Wealth management and investment apps are changing the definition of what it means to be a purposeful investor. It’s easy to see the trend in more independent money management considering you can sign-up online and download money management apps to your mobile phone for free,

Financial industry regulations have been changing to push for less focus on what’s good for banking institutions and placed more emphasis on giving consumers options regarding how to manage their money. Consumers now expect to receive more informational resources and financial service tools for free. The changes are especially affecting the perception of what fees seem reasonable and how much account holders can get charged.

No major security breaches with mobile finance apps have been in the news recently, but identity theft is always a concern on the discerning investor’s mind, and rightfully so. Just two years ago, Equifax experienced a major data breach, which affected 147 million people. With new options continuing to become available online and on mobile devices, it’s crucial to ask, can these apps be trusted? What do I need to know about keeping my information safe online?

Layering online security features when using investment apps

Every time technology makes a new advancement in how we live and do business, we seem to experience some other unexpected result that reveals the limitations of digital resources. Hackers try to find new ways to target unsuspecting consumers and companies, including financial institutions. Fortunately, artificial intelligence (AI) is helping financial institutions to make data infrastructure much safer. Some of those powerful security features are now in the hands of all internet users.

Applications like LastPass.com offer a free “hard” password generation and log-in app for organizations. The automatically encrypted system produces alpha-numeric passwords that contain symbols. You can assign your online services by category and save all the log-in data there. No one can access your log-in info but you.

Two-stage log-ins—also called multi-factor authentication—require the user to enter two forms of password keys. These can vary from (1) entering a password and (2) description of an image or selecting a “push” option to have a security code automatically sent to your cell phone or email address. If any financial services or banking log-in offers the option of multi-stage account access, choose it, as it’s one of the best defenses against security issues with your account.

You can also consider adding ID theft protection or a credit monitoring service. Many credit card companies offer these services free of charge. The US government and Equifax also sent out emails to those affected by data breaches so they can register, free of charge, for credit protection. These services will alert you of any signs of fraudulent activity and will help you resolve the issue.

Are investment apps good at helping you to save money?

It’s a great idea to review different brands of wealth management apps such as Acorns, Qapital, or Mint before linking your checking or savings accounts. You must first decide on what your current financial goals are:

  • Do you want an automated method to save small quantities of money (over time) without making whole number transfers?
  • Do you need wealth management services that include making investments, portfolio asset allocations, and financial planning?
  • Are you a lifestyle motivated person where certain events inspire you to put money away, such as logging a trip to the gym?

Taking different approaches to saving depends on the personality of the investor and their lifestyle needs. Certain people want their accounts to accumulate without viewing it so as to not be tempted into making unnecessary withdrawals, and others love the motivation of seeing their savings accumulate. A little self-knowledge goes a long way when deciding what works best for you.

Are investment apps equal to a wealth advisor?

We won’t mince words—wealth management apps cannot achieve the level of customized advice that registered investment advisors (RIA) or qualified wealth managers can offer. If you’re just getting started on your journey into personal finance, a savings app may be all that you need. Acorns.com offers self-taught, money management videos and educational articles about financial planning. Mint is a free, online money management and mobile app acquired by Intuit in 2009. It allows you to link multiple external accounts to a central account. It also integrates with other financial services on the Intuit platform, which includes the well-known brands Turbotax and Quickbooks.

However, high net worth (HNW) individuals and other established investors should also look for a full-service wealth management firm. Signing up for free or low-cost wealth management apps with strong security ratings is one great resource of many that can strengthen your financial planning goals, but ultimately, nothing can compare to a firm with decades of experience helping clients assess and achieve their financial goals using a highly-tailored, individual approach.

Wealth managers can help you to achieve so much more

Financial services available online today can give you more flexibility with staying on top of the decisions you make daily with your money. Each investing app offers a different approach than the next. The trick is finding one that you can benefit from long-term. They are great tools to have at your fingertips, but they may not provide a complete financial picture.

Wealth management services help you to invest in assets that best suit your long-term financial goals. They can help you to properly balance the risk in your portfolio with asset allocation and risk management techniques. Wealth advisors, like those at SD Mayer, are wholly committed to ensuring you have all the financial services you need. As an advocate for your financial future, they can advise on implementing legal services and strategies to help you to protect and generate wealth for yourself and your family.

Investing apps are a great start to meeting your savings goals, but a qualified wealth manager can help you take those savings and create a balanced investment portfolio that will support you in getting where you want to go in life. Contact us today to set up an initial consultation.

Image Credit | robuart | Shutterstock

 

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