This might sound too simple to need to explain. Never the less, it is often confused by an overwhelming amount of traders what exactly is the definition of a trading computer. It can be confusing because you can trade on any computer, but a trading computer is one that is built specifically for the use of trading stocks.
Trading on your desktop you have had for the last 10 years is possible. It can be done. Should it be done? It’s definitely not recommended. The reasons why this is a bad idea are really fundamental and result in a huge risk. Trading is a very specific activity. It requires the ability to process data in real time. Your trading platform requires quite a bit of processing power. If you didn’t invest in a great computer 10 years ago chances are that your old computer doesn’t have the ability to do any of these things we have just talked about. It won’t have enough RAM on board to run your trading platform and multiple screens. The other huge issue is that your computer’s processor is going to be very outdated and act like a crutch for you in your trading. Even in the past 5 years processors have changed in leaps and bounds. Intel just announced that their most recent processor is about 191% faster than the one it released 5 years ago. Now think about your 10 year old processor and the speeds that it is capable of. This is not good enough for trading. All of this has the real possibility to end in a disaster. This can and will happen. You are running a high risk on this outdated computer of lost executions. You can spend all day finding the exact right moment to push the sell button, but if your computer can’t execute that trade fast enough that effort was for nothing. This is a huge amount of money and opportunity to be risking over not having the right hardware to trade on.