Stock trading used to be reserved for professional brokers – men and women who not only had the education to do this type of work, but also the energy to survive an average day of trading across various exchange floors. That’s how things used to be done.
These days, trading stocks has left the chaotic halls of world exchanges and moved over to the internet. Not only do you no longer need brokers to buy or sell stocks, but you can now do it with your phone.
Stock Trading is Popular Now More than Ever
Investing in stock has always been the varsity move. Money that’s not working for you is no good money at all. Or, at least that’s what the people in the know have been saying for decades. Creating a large stock portfolio is a great way to ensure a happy retirement, while there’s also the potential to see the fruits of your labor much sooner.
Not too long ago, maybe 20 years back, trading stocks was a tedious affair. More often than not, you had to hire a stockbroker who would then run your portfolio and manage your investments. Truth be told, there are many advantages of using a broker even today, but you no longer have to. Instead, you can now do all your trading using nothing more than your smartphone. Trading has now become a side gig for many – a way of accumulating side income or creating an alternative retirement plan. All you really need is a phone, a good internet connection, and a trading app.
What are Stock Trading Apps and How do they Work?
A stock trading app is a piece of software that allows you to tap into various exchanges all around the world. The number of exchanges available will depend on your location and your country’s laws.
As far as the UK goes, there are numerous apps out there that will allow you to invest your money in various stocks. Just like it’s the case with most other apps, no two apps are created equal. Although they all generally perform the same function, every app is optimized and tailored to a different type of user. Finding the best trading app for your needs will require you to sit down and figure out what features you simply must-have. Speaking of which, let’s go over the anatomy of a basic trading app.
What Makes a Good Trading App?
If you were to sneak into a professional trader’s office, you’d probably find a massive rig of monitors surrounding their workstation. There’s never enough display real estate in trading. Now imagine doing all of that on a tiny phone screen.
While absolutely possible, trading via a mobile app can be difficult. You won’t be able to fit the charts and graphs on a small phone display. Every step of the way will require you to go through at least one screen. Needless to say, all of this can get annoying real quick. Unless the people making the app know what they’re doing.
User Friendly UI
UI or user interface is arguably the most important part of a trading app. Without a simple UI, you’ll be lost in a matter of minutes, forcing you to miss out on trades or positions that could have made you a profit.
A good app will be clean, easy to use, and fairly intuitive. Some apps allow you to fully customize your experience, making it easy to get rid of metrics you don’t really need, and any trader worth their salt knows there are many metrics as well as modifiers to choose from. Find an app that clicks with you visually. Aesthetics are more important than you’d think.
Timing is everything in trading. While this adage generally applies to long term positions, it also has its place in day trading. Stock markets are volatile, not as volatile as crypto or Forex, but still volatile enough. There’s nothing worse than trying to jump on an opportunity and buy a stock at a favorable price, only to have your app freeze on you. Your trading app of choice needs to run smoothly. It has to be optimized with as little downtime as possible. In fact, any downtime is an issue in trading.
Once you get past the basics, it’s time to look into parts of the app that will determine whether the app is right for you. In other words, it’s time to check out its features. Trading app features can be anything from technical indicators to demo accounts and everything in between. When you get a trading app, you’re not just getting the software, you’re also getting a complete set of services offered by the makers of the app. These often include complete trading plans with brokers and other important features.
If you’re an experienced trader, you might also be interested in leverage. In fact, the lack of leverage is a real deal-breaker for many. The good thing is that you can easily find out what an app offers these days. The not so good thing is that there are so many awesome apps out there. Making a choice may not always be easy.
Stocks and Beyond
One of the best things about modern trading apps is that they go way outside the realm of stock trading. Some of the apps allow you to trade on Forex exchanges but also crypto exchanges. This ability to centralize all of your trades can greatly simplify things if you’re involved in all of the above.
Having a Solid Foundation Matters
Trading apps have made stock trading easier than ever. You can buy and sell stocks in a matter of seconds. However, all of these apps are just tools designed to help you utilize your skill and knowledge to the best of your abilities.
Simply getting an app won’t make you a good trader, despite how many tools and crutches modern apps offer. Make sure to learn the basics of trading and understand how everything works before you start entering trades. That is the only way to ensure any long term success.