Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Trading Screens: Keeping Them Simple, But Comprehensive

It's interesting; when I see traders who are disorganized in their decision processes, many times I notice that their screens are poorly organized as well. This is one area where more--more screens, more cluttered on a screen--is not necessarily better.

If you click on the screenshot above, you'll see one of the screens I use for monitoring the market in real time (e-Signal platform). By clicking on any of the symbols in the lower half of the screen, I can see the chart in the upper half. The symbols at bottom left show me sector and index changes from the market open; the symbols at bottom right show changes from the prior day's close and include several asset classes related to stocks (10-year rates, gold, oil, euro/dollar).

I find that keeping trading screens simple, with only the information I truly need, is helpful for decision making. When you work with a screen long enough, you know exactly where to look for relevant information--very helpful when making and executing rapid decisions.