how to get started with mobile investing

Investing via Mobile Apps – Is There Any Point?

Have you thought about investing but not sure where to begin? If you find yourself glued to your smartphone, or if you’re proficient at getting things done by means of mobile apps, Wall Street and the world of investing is literally at your fingertips with mobile investing.

At the most basic level, an investment is a financial transaction; this means that if you are already familiar with online banking or even shopping through mobile apps, you will find the functionality and mechanism of mobile investing to be very similar.

What’s the Point of Mobile Investing?

At any given moment, thousands of people around the world access trading accounts or conduct investment research on their mobile devices. The concept of mobile investing is hardly new; in the early days of online stock trading, retail brokerages such as E*TRADE and Fidelity had dedicated mobile websites that could be accessed via devices such as the Palm family of personal digital assistants, remember those? These days, tech firms such as Robinhood offer commission-free stock trading exclusively via smartphone apps.

Mobile investing was once limited to active traders who wished to access their accounts when they were away from their workstations; in other words, mobile platforms were complimentary to the desktop.

Now, the world of investing is much different.

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mobile investing made easy! Even I can do this!

The point of mobile investing is convenience and accessibility; if you, like many other people around the world, are used to making your smartphone a primary device to access the internet, mobile investing is a natural progression.

And with mobile apps such as Acorns offering to easily transfer and invest the spare change from your daily purchases, mobile investing has never been easier.

The Limits of Mobile Investing

Although mobile investing is designed for everyone, a certain subset of investors require more powerful hardware setups; for example, futures traders may need access to Bloomberg terminals while day traders who thrive on technical analysis may need more than one monitor to compare candlestick charts and Level Three pricing. For the most part, beginners and average traders can get by with mobile investing.

A few constraints that may affect the mobile investing experience are lack of wireless data coverage, resulting in missed opportunities and poor execution for very active traders, and technical analysis that could be limited on the smaller screens of smartphone and tablets; other than that, mobile investing offers many of the traditional features of the desktop experience. 

Advantages of Mobile Investing

Aside from the aforementioned convenience and ease of access, there is an interesting aspect of mobile investing that cannot be ignored, and that is innovation. 

The commission-free trades of Robinhood and the investing of spare change by Acorns are only two examples of financial innovation that are happening almost exclusively on mobile platforms. There is also eToro Social Trading, an app that incorporates social media features so that successful traders can interact with beginners and engage in sharing of knowledge and experience.

An even more interesting example is Ellevest, an online investment advisory platform for women. Ellevest is the brainchild of Sallie Krawcheck, a former Citigroup executive who is a very respected investor. Krawcheck believes that there is an unfortunate gender gap and glass ceiling in the finance world; the slogan of her firm is “invest like a woman because money is power.” Ellevest has already landed some powerful endorsements from tennis superstar Venus Williams, and her sister Serena may be the next major investor.

Another advantage currently developing in the world of mobile investing is related to security. Financial tech (fintech) developers are very interested in new protocols such as Windows Hello, which allows login procedures augmented by biometrics such as fingerprint scanners; these are technologies that are better suited for mobile devices, and they are very reassuring for mobile investors worried about misplacing their smartphones. With biometrics security features, investors do not have to worry about someone accessing their mobile investing apps illegally. 

In the end, mobile apps are bound to become the new standard of personal investing; feel free to give them a try and get to know the exciting and potentially lucrative world of Wall Street.

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Amy Beardsley

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Amy Beardsley, the driving force behind Marvelous Mrs, loves personal finance and productivity hacks, Netflix, and everything chocolate. You can check out her favorite money-tracking tool Personal Capital and visit her freelance writing business, too. Thanks for reading the blog!