Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

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Gamma Ray
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Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by Gamma Ray »

I am thinking about using an app that tells me when a stock or fund hits certain numbers (up or down) or remind me to harvest my losses when my fund/etf is down for X amount.

These two would probably be most useful aspects of an app that can send notification. Sure there are websites but most of the highly rated ones require access to our financial institutions or brokerage accounts.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by Ice-9 »

Rather than an app, I use a Google Spreadsheet to tell me such things. The first sheet lists my target and actual percentage allocations to the various asset classes that are art of my investment plan. It pulls the amounts from the second sheet that lists all my funds and updates the balances according to info from Google Finance formulas as long as I keep the number of shares up to date. I use conditional formatting to highlight an asset class when it drifts outside my bands and it's time to rebalance. Works well for me.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by Jeff Albertson »

A much better strategy is to forget the apps & paste this post to your phone's home screen.
viewtopic.php?p=4173272#p4173272
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by Gamma Ray »

Ice-9 wrote: Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:24 pm Rather than an app, I use a Google Spreadsheet to tell me such things. The first sheet lists my target and actual percentage allocations to the various asset classes that are art of my investment plan. It pulls the amounts from the second sheet that lists all my funds and updates the balances according to info from Google Finance formulas as long as I keep the number of shares up to date. I use conditional formatting to highlight an asset class when it drifts outside my bands and it's time to rebalance. Works well for me.

Thanks, but you have to actively monitor it, I am looking for something that can notify me.
Jeff Albertson wrote: Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:29 pm A much better strategy is to forget the apps & paste this post to your phone's home screen.
viewtopic.php?p=4173272#p4173272

That's a great approach, but with taxable accounts, you would be leaving a lot money on the table with this huge fluctuations we are going though.
I've done that for my tax-advantaged/retirement account which is a very long term. I take a peek at it, but I do not intend to make any changes to those.

However with taxable accounts, at minimum I would love to be notified when my fund is down for more than $1k, I'd love to harvest those losses to offset any other taxable investment incomes I had, such as interest or bank rewards (which are also reported as interest). There are robo advisor companies like betterment which offer automatic TLH, but at 0.25%, why not pay fixed $ for an app that can assist in manual operation of this?
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by birdog »

I actually just deleted the mobile app from my phone. My home computer provides more than enough access for me.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by ResearchMed »

No apps.

When I'm out and around, the last thing I need is to "act as though I'm still home and logged in"! :annoyed

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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by indexonlyplease »

Gamma Ray wrote: Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:19 pm I am thinking about using an app that tells me when a stock or fund hits certain numbers (up or down) or remind me to harvest my losses when my fund/etf is down for X amount.

These two would probably be most useful aspects of an app that can send notification. Sure there are websites but most of the highly rated ones require access to our financial institutions or brokerage accounts.
I would think there had to be better ways to spend your time. Unless you are a fund manager, then this is the only thing you think of. I use no mobile apps for any finances not even my savings account. Why would you unless you are bad with money.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by RickBoglehead »

Most companies provide the ability to send alerts. Why have an app too?
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by Freefun »

I use fildelity alerts.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by nisiprius »

1) So far, I have resisted temptations and pressure to put anything on my mobile device that is capable of making financial transactions. That seems to me to add an important amount of additional risk if my device is lost. Physical access is one of the primary issues with security. I'm willing to accept the double-link-in-the-chain risk of someone both breaking into my house and being a hacker, but I don't want the electronic/software security of my phone to be the only thing standing between me and financial loss.

Yes, I see the hand writing on the wall, but I intend to resist as long as I can.

2) I decided a long time ago that I would not take any investment actions that can't wait a month. Indeed, when I get the itch to do something I literally try to let a month elapse between decision and action. An ironic scene occurred when John C. Bogle was being interview on CNBC and was talking about the long-term view, staying the course, "Time is your friend, impulse is your enemy," while underneath him the second-by-second value of the Dow scrolled by.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by GrowthSeeker »

I have "My Stocks" by Peeksoft on my phone. I guess it is a "widget". It is good at showing the updated prices.
AFAIK it does not have a feature of notifiying you if a stock goes above or below a price.
https://peeksoft.co/

But googling finds this: https://marketatp.com/
but I have no experience with it.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by Gamma Ray »

nisiprius wrote: Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:23 am 1) So far, I have resisted temptations and pressure to put anything on my mobile device that is capable of making financial transactions. That seems to me to add an important amount of additional risk if my device is lost. Physical access is one of the primary issues with security. I'm willing to accept the double-link-in-the-chain risk of someone both breaking into my house and being a hacker, but I don't want the electronic/software security of my phone to be the only thing standing between me and financial loss.

