In some circles, mobile trading and investing applications get a bad reputation because they are more basic than terminals. However, there’s also the fact that people are spending much more time on their phones nowadays. Additionally, mobile devices are getting more powerful and advancing at a disproportionate rate. That also includes mobile trading software, which is seeing much more advances than software meant for computers.
That creates a narrative that confuses some newer traders, where the advantages of mobile are obvious, but people are warning against it. Today, we’re aiming to look at the problem without bias and see what’s the best solution for you.
Today, you’ll see brokerages claim that their mobile app doesn’t lose any features compared to their web trader or terminal. And if that’s true, the only reason is that their web terminal isn’t complex enough.
Realistically, computers are more powerful, easier, and more precise to navigate, and have much larger screens. All those are significant advantages for any trading platform. As such, saying the platform doesn’t lose any function is silly.
However, that isn’t a large deterrent for mobile traders since they can use multiple apps to accommodate for the difference. Of course, it’s a bit more of a hassle, but it’s worth it. In fact, if you’re a trader that just has a few active positions, you may not notice a significant drop in functionality.
As a rule of thumb, the more you do as a trader, the bigger the discrepancy is.
However, mobile has one significant advantage that your computer does not, in that you can trade anywhere. Of course, you can take a laptop to a cafe, but if you’re on a crowded bus, you can still pull off a trade on your phone. Also, a laptop is an extra piece of luggage while you’re carrying your phone with you anyway.
So the consensus here is that mobile’s usability is inversely proportional to your trading level, with the unique advantage of mobility. However, things don’t need to be black and white.
Why Not Both?
Traders and trading information outlets often tend to ignore the middle ground. It’s either this, or it’s that, but in reality, the case is often in between. So, for example, if you really like mobile platforms but find them lacking features, you don’t have to stop using them entirely. Otherwise, if you dislike them, you don’t need to forgo them, as being able to access markets anywhere at any time is a huge advantage.
We’ll dismiss the claim that mobile trading is bad as silly. The platforms are just fine if you want to do low to mid-level trading. You won’t become Warren Buffet, but you probably don’t want to.
We suggest you find the right mix for yourself. For example, you can do your research on a terminal and then use a phone throughout the day to find the right time to get in and out of trades. Conversely, you can use your phone to research and then do your trading on a terminal in a prolonged session. That will concentrate your trading time and leave you with more time for leisure.
There are few right or wrong ways to trade, and you shouldn’t listen to outlets that tell you otherwise.