How to Use Technology to Save Money When Investing
One of the main challenges for investors is keeping up to date with market changes and new products. There are so many resources to help you, ranging from free online tools and apps through to complex risk analysis models as used by the professionals. Whenever consumers have a choice, the key to getting the best deal is to research and compare the products and services available, and pick the ones most suitable for you.
A huge number of online resources are available to provide you with information and advice to assist you in putting together your own investment portfolio. MarketWatch.com is operated by Dow Jones Company, publishers of the Wall Street Journal newspaper. This site will keep you updated on business and economic news and can provide a huge amount of information about different markets around the world.
The Financial Times recommends the following sites:
- Fund Expert is a free site run by advisory firm Dennehy Waller & Co, which helps investors to pick the best funds. It’s a quick way of rating individual funds and assessing the options in a given sector.
- Money on Toast provides a simplified advice planner and features an execution-only share-dealing platform. You can also pay for personal financial advice via phone or Skype – the current cost of this is £35 for 20 minutes.
- Bestinvest First provides a guidance only service for investors who want to understand more about what they already own. You can enter details of your holdings into the analysis tool and it will provide a free report rating your portfolio in key areas including: allocation, volatility, quality of funds and charges. Whilst much of this information is available for free, look at the APT website to see what the professionals use to manage their portfolios.
Every investor needs to keep a record of the individual assets making up his or her portfolio. For a novice it can be enough to record relevant data on a basic spreadsheet, but more advanced investors will use specialised software to manage their portfolios. This will include professional financial risk management software and tools for analysing asset performance. MSN Money provides a useful online-based software program called “Portfolio Manager”, which you can use to track the performance of your investments. You will require a Microsoft account to use this but the portfolio manager is free.
There are numerous apps available to help you make the most of your investments, a number of which are free. A good basic online resource that is also available as an app is Investopedia. This free app provides a dictionary of investment and financial terms as well as other services and is invaluable for jargon-busting.
Check out the free investment apps provided by Fidelity, which are available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry. These apps include feeds from several sources, including CNN Money, MarketWatch and Reuters, and you can easily search by category or by ticker.
For more in-depth research, take a look at the Motley Fool app, which provides analysis of current trends as well as forecasting what might happen next. With this free app you will also have access to useful podcasts and articles which you can read offline.
As you can see, there are many resources available to savvy investors, many of which are free. So get online, do a bit of research, and make sure your investment capital is working as hard as possible for you.