Setting up a multi-monitor trading screen will give you the most functionality and efficiency for your trading and is almost a necessity when trading more than one market. I use a three monitor setup and trade two markets, the E-mini S&P and Euro Futures.
Below you will find pictures of my three trading screens and a description of the 16 tools that I utilize to trade. In reality I have 17, market internals, but am saving that discussion for a separate post.
I’ve been using this screen setup for over a year and before that it was only varied slightly (I used to use a 5-min chart instead of a 15-min chart and didn’t incorporate the Euro as much into my trading screen).
I use thinkorswim® for my charts (now powered by TDAmeritrade), but tick charts are available on most platforms. Click here to open an account.
A Walk Around My Trading Screen
You’ll notice my charts don’t have any of the standard “indicators” on them. I like to keep things as simple as possible and just look at price and volume. In all reality I could trade with a 15-min chart of the ES and my order entry platform, excluding all of the other tools. With so many indicators and tools out there it is my advice to keep things as simple as possible. This goes for all things, not just trading. Less is more.
1. Core Sector List
2. 10-Year Treasury Notes
3. BANK Index
4. Indices Quotes
5. Futures Quotes
6. SPDR Sector ETFs
7. 15-min ES Candlestick Chart with Volume
8. Infinity Futures DOM (depth of market) for ES
9. NYSE Tick Chart
10. 512 tick chart of ES
11. Time and Sales for ES (Excluding contracts less than 10)
12. Infinity Futures DOM for 6E
13. 15-min 6E Chart
14. Daily 6E Chart
15. 512 tick chart of 6E
16. Time and Sales for 6E (Excluding contracts less than 2)
Even though I use a three monitor trading screen setup, I know other successful traders who use a single 16″ laptop screen and trade extremely profitable.
The most important thing to take away would be the simplicity of each chart on my trading screen. Price and volume are king and remember “Keep it Simple!”
If you have other questions please leave them below!
Thanks, very useful! I watched one of your videos where you cover this, great to have it in a written post with reference screenshots.
One question: Don’t you use daily, weekly (higher time frames)… charts to analyze the ES?
On Sunday when I go through my analysis I begin with the weekly chart and work my way down to the smaller timer frames. Then during the week I just reference the daily. I do have a couple other tabs that I can flip between for other data, but these 16 make up my main setup for intraday trading.
Great to know that, thanks again!
I’ve set up my ToS charts following your 16 tools, keeping it simple, and I must say I had a pretty good day. Not only in the “earnings” sense but my analysis what clear and straight forward.
This is an awesome blog, thanks for sharing all this info. If you don’t mind I’d like to ask you couple things…
I see you use Thinkorswim for charting and Infinity as your market entry platform. I’m Infinity user too, because their good rates. Do you get similar rates from TOS? Or maybe are you using TOS for other products than ES? Then it’s worth to have both accounts.
The other thing I’d like to ask you is if are you using Market Profile too, if yes, do you have MP for TOS or are you using other soft like IRT or Market Delta?
I want to thank you in advance, and let you know that if any question is so much personal info I can understand if you prefer don’t to answer.
Finally please excuse my poor English cause it’s not my mother language.
Thanks for the kind remarks Sal. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have, it’s my intention to be as open as possible sharing as much insight as I can, cause frankly, I learned the most from having incredibly in-depth conversations with other tenured traders.
I have been so pleased with Infinity, my guy Anthony is great and I’ve had to speed dial him a couple times when I had a power outage and he responded within seconds. When I first switched to Futures I used the thinkorswim platform, but thinkorswim doesn’t rest their orders on the exchange so fills are awful and commissions were super high. I love the thinkorswim platform for charts, trading stocks, and options you’ll find no one better, but you can’t rely on them for futures, unless perhaps you’re trading very small size with very large timeframes.
For my market profile I actually get the numbers form the ShadowTrader daily newsletter, it’s free on thinkorswim in the MyTrade tab, but you can probably get it directly from the Shadowtrader website as well. I used to chart MP myself in excel, but now I simply pull the numbers from the newsletter and put a small 30-min ES chart in the corner of my screen and mark value high, value low, and the point of control.
Thanks for reading, btw where are you from?
Thanks for your answers. I’m from Spain, living in Spain too. I know Anthony (Giacomin), he’s my account representative, good guy, I only have good words to him.
I’m also in couple USA trading rooms, but my language is a hard handicap. Trying to improve my English as well as my trading.
BTW, sorry for the off topic, I’ll be glad if you share some of your thoughts about taking losses, cause I’m one of this guys that ruin a good week or month in just couple of bad days, basically some times I got frozen with a trade against me (today was one, hehe).
Thanks again, best regards.
