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8 Powerful Hidden Features in Stock Market Apps You’ve Probably Missed

8 Powerful Hidden Features in Stock Market Apps You’ve Probably Missed

Let’s face it. An upper hand is an upper hand.

If you’ve dabbled in the stock market, or you’re a seasoned investor, it’s always the little things you know that not too many others know, that can mean the difference between a good day and a bad day trading.

Thankfully, we live in a time where apps are disrupting every industry. The stock market is no different either, and there’s plenty of apps out there which can keep you informed and trading with the same level of clarity as a Wall Street veteran.

While the majority of the apps I feature here have a large number of dedicated users, I’ve explored some of the lesser-known (or misunderstood) features that can turn you into an incredibly effective stock market investor.

Here are six products with eight features that’ll give you a refreshing perspective of the stock market.

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INDX.guru

This stock-monitoring app has been dubbed by critics as “the champion for everyday investors,” and for a good reason. It’s free, and improves on other comparable stock market products that can set you back as much as $28,000. It’s simply a beautiful dashboard feeding over six million points of bias-free information like news, Tweets and market positioning about any stock you wish to follow (ASX only at the moment, though NASDAQ and NYSE are coming).

1. Heat

What if you could be alerted the minute media attention began to surge about a company whose stocks you follow? With INDX.guru’s “heat” feature, you’re able to instantly assess why there is a sudden influx of interest and take necessary action.

As a rule of thumb, 50% is the normal amount of media attention for a publicly listed company. Anything under that and the company is flying under the radar. If it hits 90%, something serious is happening.

2. Sentiment

Tracking price alone just doesn’t cut it when it comes to trading stocks. You need more clarity about price movements, relative to other similar companies in the industry. Enter the “sentiment” feature, which tells you how the price of a stock is performing, relative to a selected market index.

To decipher sentiment for a company you’re tracking, 50% means the price is travelling with the market, 30% or below is pretty worrying, and 70% or over, things are looking good.

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(Disclaimer, I work with INDX.guru)

StockTwits

StockTwits is one big community, talking about one thing and one thing only—trading. The inventor of the cashtag ($LLL symbol used widely on Twitter), it’s the first product to truly assist social discussions about investing.

3. Social Signal Heatmap

While this isn’t so much as “hidden,” it certainly gives you an overall insight into the volume of chatter geared towards a specific industry, and helps paint a better picture of overall market interest.

4. Unusual Social Volume

Again, not so hidden, but intriguing nevertheless. StockTwits tracks noise around individual stocks, whether they’re unusually high, or falling in interest significantly. It’s great way to discover what passionate investors are interested in, using social data.

eToro

This established market player is one of the first-movers in the “new age” of stock market apps. The most enticing aspect of eToro was the zero learning curve in understanding the stock market and the speed at which you could make a trade. The way they achieved this is by “copytrading.” Research the best performing investors on eToro’s platform, and set a budget to literally copy and paste their every move.

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5. Popular Investor Program

If you’re great at what you do, and everyone seems to be copying your every move, this lesser-known feature helps you earn a second income, just for doing what you already do. Eligibility is based on on how influential and active you are on eToro, as well as how many copiers you attract on a daily average, and your overall trading performance.

Robinhood

After getting your up-to-date information about what to buy or sell, there’s one app helping you execute those trades, for free. That’s Robinhood, which has now helped transact well over $1 billion in trades and saved their users $22 million in brokerage fees. The app is simple: see a stock, buy a stock, no hidden fees.

6. Cards

This is a relatively new feature in Robinhood, which tailors information about stocks you’ve invested in. The most useful feature here is a summary of top movers in the market today, as well as any top movers you may have invested in.

Stockpickr

This offering by popular investment publication, TheStreet, is mainly a forum where users can discuss everything about the stock market with other users, as well as post questions and have community members answer them. There’s also a DIY portfolio builder, where you can add stocks you’re investing in, or are considering investing in, and get commentary about it.

7. Track Warren Buffett

Using access to “various databases and SEC filings,” Stockpickr is able to track the holdings of many of the top mutual and hedge funds and super investors. This includes Warren Buffett, as well as George Soros and Wally Weitz, and gives you an insight as to how the pro’s portfolios are looking at this point in time.

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Betterment

Sometimes, you just want to let the professionals do it. While dealing with a traditional broker may not be for you, Betterment blends the best of both worlds with smart automation and real expert influence, to automate your investing. Betterment helps you build personal wealth by taking some of your money each month, and making diversified investments with it.

8. Smart Deposit

This is a great tool that helps you invest even more of your money, by taking anything you have in excess from your bank account and automatically investing it. Simply, you tell Betterment how much you need to have in your bank account at any given time, and Betterment will take anything over that amount to add to your investment portfolio.

Remember: The above is general information only and not advice. Trading carries risk; make your own judgments and decisions, always.

Featured photo credit: INDX.guru via INDX.guru

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Procrastinating, making excuses or tricking yourself into loafing is just going to cement the fact that nothing will ever get done. It might not sound pretty, or even too easy, but the easiest way to get to success is to just jump in and get going (which is exactly how I got started). 2. Blaming It's not your fault you're not successful – the industry is bad, you don't have the money, etc, etc. When it comes down to it, however, who is the one responsible for your success? You. This is the day and age where people are launching successful start-ups in a few months, getting published online and finding their way to success one way or another. Some things might be out of your control, but blaming others is just going to waste the energy and time you need to get going. 3. Sour-grapes Being envious of the success of others is almost as bad as blaming them. All the time and energy you could be putting into your own goals is going towards a person who more than likely has done nothing but show you that the goal is attainable. You don't have to be applauding their success, but being envious and sour about it is a waste of time – let it roll off your shoulders and dig down towards accomplishing your own goals. 4. Minimizing others success Again, you don't have to be cheering and raving about the success of others, but minimizing their accomplishments looks bad on you and on your own goals. If you attained success, would you want others rolling their eyes and treating it like it is not a big deal in the slightest? I highly doubt it. “So they climbed Mount Everest, big whoop. Plenty of people have done it before”. Have you? 5. Talking You're going to do this, you're going to do that – the proof is in the pudding, ultimately. 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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

Are you on track for retirement?

If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

Saving for retirement is tricky.

Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

20’s – $16,000

During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

30’s – $45,000

At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

40’s – $63,000

This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

50’s – $115,000

During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

60’s – $172,000

By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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How to Save Money Each Month

By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

How?

By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

Why?

You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

By starting a side-business.

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This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

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