Mobile Investing Continues to Grow with TD Ameritrade
Five years ago, few investors would have considered using a mobile device to initiate a trade.
At the time, notebooks and desktop PCs reigned supreme as the leading platforms for investors. Now that smartphones and tablets are beginning to replace traditional PCs, investors are becoming more comfortable with the idea of trading with a mobile device.
TD Ameritrade (NYSE: AMTD) is working hard to fill investors' thirst for mobile trading. Senior Vice President Steven Quirk of the firm's Trader Group, recently told Benzinga how TD Ameritrade is building, refining and perfecting its apps (and its mobile site) to accommodate the evolving needs of its users.
"We are the leader in trades of any firm on the Street," said Quirk. "[Mobile trading is] now approaching 10 percent of all of our trades that are done through a mobile application."
In the olden days of 2009 or 2010, investors may have turned to their smartphone just to make a quick transaction in between swings at the golf course.
"So what we saw was a lot more people were closing trades, meaning they were not initiating the trade," said Quirk. "They already have a trade on and they're either buying it or selling it to close that transaction, and those numbers were [roughly] 60 to 70 percent of all transactions."
Today it has flipped. Quirk said that there are now times when more than 60 percent of all mobile transactions are from investors who are initiating a trade.
"[The] client is very comfortable and very familiar and very willing to do their research [on mobile] -- basically able to do all that they would normally do on a laptop or desktop on that mobile application," said Quirk.
As many as 250,000 individuals use TD Ameritrade's mobile application every week.
Quirk credited the success of mobile trading with the improvement in the application and its user interface, which has become easier to navigate.
In fact, these improvements have actually inspired a change among the way individuals trade. While many investors used to employ the "sell in May and go away" strategy, Quirk said that that's no longer the case.
"You can take the tablet with you virtually anywhere," he added.
Thus, investors no longer need to sell in May before they go away. They can continue trading all over the world, regardless of their summer vacation destination.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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