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Newbie Infopool: Trading PC, Platform, Books - Recommendations
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Newbie Infopool: Trading PC, Platform, Books - Recommendations

  #1 (permalink)
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Newbie Infopool: Trading PC, Platform, Books - Recommendations

I am looking at purchasing a PC desktop ( I currently have a Macbook), I am also looking at purchasing trading software or at least a few demos for now. I am just wondering if anyone had any recommendations as to what I should purchase? I am currently looking at a Dell T5500 ( I would have posted a link but I don't have enough posts yet ) and the current version of NinjaTrader. Any objections or suggestions? Is the base model of this computer good enough to run NinjaTrader?
Also, I am wanting to begin to trade CL but from what I've read it is one of the most difficult things to trade. Should I begin with something like E-mini? If I learn to trade on something besides CL will the experience and system that I develop sort of transfer over into trading CL? Or should I just begin to trade CL with a sim? Sorry for so many questions! Thanks in advance!

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  #2 (permalink)
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  #3 (permalink)
Elite Member
Berlin, Europe
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader, MultiCharts
Broker/Data: Interactive Brokers
Favorite Futures: Keyboard
 
Fat Tails's Avatar
 
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Trading-PC

I use a Dell Precision Workstation 690 (3 years old) with two graphic adapters (four monitors) and it works well. The Dell T5500 is price worthy and should be perfectly suitable for trading under the condition that you

- choose a strong CPU
- choose a configuration with two dual graphic adapters allowing you to connect up to four monitors (larger monitors are now relatively cheap, so four should do)
- sign up for their onsite service (which is very good)

You should contact Dell via phone for the graphics adapters, as this may not be available in their online shop. Dell uses a bridge to put two graphics adapters into one slot.

Further information on trading PCs can be found in these threads

https://futures.io/off-topic/2643-desktop-specs.html
https://futures.io/vendors-commercial-products/3691-best-computer-vendor.html


Trading Platform

You can download NinjaTrader 7, which is a free trading platform. You should practice with a simulation account until you become consistently profitable. If you put money on the line earlier, the chances are greater than 90% that you will lose it.


Instrument to Trade

E-mini is a place, where predators feed on newbies. It is not the place to go. The same applies to CL. You do not want to fly a jumbo jet, before you have some experience with smaller planes. I would not even think about trading futures as a beginner, as the leverage will kill you sooner or later.

Do yourself a favour: If you want to trade real money, start with exchange traded funds or stocks. This already allows you to experience the highs and lows of trading without losing your shirt. Once you are consistently profitable, you could switch to futures and increase leverage.

427Rat View Post
I am looking at purchasing a PC desktop ( I currently have a Macbook), I am also looking at purchasing trading software or at least a few demos for now. I am just wondering if anyone had any recommendations as to what I should purchase? I am currently looking at a Dell T5500 ( I would have posted a link but I don't have enough posts yet ) and the current version of NinjaTrader. Any objections or suggestions? Is the base model of this computer good enough to run NinjaTrader?
Also, I am wanting to begin to trade CL but from what I've read it is one of the most difficult things to trade. Should I begin with something like E-mini? If I learn to trade on something besides CL will the experience and system that I develop sort of transfer over into trading CL? Or should I just begin to trade CL with a sim? Sorry for so many questions! Thanks in advance!


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  #4 (permalink)
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Alright, Well I have done some reading on the forum and everything might as well be greek. I am finance student, so I have a basic working knowledge of the stock market, of how futures work, options...etc. I can read financial statements well and I can calculate financial ratios with ease. But everything on this forum (the lingo, charts...etc.) might as well be in a different language. I'm just wondering, where should I start? I purchased a book called "Getting started in chart patterns" by Thomas N. Bulkowski. (I am taking summer university classes right now other wise I would be reading it), is this a good place to start learning about the charts and some of the things discussed on here on the forum? Does anyone have some other book, website, article...etc. recommendations? I was thinking about possibly printing off old charts and try to identify the patterns (after I read the mentioned book), do you think that will help me? Sorry for so many questions!

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  #5 (permalink)
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I don't like giving advice, especially when it comes to trading, but you can take this post into consideration if you'd like.

I think studying the following books can help a newbie build a foundation of knowledge.

