The idea of managing your finances from a cell phone or mobile device isn’t as crazy as it might have seemed just a decade ago. For years now it’s been possible to log in to your bank or investment accounts, and even to conduct various types of basic financial transactions, all from a mobile device.
But now, with the near ubiquity of smartphones and the rise of mobile applications (“apps”), there are even more powerful options at your disposal. Here’s a sample of some of the mobile applications you can use, for example, to help you build your investment portfolio.
Monitoring Apps. The first type of mobile app to consider is one that lets you monitor your overall investment portfolio. You could simply log in to each of your various accounts in order to evaluate your investments, but that would take a lot of time, and you still wouldn’t have a single “snapshot” of your overall financial position. Consider an app such as Mint or SigFig to help you monitor your wealth across multiple accounts.
Research Apps. Investment opportunities come and go quickly, so you’ll likely want to be sure that you can research various investment ideas whenever they come to you. In this case you may wish to consider specialized apps such as the ChartIQ, CNBC or Bloomberg apps. You may also want to use whatever apps provide you with up to date information regarding the various industries you invest in.
Trading Apps. Of course, you’ll also want to be able to execute trades at just the right time, including whenever you’re away from your computer. But rather than try to navigate your broker’s website using a mobile device browser, download your broker’s proprietary app for best results. All the major brokers have apps available on all the various smartphone platforms.
Tax Apps. If you own your own business or bring in any consulting income, then chances are optimizing your tax situation often requires a fair amount of effort on your part. Even if when you use professional tax assistance you’re still responsible for keeping records and the like. A tax app such as those from H&R Block or Quicken can help ease your recordkeeping burden, and help you maximize the value of your investments.
Security Apps. Finally, it’s important to understand that a key element of keeping your finances safe is securing all of the various different ways to access your account. For any of the mobile applications described above, or any others you may choose to use, make sure to enable the highest level of security within the app. In addition, you’ll need to be confident that your telephone itself is as safe as possible. This means employing password protection to open the device, as well as installing antivirus and security apps such as Lookout Security & Antivirus and McAfee Mobile Security.
Of course, having the right apps on your smart phone or other mobile device is only half the battle. Be sure to learn how to use them optimally, and always keep your investment goals in mind when you use them.