If you have a TDAmeritrade account you have access to StrategyDesk, a free trading platform. The program has some flaws1, but it also has many many benefits and if used well it can improve your trading. The program is easy to transition to because you can continue to use the browser, Command Center or whatever TDAmeritrade tool you normally use to trade with and run StrategyDesk at the same time. So continue to trade and place orders like normal and take your time learning to get around StrategyDesk.
It's pretty simple to install StrategyDesk so let's get started. Log into TDAmeritrade using your browser, access the Trading Tool menu and select Trading Platforms. As depicted in the image below, there is an option to download StrategyDesk. When the download is complete, launch the installer, you will probably want to accept the installation defaults.
L1 Tutorial Overview
Once StrategyDesk is installed you will want to explore the basic features. I am not going to walk you through that, I suggest that you work your way down the icons on the left hand side of the page to become familiar with the basic tools that are available. This tutorial will focus on the"L1" windows. L1 windows are for Watch Lists, but these watch lists are much more dynamic than normal. They can be sorted in real time according to market activity and they can help you spot entry and exit opportunities. Many of you have seen me issue "Vol Pop" alerts in the trading room, I will show you exactly how I find those right here in the L1 Tutorial.
In addition to monitoring my watch list for technical buy symbols, I also monitor it for news. Take a few minutes to learn how to do that with the News Tutorial.
Add Charting to the Mix
Here is a quick introduction that shows you how to add charts to the mix.
Finding the HOD and LOD
Defenestration showed me how he has been using SD's PctInDailyRange column to instantly find stocks working at or toward their HOD or LOD2.
In certain situations I like to use conditional orders, this is an example from the other day.
Ever want to be in 20 places at once? Alerts are the ticket.
Shared resources from our trading room can be found here
1 The development and product support teams understand where they can make improvements and they have been improving the product regularly. The techniques I will be describing are the things I've discovered that help me to work around certain issues and get optimal value from the product.
2 HOD = High of Day, LOD = Low of Day