Collectively, both laptop and phone technologies provide traders with great means of participating in asset markets across the world. But for some aspiring and new traders, the requirement of either adopting a desktop, laptop or phone for trading tends to garner very little consideration.   

Both laptop and phone technologies are useful for trading; but for any trader, the suitability of each option is primarily dependent on trading style, market(s) of interest, current stage of trader development, and life commitments. Let’s explore these considerations further.  

One common mistake shared amongst many individuals who are new to the world of trading is, the belief that choice of technology is the key to trading success; and if only they can obtain ‘the better’ unit of technological kit, their trading activities would produce nothing but immeasurable success. That line of thinking is both erroneous: and dangerous. You see, that line of thinking is akin to an amateur cook who somehow believes that obtaining a set of professional kitchen knives would convert one into a seasoned chef. A skilled chef brings out the best of such professional tools: not the other way round.

Trading style and use of laptop or phone

For traders who make use of signal services and only engage the market following receipt of such signals, making use of smartphone is most ideal as it is the most convenient within such context.  

For traders whose style of approach to market play is built around use of signals from trading indicators (such as moving average, or fractals), making use of either laptop or smartphone is ideal, as one only need periodically check for technical events happening at or near such indicators. On the contrary, for traders who are solely reliant on price action movements, trading on a desktop or laptop provides the better means of technical analysis and ongoing assessments of price.

Market of interest

For those interested in trading stocks, especially as day traders, trading with a laptop or desktop is most beneficial, as opposed to using a phone (except for swing or position trading). This is because there are two main types of stock traders and platforms. On one hand, there are retail traders who operate under retail accounts and make use of retail trading software with standard features. And on the other hand, there are prop/institutional traders who make use of proprietary trading software with customized functionalities: such as hotkeys.  With hotkeys, a professional can initiate a position in a split second.

Current stage of trader development

Many skilled traders are comfortable trading with either laptop or phone technologies, especially those who are focused on a very small number of tradable assets at any given time. Such focus often enables for a good sense of familiarity with a traded asset and feeds into overall confidence. Such skilled traders often trade comfortably using either phone of laptop technologies.

The aforementioned consideration is rather different for beginner traders. Some would prefer to trade via smartphone due to perceived convenience, but many are simply not adequately skilled (especially psychologically) to work around some of the limitations (such as limited price data on display at any one time) that accompany the use of phones for trading. And the root of the concern at the level is that the beginner trader has a tendency to search for something (anything) whilst trading, more so whenever it appears the market is going against the direction ‘they believe’ it should be headed.  

Life Commitments

Trading as an activity requires dedication and good personal management. But due to the realities of human existence, many new traders are simply unable to dedicate most of any working day towards trading related activities. As such, many gravitate towards the use of smartphones as their primary means of conducting technical analysis and trading.

Is A Laptop enough for trading

Some beginner traders believe that a complex computer setup is required to commence with and be successful at trading. That is erroneous. In fact, to some extent, an opposite belief could be more beneficial. One only needs a reasonably sized laptop with a minimum of 8GB ram, adequate battery capacity, and some SSD capacity to get stated: no dual screens or any other fancy computer power.

Laptops are an excellent option in allowing for flexibility and manageability of a new trader’s learning journey, as both learning and trading can be conducted virtually anywhere. To ensure stability and functionality of a remote trading lifestyle, one need have a stable means of Internet connection; be it tethered from a smartphone with backup power banks to hand, or via a mobile router device. 

Last but not least, given that enthusiastic new traders spend a lot of time in watching charts on PC monitors, laptops or smartphones, it is always important to protect one’s eyes from overexposure. A good pair of blue screen glasses should help minimise eye fatigue.