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Nial Fuller

Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

Is Mobile Trading Bad For You ?

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By in Forex Trading Tutorials Last updated on | 53 Comments

mobiletradingYou can do almost anything on a smartphone these days, including placing and managing trades. Having this 24-hour finger-tip access to the market brings with it some significant advantages and disadvantages.

Whilst I’m all for smartphones and the conveniences of checking email on-the-go and having access to what is for the most part, life-enhancing technology, there is definitely a danger for traders having 24-hour instant access to the market. Having market access essentially glued to your body around the clock via a smartphone can very easily create an addiction. Even if you don’t feel like it’s an addiction…being able to satisfy your urge to check the market whenever and wherever you want is something that entices many traders to over-trade.

Aside from obvious health risks like trying to place a trade while driving down the freeway or while trying to mow your lawn (joking, although I’m sure some people do this), mobile trading brings with it a whole set of other more serious issues, mainly emotional ones, which traders didn’t have to deal with in the past.

In today’s lesson, we are talking about the emotional implications of mobile trading. We are not dissing mobile trading apps, in fact, you should use them and take advantage of the technology, but anything in excess is bad for you, and sadly, most traders who use mobile trading apps abuse them or use them to excess.

An addiction in disguise

For many traders, downloading a mobile app from their broker seems like an obvious thing to do. For example, a guy (or girl) gets an iPhone, goes to the app store and gets his broker’s trading app. Now he thinks, “Yay! cool, I can take this to the barbecue and show my mates, even take it the toilet if I have to…I’ll never miss a trading opportunity now!” However, little does he know he’s in for a wild ride. Just like a gambler at a casino he will probably give his money to the market without really being aware of what he’s getting sucked into: flashing numbers and indirect emotional manipulation. For those who wake up quickly, this is avoidable, for many of you it might already be too late. But you can break the addiction if you try.

For many traders, having a mobile trading app is like gluing a cigarette to their hand or like having their hand glued to a slot machine; because it’s right in front of their face and so easy to access…it takes more self-control than most people have to ignore the temptation.

Reasons people are drawn to mobile trading

People are drawn to mobile trading for a multitude of reasons. I am of the belief that most retail traders abuse mobile trading apps and don’t use them right. Having a mobile trading app on your phone is like walking around with a wad of cash in your pocket all the time; eventually you’re going to spend some money on something you otherwise probably wouldn’t have had you not had that cash in your pocket.

Some of the more common reasons that traders get drawn to mobile trading apps are the following:

• It’s cool to think you’re “trading like pro” with a mobile trading platform – In fact, most pro traders place little to no trades from their mobile apps. Pro traders know that if they are too busy to sit down in their usual trading office or work from their usual trading computer, they probably don’t have the correct trading mindset to fully focus on trading. Thus, it’s better not to trade if you are too busy to be fully focused on the market. Pro traders use mobile trading apps as more of a monitoring tool than anything else. They know that there is too much at stake to lose money simply because they were rushed and didn’t properly analyze the charts from their most effective state of mind.

• It’s cool to show your friends your fancy trading app and say “Hey look I’m a trader” – You might think it looks cool to be trading on your smartphone while waiting in-line somewhere to get food or while out with your friends. However, most people think it’s a little rude to be glued to your phone all the time at a social outing or other event. Who cares about looking cool anyways? Making money in trading is what matters, not how you look while doing it.

• It’s cool to take your phone to bed like Gordon Gecko and lay there checking the charts – Losing sleep because you can’t stop looking at or thinking about the markets is a classic hallmark of an over-trader and a trading addict. The smartphone has offered a very easy way for traders to lie in bed looking at charts or analyzing other trading variables. When you go to sleep…go to sleep! Losing sleep is only going to hurt your overall trading performance as well as other areas of your life.

Ease of access is not always a good thing

easeofaccessHere’s a reality check: mobile trading is great for a certain breed of professional, but for the everyday retail trader it can do more harm than good. Essentially, when you trade from a mobile phone you are starting to enter the same world that the online casinos lure people into, which is addiction created by the easy availability of the markets on the run. Since it’s there in front of you at your fingertips or in your pocket…a smartphone tempts and encourages you to watch the market any free minute you get.

I’ve got news for you: traders controlling millions or billions of dollars aren’t trading hundreds of times a day or week on their mobile phones. At most, they are checking the market if they are traveling or otherwise don’t have access to their regular trading computer.

A lot of traders have a false-sense of what a mobile trading app should be used for: it’s there for a monitoring tool, it’s not there to engage a lot of trading activity. You DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING with it…just use it to monitor. Remember, that the LTTTM method is not a high-frequency model of day-trading, therefore, the lure of being able to trade from your phone all day could interfere because you’ll be watching the live prices tick up and down from work, airport, or even the bathroom and you’ll be panicking on every red and green flash.

Use mobile trading apps as the tool they were designed for but be aware of the emotional pitfalls and subconscious manipulation that occurs when you have a cell phone with a mobile trading app attached to you all day.

How to use your mobile trading app properly

Mobile trading apps are a great tool if used correctly. Here are some of the uses that mobile trading apps are good for:

• Exiting a position – Occasionally, you might see a valid reason to exit a trade while monitoring with your mobile trading app. You have to be really careful with this though, and it’s not something you should try doing until you’re already experienced and know what you’re looking for. But, a mobile trading app can give you the ability to exit a trade at a better price since you have more access to the market, just be sure you don’t abuse it by exiting for an emotional reason rather than a logic-based one.

• Monitoring a trade that you’re in several times for the day but not to excess…Doing basic quote checking.

• If you are traveling and don’t have access to your ultra-book or laptop, a mobile trading app certainly could play a role in your analysis, but if you are traveling it’s probably best not to trade because you’re focus is not as sharp.

In essence, a mobile trading app is good for monitoring trades and possibly exiting them, but that’s really about it. You have to be very careful in entering a trade from a mobile trading app. Most of the time, it’s not the best idea because you will either be entering in a rushed state of mind or you will just be over-trading. Take time and relax and only enter a trade when you’re in the right mindset and you have time to determine with confidence whether or not a worth-while trade setup is truly present.

In closing…

metatrader4_iPhoneOther than the radiation risks of carrying a cellphone in your pocket (joking), mobile trading apps are cool to use and cool to look at…but they can also be a highway to addiction and emotional trading decisions. It’s easy to become drawn to these apps, almost like an obsession, but you really need to learn to keep them in-check if you want to benefit from them rather than getting hurt by them.

Mobile trading apps should be thought of as more of a supplement than a primary trading device. Meaning, if you have a trade on and you have to be away from your normal laptop or trading office for a day or two, then it makes sense to use your mobile trading app to monitor your trade and possibly adjust stops or exit according to what the price action is showing you. However, for most traders entering trades via their smartphone mobile trading app is a bad idea and is something they should avoid. The whole idea behind the method I teach in my trading course and members’ community is to not watch the market all day and to not over-trade, but to trade like a sniper instead. If you feel like you’re having trouble controlling yourself with your mobile trading app, then maybe try going without it for a while and see if you’re trading improves, then later on you can start using it again … but try only using it to occasionally monitor open positions or manage a trade as necessary.

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About Nial Fuller

is a Professional Trader & Author who is considered ‘The Authority’ on Price Action Trading. He has a monthly readership of 250,000+ traders and has taught 20,000+ students since 2008. In 2016, Nial won the Million Dollar Trader Competition. Checkout Nial's Professional Trading Course here.
  1. MUNGE August 13, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    Some points to be highlight patience is key ,not interfering with trades

  2. Tom May 4, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Thanks Nial.
    Am really encourage, though am new to FX!
    Great stuff, God Bless You.

  3. Dillon May 4, 2012 at 12:12 am

    This is my first time here, and a lot of the information on your site fits me exactly! I have every single one of these problems…

    This article may have changed the way I look at the market, excellent stuff!

  4. Sonja May 1, 2012 at 6:51 am

    You rock Nial, you are THE BEST mentor in the world!
    Keep it going!

  5. slivester May 1, 2012 at 1:47 am

    thanks very2 much sir

  6. Todor May 1, 2012 at 1:17 am

    You have my bow again, Nial! Everything you teach i find a piece of genius. I should only learn and apply. Thank you very much indeed!

  7. julius April 30, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Nial, All that you listed were the things that choked me.Thank you for always being there. May God bless you.

  8. eileen khoo April 30, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Thank Nial! You had just hit on my obsession and over-analyzing so much so that more often than not I just missed th trade. Will take note and work on that, thanks once again!

  9. Kevin(Zach)Harper April 30, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Great Stuff Nial
    Have to totally agree….Be Patient…Be Patient….and then finally ask yourself …Is this really a quality trade setup ???

    Excellent Nial

  10. anton April 30, 2012 at 6:33 am

    A++ Article. If you cant grasp the above points then their is no saving you from ruin.

  11. pecsen April 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Very useful article again, thank you Nail for your effort!
    In many cases I tried to be patient, but I wasn’t strong enough, so I did some mistakes:
    I checked the charts during working hours, I checked it on mobile phone and modified stop, limit etc. Like others I also do try to reduce the number of my mistakes,
    so first of all I decided to remove the trader application from my phone (however it was perfect, I loved it, but don’t need it), and I started to use weekly charts and the daily. Nowdays I take pending entry (stop, limit) orders and I don’t check the charts for one or two days. I will try to not change the view of the charts to 4h candle, the daily is much stronger and contains everything I need.
    And I wait to close the daily candles. I already haven’t read articles about economy for x month, I’ve spent my time with much more useful things (want to improve my english).
    I’m sure If I’ll not violate these rules, I’ll be much more successful in trading (of course by Nail’s price action) with less effort and less stress and with better english :) Sometimes you have to be strict with yourself (others will not be) during the road to the main goal. Just my two cents! Good luck! :)

  12. Yusuf Hammed April 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Nial you are a FX GURU you know how unsuccessful fx traders feel.Every FX trader most learn how to be Patient and looks for Good set up before they enter the market.I like you, you just keep it simple and make it simple.

  13. Jerry Snyder April 29, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Hi Nial,
    as always you are right on – I know that I have to keep reminding myself and your timing is remarkable – thanks -jerry

  14. Amio April 29, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Very true.What are the antidotes?

  15. DRS April 29, 2012 at 5:45 am

    2 years is what it takes to work out the markets.

  16. sez elabor April 29, 2012 at 4:25 am

    what can i say Nial? you are the epitome of a professional trader.. this artcle is splendid and good for traders.. you are the best Forex Mentor i have ever known.. thank you a million times..

  17. Robert Meinecke April 29, 2012 at 4:21 am

    Thank You Nial for a Block Buster Article. This is exacttly what has happened to me and it is a wake up call for me. You really know how to hit home in such an easy understanding way. I really liked your “Holy Grail” desription about patience. Thank you again.

  18. Bhupinder April 28, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Just Brilliant. Thanks for making things easier Nial.

  19. AMIN MALIK April 28, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    NIAL! Thank you for being pretty serious in your MISSION of helping Traders at large. For sure, many of us are improving/ developing the proper MINDSET to become a successful TRADER. Your ability to get to the MEAT of the subject is IMPRESSIVE. Please keep coming. THANKS & REGARDS. AMIN

  20. Jude FX April 28, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    your articles are very factual for anyone who can follow them. keep it up because you are changing lives!

  21. Tay Jui Chuan April 28, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Hi Nial,
    Thank you very much for this timely article and a very timely reminder.
    Thank you very much

  22. hamish April 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    todays lesson is bang on and a must for all wannabe successful traders. great insite and knowledge to be gained for all. thanks Nial

  23. Ramli April 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Thanks n Cheers

  24. John April 28, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Banks and institutional traders sit on the side line, why shouldn’t we. Thank you Nial Cash is a position.

