stock trading gadgetry
No matter what they tell you, the world of electronics has not
fully caught up with all the nuances of online stock trading.
But it's so close s to almost be a bit.
I guess that’s a personal matter. For those surfers who have
not fully enmeshed themselves
in online stock trading, please note that stock trades can be
executed in a number of different ways:
You can call your broker on a land line or cell and
ask him to place an order for, say, 100 shares of XYZ
stock. That’s the most expensive way to effect a trade because
you’ve got a live body on the other end who places the trade
You can use your telephone (land or cell) and enter the order
electronically with your touchtones. Some brokers charge more
for this service than a regular online Internet order, but
less than the “broker-assisted” order. Please note that both
of these ordering systems assume that you already know what
you want to buy. But what if you don’t? Well, you need
something a bit more sophisticated
than the Pocket PC on the right.
smartphone. . You can use your Palm-compatible device, WAP-enabled
cell phone, Pocket PC like the one show above, or Blackberry
to connect with any of the major online brokers and execute
your trades electronically. Not only can you place orders, you
also can get real-time quotes, check balances, positions,
order status and transaction history. All this for no
additional transaction fees from most brokers.
BUT---PDA's leave something big to be
desired by your average trader.
Most traders need a variety of info before they start throwing
thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars at the daily
ticker, data that simply cannot be crunched by a Blackberry or
Palm-Pilot, no matter how expensive.
I am an experiment of one but before I make a trade I want to
1. A full day’s chart on the stock, preferably a
streaming chart. And you can’t get that on anything less than
a laptop. Yet. I'm sure it's coming, but it ain't here yet.
2. Streaming Level II quotes on the stock. Level I,
for the uninitiated, shows the bid/ask price of stock together
with how many shares have been traded, the stock’s high and
low, etc. But Level II also shows a more complete order book
for the stock including who is offering to buy or sell
how many shares of what stock and what price. Now you’re going
face to face with the ECNs and the market makers like
Archipelago, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs,
etc. For anybody who trades stock this is a must, and the
hand-held devices simply don’t have it.
3. Plus, there’s a ton of other data that’s not
available on Blackberries and the like. You can’t really
browse other Web sites for background info since they’re not
all compatible with those tiny PDA screens.
Am I saying that PDAs are useless pieces of trading junk? Not
at all. In my opinion they’re a good adjunct to trading
after you’ve entered the market to keep tabs on trades
you’ve already decided to make. When that happens, I use a PDA
to take advantage of rapid changes in the stock market
wherever I happen to be at the exact moment an opportunity