Investment planning tools are not the same as types or means of investments, rather, they are tools they help you make smart, realistic and informed decisions about your financial future, they help you know where exactly your money it is, what it is doing and how it is doing. They also help you to match your financial goals with the resources you have, every step along the way.
Basically, these investment planning tools have been divided into four main categories, each comprising of a wide range of tools under them which any willing investor can explore on their journey to building the right kind of investments. These categories include Trading, Education, Tracking and Analysis.
Trading in investment planning basically has to do with buying and selling. Trading on a short term scale may not be a direct form of investment, however, the profits made from it can be used for the acquisition of long term investments. Stocks, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, indices and others are major means of trading. There are several trading tools or platforms that you’ll find as you begin to navigate your way through the stock market, tools like Ameritrade, Fidelity investment, Robinhood and the likes.
Fidelity investment, for instance, offers a wide range of benefits for the investor including, extensive research assets that help the investors narrow down their choices, lowering the cost of investment, no commission on stocks, zero-free index funds, and it is largely known for its expertise in mutual funds as well.
These are tools or platforms that house the right investment information made available for you to consult in order to make informed investment decisions. North American Securities Administration Association (NASAA) investor advisories is one tool that any investor can leverage on to get the right investment information, as they provide investment alerts that are categorized into topics and years for easy accessibility.
Another effective tool here is Google Finance. With it you can get recent market news, current stock price of any company, domestic trends, cash flow statements of various companies, even more importantly, it is very easy to use.
Tracking is as important as the investment itself, it not just enough to make investments, you must be able to follow their movements, to know how they are performing. Fortunately, there are online tools that are quite easy to use for tracking your investments. They include Personal Capital, Mint, Morning star, Quicken, SigFig, etc. Personal Capital for instance helps to link all your accounts and automatically updates you on any information changes. Your money is safe there because they do not have a direct access to the accounts, you can also track cash flows either monthly or whatever interval you want to.
Lastly here are the analysis tools, these tools help you to analyze your investments in order to ensure that you have made the right choices. They are used both before you make the investments and after you have made them, they help to checkmate overtime if the investments you made still fit into your goals. Some major tools here include Portfolio visualizer, Quicken Premier, Morningstar Instant X-Ray. Platforms like Morning star are free to use and they give you details on stocks, Mutual funds and ETFs.
Engaging the right investment planning tools is very essential for making the right investment decisions. If you are therefore at the point of making an investment decision and you are unsure of what step to take, ensure you make use of these tools listed above and more in order to make your work easier for you.