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15 Must-Have Apps For Investors

15 Must-Have Apps For Investors

Today, the whole world is going mobile and fast. The role of mobile technology is increasing and has major impact on people’s day-to-day lives. Now, investors trust on their smart phones and tablets more than their laptops. Because of the increasing usage of mobile technology, app developers are working hard to meet the needs of these investors. There are a lot of great investment apps on the market; here are some worth checking out to stay on top.

1. MarketWatch

    Gather important financial news, global market stories, prices in real time and daily analysis of the market, this free app keep you updated with the stock market news, even when you’re on the go.

    Pros:Quick access to new stories with MarketWatch makes it that much easier to remain up to date with all that you need to know – required for any investor.

    Cons:This app requires to swipe up and down to check out the latest market update, which is spontaneous compared to swiping left and right and usual in other apps.

    2. Forbes Intelligent Investing

      If we talk about some trusted names in the financial world, there are few that can compete with Forbes. With video interviews, panel discussions, investment articles, and features relevant to the market, this is one app you can’t neglect.

      Pros:This app gives a good insight about the world of finance from valued professionals. It’s up to date and current news features and enables the user to save favorite videos and features.

      Cons:This app takes a disappointingly long time to open; with screen freezing issues, some sections are empty. The interviews with top experts in the field aren’t lively but just as you become captivated in an interview, the video freezes.

      3. Bloomberg

        When it comes to up-to-the-minute information on stocks, bonds, commodities, and currencies all over the world, few apps do it better than Bloomberg. Besides trackers for this info, which you can customize as you see fit, the app also offers breaking news and headlines from Bloomberg’s global journalism network. The app presents these features in an easy-to-use, highly eye-pleasing package.

        Pros:Bloomberg provides lots of customization options; Stock summary and Graphs that help investors make an informed decision.

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        Cons:Users with wide portfolios probably need more information than what Bloomberg app provides. User can’t hide news sections that are not relevant.

        4. SigFig

          SigFig stands out for going the extra mile to provide such service that could make it your most trusted adviser. SigFig will give all the information about the hidden fees, overcharges, drifting funds, and other problems that you might use to neglect. SigFig also offers suggestions to optimize your gains.

          Pros:This app gives you the best way to look at your stocks and other investments. Shows everything clearly, in the best format, suggests better investments according to their automatic algorithms.

          Cons:Many other investment apps offer complete services for storing and checking investment data and updating your portfolio; SigFig is no exception.

          5. AnalystRT

            If you’re one that uses analyst ratings as part of your research, check out AnalystRT. This app includes analyst ratings for thousands of stocks and allows you to create a watch-list for stocks that you’re considering to buy.

            Pros:With Analyst Rating Tracker, you can track Buy, Sell, Hold stocks ratings given by research analysts from world’s largest banks and research firms in the palm of your hands.

            Cons:There is no website interface for the data; you cannot access the same info from website.

            6. StockTouch

              This app features a unique view of global stocks and ETFs. You can change the way it categories the stocks between percentage gains, market capitalization, volume, and alphabetical.

              Pros: This app has very attractive, responsive graphical interface that provides a quick view of market trends and charts and summary information.

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              Cons:You can’t monitor ETF’s, mutual funds, or stocks not categorized in the top 100 of their sector.

              7.ChartIQ

                Technical traders would love this app. In this app you can view, bar, line, candlestick or wave charts with various indicators. You can even include trend lines, remarks, rays, sections, and zig zags.

                Pros: all the news, posts and opinions from more than 200,000 users of ST can be viewed at the right of the screen.

                Cons: Some functionality just doesn’t respond

                8. E*TRADE

                  This is exactly an all-in-one app, that not only allows you to get real-time price quotations for almost any stock, ETF, mutual fund, or option, but you can also buy and sell them.

                  Pros: voice recognition, barcode scanning, educational videos, research reports and additional chart features are added in this app.

                  Cons: Once orders executed, there is no functionality available to easily close out positions from the menu.

                  9. Motif

                    Motif Investing helps you in making your investment strategies in a safe environment. The app uses themed portfolios to explain the ups and downs of function markets and gives a valuable learning experience.

                    Pros: Motif does offer investors the opportunity to essentially create their own ETFs.

