Stockedge.

Books and trading journals are important when you want to learn from other’s experience and psychology. They give you insights which are unmatched. Reading the classics is as important as reading some fresh work. It helps you to generate trade ideas/tweak your thought process for good. And feel yourself lucky if you have a trading community which keeps you disciplined in doing all of the above.

Conclusion – Your trading performance is reflection of your ecosystem. It’s a highly disciplined profession/ business. Come here with all the latest weapons in your arsenal. A computer, internet, good broker, trading platform, advanced support tools and a nice coffee is needed to get you going. Do more and more research about your style, read fresh work and follow the old classics will take you to an amazing journey called –Trading.

See this twitter thread to see various images by different traders(including mine) –



Share this Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *