As more and more Americans embrace the concept of remote work, people have been looking into ways to make their side hustles, such as online stock and forex trading, fit in with this new normal. While doing things remotely is convenient, doing them on the go is even better, so it is only natural that people have considered the possibilities of working and trading from their phones.
Trading forex from your phone has become increasingly functional and feasible in recent years. Given the advanced operating systems and expanded battery lives of current smartphones, traders can trade forex on their mobile devices just as effectively as they can from their computers.
While many traders can make forex transactions on their phones without missing a beat, this does not necessarily mean that trading from your phone is easier and/or better than on a full-screen computer. As with anything in the phone vs. computer debate, there will be some beneficial trading features on a computer that must be accounted for when switching over to your mobile device.
Why Trade Forex from Your Phone?
The appeal of trading from your phone stems from the ability to make forex transactions from any place at any time.
At one time, the forex market was only accessible through a broker on Wall Street or other investment firms, significantly limiting when and where consumers could trade. Then, the Internet and trading software made it possible for traders to access the forex market from the comfort of their own homes.
Now, innovative smartphones and powerful wireless networks make trading forex possible anywhere, whether on vacation, at the gym, or during happy hours with your work associates.
In addition, as the smartphone generation is notorious for its lack of patience, your phone gives you real-time information, updates, and notifications about current market conditions, allowing you to make decisions on the spot.
As the forex market can be very volatile, waiting hours or days to get to a computer and manage your portfolio can cause traders to miss critical entry and exit points in the market, such as re-deploying cash received from hitting stop-loss or take-profit targets.
While the benefits of mobile trading are manifold thanks to the freedom and customizability it provides traders, some factors continue to slow the complete adoption of trading from a smart device.
The classic portrait of a successful trader, that of the domineering, suit-clad presence in a bustling corporate office, still pervades in many people’s minds, likely due to Hollywood portrayals of what big finance traditionally looks like.
This can leave many people hesitant, thinking that they are not “real” traders if they are buying and selling currency on a small scale from their smartphone on a Costa Rican beach.
The reality is that not only are those traders who trade from their smartphones “real” traders, but the corporate giants traditionally thought of as “real” traders increasingly recognize that the future has arrived, and it is here to stay. More and more brokers and charting providers have released software in recent years that caters to the mobile trading experience.
Can You Trade Forex with Any Phone?
The answer to this question is a straightforward yes, no, and it depends.
For the “yes” part, you should be able to trade from any smartphone, provided that you are connected to the Internet, or have a strong enough data signal.
For the “no” part, while you theoretically can trade from any smartphone, that does not mean that you should trade from any smartphone. Avoid mobile trading if you can answer “yes” to any of the following:
- Your phone has a weak or unreliable battery. Having your phone die or unexpectedly glitch out in the middle of a trade can be disastrous. In addition, some trading software draws heavily on your battery, so do not be in the midst of an active exchange if your battery falls below 20%.
- Your phone has a cracked or damaged screen. While phones—and screen replacements themselves—are expensive, do not attempt to trade with a damaged screen. While everyday use does not require your screen to be in pristine condition, the critical financial information displayed on your mobile device’s trading software is too important to be concealed behind any cracks.
- Your phone has a tiny screen. Inadvertently hitting the wrong button on a screen that is too small can have massive financial consequences. Additionally, constantly zooming in can cause you to miss or overlook essential data on other parts of the screen. In general, it is best to trade on a screen of at least 5.5 inches (measured diagonally from corner to corner).
As for the “it depends,” there will be some trading software that is not compatible with the operating system on some phones. If you have an old generation of a smartphone, Windows phone, or Blackberry, it is likely that you will not be able to support the trading software you want to use.
Therefore, if you plan on mobile trading with great frequency, it is best to have the latest generation of your preferred phone on the market and make sure that it is equipped with the most recent Android or iOS update.
Even then, it is no guarantee that a specific trading software will be universally compatible with all phones, so be sure to confirm that you have the right type of phone before joining a trading platform and beginning your foray into the forex game.
What Kind of Phone Should You Get to Trade Forex?
There is no “right” or “wrong” choice when choosing a phone to trade forex, as long as the previous section has been taken into consideration and the operating system and trading software are compatible. As such, the decision will likely come down to personal preference.
However, veteran forex traders who have experience trading across multiple devices can speak to the ease and functionality of using each type, so if you are still undecided on which phone to use, the following options should be able to meet your needs:
iPhone 11 Pro/11 Pro Max
If you have the budget, you cannot go wrong trading from this latest generation of iPhone. Compatible with most any trading software you would want to use, it has an elite battery life, and with a 5.8-inch screen, it offers an excellent display for trading purposes while still capable of fitting in one hand.
The only issue with this phone is that you may be able to get these benefits for a lower price from other phones.
This Android phone offers virtually the same benefits as the iPhone 11 at a fraction of the price. In fact, it even has more storage and memory than the small iPhone 11, which can keep your phone from getting bogged down if you use a lot of apps and data. If you are comfortable going with a brand that is not as mainstream, this is an excellent choice for your forex trading needs.
Google Pixel 4 XL
As Google Androids have increased in popularity on the broader market in recent years, so too have they risen in the forex game. While the Google Pixel 4 XL’s 6 GB RAM and 128 GB of memory are greater than the smallest-storage iPhone 11, questions remain as to whether its battery will be able to last quite as well as its iOS competitor.
