The saying, “there’s an app for that” has gone from semi-serious advertisement to a nearly universal truth. We really do have apps for just about every day-to-day need or function imaginable, so it’s no wonder that a significant portion of the market has become devoted to finance.
Even within the category of finance, there are dozens of purposes that an app can serve. Some are made for banking, some for peer-to-peer payments, and some for managing expenses or creating a budget. But nestled into the area of finance is one very significant sub-category that’s emerged as increasingly vital for anyone who engages in the stock and resource transactions, whether on a day trading or long-term investing basis. Initially, apps aimed at people who fit this description were merely new and intriguing; but as happens in most app categories, they quickly grew into, in some cases, irreplaceable tools.
Here are five iOS apps in particular that no day trader or investor should be without.
1. Yahoo Finance
The Yahoo Finance app topped a list of eight apps for hardcore stock traders, though on said list it was appropriately grouped into a category labeled “Learn.” That’s because this isn’t some high-powered trading app designed to help you with your actual trades or financial management. Think of it instead as a resource for news and up-to-date information. Some iOS users may be familiar with the Stocks app that comes pre-loaded on Apple devices. Yahoo Finance is essentially a better, more complete version of this, allowing you to follow your favorite stock charts and read detailed background information for what’s going on with each one. Plenty of services offer the same function, but Yahoo Finance does it with a sleek and intuitive interface that’s hard to resist.
This is another incredibly useful app for investors and day traders that doesn’t actually let you make investments—at least not real ones. Ranked first among finance apps in 90 countries, it’s essentially the leading simulation device meant to help traders hone their skills without actual financial risk. TradeHero isn’t a game, though, as it’s based on real-time data from real stock exchanges around the world. But the money you trade is no more valuable than Monopoly money—unless, that is, you do particularly well. In addition to being a wonderful learning tool, TradeHero is also a means of generating income for particularly adept traders. Because it has social components built into it, the app includes a subscription service by which users can pay to view strategies and insights from potentially more successful “players.”
The best way to describe SigFig is that it’s like a pocket robot tracking your investment activity and letting you know if you’re making the best decisions possible from a strategic and financial standpoint. The app integrates with your existing trading account and follows your stocks, not only letting you track their activity but basically analyzing the intelligence of your investments. It will recommend better options and even take over as an automated ETF trading platform if you so desire. SigFig is essentially a highly analytical, autonomous financial advisor.
Some still roll their eyes at Bitcoin, but the digital currency appears to be here to stay. While it’s not the financial heavyweight its greatest supporters thought it would be by now, it’s gaining influence and looks to play into the future. For that reason, the storage and management of Bitcoin has become a relatively popular activity among investors, something of a new brand of forex trading. Many aren’t actually aware of how and where to store digital currency, however, and that’s where bitWallet comes in. Generally speaking, Bitcoins can be stored online or offline, with online options carrying the same basic risks as online banking. And the benefits to online storage are numerous. With bitWallet, you can store, secure, and monitor your Bitcoin holdings while keeping a close eye on exchange rates and the value of the currency as it shifts. It’s less of a tool for the average day trader, but it’s an increasingly valuable one for long-term investors looking to gain a leg up.
Finally there’s Robinhood. While career traders who already have their methods set in stone probably aren’t giving it the time of day, it’s becoming the trading platform of choice for a lot of young or first-time investors. Basically, it’s a full-on trading app (and a beautiful one), allowing you to buy and sell real stocks, in real time, from your mobile devices. But that isn’t what makes Robinhood unique. Rather, it’s that all the transactions you make when buying and selling are free, which differs dramatically from the system in place with established brokers. As much as $7.99 per trade can be spent with the likes of E*Trade and its similar competitors, and that’s all money you don’t have to forfeit when using Robinhood. Additionally, the app doesn’t saddle users with a hefty lower limit, meaning you don’t have to put in thousands of dollars just to start making moves.
Those five apps are, again, part of a fairly expansive category in the mobile market, but they cover a wide base of interests including learning, tracking, trading, and long-term planning. Any or all of them can be extraordinarily helpful to the average trader.