Financial tools are needed by professionals and individual investors alike. Professionals rely on such tools to take informed decisions regarding their clients’ fund management, financial research etc, whereas individual investors use financial tools for creating budgets, keeping a track on their income and expenses, collating their investment details at one place making it paperless and hassle free, connecting all their accounts together be it personal, retirement or mortgage and loans with the aim of arriving at a holistic picture of their net worth.
There are certain basic apps and tools that can be used for attaining simple objectives like keeping a track of your expenses and savings, to certain other complex ones that provide detailed financial data and financial statements along with expert analysis pertaining to individual companies, like Profit & Loss statements, dividend history, financial ratios and information about various markets, finance, business, indices and financial news, financial forecasting. They also provide expert analysis, updates on the upcoming IPOs, how IPOs fare on the indices and their current valuations.
Enumerated below are certain financial tools that are readily accessible on the internet which can be used to ease your life.
Free Financial Tools related to Wealth Management
As they say, earning money is easier than finding the right avenues for investing it. Keeping the same fact in mind a lot of financial tools are readily and freely available, which are used by professionals as well as individuals alike.
Such financial tools help to organize your financial data at one place from where it is easily accessible and also provide regular and latest updates on any stocks, equity or debt from time to time. Many portfolio management websites offer such wealth management tools free of cost where you can create an account and enter your investment details. The tools not only update the respective values of any shares, mutual funds or fixed income securities but also analyse your investment portfolio, along with giving suitable recommendations on its asset allocation, your net worth and how is your investment portfolio performing as compared to the market indices.
Websites like Morning Star, Personal Capital, JP Morgan, Principal Global and a host of other mutual fund websites provide detailed financial data free of any charge on the current market and economic trends, bonds market, Exchange Traded Funds(ETFs), stocks, Closed Ended Funds(CEFs) and personal finance. You can also calculate your cash flow and net worth i.e. assets minus the liabilities by entering your personal and saving account details, cash and investments, bonds and stocks as well as your debts and liabilities i.e. mortgage, loans, credit cards etc.
#1 – MorningStar
There are also free versions available for them. For instance if you wish to subscribe to a basic version (14-day free trial) of Morningstar, go to this MorningStar and hit the Register button.
Mutual funds charge fees for managing your funds, such fees is known as expense ratio which can adversely affect your retirement corpus. Many websites also provide Fee analyser tool which helps to analyse the hidden fee and how adversely it is costing you. Their concept is simple, “Don’t let high fees erode your savings”.
#2 – Personal Capital
Investment check-up or taking a second opinion on your portfolio is a good practice. It helps you determine what is your current standing vis-a-vis the goal you want to achieve. Investment Check-up tool lets you put your investment under a microscope and analyse it in detail. It helps you determine your current asset allocation and the probable one.
Along with it, Net Worth calculators are also available free of cost which help you determine your net worth which means what you have minus what you owe wherein you can link all your accounts investment, retirement as well as bank accounts to get a holistic picture of the total net worth of an individual. You can use Personal Capital for the same.
Free Tools for News and Research Data
Many news agencies, the likes of Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and the FT provide a lot of information about the various investment options available in the market. Information about stocks listed on Dow Jones, FTSE100, S&P500 along with futures, options, currencies and commodities is available on their website. You can find a lot of information on the companies you are planning to invest in. Annual reports, Profit & Loss statement and a host of other financial information is available for eager investors.
#1 – Bloomberg
Bloomberg.com provides a lot of financial information on its Market page regarding stocks, currencies, commodities, Rates + Bonds, Benchmark, Economic calendar. You can also find financial data pertaining to the various companies, indices et al which is very useful in creating financial models.
News Agencies also provide latest financial and economic news and their analysis over the same. Investment bankers consider news agencies like Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal as their Holy Grail and rely on the information provided by them. Financial data is readily available on the websites which is used by professionals across investment banks to analyse and create financial models. However, access to advanced data is available only for the paid version of Bloomberg.
#2 – Reuters
Reuters is a part of Reuters Group, PLC which provides financial data. Reuters is an international news agency that provides financial equity reports and data. It is a collaboration of thousands of journalist whose information is collated onto the Reuters website. News is available on various topics ranging from Finance, Economics, Politics, Business, technology et al. along with loads of valuable information on stocks, Indices, derivatives, world markets and crucial financial statements of various companies.
On the market page of Reuters.com, you can find a lot of data pertaining to U.S Markets, European Markets, Asian Markets, Currencies, Stocks, Options, Futures, Indices, Bonds along with Earnings per Share and Dividends of globally renowned companies.
