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Before listing my favorite trading tools and services, it is important you know that my trading is strictly a passion and hobby. I do not trade for a living anymore. Following Jack Bogel’s principles, I allocate less than 10% of my taxable portfolio to “speculating”, i.e., trading. See my reflections on Day Trading.
My retirement savings are 100% passively invested in the S&P 500 alongside a target date fund in my 401k. See: How to Retire With At Least $1 Million Dollars.
Disclosures aside, here are the services and subscriptions I use as part of my investment routine. It should be noted that several of these services are provided for me at no cost since we occasionally include research from the products in our free weekly market recaps.
StockTrader.com Trade Journal – Free – Inspired by my passion for post-trade analysis alongside a goal to bring my personal excel trade log to the web, the StockTrader.com Trade Journal was born. This is where I log all my trades, notes, chart images, and analyze performance.
TD Ameritrade, Merrill Edge… – I use multiple brokers for my stock trading. Because of StockBrokers.com, I have had funded brokerages accounts with over a dozen brokerages. Here is a speed summary of the three I use the most. TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim platform is my current go to for technical analysis and charting. I use Fidelity for fundamental research. Lastly, I use Merrill Edge most often for placing trades thanks to their awesome rewards program.
Evernote.com – Free – I love Evernote. Evernote is a journaling and note-taking app. My “Stock Research” notebook within Evernote currently has over 350 entries. Journaling has been a critical part of my growth as a trader and overall human being.
Briefing.com – Subscriptions start at $50 per month – Briefing.com is a 24/7 research service that monitors the markets, social sphere, and beyond to deliver real-time news and a slew of research reports. I started using Briefing.com in 2014 and have loved the service since.
Bespoke Investment Research – ~$400 per year up to ~$2,000 per year – Bespoke Premium produces institutional market research reports. If you want to make sense of historical data to help break down the noise of the market and bring clarity, then Bespoke will serve you well. The Bespoke blog is a good feeler for the content provided to paid subscribers.
StockCharts.com – Free and paid (basic package $14.95 p/m) – StockCharts.com is the site we use to produce all the stock charts for the weekly market recaps here on StockTrader.com. The primary reason we have the basic package is so we can have access to more than three years of chart data and save chart layouts. The free version is the same as any paid package less a handful of features. See: 5 Best Free Stock Chart Websites
Howard Marks Memos – Free – Howard Marks publishes memos throughout the year. They have become required reading for me. So much so that I read them multiple times each release. His book, The Most Important Thing Illuminated: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor, is on my top 20 investment books list.
ChartPattern.com – $125 per month – ChartPattern.com is home to Dan Zanger (read my full Dan Zanger review) who is the world record holder for the largest portfolio return in one year. His claim to fame is turning $11,000 into $42 million during the late 90s. Dan sends out a nightly newsletter several times a week with technical analysis and personal notes. He also has a chat room for subscribers. Overall if you enjoy our easy to read charts, you’ll really like Dan’s newsletter.
Trading Computer Setup
I always start this section by reminding readers, do NOT get suckered into paying several thousand dollars for a trading computer from a day trading / professional trading website you’ve never heard of!
You will be ripped off.
Instead, you can spend around $1000 or less and buy a desktop computer that supports, at the least, dual monitors. Most mid-tier gaming rigs work great for trading because they have a dedicated graphics card. Here’s a pre-filtered list on Amazon.com. Building your own rig works, too.
For well over a decade, I had used custom built computers for trading. Just recently, in December 2018, I replaced my desktop with a Dell XPS 893O on sale. Even that is overkill though; I could have easily gotten away with a Inspiron 3670 and spent around $1000. IBuyPower.com is another site to check out for prebuilt rigs (definitely gaming focused though).
The below picture is slightly outdated now. I actually downgraded from using six 24″ monitors to using three 27″ monitors. Again, since I am not day trading anymore, I don’t need so many screens.