Still, if Androids are your preference, the Google Pixel 4 XL is an excellent choice for trading forex.
Samsung Galaxy S10/S10 Plus
If the screen size is your top priority, then the Samsung Galaxy S10 is the phone for you. In addition to the large screen, it offers an upgraded battery over previous generations of the Galaxy. With 8 GB RAM, it has the best memory in the mobile trading game.
You may not want to be the person with the annoyingly big phone, but there is no shame in a bigger screen size if you are committed to trading forex.
iPhone X/iPhone XS
The big-screen family for forex trading would not be complete without offering an iOS option. With a screen of 5.8 inches, the iPhone X is noticeably bigger than the standard 5.5-inch screen used in most phones.
The question is with the iPhone X’s battery life, as it comes in a good three hours less than that of the newer iPhone 11; this could be an issue for some high-volume traders. It is also more expensive than similar Android options.
Platforms to Use to Trade Forex on Your Phone
Although it is essential to get the ideal phone before starting your forex journey, it is only half the battle, as you need an actual forex trading platform to give your phone value as a trading implement.
While there are hundreds of trading platforms available, this does not mean that they are all worth your time, with most of them not compatible with the phone and/or trading brokerage you choose to use.
As all brokerages recognize the rise in mobile trading, most offer some kind of trading app, software, or platform that is compatible with your smartphone. Therefore, when choosing a platform to trade forex on your phone, it is best to use the one provided by your brokerage.
If you are completely new to the forex game and are confused about what a brokerage is, think of it as the institution or entity through which you trade. You open an account, deposit funds, then use the broker’s trading platform to buy, sell, and trade currency. Very likely, you have already been using a brokerage on your computer before making the transition to mobile trading.
Some common forex trading brokerages are:
- Plus500 – This brokerage offers a wide variety of features that are very easy for beginners to use.
- eToro – This is an excellent application for copy trading, which allows you to mimic the strategy of the most successful traders on the platform.
- Admiral Markets – Their software offers an impressive selection of educational tips for forex traders.
- Markets.com – This is one of the more expensive platforms to use but has many user-friendly features.
- Saxo Bank – This is a good option for traders who want to deal with higher balances.
Some of the most common names in forex trading software include MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader. These are all great platforms that are compatible with both the Android and iOS operating systems, and there is a strong chance that your brokerage offers one of these software choices for their own mobile trading purposes.
However, if your brokerage offers its own proprietary platform, then these more common, universal software options will not be of much use if unsupported by your brokerage.
How Much Trading Should You Do from Your Phone?
This is another question to which there is no right or wrong answer. With the prowess of modern smart phones combined with innovative trading software, you can theoretically do all your forex trading from your phone.
You may have a bot set to follow a grid strategy that allows you to capture increasing gains during bull runs by automatically buying more at every rise of a predetermined PIP level. Alternatively, you may have a bot that follows a breakout strategy that automatically enters you into a new position when a price breaks through a long-standing support or resistance level.
Therefore, it is conceivable that you could allow your forex robot to do all the calculations and make all transaction decisions for you. In these cases, you would only check in from your smart device as needed to monitor your account’s progress or make any changes to your strategy.
While smartphones and forex robots increase your ability to trade profitably from anywhere in the world, even the staunchest enthusiasts of mobile trading like to check in on the computer every now and then.
The larger computer screen can allow traders to analyze charts and trends better, and desktop versions may show some information on your broker’s platform that the smartphone software does not. Therefore, it is a good idea to allocate about 20% of your trading time to the computer, even if mobile is your preferred choice.
Is it Risky to Trade Forex from Your Phone?
This question is best answered by stating that it is not any more risky to trade forex from your phone than any other medium. In fact, there are some features, such as fingerprint and facial recognition software, that can keep your forex brokerage accounts more secure on your phone than on your computer.
However, trading forex is in and of itself a risky proposition, from a purely financial standpoint. Any time you put money into markets with no guaranteed rate of return, you run the risk of suffering significant financial loss.
Furthermore, as the forex market is extremely volatile with a high likelihood that you may be trading against experienced institutional investors (thanks to the zero-sum nature of forex trading) who have keen insight on how markets may be set to move, then it stands to reason that the inexperienced and/or underprepared are at significant risk of losing money in the forex game.
However, trading from your phone does not make trading forex any less safe than it would be when trading from a computer. To ensure that your forex accounts are secure when engaging in mobile trading, take heed of the following points:
- Always use a strong, unique password to protect both your phone and forex brokerage account, making use of fingerprint and facial recognition software when possible. If making unique passwords is an issue, consider the benefits of a password manager.
- Never connect your phone to an unsecured wireless network when opening your account for use.
- Do not keep your phone unlocked when you are not actively using it.
- Avoid taking screenshots of notable events in your account and sharing them with friends.
- Consider a virtual private network (VPN) on your device.
In many respects, the world is bypassing the remote, at-home stage of commerce and delving right into the “on-the-go” phase. While this applies to work opportunities, it also extends to the world of online forex trading.
While some people may not feel like an authentic forex trader if they make small trades on their phone, even the most corporate names in the forex game know that mobile trading is the future, and the future is here to stay.
Thanks to advanced Android and iOS operating systems and battery lives, as well as the many choices for compatible forex trading software, forex trading can be achieved just as safely and effectively from your phone as your desktop.