THE BEST STOCK-PICKING APPS
1ONMARKET BOOKBUILDS Dodgy name, but its business isn’t. Download this app and you can swipe left or right to check out companies touting themselves to new investors similar to Tinder. Before Onmarket Bookbuilds landed, the only way to snaffle shares in an upcoming Initial Public Offering – where companies list for the first time on the ASX – was to be matey with your stockbroker. “The process hadn’t changed in 40 years,” says managing director Ben Bucknell. That means most of us were missing out on a way to make a quick buck. Over the past 35 years, shares in newly floated Australian companies have risen by an average 22 per cent on the first day of trade, says Bucknell. Two floats got away via the app in late 2015 and both made investors immediate profits. Plus PM Malcolm Turnbull is a fan, “The brilliance of this app is simply that it makes it easier to buy, to trade,” he said at the company’s launch. Still, just like on Tinder, you’re advised to do some research.
2ACORNS Ashton Kutcher is a part owner, so here you’re in with the cool crowd. Working from the maxim of ‘You reap what you sow’, Acorns forces you into saving by making a microwithdrawal each time you buy something on EFTPOS. For example, your daily $3.80 double ristretto might get rounded up to $4 and the 20 cents difference gets salted away for later. All those little pieces of loose change are then invested into ETFS (Exchange Traded Funds), which pool together shares, bonds and cash investments, giving you the benefits of a diversified portfolio. With a swipe of your smartphone you can choose between five investment strategies – from conservative to aggressive depending on how much of a hurry you’re in to make money (and your willingness to lose some along the way). Fees are just $15 a year on your first $5000, and 0.25 per cent of the money under management after that. According to Acorns Australia’s CEO George Lucas, a professional fund manager would cost you three times that amount.
3CMC MARKETS PRO This one’s for the adults. If you know your way around a VWAP, then you’ll find everything you can dream of on this personal finance bad boy. Not an app as such, more a spaceship that takes over laptops or desktops. Its black screen looks suitably nefarious and adds a pleasing touch of the Bloomberg Terminal beloved by investment bankers. There’s research from Reuters and Morningstar, and a pile of charting tools for those who like to look for mysterious patterns like ‘hanging men’ and ‘shooting stars’ in share prices. Master this one and you’ll soon be sporting braces and slickedback hair. Just remember, as Gordon Gekko says, lunch is for wimps. Want something a little easier for buying and selling shares? Then give CMC Markets Stockbroking app a spin, awarded best value by CANSTAR for five straight years. It also has the lowest brokerage fees and comes with plenty of bells and whistles. And there’s even training wheels for newcomers.