Image source: stockmarket-watch.com
Investing in the stock market is no walk in the park. The market accelerates and halts without warning. The counter you picked and rocketed 10% a few days ago had just declined 15% today. Suddenly a pharmaceutical stock announced good progress in clinical trials. An oil exploration firm issues a press release at discovering a new field.
Then political turmoil destabilises a G8 nation. All stocks plunge.
The act of investing in stocks had been compared many times to flying a fighter jet. Just like the pilot in the jet, you’re not going to be able to make sense of the flight without at least a couple of tools to help you interpret data and navigate.
Before we look at the tools, let us go through some of the common problems that investors face when dealing stock investment.
1. Missing out on the latest financial news
News is the lifeblood of the ticker symbols. The numbers rise and fall with each piece of news. Many also believe that by the time news reaches your newswires, the market would have already made its move. Wouldn’t it be great if you can get access to the latest developments pushed to you the minute it happens…or better still, the minutes before it happens?
Missing out on the latest financial news means that unbought counters could rocket, much to your chagrin. Or you could only stare at your screen in horror when you realize post-purchase the stock you committed to could be facing multimillion dollar legal suits.
The Fix: Motif Explorer
2. Inability to make a decision
You’ve got thousands of stocks scattered across hundreds of bourses around the world. Which country? Which business? Which sector/industry? Which company? Do you invest in business fundamentals or do you spot a pattern in technical analysis? Will you buy low and sell high, or do you short the counter?
Poor decision making may lead not just to cash losses, but also opportunity costs as your money gets stuck in a counter that isn’t going anywhere.
The Fix: eToro
3. Not knowing how to start
How do you test it out without getting burnt? After all, isn’t the first rule of investing to “never lose money”?
When you’re a newbie, it isn’t sufficient to just make a profit or to be upset at making a loss. You need to know why, how it happened and to prevent/encourage a repeat occurrence. It is knowledge that you will need.
4. Missing target buy/sell prices
Stocks move fast, or slow. Or they could pause for days and not move at all. But you can’t be looking at the counters all day long, you have a life to live – how do you get alerted when the target price has reached? It also isn’t advisable, psychologically speaking, to consistently look at your counters. If you do so, the likelihood of you reacting to the market based on impulse is very high.
The selling/buying price is a little bit like lightning – gone in a flash and it may never strike again in the same place. Miss it and you are at risk of throwing away all the research you’ve invested and start gambling on unfamiliar entry/exit points.
5. Getting useful gossip
Someone said that “Today’s gossip could be tomorrow’s news”. That’s not entirely wrong, but wouldn’t it be great if there was a platform where you could receive stories through the grapevine that isn’t altogether rubbish? Wouldn’t it be good if such a platform could have some sort of mechanism to give the reader clues about the integrity of the gossip?
Gossip will not be the only piece of information you rely on but it helps not to ignore it. The grapevine is useful at helping you making sense of the market and the direction of the prices.
6. Having insufficient capital to invest
Are you one of those who never seem to be able to save enough money at the end of the month? Wouldn’t it be great to automagically have money accumulated and parked away for investment? Here’s a low-tech solution: get a box…and then put all the coins you have collected throughout the course of the day in that box. But wouldn’t it be great if there was an advanced, modern solution?
Saving money takes a long time and the problem with that is you need a lot of discipline. With an app that helps you to put away money and put the money to work, you’ll be able to realise success much faster.
The Fix: Acorns
7. Not using technology to full effect
“Socialise” is the latest business model in the wonderful world of technology. Using the power of the crowds and the resources of many, one can seek new ideas, buy/sell products and build communities in a social manner. It started with social media. Then taxis, then properties…why not investing? What can we do to socialise investing?
The greatest power in 21st century technology comes from its ability to harness the collective wisdom of the masses. Not doing this would send you back to the dinosaur age of relying on your own opinion and research.
The Fix: Motif Explorer
8. Not automating your investments
You want to trade, but you don’t want to do the research that necessarily accompanies investment. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just shadow and trade verbatim the selections of a stock connoisseur?
Efficiency and productivity are the pillars behind some of the most successful corporate operations. If you’re not using some form of automation in your investing, you may not have been capitalising on all the opportunities available to you.
The Fix: eToro
9. Oversupply of data
In the world of stocks, there is. a. Lot. Of. Data. There is news, numbers, charts of shapes and sizes, tickers, colours, symbols, fractions. What are you supposed to do with all this? How would this news correlate with that number and in which point in time?
Information, in the world of investing, is power. It is what will make or break your game. However, we’re almost always faced with a surplus of data, not all of which is necessary. Information overload can lead to confused decisions and ultimately unreliable trades.
10. Sleepless nights
Stocks move in a disturbingly chaotic and oftentimes unpredictable manner. News that happens in another timezone can wipe profits out or create small windows of opportunity for you to make money. How do you curb the desire to want to check on your counter’s progress every minute and a half?
Your mental and physical health is arguably the most important component in the investing game. After all, what are you working so hard for if it wasn’t for yours or your family’s welfare? If you’re not using the tools to help take your mind off the market, you’re likely to go berserk from the stress that markets can deliver.
The Fix: Call Levels
The Apps Explained
What is it?
eToro’s most famous feature is its trade mimicking function, or ”copy trading”. With as little as $50, you are able to review and copy the moves of the most successful traders on the platform. You can decide exactly how to invest your money on the platform, and if you know what you’re doing, you’ll be drawing a large following with others copying your move also.
What problems does the app solve? #2, #3, #4, #5, #8
What is it?
Acorns is an app that links a credit or debit card to your profile and the spare change from purchases on the card will be rounded up to the next dollar and invested in a diversified portfolio of six different funds based on your set risk tolerance.
What problems does the app solve? #6
What is it?
Kapitall turns investing into a game! By moving a company’s icon in and out of your live portfolio, Kapitall makes trades as simple as dragging and dropping. The app features a user-friendly interface among the easiest out there to understand, so it’s great for new investors and is an excellent platform to learn with.
What problems does the app solve? #3, #9
What is it?
This app helps you compile your investing ideas, strategies, news and data into “Motifs”, something like a mini investment portfolio built around an idea. On their site, examples “Motifs” are “social responsible” (where stocks of companies are deemed to be socially responsible are compiled or “Lot’s of Likes”, where Facebook likes of companies are measured and it becomes your investment decision.
What problems does the app solve? #1, #5, #7, #9
What is it?
Call Levels is a real-time financial monitoring and notification service. The app works on simplicity and solves the need for one to constantly stay in front of screens, freeing up time and energy for..well, life actually.
What problems does the app solve? #4, #9, #10
If you want to improve returns on your equity, forex, commodity and even bond investments by leveraging the power of market monitoring and real-time alerts, download Call Levels: