What is Mobile Trading?

Mobile trading refers to the use of wireless technology in securities trading. Mobile trading allows investors to access trading platforms from their telephones rather than being confined to traditional trading methods via computer. Such technology allows easier access for smart phone users to actively manage their portfolios even when they are away from a desktop/laptop.

Key Takeaways

  • Mobile trading includes being able to access accounts and initiate orders from one's mobile devices.
  • All major brokers have mobile-trading apps, and a few of them stand out on features.

How Mobile Trading Works

While mobile devices, such as Android phones and iPhones, have always allowed users to check the performance of the stock market, mobile trading apps provide access to online trading platforms, which can be utilized to execute trades instantly from anywhere. Every major brokerage has an Android app or iPhone app or both, to allow their customers to trade directly from their mobile devices.

Three Major Mobile Trading Apps

TD Ameritrade: As one of the largest brokerage firms in the country, TD Ameritrade offers multiple mobile apps for trading and investing, depending on your needs. The basic TD Ameritrade Mobile app offers a similar experience to what a trader might have on their desktop stock trading setup, customized for mobile. Meanwhile, the TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader app, is even more powerful--unusually so. The TD Ameritrade Mobile app allows an investor to customize their dashboards and screens, access research and advice, transfer funds, get market alerts, and even watch videos teaching how different types of trades and investments work. TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader is better for advanced and active investors, as it is loaded with charts, technical indicators and analysis to help you make trade decisions and enter on the go.

Robinhood: Robinhood launched its mobile app before its website, and it offers free stock trades. While Robinhood does not give you access to a full range of investments like mutual funds, it works great for stocks and ETFs, and recently added support for Bitcoin. The app is focused on providing easy tracking of stocks you own and on your watchlist. To trade, tap on (or search for) any stock. Enter your trade into the app and presto, you own the stock without any commissions or trade fees. Upgrading to a premium Robinhood Gold account gives you access to margin trading and extended hours trading in addition to all other features.

Acorns: Acorns is an app for investing and trading beginners. Acorns tracks regular spending (when it links to you bank account) and “rounds up” purchases to the nearest dollar, the remainder is transferred to your Acorns account to invest. You can also transfer funds to your account manually. Once the dollars hit your account, Acorns will automatically build a portfolio of stock and bond investments based on a brief questionnaire you complete when signing up for a new account. The robo-advisor style app invests exclusively in ETFs to build a diverse, broad portfolio in line with your investment goals.