There are three steps to becoming a computerized trader First you must choose software, then a computer, and finally data for analysis. Different programs require different computers, which is why it pays to choose software first. Software tells a computer how to process data and how to display the results. Each program has a unique list of features and its own look and feel.
Draw a list of tasks you want your computer to perform for you and show it to computerized traders. Contact a traders' group such as Club 3000 to see what its members like. Many traders call Financial Trading Seminars, Inc. for our opinion on the best packages. Magazines for traders, such as Futures and Technical Analysis of Stocks and Commodities carry many ads for technical analysis software. Read those ads and software reviews, and send away for demo diskettes. Once you narrow down your choices to two or three programs, call the companies whose software you like and ask for names of users in your area. Insist on names of real users-your best source of practical and unbiased advice. Many traders feel isolated and enjoy contact with other traders. They like to show their equipment and tell you about the quality of technical support. Most programs for technical analysis fall into one of three groups: toolboxes, black boxes, and gray boxes. Toolboxes are for serious traders, black boxes are for people who believe in Santa Claus, and gray boxes are in between. When considering a new package, ask yourself which group it belongs to.