Trading stocks with an iPhone is a reality, though in some cases it’s a buggy reality. The five iPhone trading apps below let investors make trades from anywhere. Most of the apps even have an Apple Watch version.
Mobile trading is still relatively new tech and not every brokerage has it. Even those brokers that do have iPhone trading apps don’t get stellar marks yet. There’s some evidence the low marks come from kinks fitting the apps to the new iPhone 6, which should get sorted out soon.
One exception to the poor reviews of iPhone stock trade apps is Ameritrade’s iPhone brokerage app, which seems to have kept pace with smartphone platform innovation quite well, judging by its high customer reviews.
We’ve ranked the five iPhone stock trade apps below in order of customer ratings.
1. Ameritrade iPhone Trading App
The TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader app is a standout among customers, with four stars out of five for the current version. Features include touch-to-trade stocks, options, ETFs and complex options and futures, real time quotes and tracking and modifying orders and alerts.
There’s a neat multi-touch chart feature investors can use to scan hundreds of chart studies or create their own new studies.
The app provides live streaming of CNBC domestic and international, and an interactive market calendar to create and track events. There are several other innovative features as well. For instance, investors can share ideas and interact with other traders through the myTrade community, create custom watch lists, view risk and performance metrics and manage positions on all their accounts.
The app also enables iPhone check deposit and the ability to test different investment strategies with Ameritrade’s PaperMoney tool.
2. USAA iPhone Trading App
The USAA Mobile app lets investors trade stocks and other investments from their iPhone or Apple Watch. The app’s investment center allows users to place trades, receive quotes and market news, and perform investment research, all from a mobile device. The app’s non-investment features include letting users pay bills, transfer funds, send money and track their spending with the money manager feature. There’s also a version for iPad.
USAA Mobile Trading allows customers to trade not only stocks with their iPhones but also mutual funds and CDs. Users can also create and monitor watchlists to keep tabs on interesting potential investments.
The research feature gives access to market news and real time quotes, as well as company profiles, upgrades and downgrades, stock charts and recommendations from analysts. Customers can also use their iPhones to track activity and order status.
The app is free, though data usage charges may apply. USAA services are open only to members of the U.S. military or their family members. To make use of mobile deposit, USAA members must qualify for USAA property and casualty insurance.
The app is Touch ID capable for added security. Its current version gets decent reviews on the app store, with 3.5 stars out of a possible 5.
3. E*Trade iPhone Trading App
The E*Trade Mobile app for iPhone gives users access to placing trades, managing accounts, real time quotes and more.
The app’s Apple Watch version provides market info at a glance, including account info, portfolio overviews and watch lists, as well as stock alerts and other notifications. While the Apple Watch version requires an iPhone to use, it does make it easier to track investments while leaving the iPhone in a pocket or purse.
Other features of the app include secure logon with Touch ID and the ability to trade not only stocks but also ETFs, mutual funds and orders. Users can view and edit orders, view positions as well as create and view personalized alerts. There’s also a fully fleshed out research section with news, live streaming CNBC, independent research, stock and ETF screens and educational videos.
So far, the E*Trade mobile app for iPhone isn’t getting high marks from customers, with only 2 stars out of a possible five.
4. Charles Schwab iPhone Trading App
The Schwab Mobile app currently doesn’t get high customer ratings on the app store, with only 1.5 stars out of five for the current version.
Schwab’s iPhone app lets users monitor accounts, make trades, research investments and follow market news. Investors can place ETF orders, stock orders and trade mutual funds. They can place, modify and cancel options strategies, and get real time trade notifications.
The app lets customers create watch lists, follow individual stocks or the entire market, watch balances and track gains and losses.
Non-investment features of the iPhone app include mobile bill payment, check cashing and funds transfers.
The app works on an Apple Watch linked to an iPhone and there’s a version for iPad. Hopefully they’ll get the kinks worked out in future updates, because the advertised functionality of this app is stellar.
5. Fidelity iPhone Trading App
The Fidelity iPhone trading app is packed with mobile trading functions. Of course the biggest feature is the ability to trade from anywhere on an iPhone, including trades for stocks, options, mutual funds and ETFs. The app also enables multi-leg option trading to let users buy and sell multiple option contracts. Users choose standard options strategies or set up their own custom versions. There’s also extended hours trading for making trades during off hours.
The app provides real time quotes and personalized alerts. Customizable home screens let users keep an eye on watch lists, accounts, portfolio gainers and losers, world markets and U.S. markets.
Non investment features like mobile check deposit and and bill pay let Fidelity customers mange every aspect of their accounts, right from their iPhone.
Sadly, the app gets only 2.5 stars for the current version.