FIVE APPS FOR THE ASPIRING INVESTOR BY VIVIAN JAIR W'18

We’re currently in the prime age of media and technology, where frequent cell-phone usage is not only omnipresent but also increasingly necessary. Mobile technology has paved a new path forward for many sectors, and this is no different for the investment industry. Today, many mobile applications make it all the easier to become a successful, aspiring investor. Hence, the Wharton International Business Review has compiled a list of 5 free investment applications that we recommend any novice or experienced investors to try out. 

Investment Mobile Apps: A Brief Historical Context

Although mobile applications—in forms of games, social media, tools, radios, and more—are constantly present in our lives, few know about their origin. One of the very first phone applications was the video game “Snake,” programmed into Nokia phones in 1998. As mobile phones grew in popularity, the desire for more functions led to the development of new Operating Systems for smart phones, including Apple iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, and more. These new Operating Systems allowed for third-party software to run smoothly: hence the modern beginning of apps. 

Timeline-wise, the first modern boom in apps occurred on July 10, 2008, when the Apple App Store launched with 500 apps. Blackberry’s App World and Nokia’s Ovi Store both followed soon after, released in 2009, and Windows Phone Marketplace launched in 2010. Interestingly, the popular Google Play Store was not released until 2012. As the world underwent the mobile revolution, with applications forming for every type of interest and task, the investment field naturally also gave rise to several applications. Considering how integral the online aspect of investing is, mobile applications are naturally yet another step forward for the future of quick, convenient investments. 

Today, mobile investment applications cover a wide range of functions, including money-calculators, stock portfolio checking, online payments, budget-managing, and more. Just last April, Fidelity Investment demonstrated a preview of its new investment app for Google Glass, which provides real-time updates of the stock market. Looking to the future, there may be even more great advancements for investment applications ahead. 

The Recommended Free Investment Applications: 

Bloomberg+ 
• Available for: Google Play (as Bloomberg+), iTunes App Store (as Bloomberg) 
• Average Rating: 4.5 on Google Play, 4 on iTunes App Store
• Features: 
Bloomberg+ provides a handy, one-stop platform for the latest updates in the financial sector. The black interface is both professional and comfortable for reading. The News homepage is usefully separated into Overview, Political, Economy, Opinion, and over 40 more, along with an easy option to reorder the news tabs order for personalization. The Market page also displays all the Indexes, along with Currencies, Rates, and more. Clicking on each index also provides handy graphs and related news. Bloomberg+ also offers a Watchlist option, compiling the latest news about specific stocks of interest into one area. Finally, it offers free live feed of Bloomberg TV, although it occasionally can lag. 

• Link to download: 
Google Play -https://play.google.com/ store/apps/ details?id=com.bloomberg.android.plus&hl=en
iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg/id281941097?mt=8

SigFig
• Available for: Google Play, iTunes App Store
• Average Rating: 4.3 on Google Play, 4.5 on iTunes App Store
• Features: 
SigFig primarily functions as a connected dashboard, allowing one to see all of one’s investment portfolios together on one page, including 401k, stocks, mutual funds and more. It allows syncing with 100 brokerages, including Scottrade, Fidelity, Wells Fargo, and more. To protect one’s private information, SigFig emphasizes its protective security by asking for a 4-digit pin. Based on one’s portfolio, SigFig also personalizes holdings, charts, and news regarding investments. It also provides the function to call a financial advisor. 

• Link to download: 
Google Play -https://play.google.com/store/ apps/ details?id=com.sigfig.sigfig&hl=en
iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sigfig-investing-manage-your/ id524027365?mt=8

Scutify
• Available for: Google Play, iTunes App Store
• Average Rating: 3.8 on Google Play, 4.5 on iTunes App Store
• Features: 
With a flashy-blue interface, Scutify is a bit different from the other more serious and professional-oriented apps. It is essentially a social network for investors, and hence is especially helpful for rookie investors, with constant updates of blogs, news, and videos regarding the market. Additionally, its main aspect is the “Scuttles” function, which are 280-character comments, rather similar to Tweets, about breaking topics. One can see the latest Scuttles regarding varied commodities and companies from a variety of experts. 

• Link to download: 
Google Play - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.scutify&hl=en
iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scutify/id673974489?mt=8


Acorns
• Available for: Google Play, iTunes App Store
• Average Rating: 3.9 on Google Play, 4 on iTunes App Store
• Features: 
A rather new app that was released just this October 2014, Acorns introduces an interesting new concept for starting investors. Once linked to a credit or debit card, Acorns subtracts amount spent from the nearest integer dollar amount, and invests the spare change. Based on the user’s age, risk willingness, time, and goals, Acorns creates a unique, recommended stock portfolio. It is important to note that while the application is free to download, once investing starts, Acorns charges $1 per month, along with a management fee of .25-.5% of yearly total assets. 

• Links to Download: 
Google Play - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.acorns.android
iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/acorns-invest-spare-change/id883324671?mt=8

Money Manager Expense & Budget
• Available for: Google Play
• Average Rating: 4.3 on Google Play
• Features: 
Unlike the previous applications, which were more centered on pure investment, Money Manager is very useful for quick, everyday-spending bookkeeping. One enters expenses and income from varied categories of activities. Calendars and charts of spending are hence created, particularly helpful to keep college students on top of their spending. The app also has a credit card and debit card managing function, where one can see payment amounts for settlements. 

• Links to Download: 
Google Play - https://play.google.com/store/apps/ details?id=com.realbyteapps.moneymanagerfree&hl=en