Not so very long ago, anyone interested in investment and share dealing would have had little choice but to place his or her faith in a phone-based or bricks-and-mortar stock broker service.
Nowadays, those services that were ubiquitous just a couple of decades ago, have been dwarfed and marginalised by the rise of online technologies that have revolutionised the business of investing and share dealing.
These new technologies enable traders to make decisions and then feed them directly into the online platform as they watch their investments onscreen – and they’re far less expensive to use than the old brokerage practises, because most brokers have automated the process at their end, slashing costs in the process.
Trading when on the go
The new generation online trading system is extremely versatile. It could be called “trading on the hoof”, because traders no longer have to be seated at a desk peering at a PC to buy shares; they can follow their investments and share deals while sitting in the back of a cab, or while downing an Americano at a coffee bar or even while soaking in the hot-tub.
The trading apps developed for increasingly powerful smartphones and tablet devices are inaugurating a new revolution in investing and share dealing and they are well worth becoming familiar with.
Make no mistake about it: mobile trading is gathering momentum and is taking more and more traffic from online trading. What the latter did to bricks and mortar trading, mobile apps will do to the online variety.
The power of mobile devices
The sheer power and capabilities of the new mobile devices means that no one has to be rooted before a desktop PC anymore. Today, a suitable device will fit into the palm of one’s hand. Prospective traders who happen to own an iPhone can capitalise on a number of excellent trading apps – and do so free of charge.
Various Trading Apps
Take, for instance, iPhone’s DailyFinance and Bloomberg apps, which permit mobile access to top-rated sites loaded with financial news and stock prices, as well as portfolios, advance charts and quotes.
Then there’s the iPhone app for the ultra-savvy stock brokerage, “thinkorswim”; known as iSwim, it’s packed with premium stock trading tools and enlightening educational resources (bear in mind that the thinkorswim brokerage app rapidly acquired the reputation of the mobile finance app to beat).
Another fast-rising star is E*Trade Mobile Pro, which has attracted acclaim from the Apple community already. Although only members will be able to execute live trades with the app, non-members get access to a watch list, charts and streaming quotes – all of which is pretty darned indispensable for the would-be investment and share dealing trader.
TheStreet.com app provides all the data included on the web version (like news and quotes) and the Morningstar app similarly replicates most of its web features, so traders can gauge whether their stock has a bearish or bullish hue as they nip out for a cappuccino.
And, while dunking that biscotto, why not practise a little paper trading with Virtual Stock Market Lite? This app means that no one has to be tied to a computer to practise trading (it allows virtual management of £100,000 of paper money).
Finally, don’t miss out on the ChartsLive app. This clever little beastie permits stock analysis directly from an iPhone, providing a host of indicators and overlays.