It’s all the rage. When the markets dipped in Japan last week, many young traders turned off the computers and sold their shares via cellphone. Japan has always been ahead of us in terms of technology and even if we do get it, it seems to take us longer to adapt to it. We are beginning to use are “smartphones” to trade but mostly use them to check quotes. In Japan $8.7 billion worth of trades were made on cellphones. Not a great amount but it was a 90% increase over the year before. The only country that might be more tech savy is Korea yet they have shown no interest in cell phone trading. The main reason Japanese like cell phone trading goes back to their tech history. Due to the mass use of cells and their superior 3G technology, more Japanese surf the net on cell phones than on computers. Its just as fast and even cheaper than at home on the computer. Japanese in the past have been more reluctant to trade stocks but times are changing. Younger Japanese have taken a liking to the markets and the rise of the Nikkei has attracted more investors. Some brokers feel 20% of all customers will be trading via cellphone in Japan, up from 12% now. So when is it coming to the US? In some cases it is here. You can trade at OptionsXpress via smartphone but I haven’t tried it. E-Trade does and probably is pretty good because they are a big player in Japan. TradeStation no. It doesn’t even work on a Mac so they are way behind when it comes to reaching other users (still like the stock) The real problem is the problem that has always persisted. Slow cell phone speed. We lag the rest of the world in cell phone speed. Prices. Our cell phone rates are high. If you want a smartphone with high speed (still much slower than Japan) you can expect to pay $100 a month. Type in cell phone trading in Google and you get nothing. A couple of wireless trading ads and a some stories about Japanese cell phone trading. This is going to change with time. I still believe it will take a while but I enjoy the thoughts of doing keeping an eye on my portfolio while conducting other business or work. I get caught just staring at the screen because if I leave I have no way to check quotes that are live. I look forward to the day when we have the same tech as the far East. They get the Playstation 3 first, you would think that would be enough.