January 17, 2013

While the iPad continues to rapidly gain steam among financial professionals, firms that are forging ahead in the mobile space are making the most of the tablet's large screen rather than simply replicating their smartphone apps.

Among the firms that have devised specific iPad apps is Chaikin Analytics, which just launched a new research and analytics workstation for the iPad and iPad Mini which provides proprietary analytics, ratings, models and actionable trading signals.

The product was developed by Marc Chaikin, who pioneered the first real-time analytics workstation for institutional money managers and trading desks over 20 years ago. Central to the Chaikin iPad workstation, which is aimed at hedge fund managers, portfolio managers, investment advisors, brokers and wealth managers, is the Chaikin Power Gauge rating, a 20-factor rating that identifies a stock’s potential within a 3-6 months time frame.

Chaikin Analytics for iPad also features 6 pairs of buy/sell alerts and proprietary technical indicators. Access to on-demand four-page research reports on 5,000 stocks updated daily is available on the workstation. The workstation is currently available at a cost of $1500 a year or $150 a month.

“I see it as a mobile companion to a Bloomberg or Reuters terminal,” Chaikin said in an interview.

The next version of the workstation will have an order routing capability through a partnership with a significant buy-side trading firm, he said. “We have already integrated trading into the iPhone, integrating it into the iPad will be an even richer experience,” Chaikin said.

The iPad has made great strides in the financial industry in the last 12-18 months. Some large investment banks are reportedly now porting their whole back-office to the iPad, and many now have their research available to clients via iPad apps.

While some firms have simply adapted their smartphone apps for a tablet, industry leaders are capitalizing on the tablet’s larger screen size and improving, rather than simply replicating, what they already have available for a smartphone.

Last year, research firm Corporate Insight warned that financial firms that leave their clients to use their standard website or the iPhone version of their app risk appearing out of touch with modern technology.

[Read: Financial Firms Can't Ignore iPad and Android Tablet Apps to learn more.]

The research firm, which surveys the brokerage industry, singled out Charles Schwab and Fidelity for providing new account visualizations for the iPad, while noting that Fidelity and Merrill Edge have enhanced charting capabilities for the tablet’s larger display space.

Corporate Insight’s study noted that firms looking to develop new iPad apps should consider a modular design, since using the larger screen size of a tablet screen allows developers to combine what would be several screens on a smartphone into one display. E*Trade and Merrill Lynch provide related account information and research data on a single screen, for example.

The report went on to recommend that firms should not overcrowd screens. “When designing apps for the iPad and other tablets, firms should not crowd every inch of screen space as if it were a smartphone. Strike a balance between providing more content than on a small screen and keeping a clear, spacious, readable design,” Corporate Insight suggested.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in ...