Trading Apps Guide

Richard Montana | October 21, 2022

What is a Mobile Trading App?

A mobile trading app enables traders to trade global markets from their mobile devices. Users can download a trading app, login to their trading account and access trading instruments from various markets including Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Options, Bonds, ETFs and CFDs. Most online brokers provide these mobile trading apps free of charge and for use on iOS and Android mobile devices.

Mobile trading apps are great for those who wish to trade whilst on the go as they can access their online trading account and manage positions from anywhere in the world. You will need an account with an online trading broker to be able to trade on a mobile trading platform and also an internet connection. You can see a list of our best online brokers if you do not yet have an account with an online brokerage firm.

In the past, investors who wanted to trade a particular market and instrument, would have had to go through an offline broker which meant that the markets were much less accessible than they are today. As technology has improved over the years, there are now hundreds of online brokers offering online trading services to clients of all experience levels from around the globe. Anyone who has aspirations to be a successful online trader can open a trading account with an online brokerage and gain access to the brokers trading apps for trading the markets online.

When using a trading app, you can view real time bid and ask market prices of multiple assets. You can load charts of different types to analyse the historical and current prices of chosen trading instruments over multiple timeframes. The trading apps will have a selection of technical indicators that can be used to help identify potential trading opportunities on your favourite markets. Once you have identified a suitable trading opportunity, you can execute, manage and close your buy or sell position directly through the trading app.

Choosing a Trading App

We will now look at what mobile trading apps are used for and some of the most important factors worth considering when looking for a suitable mobile trading app.

Regulation

When you choose a mobile trading app it is imperative to ensure that the brokerage providing the app is regulated by one of the most respected government authorities. The regulatory authorities that some traders will look for include the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom.

Investors can have more protection when they opt for a regulated broker compared to an unregulated offshore broker. A regulated broker is obligated to conduct business according to the strict rules and regulations implemented in order to help give investors protection. It is usually a wise idea to verify a broker regulation claims by checking the brokers regulatory license number with the relevant authorities to ensure that the regulation is legitimate and still valid.

Instruments

Each online broker will have a different choice of markets and trading instruments for you to trade through their mobile trading apps. If you have a specific market or instrument in mind, it would be a good idea to check that it is available to trade through your chosen broker and trading app. In addition to this, if you plan to branch out into different markets in the future, you may want to opt for a brokerage firm who operates in these additional markets. You will find that there are plenty of brokers that you can choose from that offer a mixture of different financial instruments.

Tools

Different mobile trading apps will contain a different selection of trading tools for conducting market analysis by studying the charts for potential trade opportunities. These can help spot trending and ranging markets. Most trading apps will have the most popular technical indicators such as the moving average, Bollinger Bands, CCI, RSI, Stochastics, MACD, etc. However, if you require more specific tools for your technical, fundamental, price action and sentiment analysis, check that the broker offers these tools via their mobile trading apps. Some additional tools to look out for include market insights from experts, economic calendars, depth of market level 2 pricing and sentiment analysis tools to help gauge what other traders are doing. It can make trading a lot more efficient by having the required tools readily available from one platform rather than having to check elsewhere.

Fees

Whilst most mobile trading apps are provided free by the broker, there are some who charge monthly and volume-based fees, usually for specialised trading apps that have specific features a professional trader may need. In saying that, the majority of free trading apps will more than likely be sufficient enough for the average retail investor.

Commissions

In addition to possible mobile trading app fees, you may wish to consider the other online trading costs. Most online brokers charge a commission fee for placing trades in addition to the spreads and overnight swap fees. These costs are a part of trading although they can vary significantly depending on the broker you choose. Thus, it is important to consider the overall trading costs that you will incur and the potential impact they will have on your trading strategy.

Spreads

The spread is the difference between the buy and sell (bid/ask) price which can vary depending on the trading volumes and liquidity providers used by the broker. Some brokers offer fixed and variable spread accounts on their trading apps, others will offer commission free accounts but instead mark up the spread to make up for this. Usually, the greater the liquidity a broker has, the tighter the spreads are likely to be. It is important to consider the spread when planning your trades, especially if you are planning on using scalping trading strategy.

