When you hear a song but can’t place the title or artist, you Shazam it. And if there’s a person, place, thing or idea that you want to know more about, chances are, you hit up Wikipedia. So when you need help tracking your investments and potential wealth building opportunities, follow suit and try these digital tools.
As an investor, you have a virtually endless number of securities you could invest in. So how do you choose? Stock screeners are comprehensive digital tools that can help make investing more manageable.
Stock screeners, such as Finviz, Benzinga Pro, Zacks and Ziggma, scan the entire market and give you helpful information on securities including average trading volume (the amount that’s traded during a set timeframe), price per share and more. All of these data points can help you identify which stocks align with your investment strategy — whether you’re willing to take on more risk or prefer a more conservative approach.
Many stock screeners also let you set predefined criteria. For example, you might set it to screen for stocks under $5 with an average trading volume of at least 1 million shares. The screener will only show you the securities that fit these specifications — narrowing your options significantly and helping you determine which stocks to consider when building your portfolio.
If you’re considering exchange-traded funds (ETFs) , for example, Ally’s ETF screener gives you the ability to research, analyze and compare performance and price data for thousands of ETFs. You can search using various criteria and filter by what matters most to you, like price range.
Looking for instant, real-time info about the performance of a stock, fund or index? Charting software, including standalone platforms like Google Finance and TradingView, puts this information at your fingertips. You can also choose how you’d like to display the information, whether you’re looking for a standard line chart with a security close over a period of time or a more in-depth candlestick chart, which includes the security’s open, high, low and close.
When you open an account with Ally Invest, you’ll have access to our streaming charts tool, which features eight different chart types, as well as more than 100 chart studies and 36 drawing tools to analyze stock, ETF and index performance.
As your portfolio grows, you’ll want to keep an eye on your various investments. But checking in with each individual security can get time-consuming. That’s where a watchlist — aka a digital dashboard — can come in handy. Many online brokerages, including Ally Invest, offer this tool, allowing you to create custom watchlists to stay on top of current and potential investments all in one place.
If you’re interested in investing but aren’t quite ready to jump in, stock simulators can be a way to learn more about the process, as well as how to navigate the ups and downs of the market without emotional investing. Also known as paper trading accounts, stock simulators such as Warrior Trading and NinjaTrader allow you to practice trading and making portfolio picks without risking any actual money.
Put down the pencil and paper. These days, whether you’re a beginner investor or a more seasoned pro, powerful online calculators can help you invest smarter and make the most of your investment strategy. For example, you can crunch the numbers with a profit and loss calculator to understand more of a trade’s potential before placing it. Or, with a probability calculator like ours, you can leverage implied volatility to help you determine the likelihood of reaching your investment goals.
If you’re a more advanced trader, an option chain (a.k.a. an options matrix) can be a handy digital tool since it shows all available options contracts for a given security. This includes calls, puts, their expiration, strike prices, and volume and pricing information within a given maturity period.
Not sure about options trading? Take a closer look.
Social Media Forums
In a meme stock digital trading world, Wall Street-focused social media forums such as those on Reddit have become increasingly popular as digital tools for investors at all levels. These online message boards can help you learn about potential investment opportunities. But don’t think you should jump into the market and make easy money simply because of a conversation you read on a website. Investing in fad stocks can seem exciting — but doing so is extremely risky. You should only purchase securities that align with your investment strategy, risk tolerance and time horizon — regardless of what any online chatter says.
Bookmark or download and start tracking.
Pick the right digital investing tools and you might find them as important as any of the must-have apps on your phone. Look for these features:
- Real-time data
- An easy-to-use interface
Up-to-the-minute data may seem to be the most important feature (you don’t want to trade on anything less than the most recent numbers). But investing is a personal endeavor, so a tailored and intuitive experience can go a long way. The best tools give you all three — putting more informed investing decisions just a swipe or keystroke away.
Our platform lets you connect to the market 24/7.
Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Review the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options brochure (PDF) (https://www.ally.com/resources/pdf/invest/risks-of-standardized-options.pdf) before you begin trading options. Options investors may lose the entire amount of their investment in a relatively short period of time.