For active traders, having access at all times to current stock prices is invaluable and crucial to finding success on the markets.  Several different trading platforms are available on desktop systems, but mobile devices are also very capable tools and are increasingly becoming more important to traders.  iPhones have a few built-in capabilities to help find stock prices, though there are also many apps that you can use to find financial information, and in many cases, facilitate trades.

One of the simplest ways of finding out market prices is by using Siri, Apple’s digital personal assistant found on the newest versions of iPhones and iPads.  By querying Siri, stock price data is quickly retrieved and presented to you in a concise graphic card.  If you ask Siri about a particular stock, she can respond with data such as current stock price, the high or low price of the day, trading volume, or the price change on the day.  All you have to do is activate Siri and ask a specific question, such as: “What is Apple’s stock price today;” or “What was the closing stock price of eBay today;” or “What is the trading volume of Google stock today?”  This is a great way of getting very basic information, very quickly.  It is particularly helpful in situations such as while driving and you are connected by a Bluetooth headset.  You can easily ask for a Siri stock quote, and she will verbally respond to you with the information in addition to displaying the price card on the phone.  Stock data is retrieved from the Yahoo Finance service, so you will get the same information through Siri as you would if you had gone to this popular financial site in a browser on your computer.

iPhone stocks appSimilarly, another related and useful way to get market information is through the use of Apple’s included Stocks app.  When you first open this app, it is preloaded with stocks such as Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG), but the list can be completely customized.  All you have to do is tap the + icon, and then in the search field, type in the company that you wish to follow.  Then tap the appropriate result to add that stock to your custom list.  In this way, you can build your own custom watchlist of whichever stocks that you are interested in following, either because you want to know what your portfolio is doing, or simply want to know how the stock behaves.  When you have created a custom list of stocks, you can scroll through the list by tapping and holding on the list and moving it up and down.  If you tap on the numbers on the right side of the screen, you can toggle between the dollar value price change of the day, the percent change of the day, and the market capitalization.  If you tap on a specific stock symbol, its graph is displayed in the lower portion of the screen, with options along the top of the graph to change the time frame that you wish to examine.  A really cool feature of the Stocks app is that if you turn your iPhone into landscape mode, the screen will rotate and the graph will expand to take up the full screen.  You can then tap and move around the graph to find more price information at specific points.  The app also draws upon data from Yahoo Finance, so you probably won’t have a problem finding stocks of interest to add to your list.  It’s good to know, that as is the policy of the Yahoo site, NASDAQ stocks are provided in realtime, though other stock exchanges may present their data on a 15 minute time delay.

A quick shortcut to the Stocks app can be found in the Notification Center, when you pull straight down from the top center of the screen.  There, you will see a scrolling stock ticker, composed of all the stocks on your list, complete with the current stock price and the price change on the day.  You can tap and drag to move the ticker either directions, and also tap on an individual stock to zoom to that one in the Stock app.  This isn’t necessarily any faster than just loading the app, though it is a nice touch to include a scrolling ticker!

Yahoo Finance appAnother stock app that works much like these Apple stocks is the actual Yahoo Finance app.  As this is the data that the iPhone Stocks app and Siri draw from, I don’t really see a benefit to using this standalone app.  However, having said that, the data is presented differently, and if you use the Yahoo app on an iPad, the layout is much larger and designed to take advantage of the extra screen real estate.  Considering that it is a free app, I do recommend that you download it and try it.  Of course, this is also just an information service that will provide you with recent stock prices.  It does not connect to any of your bank accounts or allow you to make actual trades.

Scotia iTrade appThe above apps and features are extremely handy if you are merely looking for information, and don’t even need it to be the absolutely most up to date info available.  However, if you are a more active trader and do require realtime current information, then there are apps that can help you.  Most likely, your bank or financial institution has published an app that will allow you to monitor your accounts, provides stock quotes and market information, and allows you to place trades.  For example, a popular financial app in Canada is provided by Scotia iTrade, which provides access to trading accounts if you have them with the company.  If you do have an account with Scotia iTrade, I highly recommend checking out their app.  It provides up to date account information, stock quotes, stock price graphs, options trading, news, and custom watch lists.  You will need to input your card number and password to gain access to your account, naturally, but you do have the option to remember the card number so that you only have to input your password in subsequent uses.  In a recent app update, if you add your card number to the app, then you don’t even have to type in your password to gain access to realtime quotes.  Typically, realtime quotes on most exchanges are only provided to registered users who log in to the services or websites, but this app is smart in that it remembers you and grants you easy access to one of these most commonly used functions.

Of course, these tips on how to get stock prices are just information for you to consider, and if you are more serious about trading, nothing I have provided on this site should be used in making your decision.  Trading stocks does not guarantee profit, and you do so at your own risk.  Although, with the selection of apps and services available on your iPhone, obtaining accurate information and actually performing these transactions has never been easier.

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