  25. Colin April 28, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Thanks Nial thats the best lesson yet. It somes me up what I used to do, But slowly breaking all my bad habits. I am saving all these 5 lessons & will keep going over them just to help me through some rough patches Thanks Nial Great Lesson

  26. Oztrades April 28, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Well said. Just topped up my account and am sitting. Missed the big pin bar on the AUD/USD 4 hrly yesterday….. waiting for the next bus to hop on.

  27. Isaac April 28, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Great write up, thanks

  28. wilson April 28, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Nial excellent theme, the simple is better, thanks.

  29. Russ April 28, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Nail on the head Nial!!!! You are a truth bringer!

  30. dcsneeden April 28, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Excellent article Nial! If feels like you know all my struggles or maybe you have experienced all of these challenges. I definately need more patience! Thanks.

  31. inder sachdev April 28, 2012 at 2:18 am

    Simply amazing!

  32. Zahid April 28, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Great article as usual. Scanned the brain, thinking and psychology of the newbi. I have learned a lot through it. Thank you Nial.

    Zahid Malik

  33. flash April 28, 2012 at 1:36 am

    I dont often post comments, but it is warranted this time. This one is a duizzie! 10/10! Well done Nial.

  34. Pham April 28, 2012 at 12:59 am

    Great article, very useful, I like it a lot, thanks Nial for that!

  35. Jeevan April 28, 2012 at 12:33 am

    well said, a lesson to be followed and applied for each traders on their trade, as you always say keep it simple and short – is the key to success i always believe, nice work again,, may this lesson awakes someone

  36. Kimbo4x April 28, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Great article. I believe overtrading is part of our “work ethic.”

    Many of us think that if we don’t trade today, we didn’t put in an honest days work. It goes against our “work ethic.” Deciding NOT to take a trade is WORK, too. Work smarter, not harder.

    Looking at Andy’s post, I would greatly appreciate feedback from Nial.

    Personally, I believe in setting pending entry orders. You must be careful, though. I reduce my position size, and I only choose trades where the risk reward ratio is quite high — in fact a set my entry level to increase that RRR (like using a 62% retrace instead of 50% retrace). Also, I only do this in early to mid Tokyo session so the limit order trade has a chance to grow throughout London and NY.


  37. AndyH April 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Great article. Trying to internalize all these lessons. I often feel compelled to trade because I have a narrow window in which I can. 6PM to 1AM EST when things can be a bit slow. Nial, since we are most clear minded when we are out of the market, would it make sense for us to set up pending orders?

    ~ Andy

  38. YangL April 27, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Technique, patience and discipline are key to win, thank you for your sharing!

  39. ed April 27, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    #1 hits the nail on the head! thx

  40. cheetu April 27, 2012 at 10:59 pm


    Essentially it says get off the GRQ brain!


  41. Wes April 27, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Yea Man! Didn’t start being profitable until I learned patience.

  42. onesi John April 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    nice article, thanks for all ur service to the trading community

  43. samuel April 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    What an article! Thanks Nail,prof of price action.This is too good.

  44. Kenny R April 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Great Great post Nial. I used to do all that before I learned Price Action trading on a naked chart. I’m making a killing using just one Price Action setup that I can call all mine now. Trading can get pre-school easy when you have a well defined strategy and plan with strict money management. Mix in some patience and discipline and BINGO!!! There’s your holy grail right there. Account is up 40% in 120 days taking a few trades a month of just pin bars! Love it!

  45. Chris H April 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Good stuff Niall and I recognise some of thse. You deserve encouragement – there are some dreadful so called mentors out there. Keep it going m8!

  46. Chris April 27, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    An amazingly intuitive piece of work Nial. You really hit home. recently I was thinking about what the most powerful weapon in the forex asrenal is and maybe illogically came to the concusion that “you do not have to trade”. No-one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to trade. So patience, waiting for best opportunity to come along is everything.


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