Reminisces of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre
Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom by Van K. Tharp
Mind Over Markets by James F. Dalton (and then visit futurestrader71's website - Simplicity in Trading)
The Daily Trading Coach by Brett N. Steenbarger

Beyond the recommended list I personally wouldn't pay for any educational tools right away, especially related to technical analysis. When it comes to trading my experience is that valuable information is almost always free. And this is from someone that's spent WAY too much money on trading education. Reading the threads and watching the webinars here at futures.io (formerly BMT) will definitely get you going in the right direction. There's a ton of excellent information on this site supported by many generous and knowledgeable traders. And as you continue to dig you'll find references to free resources elsewhere as well.

Most importantly, I think that asking questions, thinking for yourself, setting goals, documenting and tracking your experiences (charts/journal/analysis), and making and correcting lots of mistakes are the best bets to get you where you want to go if you're passionate about it.

Best wishes.

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  #6 (permalink)
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Futures Experience: Intermediate
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It will help, but watching the price move in real time is considerably more valuable than watching a static chart for the simple reason that everything is obvious after the fact. So once you know what a double top is, for example, then you want to take the next step of being able to identify the pattern as it unfolds and practice trading it at the same time. If you are planning to day trade, then you will have to spend hundreds of hours watching live or replayed price action. I still do both. I trade and then later in the day I run a replay from 6 months ago. Concentrate on how the price moves in relation to various support and resistance including trend lines, swings, pivots, highs and lows, chart patterns, candlestick patterns, etc. I would spend time on this even if you don't plan to day trade. For swing trading, spend hundreds of hours stepping through charts one bar at a time and set up a worksheet to log your trades.

I don't know if you have your computer and software set up or not, but I would recommend ninja for charting because it is free and get a demo with MB Trading or some other broker that offers everything. For currencies and futures you can download replay data for prior days. For stocks, you will need to leave the charts open during the day so you can replay them later. Pick some that you are interested in and leave the computer running all week.

Here's couple sites that I think have some good information:

http://www.youtube.com/user/InformedTrades#p/u - scroll down the list at the right to the bottom and start at the beginning.

Your Trading Coach | Home

Nial Fuller | Learn To Trade 'Forex Price Action' Trading Strategies - they do try to sell you some crap, just mooch the free info.

Also, don't get suckered into paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for any system, subscription, "secret confidential information" or whatever. Everything worthwhile can usually be found for free on the internet or in a reasonably priced book.

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  #7 (permalink)
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Futures Experience: Advanced
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427Rat View Post
Alright, Well I have done some reading on the forum and everything might as well be greek. I am finance student, so I have a basic working knowledge of the stock market, of how futures work, options...etc. I can read financial statements well and I can calculate financial ratios with ease. But everything on this forum (the lingo, charts...etc.) might as well be in a different language. I'm just wondering, where should I start? I purchased a book called "Getting started in chart patterns" by Thomas N. Bulkowski. (I am taking summer university classes right now other wise I would be reading it), is this a good place to start learning about the charts and some of the things discussed on here on the forum? Does anyone have some other book, website, article...etc. recommendations? I was thinking about possibly printing off old charts and try to identify the patterns (after I read the mentioned book), do you think that will help me? Sorry for so many questions!

Hi 427Rat,

here are some recommendations on books. I rate all of them excellent, as I do not mention all the bad ones.

Motivational and Entertaining

Jack. D. Schwager: Market Wizards
Jack. D. Schwager: New Market Wizards
Edwin Lefèvre: Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
Martin Schwartz: Pit Bull
Curtis M. Faith: Way of the Turtle
Satyavit Das: Traders, Guns and Money

Trading (Basics)

Van K. Tharp: Trade Your Way To Financial Reedom
Larry Williams: Long-Term Secrets to Short-Term Trading
Alexander Elder: Trading for a Living
Alexander Elder: Come into My Trading Room
John F. Carter: Mastering The Trade
Linda B.Raschke: Street Smarts (book is a bit overpriced)

Trading (Advanced)

Robert C. Miner: High Probability Trading Strategies
Michael W. Covel: Trend Following
Jeffrey Owen Katz: The Encyclopedia of Trading Strategies
Charles LeBeau, David Lucas: Technical Trader's Guide to Computer Analysis
Victor Sperandeo: Trader Vic / Trader Vic II

Technical Analysis (Classics)

Welles Wilder: New Concepts in Technical Trading Systems
Robert D. Edwards, John Magee: Technical Analysis of Stock Trends
Jack D. Schwager: Schwager on Futures - Technical Analysis
Thomas N. Bulkowski: Encyclocpedia of Chart Patterns
John J. Murphy: Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets

