Eli5: why do retail stock traders have several screens and is it necessary to have more than 1 to trade successfully?

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I see so many retail stock traders having 3-4 different screens showing different graphs and charts Is it necessary? It looks so fancy and complicated. Won’t a trader using only 1 screen be successful?

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8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

of course you could in theory work with just one screen,

but it is very useful to have several infos available to you at just a glance. comparisons, incoming/outgoing orders, etc.

in my experience once you have worked with two monitors you dont ever want to go back working with just one.

sometimes 2 + a shared “infowall” might be the way to go, or maybe sometimes having three or more screens might be the best way to display all the data they need.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because professional traders did it [first](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomberg_Terminal#/media/File:2012_Bloomberg_Terminal_by_jm3_-_Creative_Commons_licensed.jpg).

Professional traders use multiple screens because their profit mostly comes from having information faster than others, so having many screens means more information can be gathered and processed faster than with only a single screen. It also makes it easier to compare prices from different sources to quickly spot little mismatches in prices that can be exploited for small profits.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I beleive the origins of this perception stem from Bloomberg terminals. Which used to be independent machine running Unix. So they were distinct from the traders own pc/Mac instance.

Now they use multiples because they can. It’s more convenient then tabbing between windows. Though you could. Most day trading is done with algorithm trading now, making trades faster then a human could.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Mostly more real estate to monitor but also different systems often. I used to setup some of these desks for traders, and the most extreme cases would be 10 monitors. Mind you those 10 monitors wouldn’t be connected 1 one pc, and often times it would be up to 4 different PC’s. Usually it was 2 Windows PC’s with 3 Monitors each, then 2 SUN systems set up with 2 monitors each. They could also toggle inputs to the back up windows PC most had their desk as well.
Additionally they often didnt trust the equipment to be accessible to the users, security, user error, etc. and most would be a small streaming box with only monitor, keyboard, and mouse connections and then the network port would coincide with a PC in a rack in the Network closet. If the PC dies or acts up, they just swap the network connection to a different machine to get them back up asap and then they swap around in the closet.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I use to run 3 large 4k monitors. Over the years, it’s dwindled down to a single qhd laptop. Sometimes I’ll attach a small second monitor. I realized all those screens is just info overload. But maybe some people have strategies where that is useful.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You obviously need at least two monitors to be taken seriously as a trader. I actually have a nice graph that will show you the perfect amounts of monitor to do trading. Do not trust other’s people monitor graphs.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Sure, but this is a bit like asking “Why do people have 25-inch monitors? Couldn’t you be productive with just a 15-inch one?” You don’t *need* the extra space, but it is useful to be able to see and manipulate more information in a given amount of time than you’d be able to on a smaller screen — or on just one screen.

With traders, for whom time is of the essence, any advantage they can gain in terms of the speed of their decision-making is (in theory) going to help them make more money.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Yea everyone in our company has at least 3 now, even just people in AR/AP.

Once they use more than one they won’t want to go back to just 1.

Having a lot of things open and on those screens makes people feel like they are getting more done. It’s kind of like managing a flock of sheep, they can see all their sheep working so they feel like they are doing something…

Says the guy staring a 49″ 4K screen with like 20 things open hooked to his laptop..