Why Do Forex Traders Use Multiple Screens?

For forex traders, using multiple screens is not just a matter of preference but is strategic as it allows the handling of significant levels of information simultaneously. From different currency pairs, to real-time news and technical indicators, more than one screen allows you to stay ahead in the game.

The multi-screen setup has become synonymous with professional forex trading, and in this short article, here at Axcess FX, we will look broadly at why forex traders use multiple screens.

The Evolution of Trading Set-ups From Single to Multi-Screen

The journey from a single screen to a multi-screen set-up actually reflects the evolution of forex trading.

Modern currency trading began in the 1970s when the United States stopped redeeming US dollars for gold. In the 1970s and 1980s, market data was quite limited with forex traders focusing on a few key indicators and currency markets. The pace was also comparatively slow where trading decisions were based on slower-moving data and less on real-time analysis.

During this era, a single screen for forex trading was considered sufficient.

1980s trading computer and screen

The Transition To Multiple Screens Set-ups.

With the emergence of the internet in the nineties and technological advancements, forex trading changed substantially.

  • It led to the inclusion of live forex market prices and real-time order executions.
  • Market makers became more structured and new currency markets were emerging, all resulting in increased liquidity.
  • The amount of available data also exploded and forex traders could now track multiple markets, analyze various data streams, and execute trades based on complex strategies.

This shift in market dynamics would require a trader setup with greater screen real-estate to display more information simultaneously. It lead to the adoption of multiple screens to ensure no critical piece of information was missed.

a forex trader sits in front of multiple computer screens

What Are The Core Benefits Of Multi-Screens For Forex Traders

The use of multiple computer screens for trading offers distinct advantages that can significantly enhance a currency traders ability to make informed decisions.

Monitoring different forex markets, time frames and instruments

With a multi-screen trading station, forex traders can monitor simultaneously:

  • Major currency pairs and crosses across different markets
  • Different charting time frames from minutes, to hourly and daily
  • Different FX instruments including spot, forwards, futures and options

Such a comprehensive oversight is vital for spotting trends, understanding market movements, and identifying any potential trading opportunities.

Efficiency in executing trades and analyzing data

Multiple screens allow traders to set up dedicated screen space for different tasks.

For example, one screen for trade execution, one for news feeds, and additional screens for analyzing complex charts and technical indicators. The set-up minimizes the need to switch between tabs and applications, like in a single screen set up. By leveraging multiple screens, forex traders can create a more dynamic and responsive trading environment.

The multi-screen setup not only enhances the ability to analyze and interpret market data but also plays a crucial role in executing trades and developing trading strategies efficiently.

an ergonomic and clutter free trading station with multiple screens

The Natural Synergy Between Technical Analysis And Multi-Screen Set Ups

In forex trading, an important synergy exists between technical analysis and a multi-screen set-up which is crucial to trading profitably.

Firstly, it results in better quality technical analysis; for example, it is easy to compare historical data on one screen versus real-time data on another screen for a specific trading strategy.

Secondly, it facilitates having multiple panes always open with technical indicators and charts. Traders might have one screen dedicated to candlestick charts, another to simple moving averages, and a third for monitoring momentum indicators like the Relative Strength Index (RSI).

charting software with multiple panes open

Setting Up a Trading Station For Ergonomics and Practicality

When trading forex, the physical setup of your trading station plays a role that is underestimated. Some traders consider ergonomics and practicality in a multi-screen setup almost as important as the trading itself.

Ergonomics relates to your efficiency in a working environment. By having your workstation correctly configured minimizes the risk of strain and injury during long trading sessions. An ergonomic setup also improves focus and productivity, which are critical in fast-moving trading environments like the currency markets.

Six useful tips for setting up an efficient and comfortable trading station

There are six key ways that you can ensure your work station is both ergonomically sound and practical which we will run through now:

#TipThe Benefit
1Always arrange your monitors so that the top of the screen is at or slightly below eye level.It will help reduce neck strain and promote better posture over your trading day.
2Try and position the computer screens to minimize any glare, ideally using monitors with adjustable stands for flexibility.It helps you minimize eye discomfort and enhances screen visibility.
3Ensure that your chair and desk height support a comfortable posture, which meaIt ns having your feet flat on the ground.You will benefit from improved posture and reduced back and leg discomfort.
4Buy the best quality chair you can afford due to the long hours you will likely spend in it. An ergonomic chair like the Herman Miller Aeron is a great option.An ergonomic chair enhances comfort, reduces fatigue, and improves productivity.
5Always use a keyboard and a mouse so that it allow a natural hand position.It prevents wrist strain and improves ergonomic comfort.
6Try and maintain a clutter-free and organized workspace.It boosts focus, efficiency, and creates a calming environment.

What Is The Psychological Impact of Multiple Screens on Trading Decisions

When considering the use of a multi-screen set up, there is one overlooked impact on trading and that is the psychological aspect of having more than one screen.

Having multiple computer screens can lead to a sense of control and empowerment, which boosts trader confidence in decision-making. However, they can also contribute to information overload, potentially leading to decision fatigue or paralysis by analysis.

Balancing Information Overload with Effective Decision-Making

It is crucial when using multiple monitors to maximize the positive effects of psychology whilst reducing the negative ones. Try and curate the information displayed on each screen and focus only on what is necessary for decision-making. It is good practice to develop a routine to periodically step back and assess the big picture, avoiding getting lost in the smaller details.

Our Final Thoughts

Our conclusion is the integration of a multi-screen set up into your forex trading system offers significant benefits but also requires careful consideration. We think the key is to find a balance that maximizes efficiency without overwhelming the senses; in sum ensuring both a sustainable and productive trading approach.

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Written by Chris Gillie


Chris Gillie is the founder of Axcess FX, a forex software review and research website. He is a former investment banker who worked in FX Sales on the UBS London trading floor. Chris has been using forex trading software as part of his trading set-up since the late 2000s and the embryonic days of MetaTrader and the MQL coding language.

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