How To Trade Stock From Your iPhone

iSwim iphone chart pic

Photo: thinkorswim

thinkorswim has been consistently rated as a top trading platform for a few years now and with good reason.It’s incredibly robust and offers both amateur and professional traders comprehensive details on every type of security out there, along with some excellent tools.

But did you know they offer an iPhone app called iSwim that emulates most of the features of its desktop counterpart?

They do, and it means that this summer, you can trade from the beach.

Trade stocks, options, and futures from the palm of your hand

Complementing its sophisticated desktop client, the iSwim iPhone app allows you to easily trade equities, options, and futures from your phone. Just tap 'Orders' and enter the ticker. Thinkorswim will bring up the current prices, displayed live. Enter your order and the exchange you want to buy/sell on and hit 'Send Order' - you're good to go.

Now let's get trading!

Alright, so you want to buy some shares of GameStop (GME). Login and tape the quick quote bar at the top.

In this case, we'll use GameStop's ticker - GME.

It's all in the details

You'll be presented with a screen showing every last detail of the security you picked. Look it all over and make your decision to go long or short.

Editing your order

Now, look at the bid and ask and last price. What do you want to do? Buy or sell? Whats the quantity you want? Is it a limit order or a market order? If it is a limit, when do you want it to trigger? Lots of options are available here. Choose your exchange and after everything is set, hit 'Send Order.'

Confirm your order

Or edit it if you messed up.

Boom! It's sent!

A pop up bubble confirms the order was sent along with your account number and details of the trade.

You'll now be on your order list

Here you can view your trades. Let's check out our GameStop trade by touching it.

Your positions come in loud and clear

After you hit the 'Positions' button, you'll now have this screen. As you can see, the positions screen is quite robust and gives you a comprehensive breakdown of your book in an organised, clean fashion. We see our P&L, BP effect, and ticker symbols, along with the amount of cash we've invested at the bottom.

Everything we need to know is here

The date and time of the trade, whether it was filled or not, order number, price, quantity and company are all here. Now tap 'Positions' on the bottom menu to see your open positions.

Now let's tap GME

And we'll close out our position.

Select the positions to close

In this case, our 100 shares of GME. Tap it and hit 'Close Selected' in the top right corner.

Back to the order editor

Confirm and hit send. You've been through this before. Now you're just closing out your position.

Voila! You're done

Another pop up bubble will confirm your trade went through.

Tap the small yellow, moving piece of paper in the middle of the screen

This will bring up the message centre. It shows a history of all your orders and confirmations.

Need to go to a meeting but want to be alerted if, say, a stock reaches a particular price point so you can make a move? No problem. Hit 'Alerts,' tap 'Alert Editor,' and enter your ticker symbol. Here you can fully customise the alert, changing settings on everything from the exchange to the trigger to the threshold. Buttons at the button quickly let you access your positions in that particular security.

A crystal clear account overview

It may sound like a basic feature but it's a really important one. By tapping 'Positions,' you can quickly access your account statement, which includes:

  • Your account number
  • Net liquidating value
  • Stock buying power
  • YTD commissions
  • Option buying power

This is key for when you've got an idea and need to quickly check your account to see if you've got the scratch to make it happen. You can also see your current profits and losses, ordered by security.

Plenty of options

Derivatives traders will find all the information they get on the desktop version of Thinkorswim right on their iPhone with the iSwim app. To get every gritty detail on, in this example, and equity option for Goldman Sachs (GS), you simply hit 'Quotes' and type in the ticker. Then hit the 'Options' button next to the 'Chart' and 'News' buttons for a full array of information. All contracts will be shown, including expiration, strike, live bid and ask, and a ton of other useful data.

Radio, radio

Who ever said trading had to involve quickly punching keys and watching numbers fly by? Thinkorswim provides a group of audio channels for listening, including two NPR stations (Boston and NYC), a classical music station, and the ShadowTrader Live feed. Great for your morning commute.

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