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Trading in an office space -- pros and cons
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View Poll Results: Do you trade at home, or outside your home in an office?
I trade at home, and always have. 48 78.69%
I currently or previously traded in an office, and found it to be overall a benefit to my trading. 10 16.39%
I currently or previously traded in an office, and found it to be overall a negative to my trading. 3 4.92%
Voters: 61. You may not vote on this poll

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Trading in an office space -- pros and cons

  #11 (permalink)
BossMan
Sacramento CA
 
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I would love to trade from home, my internet from the house is at best 1.3mbps on DSL.. Thats all I have available out in the sticks. I get 30+mbps at my office, which is about a 20min drive. When I do watch my charts from home , I tether from my iphone and use the 4G. My iphone is usally between 12-50mbps. Ive tried satellite internet and thats garbage. I cant wait to be back at the house trading. On my next home purchase, I will definitely be checking the internet before hand

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  #12 (permalink)
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Zakk View Post
I would love to trade from home, my internet from the house is at best 1.3mbps on DSL

It is enough, as long as you are not sharing it with any other members of the household while trading, and as long as you are not browsing websites, YouTube or etc while trading

Mike

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  #13 (permalink)
BossMan
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I pay $155 a month for my office space and that includes the internet.

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  #14 (permalink)
BossMan
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Big Mike View Post
It is enough, as long as you are not sharing it with any other members of the household while trading, and as long as you are not browsing websites, YouTube or etc while trading

Mike

yeah, thats true. It might be a good way to keep me off those sites while trading. I am usually skyping and viewing a webinar as well. so that really bogs down my system. I was thinking just getting a dedicated line just for trading..
Even when My wife wakes up I can tell and she just goes on the Facebook, and that slows it down big time. But just for the 1.3mbps internet is 75$ a month for one line

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  #15 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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For a good 10 years, before switching to trading full-time, I worked as a computer programmer from home.

I thought it would be ideal, but basically, I came to hate it. I was always at work. There would never be a clear time to get my mind on another track, to stop thinking about work issues, to have simple family time. Since programming is pretty much a solitary, focused action (like trading), it always conflicted with home life because there were no clear boundaries; work was never over -- even late at night, there I was, banging out code while everyone was asleep.

Now I trade from home, but I just stop at 4:15 ET. I may, obviously, go online to futures.io (formerly BMT), among other places, but this is just recreation now. My work day is done and I am not thinking about what the market is doing any more. In the morning I will look at charts, when my work day begins.

Now it's just me and my dog, so the family-interference aspect isn't there, but I still want to keep a clear distinction between work and non-work life. If I had to, I would definitely go off-site to keep that distinction simple and clear.

Anyway, I hope my take makes some sense to you, however you decide.

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  #16 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
@josh, bandwidth is basically no consideration.

14 symbols pulling down 45kb/sec right now, markets are open, near the close (internet, left side).

If you turn the computer off each day, then each morning there will be a backfill request. That might take an extra minute on a T1 (150kb/sec roughly) vs Broadband (say 5000kb/sec) but really not a big amount of data anyway for one day at a time.

The main concern I would have with a T1 is the sharing aspect. If someone is trying to watch a YouTube video, it's going to kill everything for everyone.

Are you sure it is really a T1? That is pretty out of date these days for business internet in my experience. I mean realistically, you can't even watch YouTube on it.

Mike

@Big Mike, thanks for confirming the number on this, I knew it was very small but that confirms just how small the bandwidth requirement is.

With the one office I went to with T1, sharing is a concern for me, so the purchase of dedicated bandwidth is one possibility, though I really don't want to go that route.

I went to another place that I got a quote for about $375-$400 a month, but with no internet. And I got a quote for $250 for T1 today, with a SLA guarantee of 99.99% uptime. Internet/cable from Comcast was $104 a month so it's about a $100 net difference. Comcast (referring to their Business Class) does not offer SLA, in the words of the sales person on the phone, because "the bandwidth is so high, we don't need to."

For solid internet I suppose I could do a DSL+Cable and switch to DSL if the cables goes out. That would be a <$200 solution with plenty of bandwidth, and the ability to use one line DSL for data/orders, and the other for video, etc.

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  #17 (permalink)
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MrYou View Post
Most T1 circuits these days are implemented using HDSL. Dedicated T1s (vs frame relay) might be most useful when you need guaranteed bandwidth between point-to-point locations, but thats about it.

For businesses with no large uploading or symmetrical bandwidth requirements I would think business class cable broadband, metro ethernet, or fiber optic connection would be the best options.

@MrYou, thanks for your post--could you expound a little bit on your first paragraph, regarding HDSL? I see on MegaPath's web site this statement: "Frame-to-ATM inter-networking technology allows customers to receive the dedicated bandwidth of a point-to-point connection." This seems to be what you're saying--it's not a dedicated, but a frame relay. Right? It seems the implications of this could be a large latency, after I read this article.

See my last post regarding the business class cable... question: isn't a fiber connection with guaranteed SLA terribly expensive?


