iPhone Users – Do you want to trade via your iPhone? Calling all Apple fans! Like it or not iPhone Spread Betting and mobile spread trading are here to stay and wioth the phenomenal increases in smart phone ownership, it’s not surprising that British spread betting companies are experiencing good business results from mobile users…
In 2007 when I got involved in the spread betting industry they were saying that 2008 would be THE year for mobile trading. However, the astoundingly fast evolution of the mobile technology and platforms has prevented a true mainstream breakout of mobile and spread betting iPhone trading, because people have been unsure of where to invest their energies. Today, mobile phones are used by more than half the world’s population so it is not hard to understand why spread betting providers are so much interested in harvesting this medium. Looking at the number of spread betting brands that released iPhone applications, and mobile trading sites in 2010, I would actually argue that 2010 was, quietly, the year of the mobile. So to speak in 2010 the era of real-money iPhone spread betting and Android trading applications really hit home with most spread betting brokers now having launched an iPhone trading application.
“Findings from the Investment Trends ‘Trading Behaviour Report’ noted that over 70% of spread betters and CFD traders currently use or plan to use smart phones for trading.”Did you know? Apple’s Application Store presently has over 350,000 free and paid apps while the Android Marketplace has close to 200,000. BlackBerry’s AppWorld and Microsoft’s Marketplace come next although they are lag behind.
The 2010 Trading Behaviour Report provides a detailed portrait of UK’s growing and increasingly sophisticated population of active CFD, financial spread betting and share investors. More than half a million people in the UK trade shares online with over 560,000 online share traders in October 2010 who had traded at least once in the last 12 months and intended to continue trading. Findings from the Investment Trends ‘Trading Behaviour Report’ show that over 70% of spread betters and CFD traders presently use or plan to use smartphones for trading. A smaller proportion of spread betters indicated that they currently use a smart phone for trading compared to CFD traders (37% compared to 46%). A third of spread betters indicated an intention to use a smart phone for trading in the next 12 months (compared to 31% of CFD traders). iPhone was the most popular smart phone amongst spread betters and CFD traders in terms of both current and intended use.
Arguably, spread betting from a mobile phone has become much easier recently. Smart devices such as the Blackberry and the Apple iPhone have really captured a big chunk of the retail marketplace, with their large screens allowing the user to monitor an entire portfolio of spreadbets and orders, as well as updating watchlists of prices. More stable networks coupled with ever more powerful sheer processing power and memory, transmission via web or robust downloadable trading applications and a richer graphic experience through larger, high-resolution, sharper screens guarantees that mobile platforms are here to stay. Not only is the mobile trading experience now more attractive to the end-user, multitasking and touch-screen functionality make mobile trading a more practical, flexible and therefore usable proposition.
“Where mobile trading has a clear edge are in its convenience, adaptability to individuals needs and lifestyle as well as ease of access to a spread betting account wherever you are located at whatever time of day. As long as a smart phone is able to connect to a 3G or wireless internet connection, a moble trading platform is available in your pocket.”
Is the mobile trading platform service free?
Yes, the mobile trading application is free for demo and live clients. However please be aware the mobile application requires an internet connection, therefore whilst running the application you may incur additional charges from your Mobile provider for data use and roaming.
I already have an account with my provider. Do I need a separate account for my mobile device?
No separate account is required – in fact you use the same account log in details to access your account through the mobile device as you use through the web platform. Both live and demo trading accounts are supported by the mobile platform.
Can I switch between my trading accounts on the mobile trading platform?
Yes. You can alternate between your primary and sub accounts in the Accounts section available from the main menu page.
What happens if I lose the connection when I’m in the middle of placing a trade?
If you do not receive a confirmation screen then it is likely your trade has not gone through. You can go to the trades screen and check your positions to see whether or not the trade has been executed.
Mobile internet connections may not be available due to circumstances beyond the provider’s control, such as outages on the mobile phone network or in areas of either no or limited mobile coverage.
