To Smart Phone or not to Smart Phone? That is the question!

That is the modern day dilemma.  The degree to which smart phones are fit for purpose for educated retail traders and investors who are serious about their trading and investing methodology, risk management and discipline.  Having served over 80,000 students with lifelong trading and investing education over more than two decades, Online Trading Academy is well placed to research the sub segment of educated traders and investors.

So we decided to research this question about smartphones with some snap surveys and we got some interesting results that we will delve into further with more research surveys and insights to come.

Firstly, we asked the twitter universe and 102 people responded.  The results were pretty much what we expected.  Pretty much 80/20.  20% saying always and 80% saying sometimes and never, pretty much evenly split 40/40.  We were expecting some portion of people to say "never" and were surprised it wasn’t higher and that so many people said "sometimes". 

So when we did the comparison survey with our students we added an open ended question to delve into that more.  145 students responded.  We were surprised that the percentage of advocates for using smart phones all the time was higher at 40% and seems to have come from the “not a chance” camp which was below 20%.
Interesting.  We also added the open-ended question of “Why or why not?” which begins to provide some insights. 

We got a lot of free form comments and the below is just a small sample.  The balance of sentiment seems to be that of course multi-screen desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones are all a complement to each other suited to different purposes in the flow of students’ trading and investing activity.  Some example comments from students which speak to that are:

  • For me there's just too much data to consider to effectively evaluate a setup on a mobile device. Enter, exit, or manage a trade, sure. But to analyze and evaluate a trade, I couldn't do it on a mobile device nor would I want to or have a need to.
  • I like having the flexibility to at least get a quick look at a chart when I am out of the house. Don’t use this for deep dive ...but I do use it and like the choice when needed.
  • Charts should be analyzed on a desktop for the full scope not a mobile device .... no way
  • I don’t want to mark up charts on a mobile device. But I do want ability to view markings I’ve made via PC.
  • Trading in a hurry is not in my trading plan. May be in the future but for now, big NO. I would use Laptop but not mobile device.
  • Screen is too small. Feels like I am forcing a trade if I am analyzing on my phone. If I am looking at a chart on my phone, its curiosity, informed decisions are made on a 27in screen.
  • In to-day's world, mobile charts are absolutely required to place and Manage a trade. Let's be clear. Serious research/analysis, DZ/SZ etc., can not be done on mobile device but for execution and management of trades, it is a MUST.
  • Great to have a view of the charts and review existing orders, but full on analysis (Curve Trend Zone) and placing an order.. no way
  • Good for doing a quick check on where the price is in relation to the structure, trend and zone; but not so for deep analysis as usability is limited as compared to PC.
  • I prefer mobile apps to check on trades, modify a position once I'm in a trade. Not an ideal way to analyze a potential setup.
  • I like to review my charts throughout the day and I am not always behind a PC.
  • Too small and messy. It's difficult enough with a standardized desktop environment. There's no way I'm looking at a smaller screen and app without all the bells and whistles the desktop app has (even on an iPad).

We will be researching this more with further snap surveys to try to resolve and surface further insights.