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“Fix your platform!”
“I’ll transfer to another broker if you don’t fix the speed of your website!”
“Mas mabagal pa ang platform ninyo sa slow-mo ng Slamdunk na anime na tumira ng Monday pero Friday pa pumasok sa ring ang bola!”
These are some of the comments I read on Facebook Groups whenever someone voices his dismay on the speed of his broker’s platform.
But, wait, is the broker’s platform always the culprit every time we experience slowness in our computer?
Don’t be quick to blame.
I’d like to share with you six practical tips to have an optimal trading experience regardless of whose online stockbroker’s platform you’re using.
1. Use a laptop or a desktop computer.
A phone or a tablet has limited hardware resources. The more features and the more real-time data your online stock trading platform shows, the more memory needs to be allocated for the processes involved.
Besides, it’s more convenient to monitor stocks and watch price movements by the second when you’re using a laptop or a desktop computer.
2. Restart your laptop or computer before the start of trading.
Even if you’re using a top-of-the-line Windows-powered laptop, you may still experience a slow system performance if you’ve not shut down your machine for a relatively long period.
There are temporary data that your computer’s Random Access Memory (RAM) needs to hold while your computer is on. Restarting your machine flushes the RAM. To put it simply, restarting your computer gives your machine a breather.
3. Restart (not reset) your router at least 30 minutes before the start of trading.
Routers have memories. I’m sure you already experienced getting disconnected from your internet as soon as you woke up in the morning. Let me guess what you did to fix it? You just restarted the Wi-Fi router!
There are many things that can be fixed in our technical world by restarting the machine.
Since when did freaking out become a first-aid solution?
4. Do not open too many applications while trading.
If Super Mario and Contra are the only applications that can run relatively fast in your machine, please do not open many applications simultaneously.
Humor aside, if your machine does not have much resources to support multithreading, it will drag down the loading speed of data on your broker’s platform, especially when you’re looking at the Time and Sales, Full Depth, Order Book, or any type of real-time data.
5. Upgrade your device if need be.
This is in connection to my fourth advice. If non-memory intensive applications are the only ones that run faster on your device, it’s a sign that you need to upgrade your machine.
An Intel i3 processor with an 8GB RAM is fair enough for me. If you’re like me who multitasks with applications that are memory-intensive, get a processor with a processing speed that’s higher than 3 GHz and a 16GB RAM.
Also, know that if your computer is limited to 2.4GHz band only and you have family members whose computers connect to the internet at a speed higher than 2.4Ghz, they might experience a faster Wi-Fi than you.
6. Upgrade your internet bandwidth.
I started with a 5Mbps internet connection. Then, I upgraded to 25Mbps. I am now using a 75Mbps internet connection. I’m planning to upgrade this to 100Mbps before the end of this year.
Even if you have high hardware specifications, the ticker may still move slowly and the Time and Sales Data may still take 7 seconds or more to load completely (especially in the case of high-fluctuating stocks) if your internet connection is relatively slow, especially when there are family members who are active internet users, too.
Don’t always blame your online stockbrokerage’s platform.
Diagnose the situation. Is it your hardware? Is it your internet?
Or, maybe it’s just you? Kidding aside, there are traders who are raising to be the top serial complainers in the Philippine stock market. They complain about the colors, font size, and images on their broker’s platform. Then, they also complain about their nose, their eyebrow, their neighbor, their politicians, and the aliens from the distant yet undiscovered planets. They feed on complaining about the living and non-living things for as long as it has protons, electrons, and neutrons in it. 🙂
There are many troubleshooting steps that can be done to identify whether you need to do a hardware or internet upgrade, such as rebooting in Safe Mode with Networking (for Windows-based machines), but I don’t want to go to that direction because it may become an overwhelming stuff to read and understand for non-technical people already.
These 6 tips I have given you are more than enough to have a pleasurable experience trading the stock market.
I’ve never had a major speed-related problem with any of the brokers I’ve used for the past 19 years of trading.
If you’re experiencing a major speed-related problem on your broker’s platform, chances are, it’s just your hardware, internet, or you-know-who.
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