Wow, that’s ironic, Anthony is a great guy. You’re definitely not alone with your comment of a few down days eating away at a months worth of profits. I’ll organize some of the things that helped me keep my losing days small and in check and put them together in a post in the coming week. In sum, I never fault a stop or my strategy for a loss. If I placed a trade and manage it according to my rules then it’s a good trade regardless of the outcome. I limit myself to 2 full stop outs in a row before I stop trading for the day, and rarely do I see this happen, but every once and a while it does. That’s just the markets way of telling me that it’s usually an abnormal day. I’ll get to work on a full article on losses, thanks for the idea!
im new to all to all this and found you, or rather you found me on twitter..by me following Peter. anyways, i have read some of your blogs and your setups..i have been trading futures for only few months..so you can only imagine all the mistakes i am making! well, just wanted to introduce myself to you, and what kinda of really good advice would you give a futures trader that really brand new into this?
Hi Gary, great to meet you. Paper trading is a great way to hash out all of your ideas and test strategies you may have. Any of my books on my reading list provide great insight to the markets. You may want to begin with Mastering the Trade by John Carter followed by Mark Douglas’ Trading in the Zone. Those two books provide just about everything you need to know about getting started and ways to limit your losses to preserve your capital.
I also just did a post on what I wish I knew before I started trading. A lot of traders chimed in with their comments and some really good points. There’s a lot of crap out there mixed in with good information so take everything you read with a grain of salt.
I’m happy to help in anyway I can so feel free to comment on the blog or message me if you have more questions.
thanks tim, i am about to purchase the candlestick book by steve nison..is that a book you recommend? when trading, and of course using the internals on TOS i find myself reading the candlesticks A freaking Lot!..and using the Piv. points along with support/res. lines..i mainly trade the e-mini, and wonder if you use the candlesticks a lot? and or what do you like to use per say is like a bible when trading the e-mini? let me know if im getting too personal..just wondering..thanks
Yes, having a strong foundation of candlestick charting can play a huge role for some strategies over others. There’s a trader by the name of Al Brooks who trades off a 5-min candlestick chart and does very well. I like his methods. Here is a 10 part audio series by Peter Reznicek you may find interesting, just ignore the radio plugs, each part is about 20-mins long, but it’s one of the best frameworks for creating a solid trading foundation. I listened to it over and over when I was first starting.
For me: Monitor 1: Candlestick 144 tick YM 24 hour chart; 10,000 share bar chart, Open Interest, Fib. Monitor 2: Order Matrix, Time and Sales; Monitor 3: Internet browser. That is it. Plain and simple.
I like the simplicity. Even though I have all that going on with my trading screens, I still continue to strip it down to keep my analysis as simple as possible.
I am currently trying to use the same set up you have with your work space.I know you have a live account with Infinty Futures,but my question is do you have to fund an additional account with Think or swim to use the charts like you do?
Good question Brian. You can open solely a paper trading account with thinkorswim, but I beleive the charts and quotes are delayed. I do have funded thinkorswim accounts as I trade options as well as keep my retirement portfolio with them so I receive live quotes. I don’t beleive there are any minimum funding requirement to open an IRA with thinkorswim so if you’d like to use thinkorswim charts you could open a ROTH IRA and fund it was a few hundred dollars and you should be able to receive live quotes.
If you email email@example.com they will be able to give you a solid answer, they are usually very quick with response time.
Your 6E chart above shows 512 Tick chart but over at this post https://eminimind.com/favorite-trading-indicator/ you said on June 2 that you use 233 on the 6E. Which is correct? Thanks George
Hi George, I recommend a 512t for the Euro to help filter out the noise of the smaller timer frames, especially when the market is moving quickly, but I do zoom to a 233t chart when things slow down, keeping in mind that these are smaller moves, always trading with the larger 15-min trend.
Thanks for sharing.
I only trade ES.
I’ve settled on a two monitor setup. Left monitor is all market internals and includes 5m candle charts of:
/ZB – US Treasury
/ES 5m (not an internal but another timeframe)
On the other screen is a large 15m chart of the /ES and the ToS trading ladder.
I’m finding if you know how to read those 5 internals and pick decent entries, you can consistently make money.
I’m finding $UVOL-$DVOL to be especially important and if you know how to play it right, it offers up just about a freebie each day.
Absolutely Rob, love the screen setup. A really great trader I know who uses 5-min bars on the ES is Al Brooks.Here are some of his articles from Futures Magazine you may find useful http://goo.gl/9YiXm
Hi Tim, When I try to set up new charts on my desktop in Thinkorswim, I keep geeting the same default settings that I had for my $TICK chart and I can’t figure out how to install new charts without the tick and breath showing. I was following your tutorial on youtube using the flexible grid and was doing fine until I loaded the /6E on to the chart andit doesn’t look anything like yours. Any suggestions?
Hi Sanford, you should be able to use the RESET button on the upper right. You can always save a style to the parameters you want then reload that style on any other chart. If you still have questions I recommend shooting an email to firstname.lastname@example.org They’re always super prompt with responding.
Where do I find more insights or details of each setup of yours, Tim?
Hi Roger, start by checking out the Videos page. I also outline all my setups in detail in my Trading Rules eBook.