We’ve all heard the statement “There’s an app for that,” and with investing, there’s no exception. Whether you want to check on your retirement portfolio, buy or sell stocks or review your investments, there are more and more apps available to help with consumer needs.
The BBB’s Consumer News and Opinion blog covered this topic recently and we just wanted to share with consumers some of the items they may want to note with investment applications.
1.Most major investment companies now have mobile apps. These will often let you check on account or portfolio details, asset values and recent transactions. You may also be able to tap into market research and connect with your advisor through some of these programs.
2. Some programs are designed to let you set up and manage investments on your own. Each program has its own pluses and minuses, so it is up to the consumer to research these carefully and decide which application works best for their needs. If you are considering one of these programs, make sure you are comfortable with the process of initiating transactions, the requirements involved, fees and any other terms or conditions. Most charge a fee, up to $10 per transaction and may require a minimum deposit on the account. If there are any elements of the program that cause questions or concern, be sure to ask up front before committing.
3. Some applications provide more control or capabilities than others. One example is a new app called “Robinhood,” that allows customers to buy and sell U.S. stock and exchange-traded funds or “ETFs” with zero commission. Another program called “Acorns” allows consumers to place amounts into their accounts, with no set minimums, then purchases investments on their behalf. For this program, there are choices of different products in which you can invest, depending on your desired level of risk.
4. Security is still a factor. Customer must decide their own level of comfort with carrying investment information on their mobile devices, but there are some steps that can be taken to heighten security. The first is to always log out of applications when they are not in use. The second is to consider two-factor authentication, requiring users to enter an initial password to receive a second code for login. Finally, using strong passwords, changed periodically can also heighten security and help keep your information safer from identity theft.
To learn more on this topic, consumers can visit our national blog at bbb.org/blog, then type “investing” into the search box.
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/evansville.
Posted 10/1/2015. While the BBB endeavors to provide accurate information to the public, changes in the law, facts or circumstances may have occurred since the foregoing was posted. The BBB recommends doing independent research and consulting professional advisors concerning a particular situation.