Mobile Applications: Trading on the Go

06/15/2011 3:30 pm EST

Focus: OPTIONS

Don Kaufman

Co-Founder, TheoTrade

Thinkorswim's Don Kaufman discusses some of the latest advances in option trading using mobile technology.

A lot of trading technology and tools have gone mobile in the last few years, and our guest today is Don Kaufman to talk about mobile ways that you can get option information as well.

So Don, talk about some of the advances here in mobile technology for option trading.

Just mobile technology, in general, in the marketplace; it’s new, it’s in. I mean, you can look at iPhone applications; we’ve got BlackBerry applications; we’ve got Android; and now, the newest addition to the thinkorswim group, of course, is the iPad app.

Can I really trade on these things? I mean, are there as powerful systems in software for analysis as I have on my laptop or desktop?

You know, I don’t think it’s ever going to be as powerful, but with the addition now of the iPad, the iPad really took a lot of our technology kind of in a different direction in that, yeah, it’s almost as robust as a desktop is.  The iPad (is) phenomenal for being able to build technology with. 

Alright, so what can I do with your specific application? Can I trade? Can I do everything I normally could?

You know, you name it, and especially when it comes to options, spreads, you know, iron condors; rather convoluted trades can be done now right off your iPad. 

In fact, you can even do that on an iPhone or the Android; even any of the mobile applications out there today. 

So really, there’s no limitation to what we can build. It’s just a matter now of building up the technology to support, of course, the clients. 

So now I can trade anywhere, but should I trade anywhere, when I may be distracted on the train or something else?

Well, distracted on the train, or driving home, probably not the best idea, but of course, you know, most of the time, initially you get a lot of people looking at quotes on these mobile devices. 

For the first time, clients are now are trading on the iPad and using it in lieu of a desktop and/or a laptop, much more so than they would with the iPhone or one of the Android applications.

Alright, so what’s next then? If the iPad is the latest and greatest, what’s coming that we haven’t heard about yet?

I don’t know. Steve Jobs just recently took a leave, so we’ll have to wait for the next greatest piece of technology out there.
You know, the tablet PC in general—like the iPad—is nothing new. So this is stuff that we expect out there, and I really think that we’re going to move much more into touch technology—similar to the iPad, and again, nothing new. 

This has been around for over a decade. It just seems that Apple really brought that technology back to the forefront, especially, of course, in the financial industry. 

Now one of the things that I find useful in options is visually seeing where my profit and loss is going to be with those nice triangles or the ellipses that tell me where my maximum profit or loss is going to be.  Anything new there in terms of visualizing these trades?

Well, yeah. Actually, for the first time, we built within our iPad application just that, so you’ve got full risk metric and risk analysis within our iPad application, and that has never really been available before in mobile technology; only from the point of view that you only have such a screen to work with in terms of size. Of course, the iPad has got plenty of pixels for that. 

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