Are live charts available?
Charts and rates will be displayed as live with updates dependent upon your Mobile’s internet connection. Real-time (“live”) may not be available due to circumstances beyond our control, such as outages on the mobile phone network or in areas of either no or limited mobile coverage.
How are the mobile application updates managed?
Any updates for the Android ( or iPhone ) provider’s mobile application will be released via Google Play (AppStore). When this happens, your handset should alert you that a newer version of the application is available and ask you if you would like to update. If your handset fails to do this, you can always manually search for say “Capital Spreads” in Google Play (AppStore ) and choose to install any available updates.
The iPhone 5C and new iOS 7 Operating System
Apple recently announced the release of two new products: the iPhone 5C, targeting a more budget-conscious audience, and the 5S, its ‘high-end’ hardware update. The iPhone 5C comes in a variety of primary colours and is cheaper than the usual iPhone. In the UK, the cost for owning one could be as little as GBP9.99 although this has to be tied to a 24-monthly term contract with a fairly ‘high-end’ monthly expense.
What occasionally gets lost in the welter of ‘shipped device’ numbers is that along with this has come the release of the iOS 7 operating system. The iOS7 represents a major change in the operating system for Apple devices; possibly the biggest step in three years, since iOS4 and the introduction of multi-tasking and FaceTime. The new iPhone comes with the ability to render richer graphics, smoother transitions and better animations and motion which should help for a better overall user-experience.
As the popularity of the iPhone swells, the range and variety of applications available at the iTunes App store grows too. One cannot deny that mobile spread trading is likely to play an increasingly important function and that the future will likely be dominated by mobile spread trading. Mobile platforms now include most of the functionality of a desktop and have become an important tool for many spread traders. With many forex, index and commodity available to trade round-the-clock, mobile trading is an increasingly popular way to keep abreast – and react to – the spread betting and CFD trading markets, as demonstrated in 2009 when City Index launched the industry’s first Application for the iPhone.
I’m ashamed of myself. My 27 month old daughter can navigate my iPhone and find the apps she wants as well as I can! She is much better than me at remembering characters’ names from tv and books. example Balamory. She tries to open doors with plastic keys by pressing them like a car’s key fob! She’s more 21st century, techology wise, than most adults. Not sure what to make of it!
In addition to actual trading, iPhone spread betting apps also facilitate market analysis, allowing you to keep up-to-date with price movements, charting and financial news in your spare moments. This kind of research is at the heart of both technical analysis and fundamental analysis in financial spread betting, and can go some way to ensuring sure that your trading is fuelled by fact rather than instinct.
Spread Trading Companies are Investing in Mobile Online Spread Betting Platforms
At present Apple’s iPhone 4 is notably the king of the smartphones – and Apple’s excellent publicity engine has made its iPhone models analogous with the smartphone in many consumers’ minds. Even more so Apple has recently launched iPhone 5 which despite being 18% thinner and 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S is still twice as fast, thanks to a new processor.
Today, all the main spread betting and CFD providers like IG Index, CMC Markets, City Index, GFT and Capital Spreads all have iPhone spread betting applications to allow clients to access their trading platforms. As well as actual opening and closing of spread trades, iPhone spread betting applications also facilitate market analysis allowing you to keep abreast of what’s happening in terms of market movements, charts and financial happenings in your spare time. This research forms the basis of technical and fundamental analysis in spread betting and can help ensure that your trading is based on hard facts rather than hunches.
IG Index Mobile Application
IG Index has been offering mobile applications since 2004 but following the launch of the smartphones mobile trading application in August 2010 it has experienced explosive growth and now witnesses between 350,000 and 400,000 trades a month on its mobile platforms, which makes up about 30% cent of its monthly volume. [March 2013]. Around half of mobile trades are conducted with an iPhone, with Android phones accounting for another 25% and iPad devices another fifth. More recently the company has started receiving direct account applications opened via a mobile device and this now accounts for around 10% of new accounts.
