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How do I Choose the Best Investor Software?

By A. Leverkuhn
Updated May 17, 2024
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Investors who are looking at the best software tools for online trading and acquisitions often select these items on the basis of principles like cost, access, fee structures, security, and record keeping options. Computer-based investment tools have become a major part of the way that individual investors seek to grow their money. The wide range of these financial utilities means that there is a significant amount of research involved in choosing the best beginner’s investment software for developing a diversified and potentially lucrative portfolio of stocks, bonds, options, ETFs, funds, and other equities.

One of the first things that investors might look at, after reviewing costs and commissions on trades, is access to the investor software. Some of the best tools consist of online brokerage accounts with multi-feature functionality, where the user simply logs on over the Web, and all records are kept on the central server of the brokerage company. Alternately, some investors choose tools that record investments on their own home network.

When they are reviewing different options for investor software, prospective buyers might also look at the security of different programs and services. Cyber security has become a huge issue, not just for individuals and private firms, but even for the most secure installations of national governments. Good online brokerage firms can promote their best security practices to attract clients.

Another major part of choosing good investor software involves comparing the record-keeping ability. Cost basis is one of the main things that investors should always seek in their software options. The reason is because this element of investment is something that may only become necessary well after the initial investment has happened - specifically, when the investor files a tax return. On a standard tax return, the federal Internal Revenue Service requires reporting of original cost basis for all investments. This means that individual investors can have a lot of liability related to a missing cost basis. Investors might ask the financial software company up front whether they can always keep cost basis on record.

In choosing good investment software, venture capitalists, and others with funds to invest, should never overlook customer service. The best online brokerages and financial software companies offer accessible and competent customer service that helps answer any questions a customer might have about the many complexities involved in stock trades and other financial transactions.

A specific investor software also offers access to a specific range of financial products. Some investors may only want to “play the stock market,” where a simple online brokerage with stock trading is adequate. Others may want to invest in specialty funds like exchange traded funds, mutual funds, real estate investment trusts, forex products, or stock options, where having a more robust trading platform is a necessity. Investors should examine all of the options offered by a specific software platform before making a final decision.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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