As we’ve come to depend on our smartphones to manage our personal finances, investment apps have become trendy. Sometimes, they’re used by experienced investors looking to gain more flexibility with mobile versions of trading platforms they already use. In other instances, they’re used by beginners (and often young people) who are simply more comfortable investing through apps than other means. Overall though, these apps have changed the investment landscape fairly significantly.
From stocks to cryptocurrencies, there are now countless assets that can be invested in at the touch of a button. Many of the apps have lower fees than other types of trading platforms, and several of them have built-in features that are designed to help investors make good decisions. That said, the apps aren’t perfect just yet.
In this post, we’re looking at some of the things they’re still missing.
If you know any investors or day traders, chances are they’re constantly consuming news and tips regarding their markets of choice. For a lot of people, that means keeping relevant television (like CNBC) on day and night. For others it means reading newspapers and surfing related websites and blogs throughout the day. These days, it may even mean listening to investment podcasts or chatting in online communities about the latest news.
The point is that strategic, diligent traders consume news constantly — and most of these apps don’t have much in the way of news components. Granted, when you’re on your phone it’s easy enough to switch between a news app and an investing one. But it still wouldn’t hurt for some of the more comprehensive mobile platforms to incorporate news tickers of some sort.
We just mentioned that for some investors, chatting in online communities is part of accessing investment news. Naturally not everything one encounters in a chat is useful. But there are some fairly sophisticated online trading communities that can be genuinely helpful. It would be interesting to see some of the apps in this category implement chat features that could potentially lead to the development of more such communities, for the benefit of all involved.
While it’s not impossible to trade commodities via app, most of the prominent mobile tools exclude commodities from their listings. This is somewhat puzzling, and keeps users from being able to trade what are often some of the most interesting assets in any market.
Consider what we’ve seen with popular commodities in 2020 alone. The trading value of oil — the most traded asset of this nature in the world — is still in the midst of a drawn-out recovery from a horrendous crash. This has been a subject of conversation among investors all around the world, some of whom have seen opportunity in oil’s rebound, and some of whom believe it may never get back to where it was. We’ve similarly seen gold impacted by the dramatic economic events of 2020 — in this case in the opposite way. Gold has surged due to bullish investor interest, leading many to explore the idea of buying in.
Oil and gold are just two examples, but they demonstrate how trendy, relevant investment options are largely left out on the apps.
Much like with commodities, forex trading can be done via app — it just tends to be left out on the most popular mobile options. The focus instead tends to remain largely on stocks, options, futures, and the like.
This is a shame, given the various forex trading benefits investors like to enjoy, such as a market that’s open 24 hours a day, or the chance to trade major assets that are typically more stable in their value than stocks. It’s also odd given that by raw numbers, more people trade in the forex market than in any other in the world!
Here’s hoping all of these features and more are adopted by the leading investment apps in the near future. We’re moving toward a world in which mobile activity defines the investing world, and the more options and functionality these apps have, the better.