We live in a world where money is already represented by numbers in a computer. Just look at Bitcoin and other forms of crypto-currency. In contrast, not so long ago, one might have raised an eyebrow at the idea of trading oil that you've never seen from the comfort of your own bathtub, more so at the idea that anyone might be able to enjoy this luxury... or at least simulate it.
Indeed, just like Poker apps lure you into their snare with free virtual bucks on entry, so does Trading 212 offer some ten thousand bucks in form of your local currency. However this is only to play around the app using real crowd funded data and not to screw up the market and screw yourself in the process of making a really bad decision. In essence it works like a market trading game, since you can reset your virtual balance and start over as many times as you wish. However, if you're serious about it, you can create an account and link it to your assets (not recommended unless you really know what you are doing).
Trading 212 covers both the stock market and Forex (currency market). Buying and selling financial instruments (as they are called) is deceptively simple. The interface lets you buy and sell in chunks with a simple screen tap. You can use the recommended amounts or set your own. On the same screen you will see a live representation of the trends in form of a graph, but pluses and minuses are also reflected live with the buttons constantly changing color. The switches between up and down are so frequent that they reminded me of the spaceship ticket buying mini game in Anachronox, which was modeled to resemble a totally unstable stock market (btw, play Anachronox if you get the chance).
Once you buy some instruments, you can set reminders to notify you when they reach a certain margin. After all, you're not buying for keeps, your playing at the market here. If reminders are not enough, you can also set orders for buying and selling. They're not recurrent though, so don't expect the app to trade for you ad infinitum.
In order to ascertain your past decisions, you can review every transaction you've made. For example, You can check whether selling those 60 Coca Cola shares the other day was a good idea in regards to today's rates.
Trading 212 is also connected to Tradebird. You can view the overall Tradebird feed or focus on items pertaining to a specific instrument. However, comments cannot be viewed or made unless you install the Tradebird app itself.
- Access to over 750 financial instruments
- Price alerts and programmable orders
- News & analyses based on Tradebird
- Free game included (practice account with faux operations on real markets)
Well, to be honest I find this kind of apps to be rather unreal. Juggling with money while tapping away on a phone screen does rather make it so. Regarding Trading 212, the feeling is even stronger, as you can play without a care one moment and then plunge into a world full of consequences the next second, all while keeping the same interface and seemingly doing the same thing. I kind of miss the barter system the Reich had in the thirties. No speculation, just fair trade.