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Mac vs Windows: 6 Reasons Why Macs Are Great For Trading

If you’re thinking about getting into stock trading, day trading or crypto trading on your Mac, then you may wonder whether Macs or MacBooks are good for trading stocks or day trading.

The good news is the answer is a definite “Yes” although without doubt, there’s still less trading software on a Mac vs Windows PC computers.

However, in our opinion the best trading software around TradingView (Free) works on a Mac and trading tools like Motivewave and IQ Option have Mac desktop apps which allows you to both do technical analysis and trade in real time.

The reason why there’s still more stock trading tools and platforms available on Windows is obvious. Macs still only represent a little over 10% of the computer market compared to Windows which still dominates.

It definitely has nothing to do with performance though. Macs and MacBooks can easily handle the most important requirements of traders such as:

  • The ability to have multiple browser tabs or trading apps open
  • A high quality display or monitor – all new Macs have incredibly high definition Retina displays with True Tone technology which adapts to your ambient lighting.
  • An accurate trackpad or mouse
  • Lightweight design for trading on the move
  • Long battery life so that you don’t miss a trade due to a sudden flat battery

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With this in mind, here are six reasons Macs and MacBooks are ideal for trading compared to Windows PCs.

1. Mac Trading Software & Platforms

There’s an increasing number of trading software for Mac and Mac compatible trading platforms available nowadays although still nowhere near as many as on Windows.

The same goes for day trading software for Macs and forex trading platforms for Mac users.

More importantly, most trading apps and software are switching to the Cloud meaning Mac users can use them in any browser such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

For example, TradingView is one of the best stock charting and analysis tools out there and yet there’s no Windows or Mac desktop client. It’s hosted entirely in the Cloud so it really makes no difference if you’re using Windows or macOS.

It now even allows you to trade from your Mac by connecting it to popular brokers so even if a broker doesn’t have a Mac desktop client, you can use it via TradingView too.

You can read more about it in our full review of TradingView.

Other popular technical scanners which work in the Cloud such as TrendSpider and Trade Ideas are both online and can be used on a Mac in any browser.

tradingview - tradingpanel
TradingView allows you to trade with major brokers from your Mac desktop.

2. Macs Can Run Windows

You can easily run Windows on a Mac and switch between macOS and Windows at the same time.

Virtual environments such as the incredibly easy to use Parallels allow you to install Windows 10 on your Mac for free and switch between macOS and Windows instantly. If you are looking for a free virtual machine, VMware Fusion is also a great option.

This gives you the best of both worlds so that you can continue to enjoy using Windows trading software you simply don’t want to leave behind when you switch to Mac.

It means for example that can run MT4 on a Mac as MetaTrader isn’t available for macOS.

It’s not so simple on the other hand to run macOS on a Windows PCs. This is known as making a “hackintosh” and there’s no official software than can help you do it.

are macs good for trading - windows on mac

3. Reliability

Anyone that’s used both Macs and Windows PCs will tell you that Macs are more reliable than Windows PCs in the long run.

The macOS infrastructure is far more stable than Windows, it doesn’t slow down as much over time and there are far less security and stability issues compared to Windows.

Traders using Windows spend more time dealing with bugs, performance issues, malware and virus threats that could be spent analyzing the market and making trades.

4. Cost Effectiveness

The cost of a Mac may be roughly twice that of a PC laptop but it’s a drop in the ocean if you’re making serious money trading.

You’re also getting a machine with a much higher build quality in a Mac which will last longer than a PC laptop.

You can expect the average MacBook to last at least 10 years by which time you would probably have gone through 2 or 3 Windows PCs or laptops.

You’ll probably find stories of people that are still using Macs even longer than this although as the hardware becomes more obsolete, they usually can’t run the latest versions of macOS which poses software compatibility issues.

In the long run, a Mac is a better long term investment even if the initial outlay is bigger.

5. Speed

Macs are generally quicker to boot than Windows PCs which inevitably slow down over time as they get bloated with Windows updates, security software and other programs.

Time is of the essence in trading and being first to the trade can make the difference between a profitable trade and nothing.

If you want to speed-up your Mac, Macs are also now far more scalable thanks to the advent of eGPUs for Mac.

These external processing units can vastly enhance the graphic processing capabilities of your Mac if you want to increase the amount of trading apps or monitors that you are using at one time.

6. Integration with iOS

Increasingly, more and more trading is being done via mobile devices. There’s no competition between Windows and Macs when it comes to mobile integration between macOS and iOS.

The introduction of Continuity in macOS makes it easy to pick up where you left off on your iPhone so for example, you can monitor stocks on your iPhone or iPad using Apple Stocks and then carry on with Apple Stocks on your Mac later.

With Sidecar in macOS Catalina, you can now also turn an iPad into a second trading monitor if you wish.

The less time as a trader you spend trying to get your devices to communicate, the more time you can spend on trading.

stocks app on mac

What’s The Best Mac Day Trading Setup?

The best day trading setup with a Mac really depends on whether you plan to trade from the same place everyday or be more mobile and trade from anywhere.

If you’re going to be in an office or at home, then undoubtedly an iMac is the way to go due to both the huge 27 inch 5K screen and processing power.

You can see one trader’s impressive apple day trading setup below although you really don’t need anything this elaborate to get trading on a Mac.

What’s The Best Mac For Trading?

Again, it depends on whether you want to be able to trade anywhere or just in a home/office.

Any modern Mac will more than satisfy the demands of trading and if you’re going to be in at home or in an office most of the time then an iMac is the way to go.

If you’re going to be trading from different locations then the MacBook Air would be perfect for those that like to be flexible where they trade.

The MacBook Air is incredibly light and portable at just 2.75 lbs and yet the spec more than enough for trading with an impressive 12 hours of battery life.

  • CPU: 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 13.3-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology
  • Weight: 2.75 Pounds
  • Battery Life: ~ 12 Hours

best mac for trading - macbook air

However, if you wanted to be mobile but want more power to run Windows on your Mac too, then you’re better off going with the MacBook Pro.

It’s heavier but is better equipped to run virtualization software or run Windows using Boot Camp on your Mac.

It’s important to remember that no Mac can make you a better trader. Like any job, trading requires a disciplined, methodical approach and whether you use macOS or Windows, ultimately success will come down to your trading skills rather than the trading setup you’ve got.

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