Saturday, March 17, 2012
Online Investors Cut the Cord (2012 Online Broker Review)
In Barron’s 17th annual ranking of online brokers, Interactive Brokers gets the highest marks.
“In many ways, the iPad is reinventing portable computing and outstripping the wildest predictions,” Apple chief Timothy D. Cook said last week while unveiling the tablet computer’s latest upgrade. A bit of hyperbole? Yes, but Cook won’t get any argument from online brokers. Barely a year after the first real investment-related applications were designed for it, the iPad has become a viable platform for buying stocks and bonds and is driving gains in mobile-trading activity.
Big brokers like TD Ameritrade, E*Trade and Fidelity, as well as smaller rivals like MB Trading and OptionsHouse, have all rushed to serve iPad-based customers with new apps. Although no industry-wide figures are available, there’s lots of evidence the iPad and other mobile devices are having an effect. Ameritrade says the number of transactions taking place on mobile devices has more than doubled in each of the past two years. E*Trade reports an average of 200,000 unique monthly mobile log-ins and that 5% of its retail trades took place on a mobile device at the end of 2011. OptionsHouse CEO George Ruhana says mobile apps now account for over 15% of the firm’s core customer activity.
The entire article, plus accompanying tables, can be found at:
Cover story in Barron’s, March 12, 2012.