Last edited by josh; September 12th, 2013 at 12:29 AM.
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  #18 (permalink)
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bobwest View Post
I thought it would be ideal, but basically, I came to hate it. I was always at work. There would never be a clear time to get my mind on another track, to stop thinking about work issues, to have simple family time. Since programming is pretty much a solitary, focused action (like trading), it always conflicted with home life because there were no clear boundaries; work was never over -- even late at night, there I was, banging out code while everyone was asleep.

Anyway, I hope my take makes some sense to you, however you decide.

Thank you so much for the post @bobwest.

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  #19 (permalink)
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josh View Post
@MrYou, thanks for your post--could you expound a little bit on your first paragraph, regarding HDSL? I see on MegaPath's web site this statement: "Frame-to-ATM inter-networking technology allows customers to receive the dedicated bandwidth of a point-to-point connection." This seems to be what you're saying--it's not a dedicated, but a frame relay. Right? It seems the implications of this could be a large latency, after I read this article.

The short answer is that while working as a network guy I began seeing T1 smart jacks labeled as HDSL and the router configurations were always configured as frame relay. Any reasonably priced T1 available today will be this HDSL circuit into a frame relay (ATM based) "cloud" as you describe above. Its just more cost effective/competitive and still enables them to provide an SLA compatible with the legacy Fractional/T1/T3 service they provide (or are migrating from) for point-to-point connections (mostly for business WANs).


Quoting 
See my last post regarding the business class cable... question: isn't a fiber connection with guaranteed SLA terribly expensive?

I'll keep it short and sweet and retail trading specific. Low latency to your broker trumps bandwidth and generally speaking when it comes to latency:

Fiber / Metro Ethernet > Cable/DSL > Wireless > Satellite
  • Fiber To The Home/Premises (FTTH/P) = Local Municipal Broadband such as Greenlight or Fibrant here in NC or EPB in Chatanooga, TN.
  • Fiber to the Home/Premises = Verizon FIOS and very few AT&T U-Verse Areas
  • Fiber to the Curb (FTTC) or Node (FTTN) via VDSL = AT&T U-Verse, some CenturyLink areas (any DSL service over 24Mbps).
  • Metro Ethernet = Time Warner or similar local provider dropping an ethernet cable and switch into your business (usually starts at 10Mbps up to 1Gbps). Basically broadband for big businesses cause its cheaper than deploying fiber.

Quick thoughts regarding latency performance:
  • Generally speaking your standard residential/business-class broadband connections and local service node in your area is not likely to be over utilized during the trading day. Its more likely for this to occur at night (Netflix).
  • If possible visit a couple locations/businesses with the providers you are considering and ping your brokers IP and compare the results. You should be able to do this with a phone app via WiFi.

An ideal setup, and keeping costs down:

Get the lowest bandwidth service available from both cable-based and fiber-based (or DSL) broadband providers into a low cost, builtin failover, CradlePoint (or similar) router. Ideally (via routing or separate VLANs) you could use one provider for trade execution and another provider for surfing/streaming from a tablet/phone, etc. You can always increase the bandwidth if needed.

If you absolutely must share a broadband connection between office mates then you'll probably want to monitor the bandwidth usage and latency (via graphs) just to make sure you're not experiencing any congestion during trading. If it becomes an issue then you'll want to setup some sort of Quality-of-Service (QoS) configuration at the router to prioritize your trading traffic. This could be done by weighting the preferred traffic or hard bandwidth restrictions of the low priority traffic/computers.


Last edited by MrYou; September 12th, 2013 at 02:56 AM.
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  #20 (permalink)
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josh View Post
By combining the contexts of home and work, as they are now, it presents a challenge that only physical separation can remedy. I do not enjoy the thought of a commute, even minor, but part of the benefit of that is to get away physically and mentally from home things, and vice versa on the way away from an office and back to home.

I think this is probably the most important aspect. Being able to come home and be "present" so you can give your family the attention they need is quite under rated. A good family life pays off with a good mindset. The commute, even though it seems to suck an hour from your life - is a very good way to wind down and slowly turn off - so you arrive home with family on your mind.

I'm working from home (learning rather than trading at the moment), and I found it very difficult to just switch off when my wife arrived home - I was still in my own head for quite a while after. Now I pick our boy up from kindergarten by pushbike, it's a great way to chew over some idea's - I've actually had some of my best idea's while peddling away, while unwinding at the same time. By the time I get him home, I'm ready to give him my full attention (apart form writing down a few notes from the ride). So I find this "commute" very beneficial. And later when my wife gets home I can greet her with a smile. Unless of course she comes home very early! And that's another aspect. It's difficult to control when / how your family "bug" you. If you are in your own office (away from home) then you have much more control. As I'm not in a position to do that, I have to work less hours as I have the house to myself during the day.

If you are making relatively few overnight trades - could you drop those altogether? Would it not be too tempting to check too often, then have a sneaky peak at futures.io (formerly BMT) etc - and suddenly you are back in the trading mindset - and not enjoying your family. Bloody hard to do, but it could be viewed as discipline training! As you can guess I'm all about getting the balance right. I remember one of those Market Wizard guys (Tom Brasso? Seykoya?) who said the biggest regret he had was spending all his time doing analysis and not with his kids watching them grow up. Sure, the journey will take longer, but it will be a happier journey - and you'll have a loving family to spend the money with along the way.

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