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                    Cons: Motif doesn’t offer the trading tools and research opportunities of some traditional brokerages

                    10. Personal Capital

                      Personal Capital simplifies procedures by giving you a platform to organize all of your investment information in one suitable place. The app’s greatest deal is its simplicity and effectiveness; it will shorten your broad financial status in into a concise summary.

                      Pros: Personal Capital can be used on your computer, smart phone or tablet. This makes it easy to check or track accounts on the go.

                      Cons: There really isn’t much bad about this app. It’s exceptional for a free tool.

                      11. Stock Twits

                        StockTwits is just like Twitter for traders. Along with the Twitter-style feed, there are some traders who also post charts and videos offeringfree technical analysis. If you’re a short-term broker, this is very useful app to watch and top of all, it’s free.

                        Pros: StockTwits is ideally suitable for those who need a social network to keep them updated in to what other investors are thinking and doing.

                        Cons: Twitter feed doesn’t update often enough, the stream doesn’t automatically update.

                        12. CNBC Real-Time

                          The CNBC Real-Time app gives you free access to real-time stock prices – before, during and after market hours, straight from both the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ Marketplace.

                          Pros: In this app, additionally you will receive CNBC breaking news alerts, top news stories & analysis, and access to the latest CNBC business video clips, interviews and market updates.

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                          Cons: The ads in this app are problematic and exhausting. The previous version was reasonably good as the ads used to take a very little space. However the current version has the 10 percent of the content space and ads never disappears.

                          13. Daily Stocks

                            The Daily Stocks app can provide you all the technical updates of the market and is aimed to focus on trends in the marketplace built on some technical analytical techniques. This kind of information is mainly the field of fairly serious traders.

                            Pros: Daily Stocks works great in landscape and portrait mode, but landscape mode shows you a little more information and it’s very easy to use.

                            Cons: There is lack of international markets data information; means that non-US investors will find it somewhat inadequate.

                            14. Yahoo Finance

                              Yahoo Finance app is a complete finance place. It delivers breaking news, related market synopses, lending rates, and other financial news. In this app, there are segments for investing, news & estimation, personal finance, and tools for chasing the market and creating an online portfolio.

                              Pros: Yahoo Finance is complete and has information for every investor, regardless of experience or knowledge.

                              Cons: The data loading issues and the overall usage make it not nearly as user friendly.

                              15. Stock Guru

                                Stock Guru is a robust engine that delivers real time study for nearly 7,000 stocks. You can analyze risk, drive, financial power and a exclusive guru rating that sums up all of the data for those who don’t want to dive into the details.

                                Pros: This is the only hedge fund holding tracking app in the market to view hedge funds.

                                Cons: One downside in this app is that it doesn’t have enough hedge funds in their database.

                                Featured photo credit: Simon Cunningham via lendingmemo.com

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                                Tayyab Babar

                                Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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                                Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                                How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                                How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                                Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

                                In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

                                5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

                                Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

                                1. Be Clear About the Objectives

                                Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

                                It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

                                Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

                                2. Keep Them Realistic

                                It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

                                It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

                                3. Account for Inflation

                                Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

                                Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

                                For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

                                4. Short Term vs Long Term

                                Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

                                As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

                                More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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                                5. To Each to His Own

                                The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

                                It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

                                By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

                                11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

                                Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

                                • Ensuring healthy savings
                                • Making smart investments

                                You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

                                Ensuring Healthy Savings

                                Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

                                This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

                                1. Track Expenses

                                The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

                                Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

                                2. Pay Yourself First

                                Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

                                Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

                                The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

                                Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

                                3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

                                Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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                                Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

                                At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

                                Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

                                You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

                                4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

                                Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

                                If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

                                Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

                                All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

                                5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

                                In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

                                Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

                                Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

                                If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

                                If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

                                So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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                                6. Talk About It

                                Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

                                Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

                                7. Maintain a Journal

                                For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

                                So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

                                Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

                                When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

                                At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

                                Making Smart Investments

                                Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

                                8. Consult a Financial Advisor

                                Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

                                Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

                                9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

                                Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

                                Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

                                Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

                                It is here where that classification will help.

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                                So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

                                10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

                                Einstein once remarked about compounding,

                                Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

                                So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

                                Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

                                11. Measure, Measure, Measure

                                All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

                                If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

                                If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

                                Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

                                The Bottom Line

                                This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

                                As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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                                Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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