A warning for iPhone spread betters

IG index has just launched its iPhone spread-betting app that lets you trade wherever and whenever you want. But is that really a good thing?

Worried about stepping away from your terminal when the markets are fizzing? Well you no longer have to be. IG index has just launched its own iPhone app. The biggest spread betting firm in the world joins the likes of GFT and ETX Capital. So now you can spread bet from pretty much anywhere.

And it seems plenty of people might be willing to trade from a phone application. City Index's Josh Raymond, quoted in City AM, reckons that 15% of all of the firm's trades are placed from a mobile device and 90% of those involve an iPhone.

With IGindex, all you need is an account and an iPhone, and you can adjust open positions from the device throughout the trading day. City AM concludes "iPhone addicted traders no longer have to wait to return to their desks before responding to news or tips".

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Sounds great, but I'd sound two words of caution. First off, this is a classic example of kit that could encourage you to trade too often. Just because you can trade from the bus or your favourite caf bar, doesn't mean you should. Frequent and profitable trading are not the same thing. Get yourself a trading strategy and stick to it.

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Next, I wouldn't personally want to rely on an iPhone link to place trades and open and close positions regularly. Sure, the market data functionality is useful to keep you abreast of what's going on, but you want to be 100% certain in volatile markets in particular that a trade has executed on the terms you expect.

And whilst I have nothing against the iPhone specifically, as with any mobile device, lose the signal and your connection (even briefly) and things could go pear-shaped very quickly.

Tim graduated with a history degree from Cambridge University in 1989 and, after a year of travelling, joined the financial services firm Ernst and Young in 1990, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1994.

He then moved into financial markets training, designing and running a variety of courses at graduate level and beyond for a range of organisations including the Securities and Investment Institute and UBS. He joined MoneyWeek in 2007.