Top 5 Best Practices for Trading on a Laptop

Top 5 Best Practices for Trading on a Laptop

I just recently got back from vacation. Do you think I took a laptop to trade while I was gone? You bet I did!

In the process of making sure I was taking everything I needed for trading, I realized I’d never written about the do’s and don’ts of trading on the road.

You may have seen or purchased one of our EZ Laptop Trading Computers. Now I’d like to talk about how to get the most from that purchase decision.

Specifically, I want to give you five best practices for trading on a laptop so your results are just as good as if you were on your desktop computer.

1. Use Multiple Monitors (Yes, you can!)

In a previous post, I showed how much your productivity increases when you trade with a multi-monitor system. I can’t think of a single experienced trader who doesn’t have this sort of set-up in their ‘home’ office.

But did you know you can get compact, lightweight travel monitors to take on the road?

We sell a 15.6-inch USB-powered travel monitor that connects directly to your laptop’s USB port. It doesn’t require a separate power cable, it can stand horizontally or vertically, it weighs just 2.3 lbs, and it fits in a laptop bag (14.8 x 9.3 x 1.4 inches).

Don’t try to trade using nothing but your laptop screen. Either your trade performance will suffer, or you’ll just plain go nuts!

2. Avoid Using Wi-Fi and Take Security Measures

Even when you’re traveling, and Wi-Fi is all around you, I still recommend you plug into the Internet whenever possible. Using a public Wi-Fi to trade is just too risky, for both security and performance reasons. It leaves you vulnerable to a possible hacker getting access to your personal information.

Look for hotels that offer wired access. On business trips, I typically rent a temporary office just so I can plug in. And don’t forget to pack a blue Ethernet cable.

Another good security measure is to make sure you use a system password on your laptop. In the worst-case scenario, if your laptop is stolen, this will slow down a thief not having immediate access to your files. If you have very sensitive or confidential documents stored, try adding file passwords for even more security.

3. Use a Wired Mouse

I don’t know about you, but I can navigate about 10x faster with a mouse. I wouldn’t consider using my laptop’s touchpad for trading.

That being said, I recommend you use a wired mouse, rather than a wireless model, with your laptop.

The two biggest reasons are unpredictable batteries and connectivity issues. Either of these things can create serious problems for your trading performance.

If you absolutely insist on using a wireless mouse, please at least consider packing a backup wired mouse. Or, at the very least, pack an extra AA battery.


4. Turn Off Your Touchpad

Have you ever had this happen? You’re entering information in a form on your laptop. Suddenly your mouse jumps to a completely different field. You have to stop, erase what you just typed into the wrong field, and find your place again.

What happened? Your left thumb and palm have inadvertently activated the touchpad. It’s maddening.

Many laptop users don’t realize you can turn off your touchpad so it’s not creating problems like this.

Depending on your laptop model, sometimes your touchpad will turn off when you plug in a mouse. But this isn’t always the case.

Turning off the touchpad works differently depending on the laptop manufacturer and model. Sometimes you have to change a setting via the Control Panel. (Check your laptop manual for specific information.)


5. Learn and Use Your Laptop’s Special Keys

When you get a new computer, do you try to figure out everything about it? Or do you just start typing? If you’re in the latter category, you may be missing out on some great productivity boosters available right there beneath your fingers.

Take some time to figure out what special keys are available on your laptop. The manufacturer put them there to help you out. So do your trading a favor and use them.

For example, on our EZ Trading Laptops, you can quickly turn off the display on all screens with fn-F7. This could be handy if you need to hide sensitive information quickly. And fn-F2 puts your laptop into Airplane mode, which is handy for travelers.

Again on an EZ Trading Laptop, if you’re already a big user of shortcut keys (like ctrl-C to Copy), you might want to try the special Windows® key that’s two keys to the right of the space bar. (It looks like a square with 3 lines.) Pressing this key simulates a right-click on a mouse.

Try out and practice with your laptop’s special keys when you aren’t in a rush, so you’ll be ready to use them when you’re on the road and in a pinch.

There are more trading computer tips like this in our buyer’s guide. Check out our “How To Buy a Trading Computer” e-book.

We hope today’s Quick Tip helped you. If you found this helpful, you’ll want to check out the other computer productivity tips on this page. You can always call us if you have questions: 800-387-5250.