Technical Analysis (Advanced)

Perry J.Kaufman: New Trading Systems and Methods
Chris Wilkinson: Technically Speaking
Al Brooks: Reading Price Charts Bar by Bar
John J. Murphy: Intermarket Analysis
Suri Dudella: Trade Chart Patterns like the Pros

Psychology (must-read)

Brett N. Steenbarger: The Daily Trading Coach
Brett N. Steenbarger: Enhancing Trader Performance
Mark Douglas: The Disciplined Trader
Mark Douglas: Trading in the Zone

Finance (good to know, but not required)

John C. Hull - Options, Futures and Other Derivatives
Paul Wilmott - Paul Wilmott Introduces Quantitative Finance

So this would be a good selection to start with.

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  #8 (permalink)
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Posts: 7 since Jul 2010
Thanks: 11 given, 1 received

Thank you all for your recommendations and advice! Sorry I haven't replied sooner, I have been in the midst of summer classes and I haven't had much time for anything else.

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  #9 (permalink)
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Posts: 7 since Jul 2010
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I'm about to order a new computer that will be basically only used for trading. I honestly don't know a lot about computers and I have been doing some reading in the past month so that I don't waste my money. I don't want to go the custom built route because it is just to complicated for me. I think that I am settled on a Dell. This is what I have chosen:
-BASE/ POWER SUPPLY OptiPlex 980 Minitower for Standard Power Supply
-OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Professional, No Media, 32-bit, English
-PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i5 Quad Core Processor 750 (2.66GHz, 8M)
-OFFICE SOFTWARE Microsoft® Office Home and Business 2010, English
-WARRANTY & SERVICE 3 Year Basic Limited Warranty and 3 Year NBD On-Site Service
-ENERGY EFFICIENCY OPTIONS Dell Energy Smart Power Management Settings Enabled
-HARD DRIVE 250GB 7,200 RPM 2.5" SATA, 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive with NCQ and 16MB Cache
-ECO KIT No Eco Kit
-HARD DRIVE MODE No RAID
-SECURITY SOFTWARE Trend Micro Internet Security 15 month, English
-MEMORY 4GB DDR3 Non-ECC SDRAM,1333MHz, (2 DIMM)
-OPTICAL DRIVE 16X DVD-ROM SATA, with Cyberlink Power DVD™ No Media
-VIDEO CARD 256MB ATI RADEON HD 3450 (2 DVI /1 TV-out), Full Height
-MONITOR Dell UltraSharp™ 2007FP 20in HAS Monitor, VGA/ DVI
-SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT MODE No Out-of-Band Systems Management
-OPTIPLEX ON No Dell OptiPlex ON® Reader
-1394 FIREWIRE ADAPTER 1394 FW Controller Card, Full Height

Please give me your recommendations. Is this a decent starter computer for trading? Are all the components fairly evenly matched? Anything overkill or not enough? As it sits, will I be able to add another monitor in the future if I want to? Thanks for your advice!

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  #10 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: My own custom solution
Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
 
Big Mike's Avatar
 
Posts: 46,240 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 29,352 given, 83,231 received


@427Rat,

I would go for Windows 7 64-bit, it should be same cost. I would get 8GB of ram, not 4. If the only thing that will ever be open at one time is your trading app, than 4GB is fine (as is 32-bit) but if you have a couple browsers open, email, decide to make a video here or there, etc, you'll be better off with 8GB and give you room to grow.

I would drop Microsoft Office, you can get OpenOffice for free and it is fine (unless you have a very specific reason for needing MS Office). They probably won't give you much credit for dropping Office off, but maybe it helps pay for some of the ram.

Otherwise it looks fine for a trading system. If you are going to use it for your primary system, you should get a bigger hard drive, going from 250GB to 1TB shouldn't be very much money at all. If you are going to use it for a lot of backtesting, you'll either need to know ahead of time it isn't blazing fast, or you'll need to get a faster CPU like an i7 or i8. For non-backtesting and just all other trading, the CPU you've chosen will be totally fine.

You should share the price you are paying. Dell sometimes is good on price, sometimes not. There are also a ton of coupons and deals out there, do some homework. Check fatwallet. You might briefly check NewEgg as well for a similar barebones OEM PC, it won't have Dell tech support but if you know your way around Windows you shouldn't need it and it will likely be cheaper or better components.

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
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5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
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