Mobile Forex Brokers
We truly live in an electronic society today. Networking on the Internet has brought the world closer together, and new smartphone technology promises to bring more in the way of convenience to our daily lives, more than anyone had ever envisioned just one decade ago. The forex trading industry has willingly elected to ride this wave into the future in the form of many new innovations that provide network chat-rooms for traders where ideas can be readily shared, but more decidedly by providing software applications that enable mobile trading for the “on-the-go” trader.
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What exactly is Mobile forex trading?
From a broad perspective, the term could mean the ability to trade currencies while on-the-go from your laptop or ipad equivalent, utilizing whatever access method that your telecom provider might provide. The term, however, has grown to mean something much more specific related to today’s smartphone offerings. Cell phones are proliferating across the planet, faster than any other known electronic device before it, and a large percentage of these annual sales are now “smart”. These higher-powered phones enclose a complex operating system that is capable of performing a myriad of tasks, including accessing the Internet and running sophisticated software applications for trading on today’s financial markets.
Software programmers have rushed to produce all manner of specialized applications, and the forex industry has not missed out on these innovations. These apps can enable trades, allow for analyzing currency movements, and a host of other forex related tasks. One guidebook on the topic states the following:
“Apps for the iPhone and Android can be downloaded in their respective app stores and may be used on a number of different hardware devices. iPhone apps can be used on iPhones, iPads and Macs, in some cases, while Android apps can be used on a wide array of devices that support Google’s Android operating system. iPhone apps can be downloaded at the App Store. Android apps can be downloaded from Google Play. Some applications may require Internet access, which is often bundled with smartphones, but may cost extra for tablets and other devices. Most of the apps can function on either a wireless (Wi-Fi) signal or a cellular (3G/4G) signal, provided Internet access is enabled.”
What are the various types of forex trading applications?
Three categories of forex trading apps exist as follows:
- MetaTrader – The Metatrader platform, the most popular forex trading platform on the planet, is available in an app format at no charge for both the iPhone and the Android. Traders should be forewarned that this app, as well as others, do not provide the full-blown set of features that are on the PC-version, but you will still be able to place orders with real-time quotes and use a set of 30 technical indicators over seven time frames with a variety of chart types to assist you.
- Trade Interceptor – This platform is a competitor of Metatrader, but it provides for similar functionality and is also available for free. It also allows for practice trading by replaying historical pricing movement in its database, a unique feature on its own.
- Broker Platforms – Many forex brokers, however, wish to control the quality of these trading sessions and achieve this goal by linking your phone to a specialized proprietary application on their server. Forex.com, an industry leader, recently launched its own FOREXTrader for iPad™ app that provides “trading capabilities, advanced charting tools, real-time news and trade ideas and analysis for free” to its clients. Others are now following suit with their own mobile trading offerings.
Forex apps do not stop with just the trading platform. There are also a host of analytical tools available from a variety of sources that will enhance a trader’s smartphone experience. These can help with analysis, educate the trader, signal imminent potential changes in currency movements, and provide commentary from experts in the industry.
Is a mobile phone suitable for forex trading?
It is one thing to be able to trade while on-the-go, but is a smartphone app really designed to provide a favorable trading experience? Most traders respond to this question by citing the one major disadvantage – the screen is just too small to be able to perform insightful analysis or gain a broad perspective of what the market is doing. There is also the issue of dropped calls that happen more frequently if you are in a moving vehicle and passing between cell tower coverage points. Metatrader products and others have been known to be unstable at times in these environments, since their systems require constant messaging back and forth to keep databases up to date.
For traders that are well versed in their PC-based trading platforms, however, their consensus is that they prefer to use the smartphone app for emergency purposes, typically in tandem with a signal provider that alerts their phone that a potential opportunity is developing or a particular position should be closed. In these cases, the phone device provides an excellent way to stay on top of the market, especially if you are a “swing” trader that trades over a 2-3 day holding period. For active day traders, the phone may be more trouble than it is worth, but an ipad app might do the trick instead.
There are obvious pros and cons with mobile forex trading. The obvious “pro” is that you can trade anywhere at anytime, as long as your phone can connect with a cell tower and maintain the connection for a reasonable period of time. If you are “on-the-go” with outstanding forex positions, this service can provide the capability you may need to manage your account effectively.
On the “con” side, the service is new. There are “bugs” to be worked out. If you are a sophisticated trader that likes Expert Assistants or automated trading tools, then you will have to resort to manual trading instead. Connection problems have already been mentioned, but there is also a learning curve that must be overcome by the trader. The manner of analyzing and trading suffers, due to the small screen, and execution routines may vary from PC-based versions.
So what is a trader to do? If you have a smartphone, the popular apps are free or your broker may have a special offering available for you at no charge. The best advice is to try it on a demo system to see how you like it, and then slowly graduate, if ever, to real time trading, after you have become accustomed to the new trading environment.