Free Finance Tools from Rating Agencies
Rating Agencies also offer reliable financial tools which are utilized by professionals all over the globe. There are primarily Big Three credit rating agencies namely, Standard and Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s.
#1 – Standard and Poor’s
In 1941 Poor’s Publishing and Standard Statistics merged together and formed Standard & Poor’s. It’s core strength lies in the business of issuing credit ratings to the debt instruments of public and private limited companies as well as governments and governmental institutions. It issues long term as well as short term credit ratings. S&P in its official website has incorporated a tool wherein you can search the credit rating of any company. You can also find data relating to different indices such as Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P500, S&P Asia, S&P Infrastructure and many more. Investment banking professionals across the world rely on the market insights and news available for data analysis and research from such Credit Rating Agencies(CRAs).
#2 – Fitch Ratings
Fitch Ratings was founded in 1914 and is dually headquartered at New York and London. It uses alphabets to assign its credit ratings, highest Investment grade being AAA, AA to BBB, Non-investment grade being BB, CCC, CC to D being defaulters. This system of credit rating was later on adopted by S&P. Fitch’s website provides financial tool wherein you can easily search the credit rating of any company.
#3 – Moody’s
Moody’s Investors Service was formed in 1909 and is primarily into bond ratings. Its main business pertains to the securities in the capital markets. Moody’s rank the creditworthiness of debt securities of businesses, funds and governments, namely bonds, money market funds, fixed income funds and hedge funds. The rating structure at Moody’s is a bit different than Fitch and S&P’s, it terms its best investment with lowest credit risk at Aaa while C as the lowest. Professionals rely on their ratings which can be easily fetched from their website.
Free Finance Apps
People are so busy with their lives that it becomes difficult for them to focus their energies upon the most important aspect of earnings, Savings. Investment Banking professionals especially wealth managers are in the business of handling money, but in case you are looking for some first-hand experience and want to personally look after your own finances, there are various mobile applications readily available in the cyber space which can be downloaded free of cost. Such mobile apps provide quick and smart solutions to collect all your financial information at one place making it less tedious and almost paperless.
A number of free mobile apps are available in the market some of them are as under
#1 – Mint
Mint is one of the most known mobile apps that helps you track your money automatically. All you need to do is enter basic information and Mint takes cares of the rest of it by providing you vital information from time to time.
#2 – Pear Budget
Pear Budget is another web based application that is based on a spreadsheet format wherein information has to be manually entered. It has certain basic expense categories which perhaps can be altered later on. It isn’t as automated as its peers but serves the purpose especially for the first timers.
#3 – Level money
Level money as the name suggest levels the amount of money you can spend in a month, week or day. It automatically picks data from your smart phone and keeps sending reminders about the amount left to spend thus levelling the savings and expenses rate. It also gives you a glimpse of your spending habits basis the information received by it.
#4 – GnuCash
GnuCash is a Linux based system that thrives on double-entry bookkeeping. It is a serious accounting tool but can be used for business as well as home. It helps you track your expenses and saving along with bank and investment accounts.
Many bank websites also provide mobile applications wherein you can enter your data pertaining to your accounts, loans, investments, insurance et al. They help you keep a track on your income and expenses and also provide information about their new products from time to time.
Dividend Tracker Free Finance Tool
Dividend Tracker as the name suggest collates all the dividend data pertaining to a particular stock. Such trackers are in the form of mobile applications where you can create multiple entries of different stocks. You can enter the company’s detail and view its complete dividend payment history, short summary and detailed data particularly financial ratios such as Earnings per share or EPS, P/E Ratio, PBV Ratio, current price of the stock, the 52-week range, dividend declared, yield and payout ratios.
Dividend Trackers also display the complete dividend history for a span of 3months, 6months, a year to 5 years. The same can also be seen in the form of a chart for better understanding and analysis by the user. Dividend tracker is not only useful for professionals who can benefit from the immense amount of detailed information available but also for individuals who seek to maintain a record of their dividend history.
Investment banking professionals rely on such financial tools for in depth analysis and research on stocks and shares to provide valuable and apt advice to their clients. The above listed tools are free of cost and can work wonders for investment banking professionals who are at the onset of their careers. As and when they grow in expertise and experience there are more complex tools available at a cost that give further detailed statistics and figures.
Investment Banking jobs require a lot of perseverance and dedication on the part of the professionals, the numbers are mind boggling and can’t be recollected at all times. Such financial tools make the job much easier and simpler for the experts who are always on the go.
If you are planning to make a career in finance, such tools will be your best buddies you won’t want to part with!!