If you’re a retail investor in Australia and you’re not using technology, you are probably missing out. There are plenty of new investing tools that are out there for the DIY investor that can make life easier.
Whether it’s using an online broker to execute your trades instead of a full service stockbroker or using one of the many portfolio management tools to help you work out your investment position, it’s becoming easier to manage your investments online.
Some tools are now free but if they’re not, the cost is probably tax deductible.
What’s in it for you? More control over the investment process and a chance to bypass the middle men. Certainly, it’s important to get good advice, but if you are an engaged investor who has even a moderate ability to use technology, there are digital tools out there that can make building your portfolio and managing your investments easier. Here’s four I use.
Sharesight is online portfolio management software that lets you keep track of all of your stock market portfolios, even if you use a number of brokers. It runs sophisticated analytics on your holdings and best of all, it integrates with your accountant’s software, enabling streamlined reporting at tax time. That’s one regular nightmare avoided. The charge is between zero (if you hold less than ten stocks) and $39 a month for more demanding portfolios.
Stockspot offers a completely online and automated investment advice and funds management service. It exploits the ‘robo’ element of robo advice. You fill in your profile and then you get advice in the form of a Stockspot portfolio, which invests in a diverse range of low-fee Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), for which the annual costs are among the lowest of any financial product. The investment choices are constantly reviewed to ensure you have access to the best possible return and diversification opportunities. Stockspot doesn’t charge brokerage making professional portfolio management accessible to more cost conscious investors.
Livewire says it’s Australia’s first social media platform for investors and market professionals, providing investing and trading insights for investors. Livewire is essentially a platform that gives direct access to the research of some of the best minds in the funds management community – all for free. The website gives investors direct access to stock ideas and to the exclusive insights of Australia’s leading investment professionals. The daily newsletter is a useful read to help keep you ahead of investments and financial markets with lots of expert advice and views.
StockLight is an app developed by software engineer Jason Kotchoff with help from the people at Intelligent Investor. It helps you track your portfolio and research new ideas with key data right at your fingertips, including notifications when your portfolio companies make announcements. StockLight’s key feature is that it rates ASX-listed shares with the traffic light system. “It’s not a stock picking tool, it’s a launching pad for further research” is what they say. Essentially, it acts as a proprietary system which helps you find opportunities and evaluate your portfolio health. It charges just under $14 a month for its basic service.
Tim Eisenhauer, managing director, OnMarket BookBuilds