These days we are accustomed to being able to do almost anything online, whether it is gossiping with our friends, doing the Christmas shopping or catching the latest episode of our favorite TV show. The same applies when it comes to managing our finances. The tools and apps that are available from our laptops and smartphones actually allow us to do far more than was practical in days gone by. Let’s find out more.
Before you can start thinking about investing your hard earned money, you really need to have a good handle on what you can afford to set aside. This has to take a medium and long-term view. So effective budgeting is a prerequisite to smart investing.
There is also the fact that some budgeting apps can also be used as Investment portfolio trackers. One of the better known ones is Mint, a product of Intuit, who already have a strong track record in providing financial tools like TurboTax for small businesses. People have taken to Mint because it acts as a central repository, linking your bank Account, investment accounts, credit cards and so on, all in one place.
A trading account
When past generations talked about “dabbling in the stock market,” it all sounded very impressive, but the truth is it was a pain. Dealing with stock brokers and transferring payments to buy and sell over the phone was never the most efficient way of doing things, and frankly, it was often more trouble than it was worth. This is one area that the online age has turned on its head. Open an investment account with a recognized operator and you can be trading from your smartphone in no time.
It’s not just a question of the “how” but also the “what.” This kind of trading platform offers more than just stocks and bonds – it also provides an easy way to buy and sell commodities, foreign currencies, precious metals and even cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum if that’s what you want to do.
A helpful advisor
If the above sounds like a little too much in the way of choice, you will probably want some impartial and expert advice as to what sort of investment is right for you. There are plenty of financial advisors around that you can go and talk to, but you probably won’t be surprised to hear that there are virtual alternatives, too.
A robo-advisor can be a great tool for helping you decide how to manage your money, as long as you understand its limitations. In essence, a robo-advisor is a handy tool for those with simple investment needs that are looking to automate their buying and selling. It’s cheaper than hiring a human to do it for you and frees up time that you would otherwise spend analysing the markets.
However, don’t let the word “advisor” lull you into a false sense of confidence. It can only advise on the basis of the data you give it – for detailed guidance on the pros and cons of different types of investments and what is best for you, speaking to an expert in the real world is still the best option.
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