- Place spread trades on the full IG Index’s range of instruments – over 7,000 shares, indices, forex, commodities and bonds.
- Supports many of the functions available on IG Index’s popular PureDeal trading platform.
- Access live prices from your iPhone (without even having to sign up).
- Reuters feed.
- Auto-refreshing charts so you can now follow the markets in real-time.
- New charts with more indicators such as Bollinger Bands, stochastics, moving averages and the Relative Strength Index.
- Open, close and adjust positions instantly.
- Set stops (including guaranteed stops) and limits for risk management. And set, delete or amend working orders.
- Create watchlists of your favourite markets.
- See open spread betting positions at a glance.
- View real-time account balances.
- IG Index also trading applications for Blackberry, Android and iPhone.
IG Index now makes trading, price feeds and tools available as an Application for the Apple iPhone. The charts update in real-time with clients able to set their preferred timeframe and chart type. Quoting managing director Tim Hughes, ‘It offers everything that the active trader or investors expects to do” – which, in its present release, includes acquiring live prices without having to access your account, loading charts that dynamically update, and seeing an aggregate view of all trading positions. Non-client can still download and access the app to get free real-time updating prices on a number of key markets like the FTSE 100, Wall Street, EUR/USD, GBP/USD and stocks like Barclays and Rio Tinto. It is an extra trading tool designed to complement IG Index’s online trading platform, adds Mr Hughes. ‘It’s for checking in before work, checking in on the train, and when you’re off for a coffee at lunchtime…’ The iPhone app also provides access to IG’s insight and analysis centre which includes sentiment indicators, permitting clients to check how other IG clients are trading the markets.
City Index’s iPhone Application
City Index was the first to penetrate the mobile trading market by introducing an iPhone spread betting application in October 2009. The latest upgrade saw a bespoke live charting package being integrated into the mobile platform developed internally by City Index’s IT team, which app now also includes exclusive live news feeds from Dow Jones Newswires.
Since December 2010, City Index has started offering its City Trading application via Android mobiles. This comes with live streaming charts and multiple technical indicators empowering traders to do market research and trade directly from a phone, in much the same style as the more widespread iPhone Application.
The City Index’s iphone application even includes a margin function, allowing spread traders to instantly calculate their margin status to see where they stand.
- Account summary provides instant access to the cash balance, margin and real-time profit or loss on open positions in graphical view.
- City Trading app now comes with live streaming charts, with multiple indicators.
- iPhone transactions now account for almost 20% of all City Index trades with as many as 40% of CityIndex’s trading clients actively use their mobiles to place at least one trade.
CMC Markets iPhone Application
CMC Markets permits its client to access a variety of trading tools including an advanced charting package with all the major technical indicators and chart types. This is complemented by a live economic calendar with alerts, personalised Reuters newsfeeds, client sentiment, analyst insights, news tickers, prices tickers, price alerts and the ability to customise mobile layouts.
- Access live prices from your iPhone (without even having to sign up).
- Real-time Bloomber news.
- Check account value or get a graphical snapshot of current cash, margin and profit/loss on all open positions.
- Access live charts (minute by minute to weekly data updates).
- Tap open positions to trade or check your transaction history.
Mobile spread betting and iPhone spread betting is the future: live streaming and smart phones are going to become even more significant to the spread betting industry and we are entering a revolution in terms of the of the vast technology offerings now available, following ’30 years of Windows’. Capital Spreads entered the mobile trading market later than its rivals, but is already experiencing strong demand.
As Joshua Raymond, Market Strategist at City Index, puts it mobile trading platforms and iPhone spread betting are simply fantastic. ‘With so many markets available to trade round-the-clock, it is important that you are able react with just a few clicks of a mouse. For me, the future of financial spread betting is mobile dealing.’
