In just about every industry, mobility is one of the key selling factors. Way before the days of e-hailing services like Uber, one may have had to sift through a clunky directory to find a cab service number to call.
Fortunately, people can request a ride in minutes using a convenient mobile application nowadays. Way back when, someone could only check their emails on their computer; presently, people have on-the-go access to these messages through advanced platforms.
Everything from GPS, ticket purchasing to games and order tracking can be performed using a phone or tablet at a fraction of the time. This has propelled a trend in the last decade, where brands have begun prioritizing mobile applications or apps.
Google continually reports more searches on mobile devices than ever before. The financial markets are one of the many industries that have massively utilized mobile applications, much to the amazing benefits of users.
In the context of forex, traders are spoilt for choice at the number of apps carrying out most of the same functions they would on a standard computer. As with anything, there are some advantages and disadvantages of mobile trading overall, which this article will explore further.
Mobile applications in forex
We have several apps in forex for executing positions on the go and performing other administrative tasks like deposits and withdrawals, observing an economic calendar, the latest market news, and other useful notifications.
Broadly speaking, we have two different types of mobile applications. The first class is apps explicitly built for executing positions on a live or demo account linked through a particular broker.
Examples readily coming to mind here include MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader, and the like. While such platforms fulfill several other tasks like showing quotes, charts, viewing news, economic calendars, and so on, they are primarily used for placing and exiting trades.
The next class is broker-branded apps from the likes of HotForex, XM, and IG. Some of these don’t allow execution and are geared towards the administrative side of managing a trader’s account directly through the broker.
They usually provide depositing and withdrawing options, transferring between different trading accounts, live chat support, etc.
Other trading solutions also include creating watchlists, special trading indicators, and some advanced charting functionalities. So, the question of whether mobile forex is good or not depends on the type of application and its main purpose.
For the most part, broker-based apps not involving any execution are essential for performing many tasks that naturally need a computer. The debates come into play with those like MT4 used primarily for placing trades and carrying out analysis.
Advantages of execution-focused mobile apps
Ultimately, it all depends on someone’s strategy and experience. Typically, traders like scalpers and day traders can fare well on such applications with enough time spent navigating them.
The clear benefit of mobile trading in this scenario is convenience. As not everyone can have easy access to their computers because of a busy lifestyle, having a phone or tablet to execute means only a few opportunities go to waste.
Traders who travel a lot will have limited access to their desktops or laptops, meaning having a mobile program becomes essential. Another massive advantage is mobile apps are significantly faster in performance.
This is because they retrieve data locally from the actual device rather than a congested web server. Such a distinction is crucial as executing on a computer can sometimes be a little slower, even with the strongest internet connection.
On a mobile device, placing trades is usually much faster. For long-term traders who don’t rely on regular execution, mobile apps are useful for monitoring their positions, having a watchlist, setting pending orders, moving their stops to predetermined levels, and so on.
On the whole, mobile applications provide convenience and speed in execution and are also helpful for observing the market.
Advantages of execution-focused mobile apps
The most apparent disadvantage with using mobile apps for placing trades is arguably the screen size. Despite even the most advanced applications boasting all the sophisticated functionalities found on regular desktop programs, they are inherently limited by size and can never fully replicate the experience of using a computer.
This hindrance is detrimental to performing thorough analysis as everything looks a lot smaller. Mobile applications are also severely restricted in the efficiency of fulfilling certain tasks that would be more manageable on a computer, like switching between time-frames, adding to positions, moving orders, etc.
While the trade execution is technically faster, most other things are bounded because of the smaller screen. Another drawback with mobile apps is it can lead many traders to overtrade and stress too much about their open positions.
The environment is also another crucial factor. When someone uses their computer, they are typically in a distraction-free space allowing them to have a clearer head and make more thoughtful actions.
Suppose someone is trading from a phone while in a restaurant. It is easy to fall prey to hasty decisions because of the less conducive setting. Thus, overall, convenience does come at a high cost with mobile applications. These are some of the disadvantages traders using their phones or tablets need to deal with regularly.
While mobile applications can replace many functions that would ordinarily need a real computer, they still lack the screen size a proper laptop or desktop brings for analysis purposes.
Using a real computer is still the more professional thing to do and allows for less rushed decision-making. Some experienced traders have begun spending more time on their phones beyond just placing trades.
Having this skill does take some years of navigation and is not necessarily suitable for everyone. Traders who can benefit from relying on phones for trading are typically high-frequency and day trading speculators.
More long-term traders do utilize these applications but often only for monitoring reasons. For instance, the average swing trader will spend far less time executing and can stay away from their laptop or desktop for some hours or even days.
Therefore, mobile apps aren’t so essential for this group of investors and have no serious disadvantages. For other traders, they can provide some advantages. The extent to which someone relies upon mobile applications will certainly hinder their analysis because of their inherent limitations compared to a bigger device.