Mobile Apps 101: 10 Must-Have Applications for Every Advisor
1. Bloomberg Mobile
This free app allows users to analyze real-time financial market data, access company descriptions, get up-to-the-second market news and stock quotes and review price charts on the go. Its "My Stocks" feature allows advisors to create a customized portfolio of stocks they want to follow either for themselves or for their clients and stock indices from around the world.
This is a handy note-taking app that can be synchronized with Dropbox so that when planners type notes from a client meeting or industry conference, the data is automatically sent and synchronized to their computers eliminating the need to repeated email notes back and forth from their smartphones to their main work computer.
This free app for iOS, Android and BlackBerry makes it easy for advisors to view all those Word documents and PDFs on their smartphone.
"After signing up for a free 2GB Dropbox account, planners can view documents and PDFs saved in their Dropbox folder on a PC or Mac," said Bill Winterbeg, president of Dallas-based technology consulting firm FP Pad.
"Planners don't need to email documents to themselves or, in the case of iPhones and iPads, use iTunes software to drag and drop documents to the device," he added.
4. Documents To Go
This application allows financial planners to edit their Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on the road and the premium version of Documents To GO also synchronizes to files stored in Dropbox or other cloud-based document storage and editing services.
5. Black Diamond Mobile for iPad
This iPad applications allows authorized Black Diamond Performance Reporting clients to access their performance data in a simple, elegant interface that was custom designed for the iPad. It also automatically synchs with each users personalized settings from the BlueSky web application.
"One of the apps our advisers love to use is Black Diamond Mobile," said Jodi Johnston, president of Financial Advisers of America. "It's a very useful performance reporting tool that provides the team access to our clients' account and portfolio information on-the-go. We find the iPad functionality of the app beneficial, as it offers a large enough display screen that can be used in impromptu client meetings."
6. Fidelity Wealth Central Mobile
For RIAs who rely on Fidelity's WealthCentral platform, this applications lets advisors access client account profiles, balances and holdings and check account positions and transaction history.
It also lets advisors review important firm alerts on their way to a client visit and customize the display preferences to access critical client details or market news on the go.
"We supply our advisory team with the tools and resources they need, when they need them," said John Stuart, the chief information officer of Beverly Hills Wealth Management. "Fidelity Wealth Central Mobile is a favorite amongst our advisors as it keeps them connected to our custodian. The app allows them to view accounts, track account maintenance items, receive news, and stay connected to our client's wealth in real time."
7. VIP Access
Verisign's free online security credential app can be downloaded to any mobile phone to provide an extra layer of identity protection when advisors sign in from their mobile browser.
Some of the larger mobile investment platform providers have already started requiring their partners download and install this security feature to protect clients' most sensitive personal and financial information.
8. CFP Exam Prep
More than 62,000 of your peers have been through it and now it's your turn. This app helps prepare you for the Certified Financial Planner exam with more than 500 targeted questions that are paired with an explanatory answer designed to reinforce and expand your knowledge.
9. NestEgg Estimator
This application allows advisors to use a retirement calculator and cash flow simulator to quickly demonstrate to potential clients just how important it is to start thinking about saving for retirement.
It lets users change options such as age, retirement age, state and local tax rates, 401k contributions and other factors to paint a pretty accurate picture of what a given individual can e