Yes, I see the hand writing on the wall, but I intend to resist as long as I can.

2) I decided a long time ago that I would not take any investment actions that can't wait a month. Indeed, when I get the itch to do something I literally try to let a month elapse between decision and action. An ironic scene occurred when John C. Bogle was being interview on CNBC and was talking about the long-term view, staying the course, "Time is your friend, impulse is your enemy," while underneath him the second-by-second value of the Dow scrolled by.
No need to give access to your accounts, like I said in my first post, I avoid the apps/website that ask for access to our financial institutions. I don't like that idea. This would be strictly to monitor what you own, without giving app the access to accounts. You tell the app how many shares you have, and when you bought it at how much per share, it does the rest. if it's down by x% that you set, it notifies you. That x% down could be $6000 in losses that you can harvest before the market bounces back (if it ever does...)
RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:11 am Most companies provide the ability to send alerts. Why have an app too?
I don't see an option to notify by email in VG control panel. Is there one?
indexonlyplease wrote: Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:56 am
I would think there had to be better ways to spend your time. Unless you are a fund manager, then this is the only thing you think of. I use no mobile apps for any finances not even my savings account. Why would you unless you are bad with money.
How would you know when your fund/etf is down so much that you can do TLH? App that notifies you goes more in line with "set it and forget it" than checking your funds on a regular basis?
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by RickBoglehead »

Gamma Ray wrote: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:36 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:11 am Most companies provide the ability to send alerts. Why have an app too?
I don't see an option to notify by email in VG control panel. Is there one?

Type "Alerts" in the search box and it will take you to setting up securities alerts as well as other alerts.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

I buy on the first of every month, and I don’t sell, so I don’t need notifications to tell me what to do. Nevertheless, I like to know what’s going on, so I have an app that tells me what the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq are doing.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by Gamma Ray »

RickBoglehead wrote: Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:04 am
Gamma Ray wrote: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:36 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:11 am Most companies provide the ability to send alerts. Why have an app too?
I don't see an option to notify by email in VG control panel. Is there one?

Type "Alerts" in the search box and it will take you to setting up securities alerts as well as other alerts.

I can't seem to get past "Add a security to the alert list", when I type the Symbol, it's not letting me Add.
I will keep trying.-- OK, I got through, it's not letting me pick number less than 2.5%, but it's still a good tool I guess.
UpperNwGuy wrote: Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:12 am I buy on the first of every month, and I don’t sell, so I don’t need notifications to tell me what to do. Nevertheless, I like to know what’s going on, so I have an app that tells me what the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq are doing.
Maybe I am just making a big deal out of Tax Loss Harvesting but that was the main reason I started looking into a tool to help me watch the losses/drops. BH community insists that TLH is a great opportunity to reduce the taxes now especially for long term investments by taking advantage of TLH. If we don't watch for significant drops in market, how else can we take advantage of TLH?
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by triceratop »

My mobile is much less secure than logging in through my desktop. I do not even know the (complex, 20+ character-length) passwords to my financial accounts, and rely on a hardware key to unlock the encrypted passwords for every use. (The one exception to this is Venmo, where I do use mobile). So no, I do not use mobile apps at all for such things.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

Gamma Ray wrote: Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:28 pm Maybe I am just making a big deal out of Tax Loss Harvesting but that was the main reason I started looking into a tool to help me watch the losses/drops. BH community insists that TLH is a great opportunity to reduce the taxes now especially for long term investments by taking advantage of TLH. If we don't watch for significant drops in market, how else can we take advantage of TLH?
I think far fewer people in this forum tax loss harvest than you might think from the frequency of posts about it. My opinion is that those who tax loss harvest like to talk about it and ask questions about it. The ones who don't tax loss harvest, don't mention it.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by Toons »