Swaps

If you keep hold of a position with your broker overnight then you will most likely need to pay a swap fee. The swap fee is an interest fee for the procedure of moving open positions from one day to another, also commonly known as the rollover. This is another cost that may need to be factored in to your trading plan. Some online brokers offer swap free Islamic trading accounts that conform with Sharia law which enables Muslim traders to engage in online trading through mobile apps.

Other Fees

Along with the trading app, spreads, commissions and swap fees, there can be other discount brokerage fees that you may be charged. If you are considering choosing a broker, ensure that you understand any additional fees that there may be. Some of the other fees that are worth consideration include account funding and inactivity fees.

Usability

If you are already familiar with a specific trading platform then it could be a good idea to choose an online broker that offers that platform as a mobile app. However, if you are yet to have a trading platform of choice, then it may be a good idea to start with a broker that offers a popular and user-friendly trading platform such as the MetaTrader 4 mobile app. The MT4 trading app has plenty of online tutorials available to help you learn how to use it and is often considered as one of the most intuitive trading platforms, making it a popular choice amongst new traders.

Leverage

Nearly all online brokers will offer you trading with leverage on their trading apps. In a nutshell, leverage allows you to open a trading position larger than you could if you did not have any leverage. If for example you had leverage of 1:100 and a trading account balance of $500, you could effectively open a position size of $50,000 (500 x 100 = 50,000). Although leverage can increase your potential profits, it can also greatly increase the risk and lead to large losses. It is of the upmost importance that traders have an in-depth understanding of what leverage is and the significant risks it involves before they start trading online with leveraged positions. Check the brokers trading app you are looking at offers a leverage level that you are comfortable with.

Education

You will find that some brokers offer traders a range of useful educational resources to help empower them and make them better traders. These educational materials can include videos and trading guides to help them improve their trading knowledge and skills. There may be detailed tutorials on how to use the different trading apps which could be helpful for those who are new to online trading and need help in order to familiarise themselves with the choice of mobile trading platforms that are available to them. If you are new to trading and need as much guidance as possible, you might want to explore our best brokers for beginners.

Compatibility

You should check that the trading app will run on your mobile device. The majority of trading apps run on iOS and Android mobile devices. Check the specifications provided by the broker to ensure that your device is compatible and meets the minimum requirements.

Funding

Online brokers will offer a choice of methods for making deposits and withdrawals to your trading account via their mobile trading apps. Whilst you will find that most brokers accept bank wire transfers and card payments. Others will offer online payment processors such as Skrill, PayPal, Neteller, etc. Ensure that the broker you are considering supports your preferred funding method via their mobile trading apps.

Support

If you have an issue with the brokers trading app that you need immediate assistance with, you would want to ensure that your broker has a prompt and efficient customer support team. They should be on hand to help you with all technical and general questions as and when you need them. The online chat support option is often one of the quickest ways to speak with a member of the brokers support team whilst other options include telephone and email. The greater the hours of availability from the brokers support team, the better. Some brokers offer support 24/5 whilst others can be reached 24/7. You may want to check the brokers office locations and open hours as they may be in a different time zone to you which could affect their response time. The broker should have a method of contacting them that is most convenient for you and available in your language. If they can be reached directly through the trading app, that may be considered more convenient.

Conclusion

In this trading apps guide, we have covered what we consider to be the best trading apps and some of the things that you can look out for when choosing the best trading app for your own individual needs.

Whilst there are many trading apps to choose from, you will find that most brokers provide a similar choice, MetaTrader being one of the most common apps. You will find it being offered by the majority of brokers whilst others may have their own proprietary app.

It is important to remember that you choose a trading broker and app that meets your requirements and use this information only for educational purposes and not as advice. Take your time to research and conduct your own due diligence.

You can even test a trading app with a free demo account to see if they are suitable before making a commitment. Please feel free to view our best trading apps if you need some further inspiration.

About the Author

Avatar photo

Richard Montana
Richard has many years of experience in broker research, testing, analysis and reviews. He knows what to look for through years of trading himself with different brokers and listening to the feedback of others.

Review Methodology

For all of our broker reviews, we research, validate, analyse and compare what we deem to be the most important factors to consider when choosing a broker. This includes pros, cons and an overall rating based on our findings. We aim to help you find the best broker according to your own needs. You can read more about our review process.


Relevant Articles