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How do I Choose the Best Investment Software?

Article Details
  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 20 May 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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The best investment software is a product that is easy to use, provides quick access to relevant information, includes security features and provides direct access to investment accounts. Investment software can be divided into two classes: those for personal use and those for business use. Software designed for personal investing is marketed to investing novices, who primarily are investing to fund their own retirement or build wealth. A business investment software package is designed for a much broader scope.

The first item to consider when looking for investment software is usability. Investing is a complex topic, with a range of variables that have a huge impact on the outcome of investment activity. The software itself should be intuitive, be easy to read and have all of the functionality that the user wants to have with minimal effort. A product that is not well designed will have features organized in a non-intuitive way, resulting in a great deal of frustration and confusion.

The dashboard concept is a great way to provide instant, easy access to a range of data. Using this concept, the user can select what information sources he or she wants to have displayed on the Web page and where it should be located. The ability to create a customized view is a function commonly found in the best investment software.

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Investment software requires that the master data for all the accounts be updated in the system. User names, banks, investment types and the total amount of funds are all included in the software. Security on this type of information must be at the highest levels possible. Look for systems that require the use of a user name and password to access the software. Systems that do not have built-in security and instead rely on other security software probably are not sufficient.

The ability to perform analysis of investments over a period of time is an important component of any investment software program. The analysis tools should include forecasting of future returns, the ability to modify interest rates and the ability to change time frames. Other options might include the opportunity to test various scenarios and investment performances in a range of conditions.

Many investment software programs include time-saving features such as the ability to automatically update the software with data from your actual investment accounts. These programs have the ability to access actual market performance throughout the day and reflect those changes in your investment portfolio. This can be a great benefit in the decision-making process for an investor.

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