If you’ve ever seen a film like Wolf of Wall Street, you may have a particular, glamorized view of what a trader’s life looks like. It might seem like traders are always living high-octane lives, working hard and playing hard in tall Manhattan skyscrapers. In reality, however, the desk of a forex trader is much more down to earth.
This article will look at exactly what you’re likely to find on a forex trader’s desk – and what they use these items for when it comes to placing trades.
Their Internet connection
The rise of the Internet has, in many ways, democratized access to forex trading, meaning that there is a substantial number of such traders who work from home. Perhaps the most valuable thing a trader can have these days in a home office, then, is a speedy and reliable Internet connection.
It’s possible to conduct all of your foreign exchange trading career online through the use of online brokers. This term has changed its meaning somewhat in recent years and no longer merely refers to designated individuals who provide trading opportunities. It now also refers to platforms that permit you to make all of your trading decisions autonomously.
The Internet is full of brokers, and there are lots from which to choose. That has its upsides, as it means there’s competition in terms of fees – and there’s pressure exerted on the broker to ensure that their sites are user-friendly, too. But it also means there are some fraudsters out there, and traders spend a chunk of time doing desk research into which brokers to use. You can check eToro reviews online as well as reviews for many other brokers – and it makes sense to do it early to reduce risks.
But Internet connections also offer traders other benefits. There are plenty of news sources that you can use. Economic calendars on websites like FXStreet are popular, as they permit traders to keep a close eye on the macroeconomic indicators that can alter the markets, such as economic data releases or central bank interest rate decisions.
In sum, the Internet can provide all the information a trader needs to make effective and potentially lucrative forex investment decisions.
One way in which the desk of the average forex trader might closely represent the desk of a Wall Street giant, however, is in terms of the sheer number of screens it contains. The reason why traders often have so many screens is because they need to monitor lots of different sources of information at once. Say, for example, a trader trades the same currency in three different pairs: the precise movements of those currencies, and the support and resistance levels, which are often used for making informed speculative choices, need to be monitored in detail.
Luckily, there are plenty of platforms available to fill the screens and provide this information. One popular option is MetaTrader, a software package that comes with lots of technical analysis and trading signal options. It tends to be customizable and can be adapted to a trader’s own needs so that the screens are as useful as possible. It’s also free of charge – so while the capital costs of purchasing monitors and computers might be high, the ongoing software options are not.
But there are still some old-school devices likely to be found on a forex trader’s desk – and one of these is a calculator. After all, foreign exchange trading requires at least some basic numeracy. While trading tools and price chart analysis systems can do some of the legwork, it’s still essential that a trader has the skills to assess the context of a price change accurately. For that reason, it’s wise to have a calculator to hand just in case there’s a need to make some fast calculations as prices rise and fall.
When it comes to traders’ desks, no two spaces are the same – and one of the advantages of forex trading from home is that the space can be fully customized to suit that individual trader’s needs and requirements. But there are also some common items, tools, and platforms that many traders are likely to have.
From a wide array of screens to a robust Internet connection, there are lots of typical items that forex traders simply must have around.