Mobile trading platforms allow you to keep up-to-date of what’s happening anywhere wherever you are, whenever you want. With increasingly turbulent market conditions and with most of us also having a day-job it is important that we are able to react quickly to changing market conditions. City Index’s City Trading app even supports live streaming charts and multiple indicators, which allow users to mak their own research on the move so that they can react, not just to price movements, but also to technical analysis.
That’s all good but what’s the catch?
There is no catch per se’. The only problem with most mobile trading platforms, however, is that they often are missing some features that most traders would consider essential – they lack the depth of charting and technical analysis that is required by more sophisticated traders – in other words mobile platforms do not necessarily match the power of a desk-based one although they are getting better in this regard. Additionally care has to be taken and traders need to become familiar with placing trades on their mobile handset as its easier to make mistakes. So make sure you are familiar with setting stops or even doing basic research to ensure that you are able to deal confidently when you need to act fast.
There are also some technical issues particularly with regards to latency particularly if the broker’s servers are based in London but the clients are on the other side of the world. And in some instances connections have to be reset particularly if a trader isn’t actively using the app.
So, with mobile trading platforms and iPhone spread betting set to command a main part in the future of stock market trading, how can you adapt your spread betting behaviour to get the most out of your trading?
You don’t really have to change your trading methodology. For instance, spread betting provider CityIndex offers mobile spread betting that allows you the same level of access as a normal trading account with the full range of markets and order types available on its online trading platform. What you have to appreciate is that whilst mobile trading allows you instant access, the danger is that the more closely you keep checking a financial instrument and prices constantly moving up and down, the more likely is that you may be caught in the trap of making impulse spread trades without proper research and analysis. Acting on impulse or emotion is never a great idea. This makes careful market research and your trading system more important than ever, at least as vital – if not more so – to iPhone spread betting as it is to any other form of financial trading. In any case you should think carefully before placing a trade and make sure you have established entry, exit targets, risk-reward ratios and stop loss levels before taking a position, irrespective of whether you ultimately execute your spread bet via a mobile, iPhone or online trading platform.
“Make sure you have carefully analysed your market before trading, irrespective of whether you execute your trades via a mobile, online or phone.”
CMC Markets is preparing to raise the bar a notch higher, launching a dedicated spread betting application for the iPad. Which in a nutshell means that the mobile spread betting market is only going to get bigger, more liquid and more accessible – music to the ears of everyone involved in the business.
IG Index: iPhone Spread Betting
Account holders can use the mobile platform to access the same comprehensive range of markets they can from their desktop. Those who want to place a trade simply have to select the relevant instrument then enter the amount in the deal ticket and tap on buy or sell. As well as mobile spread betting on the iPhone, IG Index also supports BlackBerry devices, PDAs and other smartphones, in particular those running the Android operating system. The IG Index iPhone app is also compatible with Apple’s iPad and Android mobiles.
“Since it introduced the iPhone application this summer, IG Index has witnessed a great uplift in the percentage of its traders trading forex via mobile devices, says David Jones, Chief Market Strategist. Trades on mobile applications have jumped to about 250,000 a month (which is about 5% of IG’s total trading volumes), up from just 110,000 a month pre-launch, after 12,000 people downloaded the iPhone application in August 2010 alone.Mobile technology is evolving rapidly and our clients increasingly want to use handheld devices not only for dealing, but also for all aspects of managing their account with us. In July we released our first iPhone App for our UK spread betting business and have released several subsequent upgrades as we have incorporated extra features. Early take up has been encouraging with around 28,000 people having downloaded the App. The proportion of our spread betting client logons using the App has been steadily increasing since launch and is now (January 2011) approximately 20%.”
Most of our clients are normal private investors who have other things to do during the day than spend time stuck in front of a screen, says David Jones The IG Index iPhone application allows you to open close and edit positions, as well as having the functionality to add stop loss and limit orders. The charting and news feed allows traders to keep up to date and to react instantly to changing market conditions. Another cool feature is the live full-colour charts, with clients able to set the timescale at anything ranging from a minute to a month and adjust the presentation to line, bar, candlestick or mountain.