“But there is a big difference between checking in on your accounts, (which is, after all, most of what we use mobile devices for) and actually making — and executing — trading decisions. Is it really appropriate to make a buy or sell decision when standing in line at the grocery store? Can you really learn all you need to know about a company, a stock or an option combination on a two-by-three inch display? If you really must make a trade and you can’t get to your desktop, can’t you just use that thing you’re holding in your hand to place a call?
We like bling as much as the next guy and often prattle on about who’s phone is better and who’s got the coolest trading application; and there’s no doubt that the applications are used and used often. We earlier reported that E*TRADE recorded two million log-ins on the Blackberry alone. But studies have shown that trading frequency is negaitively correlated with account profitability.”
I’m going to disagree with The Broker News Blog here. Mobile investing apps are not for everyone, but it’s a nice feature for people who aren’t tethered to computers all day. Obviously you can’t learn every single thing about a company by viewing a mobile screen – but I’d think that a smartphone is just a new way to pull the trigger. It’s obviously not a comprehensive investment research tool.
Plus, some mobile apps, like thinkorswim’s thinkMobile mobile trading program are great for checking quotes – particularly options chains. I’ve never actually executed a trade from my BlackBerry, but I like the easy access to quotes – Yahoo! Mobile is great for stock quotes, but thinkMobile is much faster and the quotes are real-time (or close to it).
I’d also be willing to bet that OptionsHouse and tradeMONSTER have mobile applications in the oven right now. They cater to active traders, who are likely to want these features. They’re also likely to have budgetary constraints since they are small, growing companies.