I use the Vanguard App to execute fund transactions.
Not for monitoring individual stocks that I own.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by 123 »

I do nothing involving financial accounts on my phone. All financial stuff is done from a desktop at home. When markets have significant swings in prices I am tempted to buy some things (our asset allocation has bands for flexibility/opportunity/market timing (ok - I said the word). I take advantage of market swings by having open orders that are triggered by market prices. I review the open orders at the beginning of every month. I currently have open orders for VTI at certain prices that I think are favorable. I'd hate to miss a "flash crash" opportunity if another one comes along. By using orders that are triggered by specific prices I don't have to be concerned about moment-to-moment price movements. I don't rush to trade anything, I only trade after deliberated thought. I can go months without any trading activity because my price points are not reached. It's okay with me.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Nope.

There are no financial transactions or monitoring that are so urgent that they can't wait until I am at home with my more secure PC. Even if Especially if I am on vacation.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by MrJones »

duplicate
Last edited by MrJones on Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by MrJones »

The Vanguard app works very well for TLHing. It shows you your cost basis (taking into consideration your lots if you use specid) and therefore harvestable losses.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by indexonlyplease »

Gamma Ray wrote: Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:28 pm
RickBoglehead wrote: Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:04 am
Gamma Ray wrote: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:36 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:11 am Most companies provide the ability to send alerts. Why have an app too?
I don't see an option to notify by email in VG control panel. Is there one?

Type "Alerts" in the search box and it will take you to setting up securities alerts as well as other alerts.

I can't seem to get past "Add a security to the alert list", when I type the Symbol, it's not letting me Add.
I will keep trying.-- OK, I got through, it's not letting me pick number less than 2.5%, but it's still a good tool I guess.
UpperNwGuy wrote: Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:12 am I buy on the first of every month, and I don’t sell, so I don’t need notifications to tell me what to do. Nevertheless, I like to know what’s going on, so I have an app that tells me what the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq are doing.
Maybe I am just making a big deal out of Tax Loss Harvesting but that was the main reason I started looking into a tool to help me watch the losses/drops. BH community insists that TLH is a great opportunity to reduce the taxes now especially for long term investments by taking advantage of TLH. If we don't watch for significant drops in market, how else can we take advantage of TLH?
TlH only works for people with outside accounts. I beleive many here are on the building state of the portfolio and in taxed deferred accounts such as 401k and Roth IRA ect. So, many here could careless about TLH. But I do have an taxed account and just placed the alerts in Vanguard. Thanks for that info.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by Ice-9 »

Gamma Ray wrote: Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:46 am
Ice-9 wrote: Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:24 pm Rather than an app, I use a Google Spreadsheet to tell me such things. The first sheet lists my target and actual percentage allocations to the various asset classes that are art of my investment plan. It pulls the amounts from the second sheet that lists all my funds and updates the balances according to info from Google Finance formulas as long as I keep the number of shares up to date. I use conditional formatting to highlight an asset class when it drifts outside my bands and it's time to rebalance. Works well for me.

Thanks, but you have to actively monitor it, I am looking for something that can notify me.
It sounds like you've found an easy-enough solution later in this thread with the alerts from Vanguard. However, even though I'm personally not interested in alerts, your response above made me curious. After some searching I realize that apparently, someone who is determined can indeed configure their spreadsheets to send them alerts based on cell values. I have not attempted to test this and can't confirm it would actually work in practice for TLH or rebalance notifications, but just in case someone else is interested:

Google Sheets: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/465 ... ve-row-num
Excel: https://www.extendoffice.com/documents/ ... value.html
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by Sandtrap »

No.
The more "hands off" I can be, the more my portfolio becomes a "Bogle Portfolio". :D
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by markcoop »

I have a number of financial apps on my phone - Vanguard, my bank, Gas app, Google Pay (which has my credit cards).

First, my phone has a password. That's the first level of security and I think a good one.

Second, some apps (Vanguard, my bank) have passwords, so I don't think it's a big deal. I don't save the password on the phone, so why is it any different than my browser on my phone that can access Vanguard?

Third, there are some apps (gas and even Google Pay) that don't have app passwords, but are still protected by the phone password. Credit cards are great at refunding unauthorized purchases. Isn't this safer than a physical wallet with the credit card in it?
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by Gamma Ray »

indexonlyplease wrote: Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:27 am
Gamma Ray wrote: Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:28 pm Maybe I am just making a big deal out of Tax Loss Harvesting but that was the main reason I started looking into a tool to help me watch the losses/drops. BH community insists that TLH is a great opportunity to reduce the taxes now especially for long term investments by taking advantage of TLH. If we don't watch for significant drops in market, how else can we take advantage of TLH?
TlH only works for people with outside accounts. I beleive many here are on the building state of the portfolio and in taxed deferred accounts such as 401k and Roth IRA ect. So, many here could careless about TLH. But I do have an taxed account and just placed the alerts in Vanguard. Thanks for that info.
Yes, that's what I realized and I also mentioned it earlier, maybe this site is mostly focusing on tax-advantaged accounts but I think this site is still a great place for taxable investment accounts, because let's face it, you can't rely completely on tax-advantaged accounts for your retirement these days, the limits are just too low to make a difference, we have to be saving more than what's allowed in IRA's, etc, unless you are lucky enough to have pensions or other benefits with huge growth potentials.
markcoop wrote: Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:50 am I have a number of financial apps on my phone - Vanguard, my bank, Gas app, Google Pay (which has my credit cards).

First, my phone has a password. That's the first level of security and I think a good one.

Second, some apps (Vanguard, my bank) have passwords, so I don't think it's a big deal. I don't save the password on the phone, so why is it any different than my browser on my phone that can access Vanguard?

Third, there are some apps (gas and even Google Pay) that don't have app passwords, but are still protected by the phone password. Credit cards are great at refunding unauthorized purchases. Isn't this safer than a physical wallet with the credit card in it?
Remember you can have
1) Password/fingerprint/passcode to unlock your phone, then
2) Put the apps you want in secure folder like Samsung KNox secure folder which is password protected to even see the apps in there (and runs in a completely separate environment, your other apps can't see these apps) and
3) app password (basically the password to login to your account)

If you want to go even deeper you can put a 2FA to your financial website password that it would require authenticator/rolling code/SMS verification to log in each time. That would go into inconvenience especially if you already have 2 layers, but to be honest, these days the financial institutions should be watching out for their customers. Are they logging on from a different location? Using a new phone/computer/MAC address? Are they trying to move a lot of money or make many small transactions? There should be add'l security measures from them to verify you are in fact who you are.


My question was to find out if anyone is using apps to notify them of sudden changes to their stocks/funds, not necessarily to manage or make financial transactions. You can have an app with no access to your finances to modify them, but you can manually add your holdings and monitor.

I started using "StockAlerts-Backround" app, and I can set the amount of % for notifications. I just got a message VTI is down -2% today.
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Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

Post by Gamma Ray »

Ice-9 wrote: Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:21 am
However, even though I'm personally not interested in alerts, your response above made me curious. After some searching I realize that apparently, someone who is determined can indeed configure their spreadsheets to send them alerts based on cell values. I have not attempted to test this and can't confirm it would actually work in practice for TLH or rebalance notifications, but just in case someone else is interested:

Google Sheets: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/465 ... ve-row-num
Excel: https://www.extendoffice.com/documents/ ... value.html
These are some great discoveries, thanks, but I think rather than using excel, we might need something that's running on a website like php etc to accomplish this hands-off. With Excel, the file must be opened for the value to be generated, only then it creates a draft email that you have to manually send.

I think google docs might have a much better solution, because it can update things behind the scenes since it's online and cloud 100%. I don't know if google docs stays active when you close it, but there might be a way to do it.

VG's limits 2.5% is OK and I think that might be a good set for TLH approach. Obviously if the funds are down 2.5% today, it will not necessarily mean our loss is 2.5% especially if it went up and down in last few days, which is exactly why I wanted to use an app, by giving the app what my buy date/per share/ and etc was, and app can tell me "hey your purchase from June is down 3% but your purchase from January is still up %6" so with accurate cost basis, I can just sell my June purchase and harvest the losses.
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